18 Berkshire Communities Receive Recycling Grants

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BOSTON — To mark America Recycles Day, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $3.1 million in grant funding to 268 municipalities and regional solid waste districts across the Commonwealth. 
 
The grants, made available through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP), will help municipalities and solid waste districts maximize recycling, composting, and waste reduction programs.
 
"Communities across the Commonwealth are committed to recycling as a way to protect our environment and the public health," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Funding from the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program will aid municipalities' efforts to implement innovative programs and policies proven to maximize materials' reuse, recycling, and waste reduction."
 
This year, under SMRP, 226 communities qualified for the Recycling Dividends Program (RDP) and will receive payments ranging from $2,100 to $97,500 for a total of $3,120,300. The RDP recognizes municipalities that have implemented policies and programs proven to maximize the reuse and recycling of materials, as well as waste reduction. Communities that earn RDP payments must reinvest the funds in their recycling programs for things such as new recycling bins or carts, public education and outreach campaigns, collection of hard-to-recycle items, and the establishment of recycling programs in schools, municipal buildings, and other public spaces.
 
"The Sustainable Materials Recovery Program provides the support needed for municipalities and solid waste districts to expand their recycling and composting efforts, while targeting new materials to remove from the waste stream," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "Our Administration is proud to help communities become more sustainable and to achieve their goals of reducing and recycling valuable materials."
 
As part of this SMRP grant round, 42 municipalities that did not apply for or qualify for an RDP payment will be awarded a total of $46,250 for a Small-Scale Initiatives Grant. These population-based grants range from $500 to $2,000 each and help communities purchase modest, but critical recycling materials and outreach tools needed to sustain their existing recycling program or to facilitate new, low-cost initiatives. Each of these SMRP programs are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
 
In Berkshire County 18 communities received grants. They are as follows.
 
Recycling Dividends Program
  • Adams: $10,200
  • Dalton: $2,450
  • Egremont: $7,200
  • Florida: $3,500
  • Hancock: $3,500
  • Hinsdale: $4,900
  • Monterey: $3,150
  • New Ashford: $18,700
  • Peru: $3,850
  • Pittsfield: $24,000 
  • Savoy: $4,550
  • Williamstown: $4,900
  • Windsor: $4,550
 
Small-Scale Initiatives
  • Clarksburg: $500
  • Lanesborough: $500
  • Lee: $750
  • NBSWMD: $1,500
  • New Marlborough: $500
  • Sheffield: $500
 
The full list can be found here.
 
The RDP was rolled out in 2014 under MassDEP's Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, which was created by the Green Communities Act of 2008. The Act requires that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Waste Energy Certificates (WECs) be directed to recycling programs approved by MassDEP. The SMRP initiative has provided more than $46 million to recycling programs since 2010. The WEC payments received by MassDEP are deposited into the SMRP Expendable Trust, which is used to fund grants, technical assistance, and education to help communities, businesses and institutions increase recycling and reduce waste.
 
"Recycling programs play a vital role in limiting our dependence on landfills and incinerators, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting economic activity across the Commonwealth," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. "These grants will support expanded recycling and waste reduction efforts and help local communities build a more sustainable future."
 
 
 

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Berkshire Art Association Extends Application Deadline for Festival

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Art Association is seeking donations of original artwork for our annual 10x10 RAP (Real Art Party) show and fundraiser raffle.
 
In collaboration with the Berkshire Museum and the city of Pittsfield's 10x10 Festival in February, the BAA welcomes submissions from artists from the Berkshires and beyond. All artwork will be included in a raffle to benefit art students of Berkshire County. The raffle and Real Art Party (RAP) will be a free, live and in-person event hosted by the Berkshire Museum on ​Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. 
 
A $25 ticket purchase guarantees a 10x10 work of art. 
 
All visitors to Berkshire Museum 18 years and older, must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination accompanied by photo ID. Acceptable forms of proof include a photo or hard copy of an official immunization record of a vaccine administered from within or outside the U.S. Digital forms of state or federally issued proof of vaccination such as the NY Excelsior Pass are also acceptable. Masks are required for everyone over two years of age while indoors.
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