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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1187         FILED ON: 1/16/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 719

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Anne M. Gobi

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying resolve:

Resolve relative to establishing a comprehensive waste managment hierarchy in Massachusetts.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Anne M. Gobi

5th Worcester

Patricia A. Haddad

5th Bristol

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Mark J. Cusack

5th Norfolk

Michael J. Rodrigues

First Bristol and Plymouth

William Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1187        FILED ON: 1/16/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 719

By Ms. Gobi of Spencer, a petition (accompanied by resolve, House, No. 719) of Anne M. Gobi and others relative to establishing a comprehensive waste managment hierarchy in Massachusetts.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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Resolve relative to establishing a comprehensive waste managment hierarchy in Massachusetts.

 

              Resolved, Whereas, over two million tons of Massachusetts municipal solid waste are landfilled every year, both in and out of the Commonwealth; and

              Whereas, there is no moratorium on landfills in the Commonwealth; and

              Whereas, landfills are one of the largest sources of manmade methane (a Green House Gas (“GHG”) 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide over a 100 year time frame); and

              Whereas, landfills have significant uncontrolled emissions, including over 150 Air Toxins in addition to methane; and 

              Whereas, increasingly, waste is being viewed as a resource and an opportunity for reducing GHG emissions; and

              Whereas, both the European Union and the United States Environmental Protection Agency have developed comprehensive waste management hierarchies which give preference to recycling and energy recovery over waste disposal in landfills; and

              Whereas, these waste management hierarchies provide a clear direction for integrated solid waste management:  reduce, reuse, recycle, recover energy, and then landfill as a last resort; and

              Whereas, this Resolution reflects the fact that waste reduction and reuse provide the most energy savings and GHG reduction and landfills generate the least energy (often acting as an energy sink) and the most GHG emissions; and

              Whereas, not all management approaches for post recycled waste are equal; and

              Whereas, it is impossible to consider recycling without understanding and planning for the environmentally responsible and sustainable management of the materials remaining after recycling; and

              Whereas, planning for the waste remaining after recycling does not limit recycling, nor does it diminish the importance of recycling; and

              Whereas, in fact, the European Union has achieved significant recycling rates concurrently with significant levels of energy recovery, at the expense of landfilling; and

              Whereas, the current draft Solid Waste Master Plan is silent on the management of waste remaining after recycling; and

              Whereas, this silence relies on landfills by default, which is the least desirable disposal option when considering GHG emissions and the lost energy and materials when waste is placed in a landfill; and

              Whereas, the movement away from landfills is supported by the Nobel prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”), the World Economic Forum Davos Report, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”), the European Environmental Agency, the Global Roundtable on Climate Change (GROCC) convened by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors; now, therefore;

              BE IT RESOLVED by the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:

              1.  The Department of Environmental Protection is urged to institute a comprehensive waste management hierarchy to develop a full waste management plan for the commonwealth, meaning the commonwealth will have moved to a more progressive policy in managing the wastes remaining after recycling; and

              2.  Specifically, the Department of Environmental Protection should adopt the “reduce, reuse, recycle, recover energy, and then landfill as a last resort” hierarchy as had been adopted by the European Union and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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