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Zero Waste Master Plan

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The Cambridge Zero Waste Master Plan (ZWMP) 1.0 was finalized in 2018/2019. As of Spring 2024, the City is working on creating ZWMP 2.0. The latest Plan will guide the City in:

  • Meeting trash reduction goals of 50% reduction by 2030 and 80% reduction by 2050 from 2008 waste levels.
  • Maintaining high quality public services to manage waste disposal
  • Combating climate change thru waste diversion
  • Maximize operational efficiency
  • Protecting employee health and safety
  • Evaluating costs for managing waste

We had more than 100 households join us for the Zero Waste Master Plan Kick-Off on June 12, 2024. If you missed the event, the City still wants your feedback on the City's waste programs and policies to inform the next 5-year plan, and help guide our next 5+ years.


The questions from the Kick-Off can be found in this survey. All Cambridge residents are welcome to take this survey. The survey is offered in English, Español, Português, 普通, አማርኛ, or Kreyòl Ayisyen.

The Zero Waste Master Plan has been finalized and is currently being implemented. 

June 12, 2024: Zero Waste Plan Kick-Off

July 15: Zero Waste Plan Kick-off online survey opens: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZWMPKickOff

September 6, 2024: Deadline to fill out Zero Waste Plan Kick-off

December 31, 2024: Proposed Completion of Zero Waste Plan 

In 2009, the City of Cambridge adopted the State’s goal of reducing trash 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, with 2008 as a baseline. As of 2023, the City has reduced trash by 35%. The City was able to surpass the 2020 goal due to the programs and measures implemented through the first Zero Waste Master Plan (ZWMP). The first ZWMP helped the City launch curbside compost citywide, curbside mattress and textiles collection, a Small Business Recycle and Compost program, and more. To learn more about the efforts from the first ZWMP, watch this recording of Recycling Director Mike Orr’s presentation to the community in early-2024.

Since then, the City has adopted an intermediate goal of reducing trash 50% by 2030.

To accomplish these trash reduction goals, the City recognizes the incredible efforts by residents from all corners of the City to be more conscientious of their waste, so thank you, residents of Cambridge! The update to the ZWMP in 2024 will build upon our current waste management system and programs. The recommendations developed for the ZWMP are intended to support the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) guiding principles of providing high-quality public services, protecting and supporting the health of employees and the public, managing costs, combat climate change and reducing trash.

Page was last modified on 7/15/2024 10:48 AM
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