Massachusetts municipalities looking for additional funding to support waste reduction and recycling initiatives will have new opportunities to earn grants in 2017 and beyond.
MassDEP’s Recycling Dividends Program (RDP) will now enable municipalities to earn additional points for:
- Adopting comprehensive hauler regulations (2 points for curbside programs, 3 points for drop-off programs)
- Outreach and education programs (1 point for either curbside or drop-off)
- Textile recovery initiatives (1 point for either curbside or drop-off)
The minimum number of points needed to qualify for RDP grants will remain at 6 for 2017, but that number will likely rise to somewhere between 7 and 9 points starting in fiscal year 2018. However, the amount of dollars awarded per point will also rise in 2018. This could increase the total amount of grants awarded by another $300,000, according to Tina Klein of MassDEP.
If RDP grants are important to your municipality’s budget, the time to start thinking about implementing new recycling programs to earn additional RDP points is now.
Waste Prevention Outreach and Education
One relatively simple way to earn an additional point is to implement a Waste Prevention Outreach and Education program. In order to qualify for an additional RDP point, your program must include four out of the following eight activities:
- Establish or publicize an adopted recycling goal
- Display waste reduction information via sandwich boards, electronic signs, or billboards at major intersections twice per year
- Publish details about your programs in print locally four times per year
- Utilize an official municipal mobile app
- Mail a recycling brochure to residents once per year
- Maintain a municipal waste reduction website page, including social media components, and link to Beyond The Bin.
- Share information via local radio or TV twice per year
- Have a least two local schools participate in the Green Team program
NEW for 2017: Recycling IQ Kit Program Assistance
The Recycling IQ Kit, which was developed by the Recycling Partnership, provides tools and resources for improving the quality of your recycling program communications. Increasing the quantity and quality of the recycling stream can save on disposal fees, improve resident satisfaction with your program, and ensure the success and sustainability of your recycling program.
The Recycling IQ Kit materials are professionally written and designed to communicate key concepts effectively. If you need to customize these materials to suit your municipalities’ programs, GreenCents Communicates provides professional writing, editing, and graphic design services. The Recycling IQ Kit is open source and available for use by municipalities, at their own expense, at any time. Below is an example of a graphic you can use on Facebook to reduce plastic bag contamination.
To achieve success with the Recycling IQ Kit, you will need to devote resources, planning, and time and work closely with your MRF and hauler. If you need help implementing the Recycling IQ Kit, developing a Waste Prevention Outreach and Education program, or maximizing the benefits you receive from the Recycling Dividends Program, please contact me for a no-obligation consultation.