HARVARD–Senator Eldridge (D-Acton) and Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) announced that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection awarded Harvard $1,400 for the new Recycling Dividends Program (RDP), which will help cities and towns maximize their current recycling, composting and waste reduction programs.
The RDP payments can be utilized for things such as new recycling bins or carts, public education and outreach campaigns, collection of hard-to-recycle items and establishment of recycling programs in schools, municipal buildings and other public spaces.
“I applaud the strong leadership of the Patrick Administration for securing funding to help strengthen recycling programs in the Town of Harvard, as well as communities across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Eldridge (D-Acton). “This initiative meets the requirement of the Green Communities Act, alleviates overflowing landfills and helps reduce costs for cities and towns.”
“I am delighted that three communities in the 37th Middlesex District are included in the first round of payments for the new Recycling Dividends Program. This program provides much-needed support and incentive for municipalities that are very committed to reducing solid waste costs and have successful waste reduction and recycling programs,” said Representative Benson. “I want to thank the Patrick Administration for its commitment to encouraging communities to get involved locally in the Commonwealth’s goal of reducing the state’s waste stream.”
The RDP is the newest initiative under MassDEP’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP), which was created under the Green Communities Act, which Governor Patrick signed in 2008. The Act requires that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Waste Energy Certificates (WEC) be directed to recycling programs approved by MassDEP. The WEC payments received by MassDEP are deposited into the SMRP Expendable Trust, which is used to fund grants, technical assistance and education to help communities, businesses and institutions increase recycling and reduce waste.