Recycling efforts in towns across Franklin County and the North Quabbin region are getting a boost from $157,635 in grants from the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program. The bulk of the grants — amounting to $101,400 — were awarded to 19 of the 21 towns involved in the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District. Across Franklin County, including the towns not in the solid waste district, $134,435 was awarded. The North Quabbin communities of Athol, Petersham, Phillipston and Royalston collectively received $23,200.

“One of the most effective measures we can take to reduce the waste stream in communities across the commonwealth is to support and encourage recycling, diversion and reuse of waste materials,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in MassDEP’s grant announcement. “With this funding, we are ensuring that local officials, residents and small business owners can adopt practices that protect our environment and preserve Massachusetts’ natural resources.”

Jan Ameen, executive director of the Greenfield-based Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, agreed with Baker’s sentiment. “We get $100,000 for doing what we do anyway,” she said. “It is an awesome program.” The Sustainable Materials Recovery Program created a point system for different recycling and waste diversion programs that towns offer. Each year the points are tallied up and given a monetary value depending on the municipality’s population size. Ameen explained the criteria is not often changed, so towns receive annual grants that allow them to expand their waste programs even more.

To read the full story, visit$158K-to-support-recycling-waste-reduction-efforts-across-Franklin-County-North-Quabbin-48935945.
Author: Bella Levavi, The Recorder
Image: Paul Franz, The Recorder