The right Mass. path to zero waste

Every ten years, Massachusetts revises its plan for waste management, and the time has come for us to decide whether we are going to prioritize burying and burning or reduce, reuse and recycle. With the recent release of a draft Solid Waste Master Plan by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), we have a unique opportunity to get the state to initiate progressive initiatives such as more pay-as-you-throw programs as well as more composting of our waste in our cities and towns.

This plan is the blueprint for waste management for 2010-2020 and has been given the name “The Pathway to Zero Waste.” In the plan, the DEP sets an ambitious goal of 80 percent reduction, but they think it will take us till 2050 to get there, when in reality, we could probably get there much sooner if only we felt a sense of urgency about this. The DEP is taking public comment on the plan until mid-September, and they’ll surely be hearing from the waste management industries’ lobbyists, so it’s up to the public to make its voice heard and make sure we really walk the path toward zero waste.

Danny McKnight
Jamaica Plain

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