Our state’s landfills and incinerators pollute the air and water of neighboring communities. But millions of tons of that waste could have been recycled or composted.

The solution? We need the Commonwealth to get serious about reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators by enforcing the existing waste bans, funding municipal composting programs, and reinstating the 1980s moratorium on building new incinerators. The solution to our waste problem needs to be making less waste, not building more polluting facilities.

Sign Our Petition: Tell Governor Maura Healey to direct the MassDEP to take steps to reduce the amount of trash we bury and burn.



The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) introduced its first bans on landfilling and combustion of easy-to-recycle and toxic materials in 1990. Additional “waste bans” have been phased in over time. Unfortunately, millions of tons of recyclable materials (listed below) still end up in the trash. This can be improved with stronger enforcement.

Materials Currently Banned from Disposal or Transfer for Disposal in Massachusetts:

Asphalt pavement, brick and concrete
Cathode ray tubes
Clean gypsum wallboard
Commercial food material (lower threshold effective November 1, 2022)
Ferrous and non-ferrous metals
Glass and metal containers
Lead acid batteries
Leaves and yard waste
Mattresses (effective November 1, 2022)
Recyclable paper, cardboard and paperboard
Single-resin narrow-necked plastic containers
Textiles (effective November 1, 2022)
Treated and untreated wood and wood waste (banned from landfills only)
White goods (large appliances)
Whole tires (banned from landfills only; shredded tires acceptable)