News Announcement

ACES Supports City’s Towards Zero Waste Program

The ACES plan has two phases in its initiative to increase composting in the city.

Photo by Black Earth Composting
Participating Allies

Waste disposal presents an increasing problem for municipalities across Massachusetts. Landfills are full and closing, incinerators are near 100% capacity, and a degree of Massachusetts waste is being shipped out of state which is costly.

“One of our most significant challenges for society and our community is disposing of the ever-increasing volume of waste of all forms”

Newburyport’s Energy and Recycling Manager, Molly Ettenborough.

Waste disposal presents an increasing problem for municipalities across Massachusetts. Landfills are full and closing, incinerators are near 100% capacity, and a degree of Massachusetts waste is being shipped out of state which is costly. Present methods are inadequate to meet the daunting future challenges. Because this is a problem that affects current and future generations, we need to address it now. 

The Alliance of Climate and Environmental Stewards (ACES) has developed a plan to support Newburyport’s Toward Zero Waste Program by highlighting practical solutions to meet this challenge.

Presently, 25% - 50% of waste that ends at our landfills shouldn’t even be there - organic, decomposable waste that takes up space and if improperly disposed of, produces toxic methane and higher disposal costs.  Each of us can be part of the solution. We can significantly reduce this problem by composting all organic waste - the food scraps from our tables, the filters from our coffee, and leaves from our backyard. 

Currently, 600 Newburyport households use Black Earth, a company that picks up your compost “curbside”.

The cost for this weekly pickup program is only $1.89/week. Most people use a 13 gallon latchable bin (13" w x 13" l x 27" h) with locking lid and wheels available from Black Earth for $24.00 with biodegradable bag inserts. People simply place their organic items in the bin and place the bin on the curb weekly. In addition, a number of residents also drop off compostable waste at a designated location in Newburyport free of charge, and about 100 Earth Machines (composting bins) have been and can be purchased at a discount from the City. 

A recent survey of Newburyport residents indicates there is an opportunity to increase awareness about composting and the number of composters citywide. Survey results also show a willingness among some non-composters to pay for a curbside composting service.

ACES BOD member and project co-leader Sarah Hall, suggests that “by working with the population of composters across the City we can increase composting more widely. We have launched an awareness and education campaign about the benefits for Newburyport residents, as well as businesses and nonprofits connected to the City’s waste disposal contract. Our desire is to maximize participation in the “COMPOST for a Healthier Newburyport program”. 

The ACES plan has two phases in its initiative to increase composting in the city.

The phase 1 goal is for at least 900 residential households, nonprofits, and businesses participating in the City waste disposal contract to regularly practice composting - an increase of about 50% - by June 2021.

The goals of phase 2 will reflect lessons learned and be based on the collaboration of the Mayor's office with the City Council and relevant City departments to develop appropriate policies for composting at the residential, non-profit and commercial entity levels.

Molly urges our participation, “We thank the current residents who are already composting and encourage all others to review this guide and make a decision to participate in the ‘COMPOST for a Healthier Newburyport’ program in the way that works best for you and your family”. With just a few minutes every day, composting your organic waste can benefit not only your city and state, but also the entire world. 


Should anyone have any questions or want to help promote this program, contact Sam Cooper at samcooper821@gmail.com or acesnewburyport@gmail.com


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Sam Cooper

A senior at Newburyport High School, Sam is the president of the school's Interact Club and involved with other impactful clubs and activities. His contributions to a variety of ACES projects since joining as an intern in the summer of 2019 are a testament to his enthusiasm for environmental stewardship and playing a key role in the development of the ACES Youth Corps.

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