Haverhill Receives Recycling Grant Two Weeks After Adopting Plastic Bag Ban

(File photograph.)

Haverhill was rewarded for the city's recycling efforts with a state grant this week. (File photograph)

The City of Haverhill now has an even bigger incentive to keep up efforts to go green: A $42,000 award from the state as part of the Commonwealth’s new “Recycle Smart” program.

Coming just two weeks after Haverhill officially adopted a ban on single-use plastic bags, the aid serves to recognize communities that implement programs to reduce waste and maximize reuse and recycling, Governor Charlie Baker’s office said.

Haverhill is one of 247 Massachusetts cities and towns sharing in more than $2.6 million. Andover, Lowell and Lawrence were among the other Merrimack Valley communities recognized.

The city’s recycling efforts have come a long way since Mayor James J. Fiorentini first instituted a curbside pilot program for some residents in 2009. Single-stream, curbside recycling began citywide in 2010. At that time, Haverhill paid about $1.5 million a year to get rid of its trash.

Over the past few years, new contracts with Capital Waste, the city’s hauler, and Covanta Energy, which takes the city’s trash, have reduced those costs.

The new plastic bag ban will be rolled out across the city over a nine-month period, based on the size of a store or retail establishment, city councilors voted earlier this month.