Blog Post

Breweries across Massachusetts are demonstrating their commitment to sustainability through waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and organics diversion opportunities. Here are just a few recent examples. 

Untold Brewing is a Scituate-based microbrewery with sustainability efforts focused on waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and water conservation. As recently reported by The Hingham Anchor, the micro-brewery diverts spent grain to a local farmer in West Bridgewater to use as cattle feed, and it collects by-products such as beer hop, and sediment for composting. Their comprehensive recycling program includes cans, cardboard, plastic film, label backing, and more. Their reuse practices are growing with a recent grant award from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to pilot reusable pallet wrap to reduce plastic waste.

Untold Brewing also participates in the statewide can carrier take-back program initiated by Eco-Friendly Beer Drinker. Through this effort, they have reused more than 40,000 carriers, while also collecting broken or unusable carriers for recycling. EcoFriendly Beer Drinker recently highlighted the growing list of breweries participating in this can carrier reuse and recycling pilot program and estimated that more than three tons of plastic can carriers have been diverted from disposal so far. RecyclingWorks wrote about the inception of this effort in a previous blog, Brewing Up a Can Carrier Recycling Pilot.

Many of the more than 200 breweries in Massachusetts are also committed to diverting spent grains and other byproducts. As reported by Waste 360, Vanguard Renewables is helping Massachusetts breweries like Berkshire Brewing Company, Wachusett Brewing Company, and Tree House Brewing Company put their organic waste to better use. Spent grains and liquids are taken to one of Vanguard’s six anaerobic digestion facilities in Massachusetts and Vermont, where the organic material supports renewable energy generation. This collaboration helps to reduce carbon emissions and promotes circular systems for organic waste.

RecyclingWorks offers no-cost technical assistance to help breweries and brewpubs prevent waste, increase recycling, and establish organics diversion programs for spent grain, liquid byproducts, and food material. Visit our website for a variety of relevant online resources, including single stream recycling information, the Find a Recycler Tool, and guidance for restaurants. For inspiration, check out the RecyclingWorks case studies featuring Gardner Ale House and the Northampton Brewery. To speak to a RecyclingWorks recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at