Guide MassDEP Waste Disposal Bans

Waste bans boost recycling and support the recycling industry, which contributes thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to the Massachusetts economy. By cutting down on disposal, the waste bans also help us capture valuable resources, save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lessen our reliance on landfills and incinerators.

About the Waste Bans

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) introduced its first bans on landfilling and combustion of easy-to-recycle and toxic materials in 1990. Additional "waste bans" have been phased in over time.

Materials Currently Banned from Disposal or Transfer for Disposal in Massachusetts
  • Asphalt pavement, brick and concrete
  • Cathode ray tubes
  • Clean gypsum wallboard
  • Commercial food material
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Glass and metal containers
  • Lead acid batteries
  • Leaves and yard waste
  • Recyclable paper, cardboard and paperboard
  • Single-resin narrow-necked plastic containers
  • Treated and untreated wood and wood waste (banned from landfills only)
  • White goods (large appliances)
  • Whole tires (banned from landfills only; shredded tires acceptable)

Since the first waste bans were introduced, Massachusetts municipalities and businesses - often supported by MassDEP grants and technical assistance - have developed new infrastructure to collect banned items and other discarded materials, and to divert them from disposal to reuse and recycling.

Additional Resources

Waste Ban Regulations & Policies

The MassDEP waste disposal bans can be found in Section 19.017 of the agency's Solid Waste Management Facility Regulations at 310 CMR 19.000.

Additional Resources

Compliance Assistance for Generators & Haulers

Both people who generate solid waste and those who transport it to disposal facilities are responsible for complying with the Massachusetts waste bans.

Businesses, municipalities, and property managers should encourage waste reduction, provide for recycling, and ensure that employees and tenants don't throw away items that landfills and combustion facilities are prohibited from accepting for disposal.

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Compliance Assistance for Solid Waste Facilities

The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) conducts ongoing inspections at landfills and combustion facilities to identify waste haulers and generators who improperly dispose of banned materials, and to ensure that these items are not being accepted for disposal.

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Third-Party Waste Ban Inspections & Inspectors

Massachusetts solid waste management facilities are required by 310 CMR 19.018 to undergo periodic third-party waste ban compliance inspections.

Only third-party inspectors (TPIs) listed by the agency may perform this work. To qualify, a TPI must

  • Complete MassDEP-provided waste ban training, which will next be offered in spring 2018, and
  • Register with the agency by submitting a statement of qualifications.

See Key Actions below for the SW 48: Third-Party Inspector Qualifications Statement and the Registered Third-Party Inspector Lookup (click "Search on all Online Authorizations" and then Advanced Search; check the "Solid Waste" box and then click Search).

Third-Party Inspection Forms

The Third-Party Inspector needs to record the results of a solid waste waste ban inspection and report them to MassDEP using the following forms:

  • Waste Ban Compliance Inspection Report (with all applicable sections completed and the certification statement signed),
  • Load Observation and Comparative Analysis worksheets, and
  • Corrective Action Plan & Schedule if the inspection report indicates these are necessary.

Instructions, forms, and worksheets can be found below.

Additional Resources


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