New state protection agency rules change how residents and towns get rid of unwanted clothing and mattresses. Gone are the days of throwing them in a landfill and burning them in an incinerator.
The new ban, which began on November 1, promises environmental benefits and easing the flow of stretched-out waste, but it also comes at the cost of increased costs and illegal dumping. and could have unintended consequences, local officials said.
Situation transfer stations have long separated mattresses and box springs for recycling, said Public Works Director Kevin Cafferty. The town relies on haulers and recyclers to collect them. In that regard, the new rules will not change how the town operates.
But increased demand could push prices higher as more towns rely on a limited number of businesses to comply with state laws, Cafferty said.
“We charge[residents]a fee that covers transportation and recycling,” said Cafferty. If these costs increase, “eventually we will have to raise our rates”.
Cafferty raised another potential outcome. Cafferty said there’s always a chance that people will “throw it in the woods” when mattress disposal costs go up.
Braintree residents will see minimal change from the new policy, said Solid Waster manager Jeff Kunz. They only take reservations for curbside collection. Another truck picks up mattresses and box springs.
“The town will take care of all financial costs without raising garbage fees,” Kunz said.
Additional costs include expanding collection services and paying a contractor, UTEC, to disassemble and process mattresses and box springs for recycling. UTEC also serves Hanover, Kingston and Pembroke.
Kunz said the policy could cost about $40,000 a year. He said Braintree applied for state grants to purchase additional containers to store the mattresses before they were received by contractors. He said each container costs between $17,000 and $20,000.
For clothing and textiles, there are bins at Braintree’s recycling center and at each school.
“We have schools in every area, so it’s very convenient,” said Kunz.
Marshfield began recycling mattresses a year and a half before the new rules went into effect, said Solid Waste and Recycling Enforcer Deb Sullivan.
The town charges residents $20 per box spring and mattress. Sullivan said there has been no increase in resident complaints about illegal dumping or fees for mattresses.Marshfield has struck a deal with Milford’s Green Her Mattress Company.
According to the ministry’s website, the state’s Environmental Protection Agency will ban the disposal of mattresses, box springs and fabrics, promote recycling efforts, reduce reliance on landfills and incinerators, and collect these materials. We create jobs by empowering non-profit organizations and companies that recycle through recycling. The goal is to reduce statewide waste by 30% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. This will reduce annual waste from 5.7 million tonnes to 570,000 tonnes within 28 years.
EPA spokesman Ed Coletta said the agency funds 137 community collection programs and five private organizations that collect and recycle mattresses. He said the department has been working on the policy for five to six years to make sure the infrastructure is in place.
Coretta said mattresses and textiles are unnecessarily straining the processing capacity of Massachusetts and the wider Northeastern region.
“They should and will be removed from the waste stream,” Coretta said. You can also donate mattresses in good condition. A third option is to use the community’s program or a private vendor that collects these materials for a fee.
Massachusetts discards 300,000 mattresses and box springs each year, even though 75% of their components are recyclable. According to the State Department, state residents dispose of 230,000 tons of fabrics such as clothing, linens, shoes, curtains and other clothing accessories, but 95% of these are store rags, insulation, carpet padding, Can be resold or reused as soundproofing material. environmental protection website.