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Two Massachusetts Organizations Recognized by EPA for Waste Reduction Achievements

04/20/2020
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
617-918-1017

BOSTON – Two Massachusetts organizations are among the 2019 winners of the National WasteWise Awards announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The awardees are Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Boston, which was recognized as a Partner of the Year in the Non-profit Organization Category; and Home Market Foods, of Norwood, which was recognized as the Honorable Mention in the Small Business Category.

In 2018, EPA WasteWise partners, including today's award winners, collectively reported preventing and diverting more than 1.9 million tons of municipal solid waste that would otherwise be disposed in landfills or incinerated, saving close to 100 million dollars in avoided landfill tipping fees. This year's winners are being recognized for their efforts documented in 2018.

"As we begin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, it is fitting to highlight these WasteWise partners for their dedication to waste reduction, environmental stewardship and sustainable materials management," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "These efforts not only provide environmental and cost savings benefits, but they also increase the efficiency of these businesses and organizations positioning them for greater success."

"EPA is proud of these Massachusetts organizations who have stepped up and are setting a great example for other businesses and institutions to help the environment by employing sound practices," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, of Boston, was selected for recognition in the Non-Profit Partner of the Year category. In 2018, Beth Israel tracked and reduced 18 waste streams that resulted in diverting 3,610 tons from waste-to-energy incineration. A newly-hired sustainability program manager helped facilitate more accurate measurements and further waste reductions. The center's Environmental Sustainability Committee includes 22 representatives from throughout the organization. In 2018, waste reduction programs across the medical center targeted excess packaging, disposable batteries, laboratory waste, office supplies, single-use medical devices, and operating room surgical trays, among other areas.

"At BIDMC, we regularly evaluate our sustainability practices to ensure that 'we do no harm' for the future of our patients and staff," said Walter Armstrong, Senior Vice President of Capital Facilities and Engineering. "Increasing engagement and awareness of our sustainability programs is a key priority. By leveraging the support of our leadership, the Environmental Sustainability Committee and our employees, we can implement longstanding changes to reduce our carbon footprint," said Avery Palardy, Sustainability Program Manager.

Home Market Foods, of Norwood, Mass. was recognized for Small Business Honorable Mention. In 2018, Home Market Foods' accomplishments to reach its goal of zero waste to landfill resulted in the waste diversion rate rising from 61 percent in 2012 to 93 percent. In 2018, the grocery store diverted 14,472 tons of waste including 10,561 tons of food waste sent to anaerobic digestion and 1,336 tons of fats, oils and greases sold for reuse. The company recycled 1,349 tons of waxed and unwaxed cardboard and reused 1,044 tons of wooden pallets. Home Market Foods participates in community outreach by donating surplus edible food products and donated 150 tons of food to a local food bank. In addition to the environmental benefit of the waste diversion program, Home Market Foods realized $1,080,000 in economic benefit from recycling revenue and avoided disposal costs.

"At Home Market Foods, we are dedicated to operating an environmentally responsible company. We owe this environmental focus to our employees, our customers, our consumers, our community and the future," said Wesley Atamian, President.

EPA's WasteWise program encourages organizations and businesses to achieve sustainability in their practices and reduce select industrial wastes. Participants in the program work to prevent and divert waste that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills or incinerated. Every year, EPA recognizes WasteWise partners in various categories who report the best overall improvement in waste prevention and recycling activities, when compared to the previous year.

Background

The WasteWise program is part of EPA's Sustainable Materials Management efforts that promote the use and reuse of materials more productively over their entire life cycles. All U.S. businesses, governments, academic institutions and non-profit organizations can join WasteWise as a partner, an endorser or both. Partners demonstrate how they reduce waste, practice environmental stewardship and incorporate sustainable materials management into their waste management practices. Endorsers promote enrollment in WasteWise as part of a comprehensive approach to help their stakeholders realize the economic benefits to reducing waste.

More Information:

EPA WasteWise program: https://www.epa.gov/smm/wastewise

Each winner's efforts and results: https://www.epa.gov/smm/wastewise#AwardsandAwardWinners
2019 WasteWise National Award winners
2019 Regional Award winners