Episode 43: Unveiling the Invisible: PFAS and Compost


Embark on a revealing journey as Gretchen, Waneta, and Andrew Brousseau of Black Earth Compost delve into PFAS.  Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances, or PFAS, is a group of human-made chemicals found in countless everyday items that has permeated our daily lives for decades. Learn about the sources of PFAS, the challenges this group of substances presents to waste disposal, and the broader environmental impacts. Stay tuned for insights into recent advances in regulating PFAS in compostables, including the success story of Black Earth Compost. Get informed, stay engaged, and discover how positive changes are reshaping our relationship with this pervasive substance. 

Episode 43: Unveiling the Invisible: PFAS and Compost2023-10-04T14:30:34+00:00

Episode 42: Demolition vs. Deconstruction: Careful Practices for a Sustainable Future


Woodbridge Project Team at Rockland Psychiatric Center demolition. Future Data Center. Photo Credit: STO Building Group   Join Waneta and Gretchen as they delve into deconstruction and mercury with Mike Orbank from STO Building Group and Danielle Myers of the Thermostat Recycling Corporation. Ever wondered about the environmental impact of construction waste? Embodied carbon vs emissions? Curious about how we can make a difference through strategic choices? Explore the paradigm shift from traditional demolition to the meticulous art of deconstruction. Tune in to discover the power of careful planning, material separation, the ingenious reclamation of off cuts, and how [...]

Episode 42: Demolition vs. Deconstruction: Careful Practices for a Sustainable Future2023-08-29T20:21:11+00:00

Episode 40: Sustainability on Campus: 2023 Edition


In this episode, Waneta and Gretchen are joined by four experts who have dedicated their careers to reducing waste and promoting sustainability on college campuses. Laurie Simmons of UMass Amherst, Sue Higgins of Northeastern University, Sarah Healey of Boston University, and Rob Gogan, retired from Harvard, share their insights on waste reduction, recycling, and creative reuse programs.  Join us as we explore the innovative programs and initiatives that are creating a culture of environmental responsibility that is making a difference on college campuses in Massachusetts.

Episode 40: Sustainability on Campus: 2023 Edition2023-04-28T12:21:29+00:00

Episode 39: The Recycling Miracle: MassDEP’s RecycleSmart


In 2018, China National Sword cut off imports of foreign recyclables and brought recycling in the US to a screeching halt.  In Massachusetts, MassDEP created RecycleSmart: the one stop resource to turn the Wild Wild West of recycling collections into material streams that could be processed domestically.   Janice Paré, Municipal Recycling Analyst at MassDEP, talks with Waneta and Gretchen about the endless resource that is RecycleSmart and its Recyclopedia.  Is your recycling actually being recycled? Yes, you can even see where it goes by zip code!  What gets in the way of recycling, and what poses a danger to the people [...]

Episode 39: The Recycling Miracle: MassDEP’s RecycleSmart2023-02-21T16:51:06+00:00

Episode 38: An Insider’s View of Recycling, Solid Waste, and Pollution Prevention.


Pull up a chair and join Gretchen and Waneta in conversation with Terri Goldberg.  Terri has had an extensive career in recycling, solid waste, and pollution prevention.  She is retiring from her role as Executive Director of the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEMOWA).  Join us for this unique opportunity to venture into her decades of knowledge.   Misinformation about plastics: how did we get here?  Eco anxiety.  Obstacles to recycling progress.  PFAS, toxics, and their role in circularity.  We talk about it all, in this episode.

Episode 38: An Insider’s View of Recycling, Solid Waste, and Pollution Prevention.2023-01-18T14:36:28+00:00

Episode 37: Lithium Batteries: Blowing Up!


Lithium batteries are exploding in popularity, and literally exploding. Gretchen and Waneta welcome Stan Walczak, Rob Gogan, and Dave Ditata, to discuss the dangers of batteries in the waste stream. Stan Walczak is Facility Manager of ReSource Waste Services, Rob Gogan is retired Recycling and Waste Services Manager for Harvard University, and Dave Ditata is Fuel Superintendent at SEMASS Covanta. Each share their unique experience with these incendiary devices in the waste world. Lithium ion batteries can erupt and burn violently if punctured. This is incredibly dangerous for anyone in the waste industry. Despite the dramatic hazard that rechargeable batteries pose, proper collection is [...]

Episode 37: Lithium Batteries: Blowing Up!2022-12-08T13:47:33+00:00

Episode 36: Simplify the Holidays & Reduce Waste – a Re-Release for 2022


Gretchen and Waneta talk with Kelley Dennings of the Center for Biological Diversity about simplifying the holidays and reducing waste. They discuss top holiday waste generators, alternative gift ideas, hosting and decorating, the role of public policy, and the perceived barriers to celebrating with fewer material items. Should you buy a fake or real Christmas tree? Is wrapping paper recyclable? All this and more, in this lively conversation. Find Kelley Dennings at kdennings@biologicaldiversity.org Great ideas, tools, and information can be found at https://simplifytheholidays.org

Episode 36: Simplify the Holidays & Reduce Waste – a Re-Release for 20222022-11-16T21:49:18+00:00

Episode 35: Textile Recycling


The MassDEP Waste Disposal Bans are quickly approaching, and MassRecycle has resources for you. In this episode, Waneta and Gretchen interview four textile vendors that take used items and recycle, upcycle, repurpose, or divert them for reuse. Epilepsy Foundation New England, Helpsy, Baystate Textiles, and CMRK, Inc each have a unique operating model that allows them to divert materials from the waste stream while giving back to the communities they serve. 

Episode 35: Textile Recycling2022-10-12T17:37:03+00:00

Episode 34: The Mining Act of 1872: still enforced and even worse than you think


Robin Ingethron and Aaron Mintzes join Waneta and Gretchen to discuss the Mining Act of 1872.  This historic push to populate the West with white settlers continues to subsidize extraction and while making it nearly impossible to legally limit mining.  Robin Ingethron is CEO of Good Point Recycling and founder of Fair Trade Recycling. Aaron Mintzes Senior Policy Counsel at Earthworks. Both work to educate the public and reform policy that harms people and the environment.  Recycling is in direct opposition to mining; reuse of materials rather than extraction of virgin materials. Yet, misinformation has convinced many that recycling is not [...]

Episode 34: The Mining Act of 1872: still enforced and even worse than you think2022-07-26T18:39:28+00:00
Go to Top