Lawmakers discussing ways to boost recycling rates

Some communities in the state have a recycling rate as low as 12 percent

BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts has a 38 percent recycling rate. But some communities have lower rates. Springfield has a 27 percent recycling rate, according to Project Director for the Springfield Department of Public Works Cristina Ferrera.

Lenox State Representative Smitty Pignatelli hosted a panel including representatives from DPW, MassRecycle, and a waste services company at the State House on Wednesday. Panelists want the state to pass legislation to get more residents and businesses to participate in recycling.

The panel discussed how cities and towns are doing with recycling and ways they can improve waste management.

Kevin Dietly, an environmental management consultant, said more people would recycle if the state had a mandated parallel service system where both trash and recycling pick up come down every street.

“If it’s mandatory, or it just comes with my service and I pay one fee for all of my waste management, which includes my recycling, 90 percent of the people will be part of that system,” Dietly told 22News.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would set standards for waste reduction for cities and towns, but the bill has not yet come up for a vote.