The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that the City of Chicopee has been awarded a total of $338,000 in grants to help the city implement its new Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) recycling program and hire a waste reduction coordinator to help with PAYT program compliance.
“It is important for the Commonwealth to support and encourage the proactive environmental protection efforts happening at the local level,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased this grant will allow the City of Chicopee to recycle more materials and create a healthier environment for its citizens.”
“This grant will help the City of Chicopee implement a proven waste reduction program that will reduce its waste disposal costs and capture more materials that can be reused,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By investing in its recycling and waste reduction efforts, the City of Chicopee is making a real difference for its residents and the environment.”
The awards were announced today by Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos during a ceremony at Chicopee City Hall. This funding is part of the $2.38 million in grants announced statewide today by MassDEP for its Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP).
“Reducing waste by recycling, composting and reuse improves the health of our communities and the vitality of our businesses,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to working with municipalities like Chicopee to significantly reduce waste disposal statewide and meet our ambitious recycling goals.”
The City of Chicopee will be awarded two SMRP grants: $300,000 to implement the PAYT program in April of 2017, and $38,000 to hire a waste reduction enforcement coordinator to help implement the new recycling program and monitor resident compliance to ensure that the new trash carts are being used and trash is not being put into the existing recycling carts.
“The Pay-As-You-Throw program has been a success across the Commonwealth because it cuts solid waste tonnage by up to 50 percent, saving thousands of dollars in disposal costs,” said MassDEP Commissioner Suuberg. “The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to support Chicopee in its efforts to implement this innovative recycling program, and as a result, become a more sustainable city.”
PAYT programs are currently operating in 145 communities statewide, covering approximately 20 percent of the total households in Massachusetts. In each of these PAYT communities, trash tonnage was reduced by 25 to 50 percent through a combination of increased recycling, diversion to reuse, repair, donation, composting or other methods of disposal.
“The state support is a valuable contribution to the financial challenges Chicopee will be facing as we pursue meaningful waste reduction with the impending closing of the landfill located in our community,” said Mayor Kos. “We greatly appreciate the Baker-Polito Administration’s continued support and commitment to working closely with municipalities like ours to address the many challenges we face.”
“These grant monies will benefit the City of Chicopee as it implements its new recycling and waste reduction program while making progress towards becoming a more environmentally conscious community,” said State Representative Joseph F. Wagner (D-Chicopee).
During the Chicopee ceremony, Commissioner Suuberg also announced that an additional 15 communities in western Massachusetts have been awarded SMRP grants totaling $248,606 to increase recycling, educate citizens, purchase drop-off containers or holding sheds for various materials, and hire waste reduction coordinators. These funds are being awarded to Amherst, Becket, Charlemont, Colrain, Hinsdale, Leverett, Monterey, Sheffield, Shelburne, South Hadley, Southwick, Warwick, West Springfield, Whately and Windsor.
These western Massachusetts locations are among the 51 communities, regional groups and non-profit organizations to receive $2.38 million in grants during the second SMRP funding round. The SMRP offers funding for recycling, composting, reuse and source reduction activities that will reduce the amount of waste disposed of in landfills and incinerators. Waste prevention and recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by capturing the embodied energy in every-day project and packaged waste and converting these sources into new products with a smaller carbon footprint.
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.