What You Need to Know

What are waste bans?

“Waste bans” are restrictions on the disposal, transfer for disposal and contracting for disposal of certain hazardous and recyclable items at solid waste facilities in Massachusetts.


The waste bans are designed to:

  • Conserve capacity at existing disposal facilities.
  • Minimize the need for new facility construction.
  • Provide recycling markets with large volumes of material on a consistent basis.
  • Keep certain toxic substances or materials from adversely affecting our environment when landfilled or incinerated.
  • Promote business and residential recycling efforts.




What do I need to do? Remove & Recycle!

Business managers should remove and recycle any banned materials they generate or run the risk that waste loads will be rejected at a disposal site, charged an additional handling fee or face potential enforcement penalties. Recycling at businesses can be easier and more economical than recycling at home, because the materials are generated in larger quantities and are easier to keep separate from the rest of the trash.  Recycling prevents unnecessary disposal of usable raw materials, saves energy and reduces air and water pollution.  Recycling also reduces disposal costs and can save businesses money by diverting materials from the trash dumpster to the recycling bin.

Your waste hauler may be able to help you establish a recycling program.  Also, Earth911business.com has an extensive list of companies that collect or process recyclable materials, as well as, information on how to start a recycling program at your business.

What is banned?

Recyclable Paper: All paper, cardboard, and paperboard products (EXCEPT tissue paper, toweling, paper plates and cups, wax-coated cardboard and other low-grade paper products). NANTUCKET HAS A TRASH DIGESTER, SO  PAPER OF ALL TYPES CAN GO INTO THE TRASH AND DOES NOT HAVE TO BE RECYCLED

Glass Containers: Glass bottles and jars. The ban does not cover light bulbs, Pyrex cookware, plate glass, drinking glasses, windows, windshields and ceramics.

Metal Containers: Aluminum, steel or bi-metal beverage and food containers.

Single Resin Narrow-Necked Plastics: A soda bottle is narrow-necked but a yogurt container is not.

Leaves & Yard Waste: Leaves, grass clippings, weeds, garden materials, shrub trimmings, and brush one-inch or less in diameter (excluding diseased plants).

Batteries: Lead-acid batteries used in motor vehicles or stationary applications.
White Goods: Appliances employing electricity, oil, natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas. These include refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, gas or electric ovens and ranges, and hot water heaters.

Whole Tires: Motor vehicle tires of all types (Incinerators and transfer stations can accept whole tires.  Shredded tires are not restricted). 

Cathode Ray Tubes: Any intact, broken or processed glass tube used to provide the visual display in televisions, computer monitors and certain scientific instruments.

Materials banned from disposal as of July 1, 2006:

Asphalt Pavement, Brick, and Concrete: asphalt pavement, brick and concrete from construction and demolition of buildings, roads, bridges, and similar sources.

Metal: Ferrous and non-ferrous metals derived from used appliances, building materials, industrial equipment, vehicles, and manufacturing processes.

Wood: Treated and untreated wood, wood waste (trees, stumps, and brush, including but not limited to sawdust, chips, shavings and bark).

Did You Know?

The waste bans apply to all solid waste destined for a Massachusetts landfill, incinerator or transfer station. 

Waste generators are responsible for ensuring that they do not contract for the disposal of banned items.

Waste facility operators are responsible for ensuring that unallowable quantities of banned materials are not disposed or transferred for disposal from their facilities.  Facilities must check incoming waste in two ways.  First, all loads must be visually monitored for the presence of banned materials. Second, random inspections of waste load contents must be conducted.  

MassDEP conducts inspections at solid waste facilities to identify haulers and generators (businesses, institutions, municipalities, etc.) that dispose of banned materials.  

Businesses and municipalities that do not divert banned items from their waste run the risk of having solid waste facilities reject their waste and charge additional handling fees, and potential enforcement penalties from MassDEP.

For more information…

on the waste bans or commercial recycling, contact MassDEP’s commercial waste reduction hotline at (617) 348-4002, or visit:http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/reduce/assistan.htm.