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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.

Table of Contents

News & Updates

October 2021

MassDEP issued its final 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, a draft of which was issued for public comment in 2019 and underwent a second public comment period in 2020. 

The final Master Plan establishes goals to reduce disposal statewide by 30 percent (from 5.7 million tons in 2018 to 4 million tons in 2030) over the next decade. It sets a long-term goal of achieving a 90 percent reduction in disposal to 570,000 tons by 2050. 

Among its strategies for reaching these objectives, MassDEP will expand its current waste disposal bans by:

  • Lowering the threshold on commercial organic/food waste to facilities generating more than one-half ton of these materials per week; and
  • Adding mattresses and textiles to the list of materials banned from disposal or transport for disposal in Massachusetts.

These changes require amendments to the 310 CMR 19.000: Solid Waste Management Facility Regulations, which will have an effective date of November 1, 2022.

See Additional Resources below to learn more.

Additional Resources for News & Updates

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 or to be Banned from Disposal or Transfer for Disposal in Massachusetts
  • Asphalt pavement, brick and concrete
  • Cathode ray tubes
  • Clean gypsum wallboard
  • Commercial food material (lower threshold effective November 1, 2022)
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Glass and metal containers
  • Lead acid batteries
  • Leaves and yard waste
  • Mattresses (effective November 1, 2022)
  • Recyclable paper, cardboard and paperboard
  • Single-resin narrow-necked plastic containers
  • Textiles (effective November 1, 2022)
  • 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 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.

How to Qualify as a Third-Party Inspector
Complete Required
Waste Ban Training
Register with

Training is Held Once Annually

  • MassDEP last offered TPI training in May 2021. Training for 2022 has not yet been scheduled.
  • Questions? Please email Claudine Ellyin.

See Key Actions below to:

  • Submit  Your SW 48: TPI Qualifications Statement
  • Look Up Registered TPIs

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.

Additional Resources for Third-Party Inspection Forms