Recycling reduces the total amount of waste generated by a conference. Conference organizers should place recycling bins in common areas, clearly label which types of materials can be recycled in each bin, and when possible, post volunteers at each recycling station to direct conference attendees to recycling locations. Purchasing compostable, biodegradable, recyclable and recycled items increases the percentage of material that can be diverted from the waste stream.
Waste not recycled generally goes to landfills or is incinerated. These two options produce greenhouse gases and potentially release harmful pollution into the air, groundwater and soil. Recycling diverts waste from the landfill or incinerator and captures resources that can be remanufactured into new items. For example, manufacturing a new aluminum can typically takes 90 percent more energy than making it from recycled aluminum. Recycled bottles and cans also receive a cash rebate from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Read more about the benefits of recycling a percentage of conference waste.
Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice
- Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates
Examples of Boston Area Businesses Recycling Conference Waste:
A Small Sample of Recycling Service Providers around Boston:
- National Recycling Coalition: Green Meetings Policy
- EPA: Green Meetings
- MassDEP: Waste Ban Brochure 2014
In The News
- “Our foam cups runneth over” Boston Globe, November 2010
- “EPA’s ‘Greening’ of Brownfields National Conference in Boston Yields Major Recycling, Waste Reduction Effort” EPA, November 2006
- “It’s Easy Being Green! A Guide to Planning and Conducting Environmentally Aware Meetings and Events” GreenBiz, February 2006