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Assessment of Materials Management Options for the Massachusetts Solid Waste Master Plan Review

In the context of mounting environmental challenges, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is currently reviewing the Solid Waste Master Plan: 2006 Revision, the key document summarizing the Commonwealth’s waste reduction and management strategy. This report provides the Department with background information that will inform the development of a new Master Plan, one that lays the groundwork for shifting to a “materials management” framework. In particular, it focuses on the life-cycle impacts of various approaches for materials and solid waste management, including recycling, composting, landfilling, and waste-to-energy incineration, plus the emerging technologies of gasification, pyrolysis, and anaerobic digestion.