Casella Waste Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that UMass Lowell was recently honored for their leadership in sustainability at the inaugural Casella Sustainability Leadership Award Ceremony.

UMass Lowell was honored as the 2020 Innovator of the Year for advancing resource sustainability by embracing innovative solutions.

“It gives us a sense of great pride to honor the entire UMass Lowell team for their leadership and outstanding work in advancing sustainability,” said John W. Casella, Chairman and CEO. “We hope that by bringing attention to their efforts, others will be inspired by their passion, commitment, and success.”

UMass Lowell was among 30 Casella customers, including municipalities, colleges and universities, industrial manufacturers, food and beverage producers, and others nominated for their efforts. Winners were chosen by a panel of Casella executives and sustainability experts, including True Zero Waste Advisors, who evaluated each nominee on several criteria.

“We are encouraged continuously to be innovative and to try new ideas at UMass Lowell, and the fact that we're recognized for that today, I think is really reflective of the culture that exists at our University,” said Ruairi O’Mahony, Director of Sustainability at UML. “Casella has been a tremendous partner since the beginning and really helped us advance our sustainability program, and we look forward to continuing to do more innovative projects as we move forward.”

Organics have been a high priority on campus and UMass Lowell has collaborated with Casella to establish food waste collection across 13 locations. When Casella approached UMass Lowell about the potential for onsite food waste processing from InSinkErator Grind2Energy, they installed not only one machine, but two, becoming the second university in the country to adopt the technology. Other innovations have included: a closed loop bagged compost program, compost for campus gardens, and an early-stage program for recycling plastic from research labs.

“We’ve spent more than 45 years working towards a more sustainable future, and as we strive to help our customers reach their sustainability goals it is an honor to recognize their collective efforts. The customers and communities we have the privilege of serving are leading the way and inspiring others to live and work more sustainability and that continues to be the most rewarding part of our work,” Casella said.

View all of the 2020 Casella Sustainable Leadership Award Winners