Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Jake Throckmorton: DEP not doing enough to enforce recycling laws

To the editor:

As a University of Massachusetts Amherst student, I am a beneficiary of the single-stream recycling program, with its limitless benefits. I was shocked to learn that despite this, due to the near-lack of state Department of Environmental Protection enforcement, state businesses throw away over 2 million tons of recyclable material each year.

By some estimates, this gargantuan load of illicit waste equals between a fifth and a third of our total output to landfills and incinerators. Whether it comes from big-box stores or transfer stations, the pain of recycling laws meant to discourage wholesale violations is clearly not being inflicted. It is not the purview of our government’s regulatory agencies to selectively enforce laws, especially when the DEP’s mandate, by name, is to protect the environment.

The public must remind them of this.

Jake Throckmorton

Amherst

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