Solid Waste Master Plan

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 16, Section 21, requires MassDEP to develop and maintain a comprehensive statewide master plan for reducing and managing solid waste, which the agency updates on a ten-year planning cycle.

Table of Contents

News & Updates

December 2021

MassDEP released its final Reduce & Reuse Action Plan (found in Additional Resources below), which the agency committed to develop and update as part of its 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan. The Action Plan was developed with input from the Reduce & Reuse Working Group

November 2021

MassDEP presented a webinar on the newly published 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, covering how much and what kinds of trash Massachusetts generates; the state's goals for reducing waste; grants and assistance available to cities, towns, and businesses; and how reuse, recycling, and composting create jobs and grow the state's economy.

See Additional Resources below to learn more.

Additional Resources   for News & Updates

Final 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan

MassDEP issued its final 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan in October 2021.

The document 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 is expanding its 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 required amendments to the 310 CMR 19.000: Solid Waste Management Facility Regulations, and are effective November 1, 2022.

See Additional Resources below for the final document and the agency's response to public comments received in 2019 and 2020.

Additional Resources   for Final 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan

The Stakeholder Process

MassDEP issued its Draft 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan for public comment in September 2019. The agency convened five public hearings on the document across the state and accepted comment through early December of that year.

Based on input received during the initial public comment period as well as other developments, MassDEP held four more virtual public hearings and accepted additional comment on the document over the summer of 2020.

The re-opened public comment period focused specifically, but not exclusively, on issues of environmental justice, climate change, and the impacts of COVID-19 as they related to solid waste management in Massachusetts. 

See Additional Resources below to learn more.

Additional Resources   for The Stakeholder Process

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   for Past Master Plans

Waste Characterization & Capacity Studies

The studies below provide data on and analysis of:

  • Trash disposal at municipal waste combustion facilities in Massachusetts, broken down by material category.
  • Facilities with capacity to manage waste materials in Massachusetts and nearby states.

Together, this information provides valuable insight into opportunities for Massachusetts to increase both recycling and composting.

Additional Resources   for Waste Characterization & Capacity Studies

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   for Solid Waste Data Updates

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