FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. To Save money
By composting food waste, you greatly reduce the amount of material going into your trash dumpster. This means you can reduce the frequency of your trash pickups, and save money. In this way, one supermarket chain cut costs by more than $20,000 per store per year!
2. It's the law
If your business produces more than 1 ton of food waste per week, Massachusetts law says you can't throw it away with your trash. Not sure how much you produce? Take our free, 30-second waste assessment. You'll know if you're affected by the ban in 30 seconds (really!). If you are affected, you must divert your food scraps from the trash.
3. It's the future
Every year, Massachusetts produces enough food waste to fill 20 Fenway Parks. Our landfills are running out of space, and we can't continue to bury this huge amount of nutrient-rich material. Composting accelerates its breakdown and returns it to nature, helping to grow the trees, gardens, and crops of tomorrow.
Enforcement of the food waste ban is increasing every month, and if your business does not comply, you will be fined and flagged for noncompliant environmental practices by the MassDEP. If your business is not affected (produces less than one ton of food waste per week), you are not beholden to the ban, although you might still want to compost. Many businesses compost voluntarily, as they can still stand to save money and it's the right thing to do for the environment.
Here are three of the answers that we hear most often:
CERO's service is clean, reliable, and easy. Fill your carts with food waste, and count on CERO to take care of everything else. Rest easy knowing all of your food waste is returned to the soil where it belongs, and you are supporting good green jobs for Boston's finest workers. Think your employees might need some training to get going properly? We provide comprehensive training for staff and management, absolutely free.
We re-earth all of the waste we collect at local, family-owned farms. Unlike some other composting businesses, which haul organics to slurry plants or wastewater treatment facilities, CERO is committed to our farmer partners. We bring organic waste to local, family-owned farms and then bring finished compost product back to community gardens, facilitating a sustainable, circular food economy.
We are a local business owned by women and people of color. By working with CERO, you are supporting a business owned by immigrants, people of color, women, and queer people. CERO is committed to paying all of our workers a living wage, so by working with CERO you are also making good, green jobs a reality for Bostonians. By supporting CERO, you are contributing to an economy of sustainable businesses that can lead our communities to a better future!
Any and all organic material can go in CERO compost containers. This includes but it not limited to the following:
• Spoiled food
• Fruits and vegetables
• Meat, poultry and seafood
• Bones, fat trimmings and eggshells
• Dairy products
• Bread, rice and other grains
• Food soiled paper: coffee filters, tea bags (staples removed), paper napkins and paper towels
• Leaves weeds and grass clippings
• BPI certified compostable liner bags
The following items cannot be composted and therefore CERO cannot accept them:
• Plastics of any kind which includes cups, lids, straws, tableware, gloves, twist ties or strapping
• Plastic-coated disposable paper items which includes coffee cups, plates, bowls, frozen food boxes, etc.
• Waxed or coated cardboard like butter wrappers
• Styrofoam or packing peanuts
• Fabrics like twine or bandages
• hazardous waste
We're so glad you asked. At CERO, we pride ourselves on being the only Boston-based hauler that turns all of the organic material from our customers back into soil at local farms. Other haulers slurry your food scraps with thickening polymers and other chemicals so that they can be digested along with sewage and wastewater effluent. Although electricity can be generated by burning the methane produced through this process, what's left over afterwards (known as the digestate) is not suitable for agricultural use, thus breaking the age-old cycle of nutrients through the food loop. We can do better!
With CERO, the cycle is simple: all of today's food waste returns to the soil to grow tomorrow's food. The farm that ultimately turns your food scraps into compost will vary based on your location, but feel free to reach out to us and ask!
CERO is optimized for commercial scale compost pickup (supermarkets, schools, restaurants, etc.), and as of now we do not provide residential pickup service. If you are interested in residential compost services, check out our friends at Bootstrap.
CERO currently services businesses in the following areas: Boston, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Lawrence, Malden, Medford, Everett, Needham, Newton, Norwood, Somerville, Wellesley, Westwood, Wilmington, and Woburn.
If your location is not within this area, do not fear. Drop us a line and we'll see what we can do!