Massachusetts fines city for tossing recyclables – Municipal Recycling – Brief Article
According to a report in the Boston Globe, a settlement announced by the state attorney general’s office states the city of Wayland, Mass., violated state environmental law by burying plastic bottles instead of recycling them.
Under the settlement, Wayland has agreed to pay a $25,000 civil penalty, $10,000 of which will be waived provided the town doesn’t violate the regulation again within the next two years.
According to the Boston Globe, the case began in 1999 when the state Environmental Strike Force followed up on tips it received about recyclables being buried in the town’s landfill.
The Boston Globe reports that Wayland officials say they agreed to the settlement to avoid a long legal battle and maintain that the town did nothing wrong, that the plastic containers in question where thought to be contaminated and therefore thrown out.
“We in Wayland take recycling very seriously, and I think that staff at the landfill does as well. We certainly would not do anything blatant,” Board of Selectmen chairperson Mary Antes says. She adds that the grand jury investigating the matter did not produce any criminal indictments.
The Boston Globe quotes Iris Vicencio-Garaygay, an environmental advocate for the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, as saying, “The great thing about what happened in Wayland is there does need to be some enforcement going on in terms of recycling going into landfills. What’s unfortunate about this is that it might confirm some people’s fears. But if the attorney general’s office is taking action against it, and [if] the potential exists for more enforcement action to happen, that can only be a good thing.”
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Edmund Coletta says that enforcement will certainly take place in the future as the state moves toward its goal of recycling 70 percent of its solid waste by 2010.
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