Mayor Brian Arrigo announced that the City was awarded a $40,000 grant by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to implement a “Recycling IQ” kit that will bolster the city’s ongoing efforts to encourage residents to recycle discarded materials properly.
“Our primary objective is to help people understand what is, and what is not, a recyclable material,” said Mayor Arrigo. “Many people just assume that all plastic and plastic bags, or unclean glass or metal, are recyclable. That is not true, and the more we can reduce the amount of contamination in our residential recycling stream, the more efficient our recycling program will become.”
The Grant helps fund the city’s use of MassDEP’s tools and resources to reach out to residents through direct mail and advertising. This will include media publicity, billboards, mailings, and social networking. “It is critical that the residents of the City know about our available recycling and trash collection programs, and our intention to vigorously enforce our rules as we improve our collection and inspection procedures,” said Mayor Arrigo.
In the coming weeks, the MassDEP grant will fund advertising and help the City employ teams of inspectors who will monitor residential trash and disposal habits with curbside inspections. “In the early stages, residents will be cautioned with information about prohibited materials that were found in their recycling. Often, it’s not that people are trying to disregard regulations; it’s that they just are not aware of them.” Disregard for the warnings will result in recycling going uncollected and, eventually, fines issued through the Department of Inspectional Services.
Disregarding proper recycling methods is costly. “When our recycling is contaminated, we pay thousands of dollars in additional fees for the disposal,” said the Mayor. “Through this MassDEP grant, Revere will join many surrounding communities in taking progressive steps toward proper recycling.”
Revere has been in the forefront of recycling efforts for years, being among the first communities to issue recycling bins city-wide. But the rules governing recycling have changed over the years. As the rules have changed, the likelihood that residents are improperly filling their recycling bins has increased dramatically. “Many of our residents are conscientious about using their recycling bins, but they need to be re-educated on correct use of them,” the Mayor said.
The Mayor cited the City’s new Trash App as one major step in educating the public about trash and recycling. “It’s a pretty innovative and convenient way for people to have information about trash removal, recycling, street sweeping, and right at their fingertips,” Arrigo said. “It’s a free app through Google Play or the App Store and is usable on all devices.”
Revere also began a Textile Recycling program on March 1 in conjunction with SimpleRecycling.com. Two pink recycling bags were delivered to every residential address in the city, and residents can fill them with unwanted clothing, jewelry, toys, blankets, drapes, pillows, and assorted small household items for separate pickup on the regular recycling day.
“Trash disposal is a major environmental threat in every community in the country, and every community faces enormous expense in dealing with it,” said Mayor Arrigo. “Recycling is the best way to reduce what goes into the trash stream. When people properly recycle, it is good for the environment, and good for the community’s financial commitment to trash disposal and recycling.”