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BOSTON -- According to a new report issued Thursday by Zero Waste Massachusetts, two million tons of materials banned from the state’s landfills and incinerators end up there each year. The report, entitled “The Need to Enforce: Waste Ban Regulations in Massachusetts” – looks at banned waste being disposed of in the Commonwealth, and provides snapshots of other states and cities with waste bans.
Materials such as paper, cardboard, glass, metal, wood and more have been banned from disposal for years via regulations from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Waste bans are instituted to reduce materials being disposed of in landfills and incinerators, both of which result in varying kinds of pollution, public health problems, and significant costs for cities and towns
“The bottom line is: this should not be hard,” said Elizabeth Saunders of Clean Water Action. “There are many environmental problems that are incredibly complicated to solve, but this is straightforward. We could drastically reduce waste in Massachusetts by doing the basics–enforcing the long established DEP waste bans.”
“We need to move away from burying and burning, and towards reducing, reusing, and composting,” said Staci Rubin of Conservation Law Foundation. “A sustainable future means reducing burdens on communities of color and low-income residents who shoulder the brunt of waste disposal. We don’t need to invent any new technologies, we just need the Commonwealth to devote resources to education and enforcement.”
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