DEP cites Lynnway Building 19 for recycling offense

The Daily ItemLYNN ? State environmental inspectors assigned to keep watch on commercial trash disposal say Building 19 on the Lynnway is among 12 businesses and organizations that continue to throw away large amounts of cardboard despite a statewide ban.The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) cited the discount merchandise retailer during an agency sweep that also netted a Revere-based subdivision of a nationwide waste-hauler n BFI Waste Systems of North America n for failure to comply with the state’s recycling laws.The citations, which serve as official warnings that could result in fines if the businesses are caught for future violations, marked the first time the agency has taken law enforcement action against waste ban violators, according DEP spokesman Ed Coletta.Other offenders cited for throwing away large amounts of cardboard included the American Red Cross in Dedham, the Ethan Allen Furniture store in Bellingham, Home Depot stores in Hyannis and Wareham, and Westfield State College in Westfield.Each offender cited was also required to draw up a plan to stop the disposal of banned materials from the state’s landfills and incinerators and submit it to DEP.”Continued disposal of recyclables is a needless waste of money, raw material, and in-state disposal capacity,” said DEP Action Commissioner Arleen O’Donnell.More than 1.5 million tons of paper products are still being disposed in landfills and incinerators statewide each year at an average cost of $70 per ton, said Coletta, explaining that the $105 million in recycling savings could benefit businesses and communities.”One of every five truckloads of solid waste that inspectors observed were found to be in violation of the state ban on disposal of large amounts of recyclables,” he said. “One third of the violations involved excessive amounts of cardboard n up to 40 percent of the material being thrown away, in some cases.”Manny Alcantara, the city’s recycling coordinator, said Lynn inspectors do not monitor Building 19 because it’s a relatively large operation and not among those local businesses grandfathered in when the city recycling ordinance was enacted.”The city has mandatory recycling for all businesses from which we collect trash, and we do this to keep from being fined by the DEP. But the city does not pick up the trash at Building 19,” he said. “We only pick up at those businesses that were grandfathered. The large companies, like the CVS and Walgreens stores, came in later and are responsible for their own disposal.”DEP inspectors routinely check incoming loads at landfills and incinerators, and those facilities typically rely on self-monitoring to avoid fines or other punitive action. Lynn’s municipal trash is picked up curbside and hauled to the incinerator on Route 107 in Saugus, operated by Wheelabrator Technologies, a division of Waste Management Co.According to Alcantara, Wheelabrator notified the city about nine weeks ago that a Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development truck was hauling cardboard to the incinerator.”We have a contract with Wheelabrator to 2009. They gave us a warning because of the housing authority truck,” he said. “Since then, the Housing Authority, including Curwin Circle (housing complex), is recycling.”The Waste Management facilities in South Hadley and Stoughton were among the companies cited by DEP for illegal cardboard disposal, Coletta said.Alcantara said most Massachusetts communities are mandating curbside recycling. “Ipswich has been doing this since 2006 and Beverly is going to start in March with a focus on cardboard,” he said.”We want the people in Lynn to understand that this is a law enforced by the state.”

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