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Massachusetts landfill ban clarified.

"I am not so sure our goal should be no net export of waste," Robert Golledge Jr., the new commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), told nearly 100 attendees at a recent meeting of the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) New England Chapter.

Golledge made the remark in relation to his talk on the proposed Massachusetts C&D disposal ban. He admitted progress bad been slow on getting the ban in place, but expected public hearings on the ban would be over by June and that it is only a matter of time after the hearings that the ban should be in place.

Golledge's other main subject in his speech to the group was a proposed $.70-per-ton fee on C&D waste going to landfills. He tried to persuade the group that the lee, which he insisted was not a tax, was necessary to make sure DEP could maintain its current level of service to the recycling and waste industries. Already, he says, there have been 289 people laid off from the department because of the state's fiscal crisis.

If the fee is not put in place, more people will have to be let go, "and then about all we will do is enforcement," he said. "Be careful what you wish for." While saying solid waste and recycling does not bring in any revenue to the agency, Golledge also noted that the DEP contributes about $50 million to the general fund of Massachusetts and that legislators are looking for more revenue.

The new fee, which has been planned since last November but was only leaked to the public this spring, may be inevitable. But there will be strong opposition to it from the industry if the response at the CMRA meeting is any indication.
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Title Annotation:CMRA News
Publication:Construction & Demolition Recycling
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:297
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