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By October 19, 2019 No Comments

Recycling and composting at your business can help decrease environmental impact, save money, improve employee morale, and respond to customer demands for sustainable practices.

Massachusetts has a number of waste ban in affect that aim to prevent recyclable materials from being trashed. Whether you need to comply with the state’s ban, or maybe you just want to beef up your recycling efforts at work–RecyclingWorks, a program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), is here to help!

RecyclingWorks provides no-cost assistance to restaurants, hotels, large institutions and supermarkets to set food waste composting and recycling programs. Some of the resources include:

    • A composting program toolkit for restaurants.
    • The “Find a Recycler” database that helps businesses and organizations connect with food waste and recycling haulers and processors in the state.
    • Guidance on how to comply with the ban, along with links to more detailed resources.
    • Technical assistance tailored to your business needs–RecyclingWorks can evaluate your current system, help design a food waste diversion program that fits your needs, provide a cost analysis of available options, work with your current hauler, provide employee training and signage, and be available for follow-up as needed. Call the
    • hotline to find out if you qualify for the on-site assistance package.
    • Examples of businesses that have successfully developed composting programs, such as the Big Y Foods supermarket chain, which has worked since the 1990s to reduce food waste from its 30 Massachusetts stores.

If you need help at any point or would like to learn more about the RecyclingWorks program, please call their hotline at (888) 254-5525 or email to reach a Recycling Expert.

Commercial businesses interested in recycling should contact their trash haulers. Trash haulers operating in Boston are required to provide recycling services.

About Massachusetts’ Commercial Waste Bans

In an effort to reduce waste in Massachusetts and ensure consistent volumes of materials for recycling markets, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) has implemented waste bans on certain hazardous, recyclable, and compostable materials. The restrictions (or bans) on disposal began in 1990, and material types have been added over time to eliminate the most prevalent materials in the waste stream for which there are viable alternatives to disposal.Current waste ban materials include:

    • Recyclable Paper and Cardboard
    • Glass/Aluminum/Metal/Plastic Containers
    • Leaf and Yard Waste
    • Cathode Ray Tubes (TV’s and Computer Monitors) Electronics
    • White Goods (Major Appliances)
    • Construction/Demolition Materials (C&D)
    • Tires
    • Lead Acid Batteries


These bans apply to municipal, commercial and industrial waste loads disposed of, contracted for disposal, or transferred for disposal through Massachusetts facilities. The haulers and generators of these materials are responsible for ensuring that the banned materials do not end up in the waste loads. If banned materials end up in a load of trash, “failed loads” may occur at a disposal site. Click here to learn more.