The Move to Zero-Waste has begun!

The Move to Zero-Waste has begun!

In early May, Mayor Walsh announced the start of a zero-waste planning process. ACE is a member of Zero-Waste Boston (formerly the Boston Recycling Coalition), a coalition of community organizations working to make Boston a zero-waste city: a city where no solid residential, commercial, or industrial waste ends up in landfills and incinerators. Landfills and incinerators remain two of the most serious sources of toxics and pollutants, in both air and water, that are often in close proximity to low-income communities and communities of color.

Boston’s launch of a zero-waste planning process is an important milestone that Zero-Waste Boston has been working toward for several years. If done properly, the planning process will be a major step toward setting out policies and practices that dramatically reduce the amount of residential and commercial solid waste generated within Boston, and greatly increase in the rate of recycling and reuse of materials that have traditionally gone to landfills and incinerators.

Equally important, the zero-waste planning process opens up a new green economic sector and an opportunity for economic justice. Finding alternatives to incinerators and landfills requires creativity and entrepreneurship; communities of color are ready to take up the challenge with enterprises such as CERO (http://www.cero.coop/) a cooperative business launched and run by persons of color that specializes in hauling and composting commercial organic waste from restaurants and other food service businesses. At the same time, workers who work in traditional recycling and hauling know that handling solid waste is dangerous, exhausting, and poorly paid. Workers already working in solid waste deserve a “New Deal” in the zero-waste planning process that will give them better workplace protections and better wages.

As part of Zero-Waste Boston, ACE will be fighting for a new green economy, without economic exploitation and with a fighting chance for economic security for communities of color.

For more information on ACE’s work in Zero-Waste Boston or on the zero-waste planning process, please contact, Richard M. Juang, Staff Attorney richard@ace-ej.org; 617-861-1401.

Zero Waste Boston, formerly known as the Boston Recycling Coalition, brings together key local and national environmental, worker and community groups in an alliance aimed at rapid and responsible expansion of Boston’s Zero Waste sector. Steering Committee members include Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), CERO Cooperative, Clean Water Action, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, Toxics Action Center and Youth On Board/Boston Student Advisory Council. For more information on Zero-Waste Boston, please contact, Alex Papali,  Clean Water Action, 617-338-8131 x212, apapali@cleanwater.org