logo

New Massachusetts zero waste plan to include incineration

By: Jennifer Kalish
WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

May 13, 2013

BOSTON — The governor of Massachusetts issued a new 10-year Solid Waste Master Plan that will use incineration, among other initiatives, to help the state reach its zero waste goals, according to a government news release.

The plan, which has a target to reduce waste by 30 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050, will modify the decade-long incinerator moratorium in the state, the report said.

The moratorium on incineration was lifted because of projected capacity shortfalls of 700,000 tons in 2020, according to the report. The use of alternative technologies like gasification or pyrolysis will be limited statewide to 350,000 tons per year, the report said.

"When the old master plan was put in place, this new technology was not available, and municipalities only had access to mass burn incinerators for municipal waste," said Geoffrey C. Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, in a statement. "Today, gasification and pyrolysis can be effective methods of converting non-recyclable materials into fuel. Allowing this new technology makes economic and environmental sense, and has the potential to preserve limited open space, protect the environment and save municipalities money."

Construction of new incineration plants are still prohibited under the plan, the report said.

Other zero waste strategies in the plan will include: increasing commercial and residential recycling, increasing diversion of organics and food waste, encouraging the growth of anaerobic digestion and composting capacity, extending producer responsibility for a variety of products, and providing funding to municipalities to support recycling and reuse efforts, according to the news release.