Blog Post

In 2017, developer and property manager J. Rockwell Allen (Rocky) converted a long-vacant building on the former Northampton State Hospital site into The Columns at Rockwell Place (The Columns), a LEED-certified multifamily property comprising of 25 condominium units. The Columns offers residents electric car chargers, recycling, and food waste collection for composting at no cost.

During the renovation of the property, more than 90% of construction and demolition (C&D) materials such as masonry, gypsum wallboard, and cardboard were collected separately in designated bins and recycled. As a result of this environmentally responsible effort, the building received two LEED credits for construction and demolition waste and recycling. Effective planning and communication between the general contractor, subcontractors, and waste hauler led to more than 120 tons of C&D material being diverted from disposal. Check out The Columns Video Case Study to learn more about the 2017 project, and the RecyclingWorks Construction and Demolition Materials Guidance to learn more about C&D reuse and recycling best practices.

In the fall of 2020, RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) worked with Rocky to help implement a residential food waste collection program at The Columns. Rocky not only shared the value and benefits of diverting food waste from disposal with residents, but he also purchased and provided 3-gallon kitchen collection bins for residents to collect food scraps. The Columns communicated with residents via email about the new service and offered additional resources where they could learn more about the benefits of diverting food waste for composting.

The Columns contacted their trash and recycling hauler and requested the addition of food waste pick-up to their services. Their hauler provided The Columns with a 68-gallon wheeled cart designated for food waste, which is located in the same area as the trash and recycling dumpsters. Residents now separate food scraps from their trash using the 3-gallon kitchen collection bins and empty the scraps into the food waste cart. It’s as easy as taking out the trash and recycling! The Columns will now divert approximately 5 tons of food waste from disposal annually. The food waste is processed at Martin’s Farm Compost and Mulch in Greenfield, MA where it is turned into a nutrient rich soil amendment.

RecyclingWorks is a no-cost technical assistance program that helps Massachusetts businesses reduce waste while maximizing recycling and food waste diversion opportunities. The RecyclingWorks website includes Guidance for Property Managers, including tips for waste ban compliance. Additionally, our Hauler Contracting Guidance can help your organization implement cost-effective service changes related to recycling and food waste diversion. Contact us at or 888-254-5525 to learn more about customized assistance for your business.