“Our customers hold us to a high standard, so we want to hold ourselves to an even higher standard” – Jaclyn Graham, Chief Communications Officer for Nashoba Brook Bakery.
On November 10, RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) hosted the Fall 2021 WasteWise Forum Webinar in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This year’s forum focused on food waste diversion as well as the new materials added to the list of waste disposal bans: mattresses and textiles. The forum included important updates from US EPA and MassDEP, as well as presentations from Northeastern University, Green Mattress Recycling, Nashoba Brook Bakery, and Too Good to Go. Stories of community-based, effective waste diversion programs from Massachusetts businesses left the attendees of #WasteWiseForum2021 energized and hungry for more.
Nashoba Brook Bakery, a retail café and wholesale bakery in West Concord, is already donating surplus bread and diverting scraps to feed the cows of Concord, MA. The bakery shared their experience partnering with Too Good to Go, an app-based solution for wasted food, or as Too Good To Go Partnership Specialist Jess Parker put it, “A marketplace for surplus food”. Nashoba Bakery lauded the system as being “almost too easy, honestly!” and showed that the monetization of food waste can help businesses like theirs to significantly reduce food waste while protecting the bottom line and expanding access to their delicious food.
Northeastern University described their campus’ waste and recycling infrastructure, waste diversion data, food waste prevention and management strategies, and thorough mattress recycling program. The informative presentation by Northeastern University’s Associate Director of Materials/Recycling, Sue Higgins, offered an example of how thoughtful implementation can result in a successful diversion program. Sue stated, “We are happy to see the [mattress disposal] ban coming into place—We have been doing this since 2016, recycling more than 8,600 mattresses.”
John Fischer from MassDEP highlighted the recently published 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, waste ban updates, and upcoming opportunities for engagement, such as the new Recycling Market Development Work Group. Finally, Janet Bowen from the US EPA described how they are re-envisioning a business partnership program that aligns with their national recycling and food waste goals.
Thank you to all our wonderful presenters and attendees of this year’s forum. Janet Bowen, EPA Region 1, wrapped up the forum stating, “I am always so inspired after leaving one of these events. I hope everyone is as inspired as I am.” If you are feeling motivated to take next steps towards your sustainability goals, contact RecyclingWorks at (888) 254-5525 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Visit the RecyclingWorks WasteWise webpage to view all the 2021 Fall WasteWise Forum presentations, Q&As from the event, instructions from the US EPA on waste tracking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and a full recording of the webinar.