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. The City also welcomes innovative strategies to stop waste before it starts; that can include reducing consumption, comprehensive waste education, or new technologies to replace wasteful processes.
Project Oscar is Boston’s first 24-hour community compost pilot program. The Oscar compost bins provide members of the community with a place to drop off food waste. There are currently six community compost bins around the city!
Compost at Home
Boston residents can compost at home. (Boston residents qualify for subsidized compost bins and buckets).
Zero Waste Planning Process
The City is exploring a zero waste plan for municipal solid waste, which could include more robust recycling policies, composting programs, and garbage disposal installation. Stay tuned for an opportunity to join the zero waste planning process--the best way stay informed is by joining our newsletter.
Recycling in Boston
Public Works ensure that Boston’s streets, sidewalks, and bridges are safe, clean and attractive. They manage residential garbage collection and disposal, as well as curbside recycling. Knowing what can and cannot be recycled can be tricky.
- Learn more about recycling in Boston.
- Find a place to recycle materials that you aren't able to recycle curbside.
Get More Involved
For businesses, organizations, or institutions
Explore the resources from A Better City’s Sustainable Buildings Initiative for waste.
For community groups
Greenovate Neighborhoods is a great way to connect to other residents who are helping implement the City’s Climate Action Plan. Here are a few other active groups that provide resources to communities:
Continuing to reduce waste in Boston is a priority of the City and helps Boston reach its Climate Action goals. Boston's zero waste planning process will work with a broad range of stakeholders to develop a zero waste plan that will support waste reduction as well as increase opportunities for reuse and re-manufacturing.
We can reduce waste and build community when we shift our economy and culture to better support sharing.
Today is “America Recycles Day” - a nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. This post is written by Greenovator Susan Cascino, Recycling Policy Director in the City of Boston's Environment Department.
Start this school year off right with green move-in tips.Read more
At the recent Zero Waste Municipal Leaders Summit, city officials from several different departments and municipalities met to discuss Boston’s zero waste planning process. Launching a zero waste planning process is an action in Boston’s Climate Action Plan to make progress toward a waste and litter free City. (Read more about Why Zero Waste? here.) Attendees learned from national recycling experts and leaders of municipal Zero Waste programs in other cities in order to move Boston toward even greater recycling efficiency.
Pictured: Attendees of the Zero Waste Municipal Leaders Summit meet to discuss how Boston can achieve zero waste.Read more
There are lots of ways for renters to save on energy bills, such as replacing lightbulbs, installing a programmable thermostat, and using water-saving devices.
But when it comes to making bigger changes such as getting recycling for your whole building or making more intensive energy upgrades, renters have to make asks to landlords or property managers. To help bridge the communication gap between renters and landlords, here are two sample messages to help tenants start those conversations. Feel free to edit and send in an email or mail with your rent check. Let your landlord know that you want to be a team in making these changes in your home.Read more
Whether you’re starting your first year in Boston or your fourth (or even your fifth--no judgement here!), you've probably already figured out that this city is a great place to be a student. With over 100 colleges and universities in the Greater Boston Area, there’s no shortage of people to meet, things to do, and places to see. In addition to being a student-friendly city, Boston is a great city to grow your green roots. Greenovate Boston is a movement driven by the community and students like you to help Bostonians take simple steps to make this city a better, greener place to live and work. We’re here to help you have your best, greenest semester, so here’s our top tips on ways to be green while living in Boston:Read more
Maryrose Myrtetus is a Greenovate Boston Summer Fellow working to increase the city’s commercial recycling rates through a scalable, market-based solution.Read more