The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is in the final stages of drafting the Commonwealth’s 2020-2030 Solid Waste Master Plan (SWMP), which will serve as the blueprint for how Massachusetts deals with waste for the next decade. In February our coalition, Zero Waste Massachusetts, sent Governor Baker, Secretary Theorharides, and Commissioner Suuberg a letter calling on Governor Baker to make the goal of zero waste a priority for his administration, and to iterate that goal clearly and ambitiously in the final Master Plan.
Included, is a recently released report, entitled “Beyond Burn and Bury: Moving Mass. Towards Zero Waste.” This report includes data describing the harm being caused to our health and environment by Massachusetts’ waste disposal, via incinerators and landfills. The report details how we can and must move away from that infrastructure and towards zero waste, and concludes with ten recommendations for how we get there. While the Solid Waste Master Plan is the province of the DEP, a number of the crucial recommendations we support require action from the Legislature, such as reducing single use plastics, updating the container deposit law, and enacting producer responsibility legislation.