Phyllis Theermann

You can easily turn your food waste/compost into biogas by collecting it and bringing it to Wellesley’s own Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF). Now that is renewable energy!

Wellesley residents are invited to participate in a food waste drop off program at the RDF that’s intended to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfills by making composting more convenient for residents.

The three-month pilot, part of a series of initiatives conducted by Wellesley’s 3R(Reduce Reuse Recycle) Working Group, will help the town determine if there’s enough interest to permanently offer the program. The 3R Working Group includes the Department of Public Works, the NRC and the Sustainable Energy Committee.

Food waste starter kit.

As participation in the pilot is on a first-come, first-served basis, interested residents are encouraged to sign up NOW. All participants will receive:

-A free starter kit, paid for by Dept. of Environmental Protection grants, that includes a counter-top compost bucket, compostable bag liners and a container for transporting your food waste to the RDF

-A program tutorial

– Information on acceptable food waste items and those items that are not accepted

Participants will bring their waste-filled bags to a container located in the RDF trash drop off area.  The collected food waste will go to an anaerobic digester to be turned into biogas. Pilot program participants will also be asked to complete follow up feedback surveys.

All enrolled participants can pick up their starter kits at the RDF. The food waste drop off area will be open during regular RDF hours.

Looking to add some positivity and informative posts into your Instagram feed? Follow us on Instagram @sustainablewellesley.

We love pictures of green initiatives or anything outdoors! Send us your pictures or tag us using our very own hashtag #sustainwellesley to be featured on our page! Big thanks to Emily C. for this!

Phyllis Theermann

Last week, Sustainable Wellesley — with 84 other environmental, civic, housing, health, faith organizations and businesses representing tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents — co signed a letter to Chairman Barrett, Chairman Golden, and members of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy urging them to approve legislation that will expand solar energy and ensure that its benefits are available to all. Excerpts from the letter are below. To learn more and get involved on the State level, please email info@SustainableWellesley.com.

“Solar energy has grown rapidly in recent years, with more than 300 times as much solar capacity installed today as in 2007. Thanks to supportive state policies as well as the efforts of countless families, businesses, institutions and municipalities, Massachusetts has emerged as a national leader for solar energy. We are seeing the benefits of solar energy all around us. Solar is helping to clean up our air and protect our health from dangerous fossil fuel pollution.

We are emitting less carbon dioxide and other climate-altering pollution, which contributes to rising sea levels, more severe storms, and other impacts of global warming.

Cities and towns are reducing their municipal electric bills and saving money for their residents by installing solar panels on capped landfills, brownfields, and rooftops. Nonprofits and affordable housing organizations are switching to solar to stabilize their energy costs and invest more of their resources in serving their communities.

According to MassCEC, more than 18,000 Massachusetts residents are now working for solar companies, a number that will grow with continued policy leadership from state officials.

For all of the progress we have made, we have still tapped only a small fraction of Massachusetts’ solar potential. To maximize the benefits to our environment, our health, and our communities, we should accelerate the growth of solar energy and ensure that everyone in Massachusetts has access to its benefits.

Unfortunately, the caps on net metering are preventing families, businesses, nonprofits and local government from switching to solar power. Although the Legislature acted last year to raise the caps, the increase was insufficient to accommodate continued solar growth. As a result, communities served by National Grid and Unitil, as well as Western Massachusetts communities served by Eversource, have once again seen solar projects stall due to the caps.

Additionally, the 40 percent cut in the value of net metering credits, adopted by the Legislature when it raised the net metering caps last session, is making it harder for many to switch to solar. This adverse impact is particularly severe for affordable housing providers, low-income families, renters, and others who are unable to install solar panels on the roofs of their homes….

Specifically, we recommend taking the following steps:
1. Eliminate the caps on net metering. Absent an elimination of net metering caps, they should be lifted by no less than 5 percentage points for public and private projects, to provide certainty for solar projects over the coming year.
2. Restore the full value of net metering credits, particularly for projects that benefit low-to-moderate income communities. For the long term, we also support a thorough and transparent process to study and adopt a “value of solar”
methodology that fairly accounts for all of the benefits that solar provides as well as the costs.
3. Set aside a portion of any future solar incentive program to benefit low-income communities and renters.
4. Allow net metering”