Another year of virtual celebrations to commemorate Earth Day helped us lower our carbon footprint! WM Total Recycle Program (TRP) Manager Michelle Lee Guiney kicked off Earth month with a virtual seminar at Worcester Poly Tech on developments and trends in the waste and recycling (W&R) industry. Students, faculty and staff learned about impacts to W&R caused by the pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) of packaging materials, and, the intersectionality of race and environmental issues. TRP also hosted one of Shutterfly’s Borrow Lenses Coffee Hour and focused on values-based investing and consumer purchasing: how to better align personal sustainability principles with the environmental, social and governance (ES&G) performance of the companies that sell brands you purchase.
TRP collaborated on recycling educational content with several property management companies and initiated a 30-day WM Reusable Bag Challenge with Beacon Communities’ Treehouse tenants to address both contamination in recycling and waste reduction.
Additionally, throughout the month, TRP customers received topical environmental e-news, i.e. Ethical Consumer’s Rating System of products/companies, Global New Plastics Economy commitment by over 400 of the world’s major corporations to make waste obsolete, Post-Consumer Recycled Content demand, Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act federal legislation, Reusable products to lower environmental impacts, and, Compostable products having highest environmental impact as well as containing PFAS “forever chemicals”.
WM Area Vice President Chris DeSantis gave a thorough analysis of current waste issues during Environmental Business Council’s Eighth Annual Talking Trash Conference. Among facts and stats covered, attendees learned of the regional declining landfill capacity issue and, with hauling waste out of New England, the impacts to customer and government greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
During Gillette Stadium’s Earth Day Sustainability Forum, WM Total Recycle Program Manager Michelle Lee Guiney highlighted strategies WM is employing to attain its goal of avoiding 4x more GHGe than WM generates in its operations – see full 2020 WM Sustainability Report. Lastly, WM employees made pledges to live more sustainably as part of WM’s Pledge to Plant Program, resulting in 50,000 trees being planted. For ideas how you can live more sustainably, see United Nation’s 170 Actions to Transform the World but remember the # 1 way you can be more sustainable is to buy/consume less: REDUCE.