The Greenovate Awards recognize climate action leadership and environmental sustainability excellence in the City of Boston. Read this blog series to find out more about this year's winners in the Waste Reduction Category.
The City of Boston is committed to reducing waste by increasing recycling and reuse, and diverting organics. By keeping these valuables out of Boston's waste stream, we can collectively save money, create local jobs, and improve the environment.
Allison Chester, North End
Allison Chester is a second grade teacher at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School in the North End. She has worked tirelessly to educate her students on the importance of recycling and how to properly and responsibly reuse and recycle products.
What makes Allison an outstanding leader in creating a green and sustainable future for the City of Boston
Ms. Chester established and enforced a recycling program at Eliot K-8 Innovation School in the North End. To get that program off the ground, she worked with BPS faculty to create a recycling pro job in each classroom. This means each class has a different student each week that is responsible for recycling within the classroom. Then on Thursday afternoons, Ms. Chester picks up each recycling pro student, and together they all bring their recycling down to the larger school bins and students are able to see their collective efforts.
Since the launch of the program and Ms. Chester’s involvement in educating students on the importance of recycling, students more excited than ever to take part in climate action. Most recently she entered the Eliot K-8 Innovation School in a recycling competition to compete against other organizations in a recycling challenge. Faculty and students couldn’t be more ready to take on the challenge!
WhyWaste?, Jamaica Plain
WhyWaste? is a business owned and operated by Paul Gurspan in Jamaica Plain, to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials in Boston. Many of the materials that Mr. Gurspan diverts from waste are repurposed throughout the City in ways that are often beneficial to the community.
What makes WhyWaste? an outstanding leader in creating a green and sustainable future for the City of Boston
WhyWaste? assists individuals, organizations, and businesses in Boston by separating materials, usually from demolition projects, into piles that can be recycled in more appropriate and unique ways. For example, WhyWaste? can assist with the demolition of a residential home, and repurpose items such as light fixtures, brick, and wood to others in need of those materials throughout the neighborhood.
When Mr. Gurspan first started his business, he hauled items back and forth from his personal pick-up truck. These days, as operations have increased, he drives a big Belgian Unimog truck that is nearly empty at the end of the day.
“If they do not know Paul personally -- and many do -- they know his truck,” says community member Debra Korzec.
Photos: George C. Riley photography