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Boston to Pursue Zero Waste, Hopes to Trim $37M Annual Hauling Cost

The city of Boston hopes to cut down its $37 million annual waste hauling costs by pursuing zero waste. The city’s contract for hauling and recycling is up for re-bid next year, and the city chief of environment has said they will be exploring required compost pickup and tracking technology, writes the Boston Herald.

Boston is spending $150,000 to hire a consultant this summer who will conduct a study on existing waste management practices and ways to divert garbage away from landfills. At least two other cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles, have already adopted a zero waste policy and are working toward their zero waste goals; Los Angeles is using a new franchise system for waste, and New York is in the process of emulating it. Boston officials said they will be looking into that as well as any other option that could potentially be effective.

Los Angeles first adopted its zero waste plan, which included establishing a franchise waste and recycling collection system, in April 2014. Under this system a single trash hauler will collect waste from all commercial, industrial and multi-family customers in each of 11 commercial waste franchise zones. The $3.5 billion waste hauling contract is divided across Athens Services (three zones), Republic Services (two zones), Waste Management (two zones), Universal Waste Systems (one zone), NASA Services (one zone), CalMet Services (one zone) and Ware Disposal (one zone). The 10-year franchise rights will take effect in July 2017.

Eco-cycle Solutions offers an interactive map of areas within the country that are pursuing zero waste.


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