#CICGetsGreen: Where does our waste go?  

In honor of green industry and innovation month, we’d like to shine a quick spotlight on CIC’s internal efforts to go green!

Two small but mighty CIC crews, the Planeteers and the Kitchens Team, are jointly leading a grassroots effort to institutionalize the 3 “R’s” – Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle – within CIC’s day-to-day operations. Below you will find a quick reference guide on some of the current initiatives.

If you haven’t heard about CIC’s Green Innovation Industry Night yet, check us out on Wednesday to learn more about our green and sustainable community at CIC! 




Our fabulous kitchens team works hard to source bulk items that reduce the overall waste of stocking our kitchens.


Our kitchens and ops teams prioritize buying and stocking local products when possible. A few highlights include 88 Acres bars, MEM tea, and our almonds and peanuts, which come from the Superior Nut Company.




At all new CIC sites, we are building out our kitchen spaces with dishwashers and stocking them with a bounty of reusable plates, mugs, bowls, and utensils.


We do our best to buy the longest-lasting, highest quality furniture and fixtures for our spaces. By investing up front, we save in the long term. For the items we can’t keep, we divert waste through giveaways and donations.



For the items we haven’t been able to reduce consumption of, we do our best to ensure we are diverting as much waste as possible.


Our team has linked up with the locally-based nonprofit Proyecto Chispa to divert both e-waste and scrap metal from the trash. Proyecto Chispa receives 50% of the proceeds from all e-waste donations and uses those funds to purchase new electronics for orphans in Nepal and across Latin America.

Moreover, all these electronics are disposed of by Surplus Technology Solutions, a company that abides by national security regulations for data destruction. Reach out to your community team with questions!


In Cambridge, our team works with the local cooperative CERO to divert food waste and other compostable items through their full organic recycling program.

On the other side of the river in Boston, we have started small with a micro-level zero-waste initiative led by BeanTrust’s Erik Modahl to bring coffee grounds to Boston’s City Hall gardens.


Our design team works to outfit all new spaces with energy efficient LED lights whenever possible and we’re also currently pursuing LED retrofits on some of our older spaces. For the remaining fluorescent bulbs, we ensure they are recycled using the RecyclePak made by Veolia Supply.


We recycle lithium metal batteries via Proyecto Chispa, but we also go the extra mile and recycle their alkaline kin (even though municipal waste programs actually permit throwing these out) via the Big Green Box company! Visit your community team office to learn more or drop off your used alkaline batteries.


It turns out innovators push a lot of paper and do a lot of printing! Luckily, we ensure our toner cartridges are properly recycled using Sharp’s toner recycling program.

By Emma Wright, our community specialist at CIC Boston. 

From CIC Innovation Boston Cambridge