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Cambridge Expanding Free Small Business Compost Pilot Program

caution sign The information on this page may be outdated as it was published 1 year ago.

The City of Cambridge will be expanding the free Small Business Compost Pilot Program for up to 40 additional small businesses in fall 2022.

The goal of this pilot is to assist businesses in reducing costs, controlling rodents, and protecting our environment. The City will offer up to twice per week collection of two carts of food waste from small businesses.

Beginning November 1, 2022, commercial generators that produce more than 1,000 lbs of food waste per week will be required to reduce or divert their food waste going into the trash. To assist small businesses in Cambridge with this state regulation, the service and carts will be provided by the city at no cost to the participating businesses. Weekly collection is anticipated to start on October 24, 2022. Currently, the city’s curbside compost program is available to all residential buildings on the city’s trash collection route and 60 small businesses.

Composting reduces trash going to landfills and converts food scraps into clean energy. Separating food waste from trash bins and placing it in curbside compost carts also helps manage rodents in the community as the locking green compost carts make it more difficult for rodents to access food scraps that might otherwise end up in trash bins.

Currently, the city collects more than 35 tons of food waste per week, and with the expanded Small Business Compost Pilot Program, the city has the potential of diverting an additional 5 tons per week. Since curbside compost collection began in 2014, Cambridge has diverted more than 6,000 tons of food waste.

“Building upon our successful Small Business Recycle Program that now serves 200+ businesses, the free Small Business Compost Pilot Program is an important service to support businesses while reducing waste,” said Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “More than 50% of waste from food service businesses is food waste, and separating food waste from the trash helps fight climate change and manage increasing waste disposal costs.

“Current participants in the program reported saving an average of $200 per month and many have cited that rodent activity has decreased due to the addition of the compost program,” said Cambridge Acting City Manager Owen O’Riordan. “We are incredibly proud to offer this program to help businesses save money, reduce rodent activity, and protect our environment. A true win-win-win program.”

To apply for the pilot program, interested Cambridge businesses must fill out this application before October 1, 2022.

The city will host a virtual public meeting to review the program and answer questions from the business community on Monday, September 19 at 11 a.m.

Register in advance for this webinar:

For more information, please contact the Department of Public Works at recycle@cambridgema.gov or call 617-349-4800.

Page was posted on 8/25/2022 1:49 PM
Page was last modified on 7/25/2023 3:38 AM
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