For Immediate Release - October 26, 2010

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION AWARDS 104 COMMUNITIES AND REGIONAL GROUPS $1.5 MILLION IN RECYCLING AND WASTE REDUCTION GRANTS

Lieutenant Governor Murray Touts Regional Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center at Devens

BOSTON - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - Continuing the Patrick-Murray Administration's efforts to promote environmental stewardship, Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray today announced $1.5 million in grants to 104 cities, towns, regional groups and non-profits to increase the diversion, re-use and recycling of materials in the solid waste stream through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP), created under the Green Communities Act.

"Massachusetts continues to lead the way in waste reduction and efforts that support our green economy," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Recycling and re-use of materials greatly reduces the solid waste stream, cuts pollution in our communities and creates thousands of green jobs for our citizens."

"Through this program, our Administration has been able to leverage regionalization opportunities to help communities across the Commonwealth maximize their recycling and re-use efforts, while cutting municipal solid waste costs and adding green jobs," Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray said today during the grant announcement in Devens.

The SMRP offers funding to cities, towns and regional entities - as well as certain non-profit organizations that provide services to them - for recycling, composting, reuse and source reduction activities that will help reduce the amount of waste disposed in landfills and incinerators. Waste prevention and recycling reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing methane production in landfills, saving energy and increasing forest carbon sequestration.

"The Green Communities Act provides new and much-needed funds to support recycling in Massachusetts communities," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. "These grants will take materials out of the waste stream and increase municipal recycling and reuse - helping to shrink our carbon footprint while sustaining and growing a Massachusetts recycling industry that employs more than 14,000 people."

Funds have been awarded in several categories including: start-up incentives for Pay-As-You-Throw programs and other unit-based pricing programs (10 communities), wheeled carts for curbside collection of recyclables (six communities) and kitchen food waste collection for composting (three communities), large containers for collection of target materials at municipal transfer stations (10 communities), funding for local recycling enforcement coordinators (three communities), pilot and regional waste reduction projects (10 projects), and small scale initiatives (70 communities).

Today, Lieutenant Governor Murray joined local and state officials in Devens to highlight the awarded grants, including $100,000 to the Devens Enterprise Commission to establish a permanent Regional Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center for residents and small businesses. SMRP funds will leverage the $113,000 pledged by the nine partner communities involved in the project.

"The Devens Collection Center, which responds to the Patrick Administration's call for greater regionalization, will save nine communities as much as $10,000 each, ease the disposition of household hazardous waste, and provide a critical service for the people of the Nashoba Valley," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. "Thanks to Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray, and DEP for backing this important project that's green in all the right ways."

"Citizens are becoming more aware of the importance of minimizing their impact on the environment and therefore want easy access to a venue where they can properly dispose their hazardous waste," said Dona Neely, Director of the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center. "We are looking forward to being able to significantly improve a priority service and provide cost savings to the partner towns and hope to serve as a model for other regions in the state."

In addition to the regional award announced for Devens, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission will receive $30,000 to develop additional capacity for source separated organics management from commercial and residential sources in Pioneer Valley. Sixteen communities and a regional non-profit (Center for Ecological Technology) are also involved in the project work group.

The Greater Worcester Habitat for Humanity has also been awarded $50,000 to expand operations and throughput at Habitat for Humanity's "ReStore" for reusable building materials.

The Town of Framingham project has the dual benefits of source reduction and organics diversion. It will receive $32,100 to establish permanent cafeteria food waste diversion programs at its schools and to switch from single-use polystyrene lunch trays/utensils to reusable ones.

"These SMRP grants demonstrate how the Green Communities Act improves the environment by keeping toxic household products such as waste oil and leftover lawn chemicals out of our water bodies and helping local green businesses thrive in these uncertain economic times," said Senator Michael Morrissey. "I applaud the MassDEP and their continued work to implement the Green Communities Act."

"These funds will go a long way towards our communities' collective goal of becoming more environmentally sustainable, more economically viable - all while working to create new jobs in the Merrimack Valley area," said Representative Barry Finegold. "This is evidence that the strong investment this state has made in a sustainable materials economy has direct, positive impacts on our cities and towns."

A full description of each grant can be found here.

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