FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are three big reasons:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 parters. 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, including:
- dairy products and eggshells
- fruits and vegetables
- meat, poultry, and seafood
- Also, bones and fat trimmings
- bread, rice and other grains
- even spoiled food
All food soiled paper including:
- coffee grounds and filters
- paper napkins and paper towels
- tea bags (please remove staples!)
Other materials including:
- leaves, weeds and grass clippings
- BPI Certified compostable liner bags
- dairy products and eggshells
The following items cannot be composted, and therefore CERO cannot accept them:
- NO plastics of any kind, including: cups, lids, straws, tableware, gloves, twist ties or strapping
- ALSO, NO plastic-coated disposable paper products, such as coffee cups, plates, bowls, frozen food boxes, etc.
- NOTHING waxed or coated cardboard, like butter wrappers
- NO metal of any kind
- NO glass of any kind
- NO Styrofoam or packing peanuts
- NO fabrics, like twine or bandages
- NO hazardous wastes
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.