Guide Solid Waste Master Plan

Through this document, the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) provides the overall framework, direction, and goals for solid waste reduction and management policy in Massachusetts.

About the Solid Waste Master Plan

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 16, Section 21, requires the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide master plan for solid waste management, which the agency updates on a ten-year planning cycle.

MassDEP has begun the process of developing a new Master Plan to guide solid waste management through the coming decade, from 2020 to 2030. The agency will engage in extensive stakeholder discussions to support and inform this process.

If you would like to participate in shaping the next Solid Waste Master Plan, please visit the web page of the MassDEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee. That stakeholder group and its subcommittees will play a central role in support of the agency's work.

Current & Past Master Plans

MassDEP published its first Solid Waste Master Plan in 1990. That document established source reduction and recycling goals to be achieved by 2000, and outlined policies and strategies for meeting them.

The Beyond 2000 Solid Waste Master Plan charted a new course, setting new "zero waste" milestones for the state and updating its basic waste reduction, recycling and disposal policies to achieve them.

See below for the last two decades of Solid Waste Master Plans and updates.

Additional Resources

Solid Waste Data Updates

Each year, MassDEP collects and analyzes statewide solid waste management data to:

  • Track the progress Massachusetts is making toward its waste reduction, reuse, and recycling goals; and
  • Ensure that facilities across the state have sufficient capacity to dispose of material that cannot be reduced, reused, or recycled.

See below for recent solid waste management data updates.

Additional Resources

Waste Characterization Studies

These studies provide data on the breakdown of trash disposed at municipal waste combustion facilities by material category. This data provides valuable insight into opportunities for increased recycling and composting in Massachusetts.

See below to learn more.

Additional Resources


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