Tools & Tips to Help Improve Your Community
Tools & Tips to Help Improve Your Community

Massachusetts Beautification Bulletin | February 2022
Keep Massachusetts Beautiful
Dear Friend,
Spring will be here sooner than you think! Across Massachusetts, volunteers are busy planning spring cleanups and other programs to clean up and green up their communities. We invite you to take action and join with others or take individual action to improve your community and the Massachusetts environment. Please scroll down for a preview of the busy spring season that's ahead and to learn how you can make a difference in your community.
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Momentum For A Better Bottle Bill In Massachusetts Is Growing

Let’s be frank: a nickel ain’t what it used to be. In 1983, when the Massachusetts Bottle Bill was first enacted, the deposit rate was set at 5 ¢. Yet nearly 40 years later, it remains stuck at 5 ¢. Can you think of anything in your life that costs the same amount today as it did in 1983?

For this and many other good reasons, the Better Bottle Bill seeks to raise the deposit amount to 10 cents and to add many types of beverage containers that were not covered by the 1983 bill. This includes water bottles, sports drinks, miniature liquor bottles (nips), wine bottles, and others. In states like Oregon and Michigan where most beverage containers are covered and have a deposit of 10¢, 90% of containers are redeemed. 

The Better Bottle Bill (H3289/S2149) is currently gaining supporters within the Massachusetts Legislature. The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy recently gave it a thumbs up and sent it on to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The Bill currently has 18 supporters in the Senate and more than 50 in the House, as well as the support of 77 organizations and 16 businesses across the state. The Boston Globe recently endorsed the bill as well. 

Visit a Better Bottle Bill for more information, including sample call scripts and letters you can use to urge your state legislators to support this long overdue update to our Bottle Bill.
Take Action to Support a Better Bottle Bill
Great Massachusetts Cleanup
Take action now to prepare for a successul spring cleanup!

How To Attract Hundreds of Litter Cleanup Volunteers In Your Community

During a recent Zoom meeting, attendees learned proven best practices for organizing a successful Great Massachusetts Cleanup event in their community, including tips for:
  • Effective ways to publicize your cleanup and recruit volunteers
  • Optimizing the logistics of your cleanup
  • Managing volunteers to maximize impact and safety
  • Ideas for making your cleanup fun and measuring results
Visit the Great Massachusetts Cleanup webpage for additional resources to help you organize a successful spring cleanup in your community, including discounted pricing on trash grabber tools, volunteer tee shirts, and free coaching. Contact us if you need help!

Please remember to register your cleanup event with us so that we can include it on our event calendar and help you attract more volunteers! 

If you simply want to volunteer for a Great Massachusetts Cleanup event, check out our online event calendar to find a cleanup near you. 
More Resources for a Successful GMC Event

KMB Chapter Spotlight: Keep Framingham Beautiful Awards

Join Keep Framingham Beautiful (KFB) as they present awards to the best of the best KFB members based on some of the most memorable accomplishments from 2021.

This one-hour Zoom extravaganza takes place this Monday, February 28 at 7 p.m.
Pre-registration is required

Watch this video for a beautiful rendition of the KFB Singers’ unique interpretation of Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence (aka Among the Mounds of Litter).
Register for the KFB Awards
plastic bag contamination
Workers labor to unclog plastic film contamination

Recycling Tip of the Month: Plastic Bag & Film Recycling

Our friends at MassDEP’s Recycle Smart MA program recently hosted two live webinars called Ask Me Anything about Recycling in MA. One frequent area of confusion concerned what to do with plastic bags of all types. 

Bags, plastic film, and recyclables placed inside plastic bags are the #1 contaminant at recycling facilities in Massachusetts. They get caught in the machinery and force recyclers to halt operations to untangle the mess from the sorting equipment – which increases costs and puts workers at risk of injury. 

Here are some of the common questions (and answers!) about how to recycle or dispose of plastic bags and film: 
  • Which type of bag is okay in the household recycling bin? (answer: none)
  • What types of plastic bags can be taken back to the grocery store collection bin? (answer: more than you think – see the list here
  • How about bubble wrap?  (answer: put it with plastic bags and return to grocery/retail drop-off)
  • What about putting recyclables into those blue-tinted plastic bags that are marketed for that purpose?  (answer, unless you live in the North End, South End, or Beacon Hill in Boston, your bagged recyclables will end up in the trash)
The takeaway: Never place plastic bags or plastic wrap of any kind in your household recycling bin. They should be taken back to grocery stores or retail locations that accept these materials. 

Want to learn more about plastic film recycling? Watch MassDEP’s webinar: Mystery Revealed: The Story of Plastic Bag Recycling.  
Read More About Plastic Bag & Film Recycling
Talking Trash & Recycling
Learn how to reduce, reuse & recycle better

Earth Day is Coming! Schedule a Talking Trash & Recycling Presentation in Your Community

With Earth Day coming on April 22, our calendar is already filling up with requests for our free Talking Trash & Recycling presentation.

This 45-minute presentation teaches residents, employees, and students about the worldwide plastic pollution crisis, what happens to trash and recyclables in their local community, as well as small steps everyone can take to reduce, reuse, and recycle more effectively. 
Note: If you would simply like to join a presentation that is already scheduled, we're hosting public presentations on the second Wednesday evening of March, April, May, and June. Visit our event calendar to register.

This program is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Mass Litter Cleanup Crew
Keep your street and neighborhood litter-free

‘Tis (Almost) The Season For Litter Pickin’

The snowbanks will soon melt away for good as spring approaches, revealing a winter’s worth of litter accumulation. Take action to clean up your street and your neighborhood by joining the 900+ members of the Massachusetts Litter Cleanup Crew.

We’ll ship you a Litter Cleanup Kit that includes a trash grabber tool (we now have two models to choose from!), a pair of gloves, a reusable bag, and a stylish volunteer tee-shirt! 

If thousands of people across Massachusetts take individual action, collectively, we will all be keeping Massachusetts beautiful!
Join the Massachusetts Litter Cleanup Crew!
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Thank you for reading our newsletter and please contact me if I can answer any questions you may have about our programs, launching a local KMB chapter in your community, or sponsorship opportunities. 
Neil Rhein, Founder & Executive Director
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Keep Massachusetts Beautiful
11 Old North Trail | Mansfield, MA | 02048 United States

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