A few key examples of where this Plan does not make it anywhere near the goal posts:
- Food and yard waste diversion: Almost one third of what we currently send to landfills and incinerators is organics---food and yard waste---which we know how to, and must, divert from disposal. For years, DEP regulations have required any entity that generates more than 1 ton of this waste must divert it from disposal. We know how to ban food and yard waste completely, and this plan only gets us halfway to the goal posts.
- The plan still allows 350,000 tons of new capacity for additional ways of combusting waste. If you put lipstick on a ‘new disposal technology’ it’s still a pig. We simply cannot enable more waste disposal by considering additional ways of combusting waste.
- More than 40% of what is disposed of in landfills and incinerators are materials like paper, cardboard, glass, metal and other things which have been banned from disposal for decades. When asked in the briefing about what more will be done to enforce the bans, the answer came back “We’ll do what we’ve been doing.”
We look forward to working with the DEP on improving this “living document” (DEP’s words) by strengthening its provisions, increasing the goals, and making Massachusetts the leader it could and should be in getting to zero waste.
Since the organization’s founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking, and people power to the table. www.cleanwater.org