Boston Green Fest – August 15-17th

Boston’s Multicultural Environmental Music Festival – August 15-17th

JOIN US!

*Music * – *Dance* – *ecoART* – *Hands-on-Learning* – *Wine and Beer Garden* – *GreenTech* – *EcoFasion*

*Free Admission*

Friday-Sunday
Fri. & Sat 12pm-10pm
Sun. 12pm-5pm

Boston City Hall Plaza

Find out more HERE.

 Save That Stuff has provided re-claimed buckets to FireSeedArts for their bucket drumming workshop. We’ll also be helping lead the festival to Zero Waste!

GreenFest2014

COMPOSTING is GROWING – From Cambridge to California: Developing collection infrastructure for compostables

 

From Cambridge to California: Developing collection infrastructure for compostables. 

The infrastructure for source-separated food waste collection and diversion in major cities is growing, and the Boston area is quickly catching up. Little do most people know, Boston and surrounding cities have been developing better infrastructure for food waste recycling, nutrient capture, and urban agriculture since the early 2000s, along side the city’s waste diversion and recycling efforts.

Save That Stuff was one of the first organic waste haulers in the state of Massachusetts, and has remained on the forefront of best practices in organics waste collection. In 2006, STS developed an organics collection route in partnership with the City of Cambridge, to help public schools responsibly divert their food scraps.  The City had concrete goals of reducing solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions. The City has since developed a range of programs to divert food scraps from the trash bin.

STS compost 3

The City of Cambridge runs a food scrap drop off program for residents. In 2013 the City of Cambridge and Boston piloted a successful drop off program at summer farmers’ markets. And in April 2014, Cambridge kicked off a residential curbside collection pilot with 500-800 households, and to date captures ~85% of food scraps from the trash from participating households.

In October, 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will implement the Commercial Organics Waste Ban. This law will require large generators of food and biodegradable discards to divert the material alternatives other than landfill and incineration.

These are exciting times. Much is happening in the Greater Boston Area to develop robust infrastructure for collecting and responsibly managing compostables. Processing of food scraps ranges from high-value products for local agricultural to energy production from anaerobic digestion.

Join us for a FREE Webinar to hear more on organics diversion practices from Cupertino, California to Cambridge, Massachusetts!
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 1:00pm – 2:30pm EDT
More info HERE
Register today!

Speakers include:

Randi Mail, Recycling Director, Cambridge, MA

Cheri Donnelly, Environmental Programs Manager, Cupertino Public Works Department, Cupertino, CA

STS compost

Challenge for Sustainability – Kick Off!

This is the second year that Save That Stuff has been a participant in A Better City’s Challenge for Sustainability. On January 24, 2014, Save That Stuff joined Boston business and building leaders at the 2014 Challenge for Sustainability Kick-Off.

Looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency in support of the City of Boston’s aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020, Save That Stuff, Inc. is participating in A Better City’s Challenge for Sustainability. The program engages businesses to adopt best practices in sustainability and energy efficiency through a platform of benchmarking and a peer support network to reduce their carbon footprint.

ABC-Challenge

Recently launching its fifth year, Save That Stuff, Inc. joins more than 100 of Boston’s leading businesses and building owners including Boston Properties, Equity Office, John Hancock, Nixon Peabody, Nutter McClennan & Fish, Putnam Investments, and the Sheraton Boston Hotel to reduce energy use and increase our overall sustainability.

“Boston’s business leaders are committed to making Boston a sustainability leader,” said Rick Dimino, President & CEO of A Better City. “They know that energy efficiency improvements have a direct impact on their bottom line, make Boston more competitive, attract environmental and energy conscious tenants, and appeal to a young, skilled workforce that places a high priority on sustainability.”

Over the last three years, participants in the Challenge for Sustainability have realized an aggregated 4% reduction in kWh, totaling more than 14 million kWh in 2012 – enough to power 1,300 homes for a year! Let’s see what we can achieve together at Save That Stuff in 2014!

Challenge for Sust

Recycling With Art In Mind

Here at Save That Stuff, Inc. we have been discussing starting up an artist in residence program.

As a locally-owned recycling and waste management company, we care to take an active role in finding imaginative ways of processing the materials Boston’s commercial sector disposes as “waste.” And many of the companies we work with also want to see something more happen to their discards than waste-to-energy or landfilling.

We have been inspired by artist in residence programs at other recycling centers around the nation. Both RAIR in Philadelphia, and Recology in San Francisco, engage artists to take a creative and critical approach to reusing materials that end up at local recycling centers.

Over the past 10 years, Save That Stuff has grown to take in a diverse range of materials for recycling and repurposing. Over the years, we’ve partnered with groups like Extras For Creative Reuse in an effort to extend the life of reusable materials that come to our facility.

A next step for us is to be a resource for an artistic community in the Greater Boston Area. We’d like to see some of the hard to recycle items we have serve artists with raw materials for creative works.

A few weeks ago, Save That Stuff hosted a tour for a group of students led by Jane D. Marsching, associate professor at the MassArt Studio Foundation. The students were enthusiastic about the range of materials that come through Save That Stuff.

MassArt

MassArt students hold onto their recently-acquired treasures, accompanied by professor Jane D. Marsching and Save That Stuff president and founder Erik Levy.

Students discover a box of materials in Save That Stuff’s Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM): MassArt

Erik: “Everyone take as many as you want. You can come back.”
Student 1: “This is a Mecca right here.”
Student 2: “Yes!”

We do not yet have the resources to offer space on-site for an actual residency program. We hope to start with small partnerships, where Save That Stuff will provide the materials to artists or other community organizations to create sculptures, public installations, and more! We’re excited to see how a program will evolve.

Will it Break Down in a Landfill? Compost and Zero Waste in Boston

Hello all!

This is Matt Messer, Save That Stuff’s Account Manager. I’m a research junkie and I’ve had a question that’s been bothering me. My research and my findings are something I feel you may be interested in.

If compost can break down on its own, why shouldn’t we just send it to a landfill via our trash?

A friend of mine, working for Harvest Power, recently answered this question.

First off, let’s make sure we know the key terms. Aerobic digestion involves a breakdown in the presence of oxygen and anaerobic digestion simply means without oxygen.

When our organic waste goes into landfills (via our trash bins), it sits under piles of trash indefinitely. This effectively creates a vacuum and the organic waste breaks down without oxygen. When food breaks down like this (anaerobically) , it creates methane, a greenhouse gas that is 23x more environmentally damaging than CO2!

Big picture fact: America throws away more than 30 million tons of food waste per year. That food waste is responsible for 34% of ALL methane emissions in the US.

 

 

  

When your organic waste is hauled by Save That Stuff to one of our partner farms like Brick Ends Farm in Hamilton, it is broken down aerobically into compost. This way, the food does not rot and methane is not released.

In a future blog post, I’ll delve into the second reason composting makes you or your business an environmental superstar. As always, this information is new to me and I value your comments. Please let me know if I’ve missed something or misstated and I’ll make the appropriate corrections!

 

Recycle on,
Matt
Matt Messer, Account Manager
LEED Green Associate

Zero Waste: Research Equipment Gets a Second LIfe

Happy New Years to all of Save That Stuff’s friends! We’ve had a fantastic end of the year and below is a project that highlights our commitment to “One Goal, Zero Waste”.

Research equipment gets a second life:

Here at Save That Stuff, we’ve gotten really good at recycling and we’re trying to extend that expertise into Reuse. In December, we helped Momenta Pharmaceuticals give some of their old research supplies a second life. Save That Stuff partnered with Seeding Labs to identify reusable materials coming from a Momenta clean out. Capitalizing on their unique network of researchers in developing countries, Seeding Labs will distribute the materials all over the world.

Seeding Labs is a group of social entrepreneurs helping talented scientists in the developing world conduct life-changing research with equipment, training and network building.

BU Volunteers Learn About Waste Management, Recycling and Compost

As part of Save That Stuff’s community involvement, we are always finding new ways to spread awareness about recycling and community activism. This year one of our newest staff members, Matt Messer, coordinated an education and volunteering day at our warehouse.

The students were part of BU’s FYSOP (First Year Student Outreach Program). FYSOP offers incoming Boston University students a unique opportunity to get settled in their new community by performing a week of service before classes begin. Volunteers participate in a program orientation, a full day of education, and three full days of direct service in one of eleven issue areas.

The goal of FYSOP is to orient freshman and transfer students to Boston University, the Boston area, and surrounding community, while educating about and encouraging volunteers to engage in community service.

As a graduate of FYSOP myself, it was a surreal experience to have FYSOPers at the the company I’m working for- as opposed to being on the other side volunteering.

To see the full photo album, head over to our Facebook page.

Zero Waste: Bio Plastics, Chip Bags & Compostability

A clip from an article in this months BioCycle*:

“The Sunchips 100 percent compostable bag made with Ingeo biopolymer was a packaging achievement. The bag was designed to fully compost in about 14 weeks in a hot, active composting pile. What from the outside appeared as a simple snack bag, was a complex multilayered structure that required barrier properties to keep moisture and oxygen out… the Sunchips bag ran up against a consumer issue- noise caused by the stiff material in a multilayer design.”

I was unaware of this, but Greenbiz points out that SunChip has redesigned the bags and is still using the compostable wrap on its Original chips. So while the noisiness is gone, the compostablility is still there! Keep an eye out for Target’s new in-house chip line “Archer Farms,” which uses the latest bioplastic technology to maximize freshness and suppress noise.

Compostable products are starting to become more prominent in the market, and as a full service, zero waste recycling company we are looking forward to seeing more compostable packaging options!

Do you still think the bags are too noisy? Let us know by replying to this post.

 

*Biocycle, August 2012, “Bioplastics Industry Report.”

Waste Management and the Upcoming Organic Waste Ban

An important item for companies in Boston to keep an eye on this year is the Organics Waste Ban. It is moving forward through the draft phases now. Targeting large businesses and institutions that generate more than 1 ton of organic waste per week, it is estimated that 3,000 businesses will be required to add composting to their waste management programs. As one of the largest composting and waste management companies in Boston, Save that Stuff will be monitoring this legislation closely.

 

The program will be enforced by MassDEP and the organic waste ban will not include: Yard waste, biodegradable paper, recycling and non-organic trash.

 

For steps on how to reduce your organic food waste, visit EPA Food Waste Reduction or consider contacting Save That Stuff to discuss the right waste management solution for you.

Save That Stuff Composting at Boston University

Here’s an excerpt from BU’s sustainability coverage called “BU Goes Green.” Save That Stuff recycling and compost have helped put BU on the cutting edge of dining hall sustainability. This year they were recognized by the Green Restaurant Association as the Greenest Food Court in the Country!