Recycling Advisory Committee
Special Note: Originally created as the Advisory Committee Committee on Environmentally Desirable Practices through Cambridge Municipal Code Ch. 8.56.030, this committee merged into the Recycling Advisory Committee.
The Recycling Advisory Committee (RAC) was established in the City's Mandatory Recycling Ordinance, Section 8.24.070-G passed in March 1991.
The RAC is a volunteer committee which provides advice, recommendations, and assistance to the city's Department of Public Works (DPW) regarding recycling, composting, reuse, and waste reduction. The DPW strives to meet the goals of the MassDEP Solid Waste Master Plan to reduce residential trash. The RAC does this through research, feedback, public outreach, and event planning.
Cambridge Recycling began in 1989 with a few volunteers dedicated to beginning a recycling drop-off program. Today, the City recovers more than 11,000 tons/year of recyclables from more than 44,000 households. Many residents drop off food scraps and every public school has composting. The curbside food scraps collection pilot diverts over six tons per week, and will expand citywide in the fall of 2017.
Currently the City’s goals to reduce waste match those in the MA Solid Waste Master Plan. Using 2008 as a baseline year, the City aims to reduce trash 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Some strategies that City staff have identified to realize this reduction in trash include maximize recycling, educate and increase reduction of food waste while implementing food scrap collection programs; strengthen programs that encourage reuse, repair and donation of durable goods and materials; and support extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation for problem products.
The Committee has been active for over 20 years and consists of at least nine members with a demonstrated interest in the topics listed above. Members serve a three-year term and are expected to attend monthly meetings (Sept-June).
The RAC typically meets on the second Wednesday of each month, except July and August, at 8 a.m. at Cambridge City Hall, Sullivan Chamber, 2nd floor, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.
For more information about the RAC, including minutes of past meetings, click here.