DEP Announces Technical Assistance & School Chemical Management Grants
The MA DEP has announced the first two rounds of Municipal Recycling Grants for Fiscal Year 2005. The first round of grants announced in October, were for 20 technical assistance projects for a total of 1,085 hours of hands-on assistance from DEP staff and municipal assistance coordinators.
For the third year, the DEP has provided these "in-kind" grants in lieu of direct funding to fulfill municipal request for help implementing a variety of waste reduction initiatives. Projects fall in the following categories: 7 PAYT assistance, 4 school related projects, 2 outreach projects, and 7 miscellaneous recycling program evaluation/enhancements.
Just in time for America Recycles Day, DEP announced its second round of Municipal Recycling Grants. The second round consisted of 7 technical assistance projects totalling $85,031 in funding and 6 school chemical management grants which combined total up to $20,000 in chemical clean-out costs.
Municipalities receiving the school chemical management grants must meet several programatic benchmarks which include attending a DEP sponsored training, establishing an environmental health and safety team, and creating a chemical management inventory/plan in order to be eligible for clean-out costs.
DEP anticipates announcing the equipment and education portion of the Municipal Recycling Grants shortly. For more information, contact Peggy Harlow .
Home Composting Hits the Big Time
Ask This Old House, the PBS do-it-yourself television program, recently taped a program on home composting featuring DEP's Ann McGovern as a guest expert. The program is due to air on February 10, 2005. Watch your local PBS listings for show times in your area.
Recycling on the Silver Screen
For America Recycles Day, DEP and the City of Lawrence held a premiere screening of Massachusetts' new solid waste and recycling educational video, "Recycle. A little Effort...a Big Difference - Recycling in Massachusetts" at the Showcase Cinema in Lawrence. It was a fabulous event, attended by Lawrence Mayor Michael Sullivan, DEP Commissioner Bob Golledge, legislators, municipal recycling coordinators, nonprofit organizations, recycling businesses and 75 Lawrence students and their teachers - the 198-seat theatre was filled to capacity. We were thrilled to watch recycling and other environmentally sound solid waste management strategies up on the big screen!
This 12-minute program, in English and Spanish, provides viewers with a straightforward look at the problems posed by trash and shows what to do (and what NOT to do) with the various types of trash and hazardous waste we all generate. We see why it is important to follow the recycling, composting and hazardous waste rules in our communities, and learn about the economic, environmental and public health benefits of recycling in Massachusetts.
While Lawrence is featured in the video, the program is generic enough to be very useful for educating Massachusetts residents from any municipality. If you would like to borrow or obtain a copy, please contact Ann McGovern, and specify what format you need (VHS or DVD).
Calling all Trash Terminators!
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and Department of Environmental Protection invite teachers to join the Green Team, an environmental club for Massachusetts schools intended to empower students and their teachers help the environment through waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting and other environmental initiatives.
Green Team participants receive educational tools, including classroom posters, lesson plans, recycling tips and suggested activities. As they complete activities, classes advance through three levels of participation: Trash Terminators, Conservation Coyotes and Environmental Eagles. Participants are also eligible to request recycling equipment to help them implement or improve recycling at their schools.
Each class that takes the Green Team Pledge receives a Certificate of Recognition and is eligible to win great prizes, including recycled products, school tree plantings, magic shows, ice cream parties and more. The more a class puts into the effort, the better the prizes it will qualify to win.
Teachers and school recycling coordinators may sign their classes up for the Green Team by registering at http://www.TheGreenTeam.org, a website that provides additional program information and resources. Past participants who wish to participate again must register each year. For more information, contact DEP's Green Team program coordinator Ann McGovern.
Thanks to America Recycles Day Event Organizers!
Over fifteen events to celebrate America Recycles Day were held by Massachusetts communities, businesses and schools. Events took place in Abington, Andover, Arlington, Avon, Bellingham, Boston, Bourne, Brockton, Brighton, Framingham, Lawrence, Seekonk, Sherborn and Worcester. These events help increase public awareness of the importance of recycling. Over 700 pledges to recycle and buy recycled products were received from Massachusetts residents. The drawing for prizes, including a Ford Escape Hybrid SUV and Trek bicycles, will be held on December 15, 2004.
- Highlights of local events include:
- America Recycles Day Open House hosted byConigliaro Industries in Framingham. Over a hundred people attended tours and demonstrations of how recycling works, from processing old products into new.
- Cell Phone Recycling and InkJet Cartridge Recycling - Whole Foods Markets in Bellingham, Brighton and Boston kicked off a year-long collection program for cell phones and inkjet cartridges. For each item recycled, a donation is made to a local nonprofit organization such as the Jackson Mann Community Center in Brighton, the Charles River Clean Up Boat, and Share Our Strength.
- Reuse-A-Shoe - The Towns of Arlington and Andover held a week-long collection of used athletic shoes that will be recycled into new sports surfaces, weight room flooring, basketball courts and playgrounds.
Let's start planning now to make next year's America Recycles Day bigger and more newsworthy than ever! If you have ideas or would like more information, contact Massachusetts' state ARD coordinator Ann McGovern.