When city employees gather today for their annual holiday appreciation lunch, they may be thinking about the saying, “waste not, want not” in a new way.
That’s because, in Mayor James J. Fiorentini’s words, it is going to be City Hall’s “greenest celebration ever.” The approximately 50 employees will eat off compostable plates made of sugar cane and be served with washable and reusable stainless-steel chafing dishes, serving utensils, foil trays and utensils.
“Ideally, every item that a guest sits down to eat with will be compostable,” Gunther Wellenstein, the city’s recycling and solid waste manager, said. Officials explain that besides the plates, bowls, hot- and cold-cups and utensils are biodegradable. Wellenstein added, “We will bring bags and carts for the all the compostable material so there will be no need for trash cans or recycling bins. And we will have a cart for rinsed aluminum serving trays, foil, soda bottles and large water jugs.”
Locally businesses are helping out with local farmer, Tyler Kimball, accepting the composting material and food waste at no charge and local restaurants Olivia’s and Chicken Connection providing reusable serving items.
State Department of Environmental Protection money was used to purchase the compostable materials.
A statement says, “The ‘green’ holiday event is a symbol of the city’s ongoing efforts to enact environmentally-friendly policies and programs, including installing energy efficient lighting and other equipment in city schools and public buildings, purchasing fuel efficient and electric vehicles and adopting environmentally responsible building regulations and measures to conserve electricity and gas usage.”