Local mandatory recycling bylaws or ordinances, limits on the number of trash barrels collected per household, and private hauler recycling regulations can all be effective tools in reducing solid waste tonnage and municipal disposal costs.
Municipal Recycling Rules & Regulations
- M.G.L. Chapter 111, Sections 31A and 31B, authorize local boards of health to permit and regulate solid waste haulers. Some boards require haulers to provide recycling services to their customers. M.G.L. Chapter 40, Section 8H authorizes cities and towns to establish recycling programs and require residents, schools and businesses to separate solid waste for recycling. Many have adopted "mandatory recycling" regulations, bylaws and ordinances. The data below is for reference only. For information about specific communities' rules, please email Janine Bishop of MassDEP or contact municipalities directly.
- Hauler Recycling Rules Database - November 2015
The municipalities listed in this spreadsheet have adopted hauler regulations, ordinances or bylaws. These rules are on file with MassDEP.
- Mandatory Recycling Rules Database - November 2015
The municipalities listed in this spreadsheet have adopted mandatory recycling regulations, ordinances or bylaws that govern generators of solid waste. These rules are on file with MassDEP.
Developing Private Hauler Regulations
- Best Practices for Municipalities Developing Private Hauler Regulations
MassDEP developed this document in response to requests from municipal officials who want to increase recycling by ensuring that private haulers operating within their communities are complying with the Massachusetts Waste Bans at 310 CMR 19.017. The document contains sample language that may be used or adapted to best address local circumstances.
- Attachments to Private Hauler Regulation Best Practices
Additional information, including optional regulatory language that may be important to some municipalities if they have unit-based pricing programs or provide recycling containers, food waste collection services, or other recycling incentives.
News Article: Kingston Board of Health to Require Private Haulers to Recycle
Wicked Local Kingston, March 2017
Mandatory Recycling in Practice
- Mandatory Recycling Policy Example: Town of Abington
- Mandatory Recycling Policy Example: City of Attleboro
- Mandatory Recycling Case Study: City of Haverhill
- Mandatory Recycling Case Study: City of Lowell
- Mandatory Recycling Case Study: City of Springfield
- Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) Municipal Grants
This grant program supports local recycling, composting/organics, reuse, source reduction, policy development and enforcement activities that increase diversion and reduce disposal. The annual application period is between early April and mid June.
Outreach & Education Materials for Mandatory Recycling
- Using Mandatory Recycling to Reduce Disposal Costs
Module 2 of the MassDEP Municipal Waste Reduction Toolkit: Tools for implementing a mandatory recycling program in your community.
- Mandatory Recycling Mailer: City of Amesbury file size 1MB
- Mandatory Recycling Mailer: City of Haverhill
- Example Warning Doorhanger & Letter: City of Salem
- Example Warning Sticker & Fine/Non-Collection Notices: City of Springfield