Recycling and diverting waste makes environmental and economic sense. The MBA and its members do a lot within their facilities to protect natural resources, reduce water and energy use, and keep recyclable material out of landfills and incinerators. These efforts generate revenue from the sale of commodities and can save on disposal costs. Nationally, 94% of beverage facility waste was recycled or reused in 2015 and industry continues to strive for improvement.
The ABA, our national organization, has collected a great deal of information on these efforts which can be viewed at their Innovation Naturally site: innovationnaturally.org
The MBA believes in a comprehensive approach to recycling. Promoting solutions that are focused on capturing/diverting more of all types of recyclable material is the only way to increase Massachusetts’ rate. The current recycling rate has been stuck in the 36%-38% range for decades and only a comprehensive approach will move those numbers higher.
Robust curbside and drop-off solutions combined with access to recycling in public spaces are the keys to successful municipal programs. We have seen some communities in Massachusetts, like the City of Worcester implement modern, efficient systems and achieve great results. [Link to T&G article] According to the Massachusetts Municipal Association, 90% of municipalities provide comprehensive recycling programs for their residents and we know more than 1/3 of our communities use PAYT. However, we can appreciate that one size doesn’t fit all and support other methods to achieve the same goal.
In 2012 the MBA and ABA developed a program to demonstrate our commitment to public space recycling and that is called the Massachusetts Recycling Challenge. Our goal is to help communities understand best practices in municipal recycling, to fund public space infrastructure and promote awareness to encourage more recycling.
Massachusetts Recycling Challenge Highlights
Four workshops in central and southeastern Massachusetts to provide technical assistance along with practical examples of PAYT systems in place. Representatives of more than 50 cities and towns have participated in one or more of these sessions.
In addition, MRC’s consultant, DSM Environmental, has provided direct support to more than a dozen communities related to PAYT and other efforts to enhance diversion and increase recycling.
MRC has provided on-the-ground consulting expertise through DSM Environmental Services to work with communities to assess public space recycling needs and opportunities, select the right equipment and locations, and develop plans for installing and servicing the equipment. MRC provides funding for the consulting support and the purchase price of the bins.
MRC has completed several bin placement projects so far and has more in the pipeline. Please contact us if you are interested in a project in your community.
Worcester – City Center, downtown, bus stops. Total bin spend: $22,250.
Quincy – City downtown bus stops including central historic sites and Wollaston downtown. Total bin spend: $24,000.
Gardner – Bus stop in downtown. Total bin spend: $1,200.
Taunton – City Center downtown including city parks. Total bin spend: $22,000.
Dracut – Town Hall, Library, recreation parks. Total bin spend: $22,787.
Dedham – City Center downtown Total bin spend: $9,100.
Swansea – Beach, parks, library/town hall, and bike/walking path. Total bin spend: $16,500.
Marion – Beach, parks and marina. Total bin spend (estimate) $12,500.
Lowell – Cawley Stadium and park Total bin spend (estimate) $25,000.
MBTA - Alewife Station, two large kiosks with promotional/educational panels. Total bin spend: $10,000.
Brockton – 18 new recycling receptacles to be placed in parks throughout the city, including DW Fields Park, North JH Park, Hollister Park, Charlie Petty’s Athletic Field, and Hancock Park. Total bin spend: $19,338.
MBTA Phase 2 – Matching a grant from Cambridge Redevelopment Authority for bins at Davis, Porter, Harvard, Central and Kendall. Total bin spend: 10,000
TOTAL BIN SPEND: $217,899