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PRESS RELEASE: Recycling Efforts of Western Mass. Communities Pays Off: Downing Announces MRF Reimbursements for 29 Participating Communities in His District
August 14, 2007

Boston - State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) announced that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has presented twenty-nine communities in his Berkshire, Hampshire & Franklin Senate District with revenue payments totaling just under $30,000 for their recycling efforts in Fiscal Year 2007.  In total, this week 78 western Massachusetts municipalities will receive approximately $1.5 million from Waste Management Recycle America (WMRA) for delivering 44,278 tons of recyclables to the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in FY 2007.

 

MassDEP opened the Springfield MRF in 1990 to help reduce waste, divert material away from landfills and incinerators and encourage the re-use of recyclable materials. Since that time, the MRF has processed more than one billion pounds of recyclables from western Massachusetts.

 

“By creating and expanding recycling efforts throughout our communities we effectively divert waste from landfills while communities avoid paying millions of dollars in solid waste tipping fees,” stated Downing.  “Additionally, this program is a great reminder of how simple everyday actions like recycling can pay off with great rewards.”  

 

Every six months, the MRF, owned by MassDEP and operated by WMRA, issues revenue payments to recycling communities. By avoiding solid waste disposal fees through the recycling ofpaper products, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal at the Springfield MRF, municipalities are reaping economic benefits.  Since the inception of the new MRF contract in April 2005, the total payout to these communities has topped $3.3 million.   

 

A flat rate of $15.67 per ton, in addition to a revenue share when markets are good, is disbursed to participating cities and towns.  Due the increase in demand for recycled materials, the recycling market is strong and the dollars-per-ton of these recycled products is on the rise.   Fiscal Year 2007 has yielded the highest returns to-date.

 

 

While market shares are strong, incoming tonnage has been on the decline since 2001, when the annual tonnage was roughly 48,000 tons.  Some of the decline can be attributed to lighter, more environmentally-friendly packaging, and a decreasing population in Massachusetts.  However, there is still a large amount of recyclables being discarded in trash receptacles.  An estimated 1.5 million tons of recyclable paper products are being thrown away in the trash each year in Massachusetts.

 

In response to a decrease in recycling tonnage, a statewide paper recycling campaign will be launched this month with a series of initiatives to increase awareness and participation.  The Springfield MRF website asserts that recycling 500 tons of paper is the equivalent to removing 307 cars from the road each year. 

 

For more information on how to become more involved with recycling efforts in western Massachusetts, visit the Springfield MRF website at:  www.springfieldmrf.org.

 

For the first six months of 2007, the following MRF communities located within Downing’s Berkshire, Hampshire & Franklin District recorded these recycling tonnages and received these payments:

 

Town

Tonnage

Payment

Alford

36.87

$1,429.98

Ashfield

117.98

$4,532.52

Becket

54.95

$2,174.65

Charlemont

52.16

$2,001.78

Chesterfield

42.89

$1,630.71

Conway

114.07

$4,408.49

Cummington

46.82

$1,812.47

Dalton

193.84

$7,447.94

Egremont

97.92

$3,782.52

Goshen

38.33

$1,493.50

Great Barrington

77.96

$2,982.48

Heath

34.78

$1,345.35

Huntington

77.98

$3,008.35

Lee

85.04

$3,273.52

Lenox

28.35

$1,091.35

Middlefield

21.34

$807.65

Monterey

66

$2,539.26

New Marlboro

51.74

$2,019.02

Otis

86.72

$3,365.17

Plainfield

27.86

$1,075.39

Pittsfield

1233.49

$47,597.87

Rowe

18.2

$705.79

Sandisfield

27.52

$1,066.19

Sheffield

128.73

$4,978.16

Stockbridge

284.89

$10,988.92

Washington

23.58

$932.86

West Stockbridge

88.91

$3,439.44

Williamsburg

131.77

$5,081.97

Worthington

63.65

$2,467.48

Totals:

3354.34

$29,660.81

 

 

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