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MassDEP Enforces the Massachusetts Landfill Ban With 98 Notices of Non-Compliance in the Past Year

MassDEP Enforces the Massachusetts Landfill Ban With 98 Notices of Non-Compliance in the Past Year

Even those states without authorized hazardous waste programs under RCRA (Iowa, Alaska, & Puerto Rico) are responsible for the management of non-hazardous solid waste within their state.  While regulations for hazardous waste find their authority in Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, non-hazardous wastes are addressed in Subtitle D of RCRA.  It’s in Subtitle D that the USEPA delegates the management of non-hazardous waste to each state.  I have found that the states take a myriad of approaches to the management of non-hazardous waste and in this article we will read of how Massachusetts is enforcing its ban from landfill disposal for certain recyclable materials.


The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).  Responsible for the enforcement of both the hazardous waste regulations (MA has an authorized hazardous waste program) and non-hazardous waste regulations.

Those affected by this stepped-up enforcement of state regulations include public and private institutions such as the food and retail sectors, educational and medical facilities and waste haulers in Massachusetts and other states.


MassDEP hired new waste ban compliance inspectors in 4th quarter 2013 resulting in a 5-fold increase in the number of inspections – and violations – from October 2013 through January 2014.  The goal of the inspections is to eliminate the landfill disposal of wastes that are banned from landfill in Massachusetts.

The banned materials include easily recycled or composted items:

  • Asphalt Pavement, Brick & Concrete
  • Cathode Ray Tubes
  • Clean Gypsum Wallboard
  • Commercial Organic Material (Effective October 1, 2014)
  • Ferrous & Non-Ferrous Metals
  • Glass & Metal Containers
  • Lead Acid Batteries
  • Leaves & Yard Waste
  • Recyclable Paper, Cardboard & Paperboard
  • Single Resin Narrow-Necked Plastics
  • Treated & Untreated Wood & Wood Waste (Banned from Landfills Only)
  • White Goods (Large Appliances)
  • Whole Tires (Banned from Landfills Only; Shredded Tires Acceptable)

The entire list and further descriptions can be found at Waste Bans.


Not just Massachusetts, though the landfill ban is effective only there.  Violators include facilities (both public & private) and waste haulers in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.


Given the results of the hiring of new waste ban compliance inspectors in 4th quarter 2013 it is safe to assume that the emphasis on the state landfill ban in Massachusetts will continue through 2014 and beyond.


Said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell, “An estimated 40 percent of the waste disposed of in Massachusetts is recyclable materials that are banned from disposal.”  So, it’s no surprise the MassDEP wants to enforce its regulations and collect fines from violators all to the benefit of state recycling facilities.


MassDEP  has stepped up its enforcement of existing solid waste disposal bans.  This is not the result of new regulations, but increased enforcement of existing regulations.

Businesses that are looking for assistance with managing their waste materials, whether through re-use outlets, commodity brokers or recycling service providers, can obtain information and assistance through the RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts program at www.recyclingworksma.com or at 1-888-254-5525.

Read the entire news release:  MassDEP Steps Up Waste Ban Compliance Strategy with New Inspectors, Issues 101 Enforcement Actions to Violators

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What wastes are banned from landfill in your state?