BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) today presented a $100,000 recycling grant to the City of Springfield, which will use the funds to help offset the costs for wheeled carts to support the city’s automated, single-stream recycling collection program.
“There are now 70 single-stream recycling programs in communities across the Commonwealth. Single-stream recycling with carts results in an average 20 percent increase in recycling tonnage, with some communities achieving more than 50 percent increases,” MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell said. “As we mark the 41st anniversary of Earth Day this month, these grant funds will help Springfield and other communities increase recycling, reduce the waste stream and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in disposal fees.”
Commissioner Kimmell delivered the recycling grant to Springfield officials during a ceremony today at Springfield City Hall.
“The city initiated and undertook this cutting-edge and aggressive recycling program because it’s the right thing to do environmentally and it creates increased savings for Springfield taxpayers,” Mayor Domenic Sarno said. “We are very thankful that MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell has awarded the city this grant. I also want to thank the residents of Springfield for their ongoing cooperation with the recycling program and am confident that residents will continue to appreciate the convenience of single-stream recycling.”
“Recycling is no longer only an environmental issue, it is a financial issue as well,” State Senator Gale Candaras said. “This grant will help Springfield reduce solid waste, and the associated costs, as well as increase recycling. Commissioner Kimmell, Secretary Rick Sullivan and the Patrick Administration should be commended for their commitment to our cities and our environment.”
The grant initiative – called the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) – supports single-stream recycling collection with carts because it is more efficient and reduces solid waste costs for municipalities. Recycling carts increase resident participation and hike the capture rate of recyclable materials since they provide more capacity than the traditional 18-gallon “blue bins.” The grant is a $10-per-cart subsidy for Springfield; the city must fund the balance of the cost – approximately $25-30 per cart.
Springfield implemented its single-stream recycling program in 2009, delivering 42,000 carts to residents. Under the city’s single-stream program, recycling is up by 2,700 tons (a 60 percent increase) since 2009, saving the city approximately $54,000 a month in avoided waste disposal fees.
Springfield is one of four communities receiving the recycling grants this week. The Town of Brookline and the Town of Framingham will also receive $100,000 grants today and tomorrow respectively, while the Town of Franklin will receive a grant of $86,500 tomorrow.
SMRP awards are being used to support single-stream recycling, Pay-As-You-Throw programs, recycling and organics diversion, household hazardous waste collection, materials reuse, and community recycling outreach and education initiatives. MassDEP is now soliciting proposals for the next round of SMRP grants awards. Municipalities, businesses, state agencies, institutions and non-government organizations are eligible to apply for the grants. For more information about the SMRP and the grant application process, turn to: http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/recawgr.htm
For more information about single-stream and other community recycling programs, turn to: http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/reducere.htm
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.