Berkshires Bucking Nation’s Downward Trend On Recycling
As the cost to recycle climbs, some communities are throwing the program — and reusable materials — out with the trash.
But the Berkshire Eagle reports that isn't happening in the Berkshires or the rest of Massachusetts, state officials said. Local recyclables are often processed by the Material Recycling Facility in Springfield, the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste District in Adams and TAM Waste Management in Shaftsbury, Vt.
The cost of recycling for municipalities is increasing, area and state officials said, due to an international decline in the purchase of reusable American scrap. After receiving too much unusable material, China has put stricter regulations on the quality of scrap the nation will buy.
The U.S. needs to make sure less trash destined for landfills winds up in the recycling sold to China. To meet that standard, recycling centers and programs are making adjustments to their processes and attempting to better educate clients about reusables.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has launched several recycling grant programs to improve municipal recycling and help communities make it through the market shift, such as Sustainable Materials Recovery Program grants and Recycling IQ education kits.
More than half of the towns in the Berkshires received state Sustainable Materials Recovery Program grants last summer to improve community recycling efforts.
Individual awards ranged from $500 to $8,800 in North Adams.