The Baker-Polito Administration awarded more than $2.9 million to 262 municipalities and regional solid waste districts for Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) grants that will help communities maximize their recycling, composting and waste reduction programs.

Under SMRP, which was created under the Green Communities Act and is administered by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), 219 communities qualified for the “Recycling Dividends Program” (RDP) and will receive payments ranging from $2,100 to $97,500 for a total of $2.93 million statewide. The RDP recognizes municipalities that have implemented policies and programs proven to maximize materials reuse and recycling, as well as waste reduction. Communities that earn RDP payments must reinvest the funds in their recycling programs for things such as new recycling bins or carts, public education and outreach campaigns, collection of hard-to-recycle items and the establishment of recycling programs in schools, municipal buildings and other public spaces.

The number of municipalities that qualified for RDP grants increased 11 percent over last year and the amount awarded increased by more than 14 percent. Also included in this grant round, 43 municipalities will be awarded a total of $44,000 for a “Small-Scale Initiatives Grant.”

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