Mayor Walsh today announced a series of steps aimed at reducing the amount of stuff now sent to an incinerator or landfill, including three extra weeks of yard-waste pickup between April and December, and pilot programs in which residents will be able to have somebody haul away their food scraps for composting and old clothing for reuse.
The announcement, based in part on work by City Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), is part of a city effort to dramatically cut the amount of stuff that Bostonians dispose of that now simply goes up in smoke. Currently, 25% of Boston's annual 1.2 million tons waste is recycled; the city says it wants to increase that to 80% by 2035 - and to 100% by 2050.
Approximately six percent of Boston’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the City’s discarded materials. By reducing waste, recycling more, and composting, Boston can reduce emissions associated with waste and move one step closer to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Among the short-term specifics:
In addition to adding three weeks of yard-waste pickup, residents will be able to drive their yard detritus to a city yard on American Legion Highway in Mattapan on at least 20 weekends.
The city will soon issue a formal request for proposals from companies willing to pick up kitchen scraps and food. Residents will have to pay for the service, but the city will chip in part of the cost for the pickups, which could begin this fall.
The city also plans to expand current curbside recycling to include a way for residents to put out old clothes and linens, starting this fall.
City parks will get more recycling bins.