A new statewide ban on the disposal of textiles and mattresses takes effect Nov. 1.
The ban is part of state code regulators from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) updated last year.
According to the background documents for the updated code from the DEP, the goal of the disposal ban is to reduce waste throughout the state 30% by 2030. Using a baseline of 5.7 million tons from 2018, regulators say a 30% reduction from textiles and mattresses would account for 1.7 million tons of trash annually, which would bring the total tonnage of trash down to 4 million tons by 2030.
“This goal would place the Commonwealth on track to achieve a 90% reduction goal by 2050, of reducing disposal by about 5.1 million tons, from a 2018 baseline of 5.7 million tons to 570,000 tons by 2050,” said the Mass DEP’s Background Document on Proposed Amendments to 310 CMR 19.000 Waste Ban Regulations.
Included in the disposal ban are textiles, or most anything composed of woven or knit cloth, specifically: clothing, footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, etc. In addition, mattresses can no longer be taken to waste sites.
The DEP reports that upwards of 250,000 tons of textiles and 16,000 tons of mattresses are disposed of in the trash each year in Massachusetts.
“Mattresses are a bulky material that takes up a lot of space and is difficult to handle at solid waste facilities,” wrote the DEP.
The solution, according to the DEP, is to divert textiles and mattresses to recycling outlets.
“The bans will encourage economic development and job creation via recycling, which generates more jobs than disposal of the materials,” wrote the DEP in their background document for the new code. “Businesses can realize cost savings by diverting materials from disposal. Massachusetts’ 2014 food waste disposal ban created an estimated 500 direct jobs and generated an estimated $174 million in annual economic activity in Massachusetts.”
Items excluded from the ban include any textile or mattress that is contaminated with mold, bodily fluids, insects or other hazardous substances, MassLive reports.
Locations in and around Central Massachusetts where mattresses can be recycled:
Tough Stuff Recycling, 145 Authority Dr, Fitchburg
Raw Material Recovery Corp., 461 W Broadway, Gardner
LRP Recycling, 47 Mellen St, Framingham
Conigliaro Industries, 701 Waverly St, Framingham
Superior Waste & Recycling, 2 Kansas St, Worcester
Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance Donations Clearinghouse, 6 Institute Road, Worcester
Synergy Waste Management, 537 Great Rd, Littleton
Locations in and around Central Massachusetts where clothing and other textiles can be recycled:
Blue Jeans Go Green (denim only)
Nike Reuse-A-Shoe (athletic shoes only)