Recycling Facilities

Shafaq Patel (@shafaqpatel) filed this request with the Department of Environmental Protection of Massachusetts.
Est. Completion None
Partially Completed


From: Shafaq Patel (@shafaqpatel)

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:

Documents pertaining to how much has been recycled since Jan. 1, 2017. Please also include how much as been recycled at all of the facilities. According to, there are eight recycling facilities in Auburn, Boston, Westborough, Peabody, Brockton, Avon, Billerica, and Springfield.
Please also include documents of how much was sent to landfills, incinerators, and other facilities.

Invoices, bills, and documents that show how much it is costing to recycle and how much is being paid to Waste Management and other facilities since Jan. 1, 2017.
Publications like Telegram & Gazette, NECN, The Boston Globe have published reports of increase or subject to increase costs, so please include the costs per ton that each city and facility is paying.

Documents pertaining to and explaining how China's recycling policy is impacting the recycling facilities. Include all memos, email, and notes starting from Jan. 1, 2018 to present using the words and phrases:

All current training materials and all records used to instruct members at each of the eight recycling facilities of proper use and procedure, including how they should sort through the recycling material.

Documents and instructions specifying what is allowed to be recycled and what is not allowed to be recycled at each of the eight recycling facilities.

Please let me know if your office has any questions about this request! And if you do not have the documents all at once, you can send it in on a rolling basis!

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.


Shafaq Patel (@shafaqpatel)

From: Department of Environmental Protection

Dear Mr./Ms. Patel:

On July 17, 2019, you requested public records within the custody and control of MassDEP relating to:

1) How much recycled

2) Costs

3) China Policy

4) Training Material

5) Recycling Rules

Our staff was notified of your request and has conducted a file search for any public records in the possession of MassDEP that are responsive.

Responses are as follows:

1. The disposal data is in our 2017 Solid Waste Data Update - which is the most recent published data we have -
2. We do not get cost data for the most part, but have the municipal recycling and solid waste data that gets reported to us available here -
3. This is potentially a very large request which will take a while if we have to search emails for these terms and provide all of those emails. However this is all summarized here:
4. We do not train or instruct these facilities
5. This is the Recycle Smart program, which is available at<>. Although individual facility's programs with individual communities may vary from this and MassDEP does not control that.

Please note MassDEP charges a reasonable fee for public records responses and provides a good faith estimate of the fee. The fee includes the costs of duplicating the records (production costs) as well as charges for staff time to locate the responsive records (search time) and time to identify any records that are exempt or prohibited from disclosure under the Public Records Law (segregation time).

This information is being provided at no cost.

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law (January 2017; available online at:, if the cost exceeds $10.00, you will be notified in writing of the estimated cost prior to the release of the records. The cost for staff time, copies, and postage must be paid in advance of the records being mailed to you.

If you have any questions regarding this letter, you may contact me by phone at (617) 292-5982 or via email at<> .

Please note that records of Public Records Requests are themselves Public Records.



Walter Hope

Public Records Coordinator
Bureau of Air & Waste