By Chris Maza
LONGMEADOW – State Rep. Brian Ashe and state Sen. Eric Lesser recently announced the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection had awarded Longmeadow a grant to support recycling and waste reduction efforts.
The grant, through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, is for $20,900.
According to information provided by Ashe’s office, the funds must be reinvested into the recycling programs for items such as new bins, public education and establishing recycling programs in schools and other public places. Longmeadow Interim Town Manager Jay Moynihan said the money would be used to support the operation of the recycling center as well as composting and hazardous waste drop-off programs.
A request for comment from Department of Public Works Director Mario Mazza was not answered as of press time.
“In order to qualify for the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, towns must show they already have effective waste management programs in place,” Lesser said. “These generous grants will only make our waste-related programs more efficient, allowing them to better serve our community and preserve our environment.”
Since 2010, MassDEP has awarded more than $32 million in Sustainable Materials Recovery Program and Recycling Dividends Program grants.
Longmeadow’s grant was one of 219 awarded Recycling Dividends Program funding in addition to 43 “small scale” grants in the first round of awards for 2019. A second round of grant funding is typically awarded in November.
In 2018, Longmeadow received $16,500 in the first round of awards and $82,500 in “Pay-As-You-Throw” funds in the second round.
“I am thrilled to see the towns in my district getting assistance for these programs,” Ashe said. “This money will provide the financial assistance needed to continue protecting the environment while saving money for the taxpayers.”