City receives $100,000 state recycling grant
Date: 5/3/2011May 4, 2011
By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD The city received $100,000 in grant money from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) April 28 to help fund its single stream recycling effort.
During a press event conducted on the steps of City Hall, Mayor Domenic Sarno said the single stream program has "not only been good for the environment, but good for the bottom line of the city's budget."
"Trash disposal is a budget buster," he added.
The grant money has been used to help pay for the wheeled carts that are used by each household.
The city's entrance into a single stream program, which means residents do not have to sort their recyclables, has decreased the amount of trash brought to the city's incinerator on Bondi's Island.
According to MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell, Springfield is now one of 70 single stream programs across the Commonwealth. The single stream programs have resulted in an average of 20 percent additional recycling tonnage.
Springfield's recycling rate has increased 60 percent and the city has saved $54,000 a month in waste disposal fees.
Despite recent proposed budget cuts, Kimmell said the single stream recycling program is safe. Other MassDEP programs will be affected, though. He noted that many communities must make renovations to waste water systems and that MassDEP "must step up to help, but that will be difficult to do with layoffs."
Kimmell added the department needs to have enough personnel to properly address permitting applications in a timely manner, otherwise some projects might be affected.
Kimmell questioned why his department was receiving deeper cuts than others.