Cambridge Local First – Local independents partner with Save That Stuff


1369 Coffee House

1369 has been a long-time customer, and a leader in comprehensive food waste diversion in Cambridge. They’ve been separating their coffee grounds and food waste with us, and diverting all single stream recyclables AWAY from the landfill. Starting in February, they will be a full-service partner, and we’re excited to help them manage all materials.

Accomplishments with Save That Stuff:

 In 2014, 1369 diverted over 25 TONS of food waste and coffee grounds away from the landfill. That’s over 50,000 lbs. They set a precedent for Zero Waste coffee shops in Cambridge.



In January of 1993, the 1369 Coffee House opened at 1369 Cambridge Street, in Cambridges Inman Square. The site was the former home of the 1369 Jazz Club, a well known local bar and music venue. In June 1994 we opened a second store in nearby Central Square.

From the beginning, we envisioned 1369 as more than just a place to get coffee. We offer the very best coffees and teas available. We strive to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere and to be an integral part of the community. Many friendships, including several marriages, have developed at 1369. Several books and many theses have been written at our tables. We take pride in being a good neighbor and local gathering place. We are dedicated to maintaining this feeling.

We have been fortunate to be the recipient of many awards and accolades. We continue to pursue our goals in an effort to achieve excellence in all we do. We intend to survive the onslaught of chains and to endure long into the future. We will continue our commitment to our neighborhood and community.

Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage


Accomplishments with Save That Stuff:

We (Save That Stuff) started managing Mr. Bartley’s trash and recycling at the beginning of 2015. In the first month, they have already eliminated 2 trash pickups a week, and increased their cardboard recycling, saving them money and supporting their business’ push towards Zero Waste and more diversion. They have been great to work with, and the burgers aren’t bad either!



“In 1960, Joe and Joan Bartley took over the Harvard Spa, a small convenience store facing Harvard Yard. The plan was simple: perfect the hamburger, the quintessential American sandwich. For years, a small grill accompanied greeting cards and paper goods. As word traveled, the menu took off, and Mr. and Mrs. Bartley’s Burger Cottage became the Harvard Square institution of today.

A perennial recipient of Best of Boston€ awards from The Boston Globe, The Improper Bostonian, and Boston Magazine, the food has been praised by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, and The Food Network. The laundry list of celebrity customers and fans includes Johnny Cash, Jaqueline Onasis, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bill Belichick, Al Pacino, Adam Sandler, Tom Werner, and Katie Couric.

Three generations of the Bartley family have been serving perfect hamburgers for over 48 years. Customers line up down the block each day at lunch for a coveted seat, devouring our homemade burgers, onion rings, sweet potato fries, frappes, and lime rickeys. We serve the freshest beef imaginable and cook it perfectly to order. No one can compete with us in volume of hamburger prepared, so were able to be incredibly demanding of our suppliers. Our perfect onion rings are battered and fried to order.

Bartley’s has a fast-paced, wacky atmosphere. Our dining room looks like a dorm room, filled with posters, bumper stickers, and funny signs. In the summer months, a small outdoor cafe gives diners the chance to people-watch in the sun. Future husbands and wives have met across our signature central table for single diners.

In a time when burger chains frantically try to expand across the country and world with frozen beef and uniform spaces, Bartley’s has a simple aim: one perfect restaurant. After 50 years of honing their menu and ingredients, The Bartley Family has the ability and experience to consistently offer quality the chains simply cannot. Bartley’s didn’t invent the hamburger. We just perfected it.” See More.

Artists In Residence at Save That Stuff & Open House

The Myth Makers

Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein aka The Myth Makers, are contracted to build 5 monumental public art sculptures that will be transported to the Garment District in NYC Sat Jan 3rd. The installation of all 5 sculptures is called Avian Avatars, and will be on view through April 24th 2015. These works of art are built from saplings that reference nature and evoke that natural world. Each one incorporates found objects that create a continuity amongst the 5 sculptures. The found objects locate the pieces in the urban environment and invite a dialogue with the people of NYC i.e. an urban audience. The Myth Makers are excited to work as Artists in Residence courtesy of Save That Stuff, Inc. in Charlestown to bring these sculptures to life. Dodson and Moerlein will be building the sculptures on site, in Save That Stuff’s CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) warehouse in Charlestown.
Avian Avatars are built from renewable and recycled resources. The saplings are harvested in the forest understory from stump regrowth.  The hardwood timber industry leaves abundant stumps that swiftly send up suckers towards the sunlit gaps. These fragile slender saplings are selectively thinned by the Myth Makers, allowing more robust trees to flourish. Tied together with wire ties, the structure of these sculptures has the strength and massive presence of tree trunks, but the lightness and transparency of a sapling thicket.

The collaboration between Moerlein and Dodson is born from a mutual love of the wild. Moerlein takes inspiration from events in the natural world that leave visual marks which strike a narrative chord in the artist. Dodson takes inspiration from the mysterious nature of animals that spark her imagination. Although monumental in scale, these ephemeral works are temporary in nature. Made from natural materials, they are site specific, and respond to their local audience. Meaning to only last 3-5 years, they appear, fade, and disappear, adding a chapter to the life stories in their communities.

Save That Stuff, Inc. is excited to have the Myth Makers at our CHaRM center, as they lend a new take on material reuse. Dodson and Morlein are a self-sufficent duo, and it has been a pleasure intersecting with them on the weekends and seeing the Avian Avatars take shape. As they work and weave with the saplings, the material literally takes on a new life.

Though this is an unusual partnership for a recycling company, we support new and creative routes to thinking about the materials we encounter in the everyday, and helping a public audience to engage with their surroundings, the natural environment, and recycled & reused materials.

Open House
December 20th.
Save That Stuff, Down East Cider, Charlestown Navy Yard,  and others!
M.Makers Poised

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Watch when cool things come through our MRF (Materials Recovery Facility), see what we process, and what’s new in the recycling industry.



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MA Organics Waste Ban – Goes In Effect TODAY!

Why Should YOU Compost? MA Organics Waste Ban

This summer has been abuzz about composting and organic waste diversion in leading cities across the nation.


Today, October 1, 2014, marks the day that Massachusetts Commercial Organics Waste Ban goes into effect. After more than two years of planning, the day has arrived!

What does this ban have to do with YOU?

This ban is the first in the nation of its kind. It establishes regulations for commercial generators of organic and food wastes. The regulations require that any institution that generates over 1 TON (2,000 lbs) of food waste per week divert the material from the landfill, and from incineration.

Org waste

The regulation will affect mainly institutions, colleges and universities, hospitals, supermarkets, hotels, nursing homes, corrections centers, and food processing/service companies. It will also affect property managers and building owners of properties where waste from multiple food-waste generating tenants/spaces (restaurants, cafes, office kitchenettes) are aggregated at a final point of waste collection.


In total, the disposal ban affects approximately 1,700 businesses and institutions. Though it does not affect smaller restaurants, cafes, office buildings (below the 2,000 lb/week threshold), we are seeing A LOT of businesses gaining interest on getting ahead of the composting curve. Residents are jumping on board too!


“The food waste ban provides a win-win-win-win-win-win for residents and businesses in the Commonwealth,” said MassDEP Commissioner David W. Cash. “It will reduce waste, save money on disposal costs, create renewable energy, cut emissions from fossil fuel use, produce a rich fertilizer for farm use, and grow jobs and stimulate the economy.”

More Resources on the Organics Waste Ban: 

  1. EOEEA Press release from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Patrick administration.
  2. New MassDEP website – MANY relevant resources from the MA Department of Environmental Protection and RecyclingWorks.
  3. BioCycle Magazine article – insights on successful organic waste diversion and collection. Featuring: segment on Save That Stuff! 
  4. Boston Globe magazine article – “Massachusetts’s new composting rules: What they really mean.”


The majority of the food waste Save That Stuff collects is processed into high-quality, nutrient-rich compost at Brick Ends Farm, in Hamilton, MA. The final product is re-sold under the Kidz-B-Kidz brand, and proceeds support youth arts programing.

Kidz B Kidz

One of the first steps towards diversion is to think of waste as potential RESOURCES.

Depending on how YOU divert, the food waste you dispose can support agriculture in Boston!

Help support this next step towards our One Goal. Zero Waste. 


Read more about Save That Stuff’s composting and organic waste diversion programs.

Contact us to talk about setting up composting at your business.
(617) 241-9998




Boston Green Academy – Building Community with Recycled Art and Solar-Powered Lanterns

Building BGA community with recycled art and solar-powered lanterns

Boston Green Academy celebrated Summer Reading on September 5th with an event called “Making Our Mark @ BGA.” During the summer, BGA students and staff read about people from six countries who have created electricity in innovative ways using local, recycled materials to harness solar and wind energy.

Our sixth, ninth, and tenth graders also used local, recycled materials — generously donated by Extras for Creative Reuse in Lynn and Save That Stuff in Charlestown — to create a BGA sign for the front foyer of the Taft Building — our new home. Thanks to expert guidance from VSA teaching artists, we have a beautiful entryway!

Meanwhile, the eleventh and twelfth graders created solar-powered lanterns with our physics and engineering teacher, Erica Wilson, and BGA Board member Chris Stokes.

Here are some photos from the day. Thanks to everyone who helped out!

Lucas Hall, Library Teacher, BGA


Boston University Environmentalists Visit STS

I was elbow-deep in tomato sauce when I realized that some people really don’t know how to recycle. At my feet I found banana peels and exploded bottles of vinaigrette dressing and fiberglass insulation. The mess before me opened my eyes as well as my nose to the fact we need better waste management systems  and public education.

Together with my First Year Student Outreach Program colleagues from Boston University, I have worked today at Save That Stuff, Inc. to help out at the plant and learn about different recycling systems. In a study to find out if machinery to sort single-stream recycling on site is worth the cost, we sorted through two dump-loads of this material. The numbers just aren’t adding up. Obviously non-recyclable items (ahem, food waste) were mixed in with the various papers, plastics, and scrap metals that we were looking to extract. However with a little public effort, this problem can be eliminated.

Besides working to better recycling on site, Save That Stuff, Inc. is taking on a whole new concept of reuse and conservation. Oyster shells are the new wave; by collecting the discarded shells from local Bostonian restaurants, workers at Save That Stuff are able to cure them over a one-year process that allows the shells to be reintroduced into the ocean, increasing the species reproduction rate. These shells weigh forty pounds per five-gallon bucket; many of said buckets were spray-painted by our group throughout the day. Rather than sitting in a landfill, the shells are now used to better the environment and make for a more sustainable food source.

Working on site has been impactful in that we all now understand the work that goes into the recycling process and the importance of public education. Plainly, if people give us garbage, they will get garbage back. Waste material must be separated properly and responsibly to be of use. I know that I for one will be more careful about what goes into my recycling bin …..will you?


By Shannon Linder, Boston University 2018

COMPOSTING is GROWING – From Cambridge to California: Developing collection infrastructure for compostables


From Cambridge to California: Developing collection infrastructure for compostable’s. 

The infrastructure for source-separated food waste collection and diversion in major cities is growing, and the Boston area is quickly catching up. Little do most people know, Boston and surrounding cities have been developing better infrastructure for food waste recycling, nutrient capture, and urban agriculture since the early 2000’s, along side the city’s waste diversion and recycling efforts.

Save That Stuff was one of the first organic waste haulers in the state of Massachusetts, and has remained on the forefront of best practices in organics waste collection. In 2006, STS developed an organics collection route in partnership with the City of Cambridge, to help public schools responsibly divert their food scraps.  The City had concrete goals of reducing solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions. The City has since developed a range of programs to divert food scraps from the trash bin.

STS compost 3

The City of Cambridge runs a food scrap drop off program for residents. In 2013 the City of Cambridge and Boston piloted a successful drop off program at summer farmer’s markets. And in April 2014, Cambridge kicked off a residential curbside collection pilot with 500-800 households, and to date captures ~85% of food scraps from the trash from participating households.

In October, 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will implement the Commercial Organics Waste Ban. This law will require large generators of food and biodegradable discards to divert the material alternatives other than landfill and incineration.

These are exciting times. Much is happening in the Greater Boston Area to develop robust infrastructure for collecting and responsibly managing compostables. Processing of food scraps ranges from high-value products for local agricultural to energy production from anaerobic digestion.

Join us for a FREE Webinar to hear more on organics diversion practices from Cupertino, California to Cambridge, Massachusetts!
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 1:00pm – 2:30pm EDT
More info HERE
Register today!

Speakers include:

Randi Mail, Recycling Director, Cambridge, MA

Cheri Donnelly, Environmental Programs Manager, Cupertino Public Works Department, Cupertino, CA

STS compost

Challenge for Sustainability – Kick Off!

This is the second year that Save That Stuff has been a participant in A Better City’s Challenge for Sustainability. On January 24, 2014, Save That Stuff joined Boston business and building leaders at the 2014 Challenge for Sustainability Kick-Off.

Looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency in support of the City of Boston’s aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020, Save That Stuff, Inc. is participating in A Better City’s Challenge for Sustainability. The program engages businesses to adopt best practices in sustainability and energy efficiency through a platform of benchmarking and a peer support network to reduce their carbon footprint.


Recently launching its fifth year, Save That Stuff, Inc. joins more than 100 of Boston’s leading businesses and building owners including Boston Properties, Equity Office, John Hancock, Nixon Peabody, Nutter McClennan & Fish, Putnam Investments, and the Sheraton Boston Hotel to reduce energy use and increase our overall sustainability.

Boston’s business leaders are committed to making Boston a sustainability leader’s said Rick Dimino, President & CEO of A Better City. They know that energy efficiency improvements have a direct impact on their bottom line, make Boston more competitive, attract environmental and energy conscious tenants, and appeal to a young, skilled workforce that places a high priority on sustainability.

Over the last three years, participants in the Challenge for Sustainability have realized an aggregated 4% reduction in kWh, totaling more than 14 million kWh in 2012 – enough to power 1,300 homes for a year! Let’s see what we can achieve together at Save That Stuff in 2014!

Challenge for Sust

Recycling With Art In Mind

Here at Save That Stuff, Inc. we have been discussing starting up an artist in residence program.

As a locally-owned recycling and waste management company, we care to take an active role in finding imaginative ways of processing the materials Boston’s commercial sector disposes as waste.€ And many of the companies we work with also want to see something more happen to their discards than waste-to-energy or land-filling.

We have been inspired by artist in residence programs at other recycling centers around the nation. Both RAIR in Philadelphia, and Recology in San Francisco, engage artists to take a creative and critical approach to reusing materials that end up at local recycling centers.

Over the past 10 years, Save That Stuff has grown to take in a diverse range of materials for recycling and repurposing. Over the years, we’ve partnered with groups like Extras For Creative Reuse in an effort to extend the life of reusable materials that come to our facility.

A next step for us is to be a resource for an artistic community in the Greater Boston Area. We’d like to see some of the hard to recycle items we have serve artists with raw materials for creative works.

A few weeks ago, Save That Stuff hosted a tour for a group of students led by Jane D. Marsching, associate professor at the MassArt Studio Foundation. The students were enthusiastic about the range of materials that come through Save That Stuff.


MassArt students hold onto their recently-acquired treasures, accompanied by professor Jane D. Marsching and Save That Stuff president and founder Erik Levy.

Students discover a box of materials in Save That Stuff’s Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM): MassArt

Erik: Everyone take as many as you want. You can come back.
Student 1: This is a Mecca right here.€
Student 2: Yes!

We do not yet have the resources to offer space on-site for an actual residency program. We hope to start with small partnerships, where Save That Stuff will provide the materials to artists or other community organizations to create sculptures, public installations, and more! We’re excited to see how a program will evolve.

Will it Break Down in a Landfill? Compost and Zero Waste in Boston

Hello all!

This is Matt Messer, Save That Stuff’s Account Manager. I’m a research junkie and I’ve had a question that’s been bothering me. My research and my findings are something I feel you may be interested in.

If compost can break down on its own, why shouldn’t we just send it to a landfill via our trash?

A friend of mine, working for Harvest Power, recently answered this question.

First off, let’s make sure we know the key terms. Aerobic digestion involves a breakdown in the presence of oxygen and anaerobic digestion simply means without oxygen.

When our organic waste goes into landfills (via our trash bins), it sits under piles of trash indefinitely. This effectively creates a vacuum and the organic waste breaks down without oxygen. When food breaks down like this (anaerobically) , it creates methane, a greenhouse gas that is 23x more environmentally damaging than CO2!

Big picture fact: America throws away more than 30 million tons of food waste per year. That food waste is responsible for 34% of ALL methane emissions in the US.



When your organic waste is hauled by Save That Stuff to one of our partner farms like Brick Ends Farm in Hamilton, it is broken down aerobically into compost. This way, the food does not rot and methane is not released.

In a future blog post, I delve into the second reason composting makes you or your business an environmental superstar. As always, this information is new to me and I value your comments. Please let me know if I’ve missed something or misstated and I’ll make the appropriate corrections!


Recycle on,
Matt Messer, Account Manager
LEED Green Associate