- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants to Support Growing Recycling Businesses
Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $565,000 in grants to five companies to better process and manage glass, food waste, textiles, and mattresses. The Recycling Business Development Grant (RBDG) program, administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will expand the recycling operations and increase the amount and quality of recycling now occurring at Black Earth Compost, LLC, Planet Aid, Inc., Recycleworks, Inc., Superior Waste & Recycling, and Zero Waste Solutions, LLC.
“Recycling plays an important part in the Massachusetts economy, employing thousands of people and converting recyclable materials into valuable end-products,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Continuing to advance opportunities to increase recycling not only helps to protect Massachusetts' natural resources, but it stimulates the economy and fosters innovation.”
“The Recycling Business Development Grant program will help businesses develop sustainable markets for the re-use of these materials, while reducing the waste stream,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Increasing recycling opportunities also helps protect our environment and creates jobs that strengthen the state, regional and local economies.”
The RBDG program targets difficult-to-recycle materials, including container glass, food waste, mattresses, and textiles. This round of grants will fund projects that support recovery of these wastes by stimulating the development of the state’s infrastructure to better manage these materials. As a condition of receiving funding, grant recipients commit to meeting tonnage goals over a two-year period.
“This program is designed to help develop and expand the Commonwealth’s strong recycling infrastructure, which includes over 800 businesses supporting more than 15,000 jobs,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The program will help create new markets for difficult-to-manage waste materials and increase economic value, while protecting our environment for future generations.”
“Through our Solid Waste Master Plan, Massachusetts has a goal to reduce our trash by 1.7 million tons annually by 2030,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Instead of dumping or burning these valuable materials, businesses like these can help turn them into new products, valuable compost or a renewable energy sources through the anaerobic digestion process.”
The grant recipients are:
Black Earth Compost, LLC, Groton – Up to $65,000
Black Earth Compost, LLC is establishing an organics processing facility in Groton. The grant funds will help pay for building upgrades and processing equipment that will allow the company to remove contaminants from collected organic material.
Planet Aid, Inc., Milford – Up to $200,000
Planet Aid Inc. accepts used textiles and bales them for sale. Grant funds will allow for building upgrades and a conveyor system that will allow the company to process more textiles for reuse.
Recycleworks, Inc., Braintree – Up to $100,000
Recycleworks, Inc. is a processing facility that removes liquids from packaging. The grant funds will be used to procure equipment that will allow the company to remove more food material from food packaging, making the organic material available for composting or anaerobic digestion.
Superior Waste & Recycling, Worcester – Up to $100,000
Superior Waste & Recycling is a mattress processor. The grant funds will be used to purchase a shredder that will allow the company to recover metal from old mattresses.
Zero Waste Solutions, LLC, Rochester – Up to $100,000
Zero Waste Solutions, LLC is a materials recovery facility. The grant funds will be used to purchase crushing equipment that will allow the company to create a blasting media from used container glass.
“The RBDG Program administered by MassDEP addresses the problem of how we handle large or difficult to recycle products like mattresses or textiles,” said State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). “These products often get forgotten or improperly disposed, creating potential hazards. I want to commend all of the businesses for their hard work to receive this grant, but especially Planet Aid in my district for their dedication. I will continue to support programs from MassDEP that care for our environment and encourage sustainability.”
“I congratulate Black Earth Compost for being awarded a Recycling Business Development Grant for the work they are doing in Groton,” said State Senator Ed Kennedy (D-Lowell). “Composting food scraps is an excellent way to reduce food waste and unnecessary bulk in our trash systems and produces nutrient rich soil that can be used to grow fresh produce in our home gardens. This grant funding will help Black Earth Compost upgrade their facilities and equipment in Groton to remove contaminants from collected organic material. I am hopeful that other communities in my district, and throughout the Commonwealth, will follow Groton's lead.”
“Planet Aid has been a caring and conscientious corporate citizen. The company generously donated PPE to Milford Regional Medical Center during last year’s pandemic and has made a strong commitment to solar energy at its facility” said State Representative Brian Murray (D. Milford). “It is fitting that Planet Aid will be the recipient of significant grant funds through the Recycling Business Development Grant Program. This will allow the company to improve on its processing and recycling of textiles, which is not only good business but sound environmental policy as well.”
The RBDG program is one of a number of efforts by the Baker-Polito Administration to promote recycling efforts across the Commonwealth. Since 2016, MassDEP has awarded $4.3 million in grants to Massachusetts recycling businesses. The Baker-Polito Administration recently awarded $1.3 million in recycling grants to 34 communities, regional groups and non-profits to help increase diversion, reuse, composting and recycling of materials in the waste stream.
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources. For more information regarding the MassDEP and its mission, please visit the agency’s webpage.