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January 2007

Massachusetts prefers grants to tax credits

Rather than opt for recycling tax credits, which then Massachusetts Governor William Weld and the state legislature deemed to be too costly in the late 1990s, Massachusetts has developed a grant program for recycling processors and manufacturers, says Steve Long, recycling markets planner for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

“The grant program has three advantages over tax credits,” he says. “MassDEP targets materials meaningful to its program plan on an annual basis, grant funds that can go to any company regardless of its tax liability - tax credits only apply against taxes that a profitable company pays; and grantees must meet performance requirements under their contract. For example, meeting their commitment of recycling/reusing specified tons per year of a difficult to recycle material such as carpet, food waste, gypsum wallboard, asphalt, used building materials, and roofing shingles and used lumber.”

“The C&D recyclers we represent would like to see any tax credit or incentive go to the entity buying the recycled product,” says William Turley, the executive director of the Construction Materials Recycling Association.

“An example for our industry would be an incentive for a power generation facility to upgrade its stack to use a fuel product made from C&D wood, or a government or private entity to use recycled concrete or asphalt in their paving needs.

Long says another tool to provide incentives to recycling product manufacturers is the purchase of environmentally preferable products.

For information on establishing and operating a recycling or composting business in Massachusetts, or for grant application information and forms, visit

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