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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

Proposed Waste Ban Amendments

MassDEP is accepting public comment through December 4, 2020.

October 2020

MassDEP is proposing 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 is also proposing changes to its waste disposal ban guidance document for solid waste management facilities. See Additional Resources below for the proposed amendments, a background document, and the draft revised guidance. 

Please Note that MassDEP is continuing to work on finalizing the Draft 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan independent of these proposed regulatory amendments. MassDEP is currently reviewing comments received on the Solid Waste Master Plan during our public comment process that closed on September 15, 2020, as we work to prepare the final Master Plan. 

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Virtual Public Hearings: November 9 & 12, 2020
Public Comment Period: Ends December 4, 2020

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
  • 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 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
MassDEP

Training is Held Once Annually

  • MassDEP held this year's training via webinar on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. The agency will offer training again in 2021.
  • Questions? Please email Joshua Cook.

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

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