State hospital, contractor promote waste reduction
The Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) presented Massachusetts WasteWise Waste
Reduction Leadership Awards to Lemuel Shattuck State Hospital
and Raytheon Company for using innovative, incentive-based solid
waste contracting techniques to reduce trash and increase recycling
in their operations.
Both the hospital and the company
use an approach known as resource management (RM) contracting.
They they have given their solid waste contractors clear financial
incentives not to haul as much trash as possible, but to manage
resources in economically and environmentally responsible ways.
This reduces their disposal costs and dramatically increases the
amount of material they recycle.
Most organizations that generate
large quantities of waste would like to recycle more and pay less
for disposal, but optimizing their trash and recycling services
is rarely a priority compared with other, more pressing financial
and organizational concerns.
Yet because virtually all businesses
and most towns and cities obtain these services by hiring waste
management companies, RM contracting is an opportunity to make
a real difference.
“Using this common sense
approach to waste management, we are likely to see a win-win:
less solid waste going to landfills, more materials being recycled,
and financial advantages for all parties,” said Robert W.
Varney, regional administrator at EPA’s New England regional
office in Boston. “RM contracting has the potential to transform
the waste disposal industry.”
Lemuel Shattuck, a 278-bed in-patient
state hospital located in Jamaica Plain, is in the second year
of its contract with Save That Stuff, a Charlestown-based recycler.
During the first year, Shattuck generated 11 percent less trash,
saved roughly $11,000 in avoided disposal costs, and more than
quadrupled its recycling - from 14 tons to 58 tons - by adding
five new materials to the list of those it collected for recycling.
Headquartered in Waltham and
one of the nation’s largest defense contractors, Raytheon
went out to bid for solid waste and recycling services at eight
of its Massachusetts facilities, with an aim of giving its new
contractor incentives for helping the company throw away less
and recycle more, and for continuously doing better.
“Raytheon has been a WasteWise
member for years, and has a very active waste reduction and recycling
program,” said Brian Balukonis, senior environmental quality
engineer for the company. “We hope this contract will help
us get to the next level of managing our resources more effectively
MassDEP and EPA give Massachusetts
WasteWise Waste Reduction Leadership Awards annually in recognition
of organizations that have demonstrated recycling leadership,
sustainability, and innovation. The two agencies jointly fund
the Massachusetts WasteWise Program, which provides waste reduction
assistance to businesses and organizations. Participation is voluntary.