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.
Guide MassDEP Waste Disposal Bans
Table of Contents
Proposed Waste Ban Amendments
MassDEP proposed amendments to 310 CMR 19.000 that would:
- Add mattresses and textiles to the list of materials banned from disposal in Massachusetts, and
- Lower the threshold for the existing ban on disposal of commercial organic (food) materials so that it applies to facilities that generate one-half a ton per week or more of these materials for disposal.
The agency also proposed revisions to its waste disposal ban guidance for solid waste management facilities.
MassDEP held two virtual public hearings on these proposals and accepted public comment through December 4, 2020.
See Additional Resources below for the proposed amendments, a background document, the draft revised guidance, and a presentation from the virtual public hearings.
Please Note that MassDEP is working to finalize its Draft 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan independent of these proposed regulatory amendments. The agency is currently reviewing comments received during the public review process that ended in September 2020 as it works to prepare the final Master Plan.
Additional Resources for Proposed Waste Ban Amendments
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|
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 for About the Waste Bans
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 for Waste Ban Regulations & Policies
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.
Additional Resources for Compliance Assistance for Generators & Haulers
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.
Additional Resources for Compliance Assistance for Solid Waste Facilities
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.
Waste Ban Training
Training is Held Once Annually
See Key Actions below to:
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.
Please Note: Revised Waste Ban Inspection Load Observation and Comparative Analysis Sheets are available for use as of September 2018. Inspectors must use these forms for all inspections beginning January 1, 2019.