Zero Waste

Our current 'materials economy' funnels enormous amounts of waste into toxic landfills and incinerators, destroying items of value while polluting our air, water, food systems and bodies. Clean Water Action has been working for decades to create a fair and sustainable “circular economy.”  This includes:

  • Co-coordinating the Zero Waste Boston coalition, which has successfully pressed the City of Boston to create a Zero Waste plan and required that recycling companies pay workers a living wage.
  • Supporting local activists in Saugus, MA in their fight to end operations at the toxic and unjust Wheelabrator incinerator and working for a just transition that stops the pollution and creates a zero waste solutions to our waste crisis.
  • Ensuring that robust zero waste principles underpin the new state Solid Waste Master Plan, which will set waste policy and guide infrastructure development across the Commonwealth for at least the next decade,
MA_ZeroWaste_Trash_source: Canva

Tell MassDEP you want a Zero Waste Master Plan!

Massachusetts is at a crossroads: We bury, burn, or export 5.6 million tons of trash each year which threatens the health of our communities, destroys valuable resources and wastes a lot of taxpayer money.

Boston Recycling Coalition

Boston’s recycling rate has risen from abysmal levels in recent years, but still lags far behind the national average. Boston incinerates 80% of its residential waste and pays tens of millions annually for the privilege.

From We All Live Downstream

January 2, 2018

For those of us fighting for environmental protection in the United States, 2017 was not considered a banner year.  But if you look beneath the surface of the decimated, damage-doing EPA, you found cities, states, companies and even everyday people doing the work that the federal government can’t be counted on to do right now.  Looking back on Clean Water Action’s work in Massachusetts, we actually made some great progress. Here are some of the highlights:

January 7, 2017

Sometimes injustice at the community level, where neighbors live in close proximity to a major polluter for decades, demands that we pull out all the stops. The on-going tragedy taking place in Saugus, Massachusetts is that kind of environmental justice disaster.

December 15, 2016

This past Tuesday, December 13, Boston City Council hosted a public hearing to address a proposed "bring your own bag" ordinance seeking to reduce waste from plastic bags. Unimaginable numbers of plastic bags are used daily, for an average of 12 minutes before they are discarded. Unfortunately, less than 5% of single-use plastic bags are in fact recycled. Many people do not know how to deal with plastic bags. Really the only option for consumers is a bin in the occasional grocery store. But, like I said, only 5% of these bags ever make it to a recycling center.