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Brookfield, North Brookfield, Spencer get recycling grants.

BOSTON -- The Patrick Administration recently announced $2.47 million in grants to 136 cities, towns, regional groups and nonprofit organizations to increase the diversion, reuse, composting and recycling of materials in the solid waste stream.

"Governor Patrick, working with our partners in the Legislature, has made it clear that we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment for future generations,'' Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said. "These grants will help to achieve the goals laid out in the Global Warming Solutions Act and create jobs in the process.''

The grants are funded through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program. The SMRP offers communities, regional entities and non-profits funding for recycling, composting, reuse and source reduction activities that will reduce the amount of waste disposed in landfills and incinerators. Waste prevention and recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by cutting methane production in landfills, thereby saving energy and increasing forest carbon sequestration.

Funds have been awarded in several categories, including: start-up incentives for Pay-As-You-Throw programs, wheeled-carts for curbside collection of recyclables and kitchen food waste for composting, large containers for collection of target materials at municipal transfer stations, funding for local recycling enforcement coordinators, school recycling assistance programs, organics capacity building projects, innovative waste reduction projects and small-scale initiatives.

Innovative projects funded by the SMRP grants include a plan by the nonprofit Wish Project of Lowell ($50,000) to use a heat treatment process to sterilize used mattresses from hotels and other institutions and re-distribute them through social service agencies to those in need.

During this SMRP funding round, a total of $535,905 has been allocated for eight conditional grants that communities can use to implement a Pay-As-You-Throw type system for curbside trash collection. The grants will be disbursed to assist with start-up costs, such as producing public education materials, and purchasing PAYT bags and recycling bins.

Thirteen communities were awarded $1,239,422 in SMRP grants for the purchase of wheeled carts for the implementation or expansion of curbside single-stream recycling. The grant provides a $10- or $15-per-cart subsidy for the purchase of carts 65 gallons or larger. Carts make recycling more convenient for residents, producing higher recycling rates and less trash.

Ten communities will receive a total of $81,269 to expand their recycling programs to collect targeted materials at municipal recycling drop-off or transfer stations. Grants are for the purchase of roll-offs or compactors for the collection of source-separated wood, carpet, "rigid bulky'' plastics, mattresses, clean gypsum and source-separated food waste.

Four communities are expected to receive a total of $85,000 to support the hiring of local waste reduction enforcement coordinators to assist in enforcing mandatory recycling, compliance with single-stream recycling or compliance with existing pay-as-you-throw programs.

Four local school districts are expected to receive a total of $52,601 as part of the school recycling assistance program in order to implement or expand recycling of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans in all schools within the district.

Another 96 municipalities are eligible for $96,000 in grants a ranging from $500 for communities under 5,000 residents up to $2,000 for communities larger than 50,000 residents a to purchase items such as recycling outreach and educational materials, compost bins, outdoor event recycling containers, paper shredders for residential and small-business use, household hazardous waste collection efforts and rain barrel and kitchen scrap bucket programs.

An alphabetical list of the city, town, regional group or non-profit organizations that have been conditionally awarded a grant can be seen below. More information about the SMRP program can be seen here:

Local MassDEP SMRP grant awards, October 2013

Grantee item amount:

Town of Brookfield Targeted Small Scale Initiative* $500

Town of Hardwick Targeted Small Scale Initiative* $500

Town of North Brookfield Targeted Small Scale Initiative* $500

Town of Spencer Compactor for Single Stream, $7,500

Town of Spencer Educational Materials for Drop-off Recycling, $1,000

Town of Ware Targeted Small Scale Initiative* $750

* Targeted Small Scale Initiatives provide funding for materials and services that will sustain existing municipal waste reduction programs such as educational materials, public space recycling containers, compost bins, and other small investments that reduce solid waste or increase recycling.
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Title Annotation:Weeklies
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Nov 22, 2013
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