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Zero Waste Master Plan

Bundles of Compressed Aluminum Cans for Recycling Project Image

The Zero Waste Master Plan (ZWMP) will guide the City in:

  • Meeting trash reduction goals of 30% reduction by 2020 and 80% reduction by 2050 from 2008 waste levels. 
  • Maintaining high quality public services to manage waste disposal
  • Maximize operational efficiency 
  • Protecting employee health and safety
  • Evaluating costs for managing waste
  • Exploring the impact of waste reduction on GHG emission goals

The ZWMP will coordinate with the efforts of the citywide comprehensive plan, Envision Cambridge.


Zero Waste Master Plan Draft Available for Review

A draft version of the Zero Waste Master Plan has been uploaded to the "Documents" tab of this page. Residents have until May 31, 2019 to review and submit public comment. Comments can be sent to recycle@cambridgema.gov.


Notice: Zero Waste Master Plan Public Forum

Please join City staff to learn more about the development of the Zero Waste Master Plan and provide your input into this citywide plan to reduce our waste.

Tuesday, December 18th, 6PM-8PM. Main Library Lecture Hall

January 21: Deadline to submit comment on Zero Waste Master Plan Presentation

January 31: Comment section for Draft Zero Waste Master Plan is open

May 31: Deadline to submit comment on Draft Zero Waste Master Plan

June 30: Zero Waste Master Plan revealed


The development of the ZWMP was undertaken in two phases.

  • Phase 1 of the project involved documenting the City’s current waste management system, including services provided, quantity and type of materials managed by the City, service providers and associated contract provisions, and waste composition. This is documented in Appendix A.  An assessment of implementing an expanded organics program in the City was conducted. This is documented in the Technical Memoranda provided in Appendix A to this document.  These documents provide very detailed information on the existing system and recommendations for the expansion of the organics program.
  • Phase 2 involved developing options to assist the City in reaching their waste reduction and GHG emission reduction goals.  A review and analysis of other aspects of the City’s waste management system, with consideration of relevant policies, programs and infrastructure was undertaken to develop the long list of enhancements to the current waste management system and to identify additional options for consideration for the ZWMP.  

The City of Cambridge (the City) has embarked on a path to Zero Waste to build upon its current waste management system and programs. The development of a Zero Waste Master Plan (ZWMP) and strategy is intended to assist with achieving the City’s goals of reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions. 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 and reducing trash.


Page was last modified on 5/9/2019 3:25 PM
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