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.

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News & Updates

November 1, 2022

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.

For details and definitions, see the regulations.

October 2021

MassDEP issued its final 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, which established goals for reducing disposal statewide by 30 percent (from 5.7 million tons in 2018 to 4 million tons in 2030) over the next decade. It set a long-term goal of achieving a 90 percent reduction in disposal to 570,000 tons by 2050. 

See Additional Resources below to learn more.

Additional Resources for News & Updates

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 (lower threshold effective November 1, 2022)
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Glass and metal containers
  • Lead acid batteries
  • Leaves and yard waste
  • Mattresses (effective November 1, 2022)
  • Recyclable paper, cardboard and paperboard
  • Single-resin narrow-necked plastic containers
  • Textiles (effective November 1, 2022)
  • 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

Generator & Hauler Compliance Assistance

Both organizations that generate solid waste and those that transport it to disposal facilities are responsible for complying with the Massachusetts waste bans.

Businesses 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.

See also: Material-Specific Compliance Assistance

Additional Resources for Generator & Hauler Compliance Assistance

Material-Specific Compliance Assistance

Municipal Compliance Assistance

Solid Waste Facility Compliance Assistance

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.

See also: Material-Specific Compliance Assistance

Additional Resources for Solid Waste Facility Compliance Assistance

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 virtual waste ban training for third-party inspectors was most recently held in May 2022. It will next be offered in 2023.
  • Questions? Please email Claudine Ellyin.

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 these findings 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.

These instructions, forms, and worksheets can be found in Additional Resources below.

Please Note: The Waste Ban Inspection Load Observation and Comparative Analysis worksheets have been updated to reflect the November 1, 2022, expansion of disposal bans and should be used for all inspections performed after that date.

Additional Resources for Third-Party Inspection Forms

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