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Get the MassDEP Recycling IQ Kit

If your community is dealing with recycling contamination challenges, the Recycling IQ Kit might be for you.

MassDEP Bureau of Air & Waste: Recycling IQ Kit

The Details of Get the MassDEP Recycling IQ Kit

How to get Get the MassDEP Recycling IQ Kit

Links to everything you need to begin using the Recycling IQ Kit - and to apply for funding and technical assistance from MassDEP - are provided in Steps 2 and 3 below.

Next steps for Get the MassDEP Recycling IQ Kit

  1. About the Recycling IQ Kit

    Contamination of the recycling stream is a continuing problem. Usually with the best of intentions, residents put materials into their bins that processing facilities are not equipped to handle.

    The Recycling IQ Kit was developed to help cities and towns work with materials recycling facilities (MRFs) and haulers to:

    • Better target education and outreach to the public,
    • Give residents direct feedback at curbside or drop-off, and
    • Track and report the results of these efforts.

    The Recycling IQ Kit is open source and available for any city or town to use at any time.

    Funding and technical assistance to help implement the Recycling IQ Kit are available from MassDEP. Learn more in Step 2 below.

  2. How the Recycling IQ Kit Works

    Image of Recycling Bin Inspection

    The Recycling IQ Kit is comprised of three main components:

    • Education & Outreach
    • Feedback at Curbside or Drop-Off
    • MassDEP Grants

    Learn more about how the Recycling IQ Kit works.

    Education & Outreach

    The Recycling IQ Kit provides digital templates for both curbside and drop-off programs. From magnetic post cards and "oops" tags to banners and bin stickers, there are many ways to get the word out. See the printer catalog for options and pricing.

    Image of Collateral Materials 1

    Learn more about this topic by watching the video playback of our November 2020 webinar: Optimizing Our Recycling Education & Outreach Efforts. Slides from this presentation can be found below.

    Feedback at Curbside or Drop-Off

    The Recycling IQ Kit lays out a game plan for you to follow in working with elected officials, your community's hauler(s), and the materials recovery facility (MRF) that processes your recyclables. Together, you will educate residents about which items do and do not belong in their bins or at the drop-off center, and then:

    • Identify problem collection routes and/or materials to target for inspections,
    • Provide feedback by tagging contaminated bins and leaving them behind, or through personal interaction at the drop-off center, and
    • Repeat this process for eight consecutive collection cycles.
    Image of Local Recycling Inspectors

    "Before" and "after" audits of loads delivered to the MRF from your community will let you know how your enforcement program is paying off and help you refine it going forward.

    MassDEP Grants

    Your community may apply for funding - a maximum of $6,000 for drop-off or $40,000 for curbside - as well as up to 40 hours of help from a Municipal Assistance Coordinators (MAC) to implement the Recycling IQ Kit.

    Please apply through Re-TRAC Connect™, using the municipal account the agency has established for your city or town. If you have forgotten your account login, contact Rachel Smith.

    If your municipality receives an award, you will need to assign a local project manager and sign a scope of work. Your project(s) must be completed between April and November of the calendar year during which you apply. See the guidelines below to learn more.

  3. Download the Recycling IQ Kit Materials You Need

    Image of Local Recycling Coordinator

    Choose the Recycling IQ Kit for your collection program type:

    Determine if your community is ready to commit:
    Assessment Tool

    Create outreach and education materials:
    Digital Templates
    Editing Instructions
    Printer Catalog

    Access all available resources:
    Recycling IQ Kit Files
    Samples, Templates & more

More info for Get the MassDEP Recycling IQ Kit

In Massachusetts communities that have fully implemented the Recycling IQ Kit, there has been remarkable improvement in the quality of material going into residents' recycling bins.

Year Municipality Average Reduction
in Tagging
2018 Dartmouth -83%
  Everett -55%
  Fitchburg -68%
  Lynn -77%
  Newburyport -84%
  Stoneham -71%
  Tewksbury -86%
2019 Billerica -82%
  Lawrence -78%
  Lunenburg -60%
  Lynn -21%
  Mattapoisett -83%
  Revere -48%
  Shrewsbury -23%
  Southbridge -67%

Recycling IQ Kit Case Studies:
Town of Dartmouth
City of Lynn

Do Your Part, Recycle Smart:

Web Guide:
Massachusetts Recycling Markets Update

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