Northampton, MA, 11/20/13—Just a year after launching its food waste recycling program, Easthampton’s Big E’s Supermarket (www.bigessupermarket.com) has been recognized by the Springfield MRF Advisory Board as one of the region’s outstanding business recyclers of 2013.
Big E’s store manager Michael Superson received the award at a ceremony in Holyoke on November 13, which is also America Recycles Day. He was nominated by staff at the Center for EcoTechnology (CET, www.cetonline.org), a non-profit in Northampton that helps people and businesses save energy and reduce waste.
Big E’s and CET began working together in 2011, said Lorenzo Macaluso, director of CET’s green business services. “Big E’s was already recycling its cardboard, film plastics and fluorescent lamps, so it was a simple next step to help Michael divert the store’s food waste from entering the landfill,” said Macaluso.
“In doing so, Big E’s further decreased its waste disposal costs as well as improving its environmental impact.”
Working with RecyclingWorks Massachusetts (http://www.recyclingworksma.com/), a program funded by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to help businesses launch recycling and food waste diversion programs, Big E’s set up a food waste collection service with its haulers, Waste Management and Triple T Trucking. On average, Big E’s composts and recycles three tons of food waste each week, which represents roughly a 60 percent reduction in trash at the store.
“It’s very gratifying to see businesses leading the way in diverting food waste from disposal,” said Kenneth Kimmell, commissioner of the MassDEP. “RecyclingWorks is having a significant impact across the state, by helping businesses to reduce waste, lower costs and improve environmental performance, while staying focused on running their business.”
Big E’s is an example of a business that will be subject to the proposed food waste disposal ban, which will be introduced in Massachusetts in 2014, said Macaluso. The ban will apply to any business that disposes of more than one ton of food waste each week. Business owners who wish to learn more about starting composting or recycling programs should contact RecyclingWorksMA at 888-254-5525.
So far this year, RecyclingWorks Massachusetts has helped more than 350 businesses and institutions develop recycling, reuse and composting programs, which have diverted an estimated 8,800 tons of material.