Boston Recycling Coalition applauds the City of Boston's Move Toward Zero Waste

Contacts:

Alex Papali,  Clean Water Action, 857-719-8914, apapali@cleanwater.org

Katelyn Parady, Toxics Action Center, 617-747-4362, katelyn@toxicsaction.org

Lor Holmes, CERO Cooperative, 617-291-5855, Lor@CERO.coop

Tolle Graham, MassCOSH, 617-825-7233, tolle.graham@masscosh.org

Curtis Rollins, BRC Steering Committee,713-724-4845

Monica Wilson, GAIA, 510-883-9490 x103, monica@no-burn.org

 


Boston, MA-- While celebrating Earth Day at Fenway Park earlier today, Mayor Marty Walsh reiterated his commitment to moving Boston to Zero Waste over the coming years, and thanked young activists with the Boston Recycling Coalition in particular for their advocacy.


The Boston Recycling Coalition (BRC) has been working with the Walsh administration and national Zero Waste experts to launch a planning effort that will reduce waste, spur local green economic innovation and offer safe and well-paying jobs to area residents.


Earlier this month, the BRC and the City convened a Zero Waste summit for municipal leaders from across the region. "I would like to extend my gratitude to the Boston Recycling Coalition for initiating Boston’s Zero Waste Summit,” said Austin Blackmon, the City of Boston’s Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space. “Together we were successful in introducing Boston officials and regional city officials to the variety of benefits that Zero Waste planning can create."


“Re-imagining our waste system will help address so many of Boston’s biggest challenges, from climate change to income inequality” said BRC co-coordinator Katelyn Parady of Toxics Action Center. “And incinerators and landfills have damaged the health of our communities for too long.”


“Mayor Walsh understands the importance of responsibly improving our diversion rates for both workers and the environment. We’re excited by that,” added Tolle Graham, of the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health. Roxbury resident Curtis Rollins agreed, emphasizing, “The City of Boston has a rare chance here to use Zero Waste policies to bring good green jobs into communities of color and low-income communities that have been shut out of other opportunities.”


“With Boston’s residential recycling rates stalling and the commercial sector largely unregulated, inviting all stakeholders to map out a Zero Waste strategy can help drive both participation and innovation,” said BRC co-coordinator Alex Papali, of Clean Water Action. “A world-class program to reclaim the valuable materials we now pay millions to burn as garbage requires meeting the needs of communities, workers, customers and the planet.”


“We’re proud to see Boston stepping up to lead on Zero Waste like it does on so many other fronts”, noted BRC member Lor Holmes of CERO, a thriving worker-owned commercial composting cooperative based in Dorchester. “This city has incredible potential to lead the U.S. in eco-innovation, where ZW start-ups are taking shape for community composting, upcycling, remanufacturing. We can truly become an incubator for new Zero Waste job-producing local business. Let’s get it done.”


“This is an exciting time for Boston to join cities on the leading edge of Zero Waste,” said Monica Wilson of GAIA, a global network for Zero Waste systems that do not include polluting waste incineration. “With the help of the Boston Recycling Coalition, Boston is in a strong position to create a Zero Waste program that meets the needs of residents and recycling workforce while building a stronger local economy.”


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The Boston Recycling Coalition brings together key local and national environmental, worker and community groups in an alliance aimed at rapid and responsible expansion of Boston’s Zero waste sector. Steering Committee members include CERO Cooperative, Clean Water Action, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, Toxics Action Center and Youth On Board/Boston Student Advisory Council.