Blog Post

This Berkshire Eagle article tells the story of seven restaurants and one market in Lenox that have combined forces to compost their food scraps. Alta, Church Street Cafe, Frankie’s Ristorante Italiano, The Old Heritage Tavern, Table Six, Firefly, Spoon and Lenox Natural Foods have contracted with Empire Zero Waste to bring their uneaten and leftover food to a meadow farm in Lee, Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton or other composting facilities. The businesses decided to start composting partially as a result of the recent Massachusetts food waste ban, which requires businesses disposing of over a ton of food waste per week to divert it from landfills. They utilized the technical support of RecyclingWorks, a program administered by the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), to set up their system. Jamie Cahillane of CET explained that RecyclingWorks assists with both the collection and the processing of food waste: “We work with farmers on how they can take more food waste; we’re not just about the restaurant end of things,” he said. Many of the owners embraced the new regulation, seeing it as an opportunity to help the planet. “It was a no-brainer for us,” said Aurlelian Telle, co-owner with Stephane Ferioli of Alta and Church Street Cafe. “The food is not going into a landfill — a cleaner Earth is what we need.”

RecyclingWorks is a Massachusetts DEP program delivered under contract by the Center for EcoTechnology (CET). This recycling assistance program helps businesses and institutions implement successful composting and recycling programs, and comply with regulations such as the food waste ban. To speak with a recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at