WasteNot co-owners Ann Jarosiewicz and Liz Prete stand for a photo at the company's warehouse in Falmouth, Mass.

Construction waste clogs landfills, worsens climate change. Two women’s solution: salvage it instead

April 17, 2023

In a humble garage on Cape Cod, Ann Jarosiewicz squeezed behind a refrigerator and bathroom vanity to thumb through a stack of doors. “I mean, that’s a beautiful antique door, right?” She and Liz Prete are founders of a building materials recycling company called “WasteNot.” And on a sunny April morning, they found themselves surrounded…

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Our sewage often becomes fertilizer. Problem is, it’s tainted with PFAS

April 2, 2023

The Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant is a pollution success story. Over the last several decades, it transformed Boston Harbor from a nationally embarrassing cesspool into a swimmable bay. The treatment plant takes everything the people of Greater Boston send down their sinks, toilets, showers and washing machines — plus industrial waste — and treats…

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‘Old Ladies’ dive into Cape ponds seeking trash, emerge triumphant

August 8, 2022

People normally aren’t excited to find garbage on the bottom of a pond, but for an unusual group of underwater trash collectors on Cape Cod, there’s a certain exhilaration when the biggest discovery of the day suddenly appears 8 feet below the surface. “We found the tire!” exclaims Diane Hammer, who sits in a kayak…

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Nuts and dried fruit items at a grocery store.

It’s hard to avoid plastic while grocery shopping — even for a week

April 29, 2022

Essay from WBUR reporter Martha Bebinger. The thin plastic thread running between one leaf on my pineapple and its tag does me in. I don’t see it when I put the pineapple in my shopping cart, when I load the check out conveyor belt or when I unpack groceries at home. It isn’t until I…

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A Peels & Wheels Composting worker dumps a wheelbarrow of chopped food scraps and leaves into a bin that will be filled and left to decompose. The business uses bicycle trailers to pick up food scraps from subscribers around New Haven, Conn. The compost is then given to subscribers or donated to local community gardens.

Out of the trash, saving cash: How food waste could transform New England’s garbage

April 21, 2022

Tucked away inside a trash facility in central Connecticut is a pile of nondescript orange and green plastic bags. To the untrained eye, the mound of rotting waste looks like all the other trash piled up here, but Jack Perry, one of the owners of HQ Dumpsters & Recycling, said this trash is special. “The…

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VIDEO: How making compost could help fix our trash problem

April 20, 2022

Getting food scraps out of the trash and into the soil will save money and protect the environment. Expert composter Domingo Medina shows you the best ways to do it. This video by Connecticut Public’s Ryan Caron King is part of special coverage from the New England News Collaborative on how climate change is affecting…

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The state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town.

Maine’s landfill is meant for in-state waste. Here’s how Massachusetts and NH are filling it up

March 22, 2022

Every day, dozens of trucks loaded with waste drive through the gates of Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town. Near the entrance, they’re greeted by a sign listing banned items, including refrigerators, propane tanks and dead animals. And at the bottom, in large red letters, is a warning: “Juniper Ridge Landfill only accepts waste generated…

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Cans of Haze double IPA packed up in increments of 10, the maximum limit each customer can purchase.

Modernizing the bottle recycling program in Mass. would have big benefits, report finds

March 15, 2022

Massachusetts could cut down on plastic litter, create less garbage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save cities and towns millions of dollars every year by modernizing the way it recycles beverage containers, according to a new report by the nonprofit Reloop North America. The report focuses on the so-called deposit return system (DRS) — the five cent deposit…

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The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority trash-to-energy plant in Hartford, Conn.

Connecticut’s trash future unclear after closure of processing plant

March 14, 2022

The imminent closure of a major trash plant in Hartford has set off urgent debate about the future of Connecticut’s waste. And one big question has emerged: Who decides what’s next for the state’s garbage? “We have a problem with life cycles,” said Lyle Wray, with the Capitol Region Council of Governments, a coalition of…

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A bulldozer levels ash on a landfill mound beside Covanta's Haverhill waste facility that incinerates trash and generates electricity.

Reducing trash may reduce the need for incinerators in Mass.

January 21, 2022

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series about trash incineration in Massachusetts. Part 1 looks at the perspectives of the communities housing incinerators. The roads heading to the incinerator in Haverhill, Mass., can at times look like a parade in honor of trash. Dump trucks rumble in carrying garbage bags from 24 cities and…

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