Blog Post

Each year, RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) produces a year-end report, summarizing the program’s work to provide waste diversion assistance for the commercial and institutional sectors through a robust suite of services. During the last fiscal year, RecyclingWorks assisted over 1,600 businesses, diverting more than 3,400 tons of material from disposal. This contributes to an overall cumulative program impact of more than 140,000 tons of material diverted since 2013. Here are some of the highlights from the FY19 report:

Recycling and Organics Market Insights

  • RecyclingWorks continued to assist businesses and institutions in reducing contamination and identifying new outlets for recyclable materials as a result of changes in recycling markets. Common topics addressed in hotline calls and technical assistance included recycling contamination & quality, organics diversion, construction & demolition materials, and plastics recycling.
  • Food waste diversion remains an area of marketplace growth and innovation. RecyclingWorks continued to track data from haulers on the number of commercial organics customers in Massachusetts, which has increased by 70%, or 950 additional businesses and institutions, in the past four years.
  • Additionally, RecyclingWorks began interviewing companies that offer source reduction technology platforms to quantify the collective impact of source reduction activities on commercial food waste diversion in Massachusetts. As of spring 2019, these technologies have reduced food waste by at least 1,025 tons.

New Resources for Businesses & Institutions

  • All of the RecyclingWorks case studies are now accessible on one centralized webpage, which allows users to search by sector and topic. During this fiscal year, RecyclingWorks developed updated case studies for The Lenox Hotel and the Center for EcoTechnology Office.
  • RecyclingWorks developed new content to assist with commercial single stream recycling, incorporating the guidance MassDEP offers through the Recycle Smart MA initiative. The webpage also features a new educational graphic that instructs employees who collect and transport materials on how to keep single stream materials separate from the trash.
  • RecyclingWorks created new waste ban compliance tip sheets for Food Manufacturers & Distributors and Colleges & Universities.
  • After engaging various stakeholders across the state, RecyclingWorks published best management practices for Business & Institutional Furniture and Office Equipment Reuse. The new guidance webpage discusses different types of reuse outlets, offers tips for developing a furniture reuse plan, describes the requirements for state facilities, and includes a list of reuse organizations that service businesses and institutions in Massachusetts.

Events & Presentations

  • RecyclingWorks continued to reach new businesses through targeted outreach and in-person presentations and conferences. Throughout FY19, RecyclingWorks reached over 1,000 attendees at 28 events to increase awareness of program services and resources and to provide technical guidance on topics related to reuse, recycling, and food waste diversion.
  • During FY19, RecyclingWorks hosted two EPA WasteWise Forums and one College & University Forum. The forums discussed topics including source separation practices, procurement strategies, and improving the quality of recyclable material.
  • Through RecyclingWorks’ Compost Site Technical Assistance program, RecyclingWorks organized a compost site operations training for health officials in Massachusetts.

More information is available in the RecyclingWorks Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2019.

RecyclingWorks is a free recycling assistance program designed to help Massachusetts businesses and institutions maximize recycling, reuse, and food waste diversion opportunities. Our Find-a-Recycler tool allows users to search for recycling and composting service providers by material and location. To learn more about our no-cost assistance, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at