Blog Post

The United States Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, located in Cambridge, serves as a federal transportation and logistics expertise center. The Volpe Center reached out to RecyclingWorks as they considered ways to expand their organics waste diversion program for coffee grounds to include additional types of organic waste generated in the building.

RecyclingWorks provided on-site technical assistance to help The Volpe Center successfully implement a comprehensive organics diversion program in the cafeteria. This assistance enabled the Volpe Center employees to streamline their recycling program while implementing efficient front-of-house and back-of-house organics collection.

RecyclingWorks helped the Center establish a sorting station in the cafeteria, which allows for front-of-house organics collection. Cafeteria staff add organics collected at this station to the back-of-house organics collection, efficiently increasing the amount of organic waste captured for diversion. RecyclingWorks helped to modify signage to decrease confusion. For example, contradictory signage indicated that paper plates were acceptable as recycling, and also that paper plates were acceptable exclusively as food waste.

The Volpe Center significantly increased their waste diversion after receiving RecyclingWorks technical assistance. In June 2018, the US Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Volpe Center through the Federal Green Challenge program for increasing diversion of compostable materials from 0.2 tons in FY16 to 4.4 tons in FY17. This was the highest percentage increase in waste diversion across more than 400 federal facilities that participate in the Federal Green Challenge, which motivates participants to make improvements in six different target areas, including waste reduction and diversion.

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts helps businesses and institutions implement and expand recycling, reuse, and food waste diversion programs. Call our hotline at (888) 254-5525, or email us at to learn how we can help your business identify waste diversion opportunities, analyze costs, train staff, create waste bin signage, and more!