Daily News

Center for EcoTechnology Receives Environmental Merit Award

NORTHAMPTON — The Center for EcoTechnology was recognized this week at the 2016 Environmental Merit Awards ceremony of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) New England regional office. The Center for EcoTechnology was among three dozen recipients across New England honored for helping to improve New England’s environment.

“I could not be more proud of the efforts of the Center for EcoTechnology in conjunction with our partners,” said President John Majercak. “We decided to make an active effort to reduce food waste, and it’s tremendous to see the impact that focus has had.”

The Center for EcoTechnology was noted for being a leader and pioneer in food recovery in Massachusetts, most recently through its partnership with the state Department of Environmental Protection to offer RecyclingWorks MA. Wasted food makes up the largest component of our country’s municipal solid waste and accounts for the largest portion of its methane emissions, making wasted food a significant environmental issue. In addition, reducing food losses by just 15% could feed more than 25 million Americans each year, according to the National Resources Defense Council.

Each year since 1970, EPA New England has recognized individuals and groups in the six New England states who have worked to protect or improve the region’s environment in distinct ways.

“We are proud to honor those citizens, businesses, and organizations who have gone the extra mile to help protect and preserve our region’s natural resources,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “These New England award winners are committed to making our towns, cities, and countryside of New England healthy, vibrant places with clean air, land, and water.”

The Center for EcoTechnology, along with RecyclingWorks, has spearheaded collaborative efforts to address and divert wasted food by helping hundreds of food-waste processors, recovery agencies, haulers, and thousands of businesses divert wasted food and build a strong industry to comply with the state’s food-waste disposal ban. The center recently expanded its work to Connecticut to replicate strategies tested in Massachusetts. Since 2012, the Center for EcoTechnology has helped businesses divert 20,389 tons of wasted organics, including wasted food, annually.