What is the National Sword?

By Kevin Pink, Program Specialist

What is the National Sword?

You may have heard the phrases “national sword” or “green sword” in the news lately. It is a policy in China that has banned the importation of certain types of solid waste, as well as set strict contamination limits on recyclable materials. This means that China will not accept shipments that are mixed with trash, the wrong type of recyclable, or low-quality recyclables like greasy paper goods. The policy was announced in July 2017, and the ban officially began January 1, 2018. In addition to the bans, China is reducing the number of import licenses, meaning that fewer businesses will be able to import waste.

Why does it matter?

China has been the world’s biggest importer of waste for decades. China has imported paper, plastic, and scrap metal from other nations and processed these materials for reuse in the products they produce for export. However, the implementation of National Sword has reduced the rate at which these materials are imported. This has created significant logjams in the international recycling system, resulting in recycled material piling up at materials recycling facilities (MRFs) or worse, into landfills. This is effecting recycling efforts in the United States and abroad.

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Announcing: Solar Access | Affordable Home Heating

Solar Access Massachusetts family

Paulina is a participant in the Solar Access program. Here she is with her children outside their home.

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new program: Solar Access! With support from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Department of Energy Resources, we are able to offer affordable, renewable energy for your community.

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Spring Clean Your House: Reuse and Recycle Your Old Furniture!

By Avery Cross, Green Business Fellow

trash heap

According to the EPA, approximately 8.5 million tons of furniture waste is sent to landfills each year, even though many of these items are still usable, either as parts or as a whole. With limited landfill capacity – that’s an incredible waste of space! Additionally, throwing out furniture for disposal demands more energy and resources as new furniture is produced and transported to replace it – emitting associated greenhouse gasses in the process. Rather than sending unwanted furniture to the landfill, we can reuse and recycle it.

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Celebrate Earth Month with CET

By Willow Cohn, Community Outreach and Education Fellow

Have you been wondering what events to attend to celebrate Earth Month? Well, wonder no more! CET’s Outreach Team will be attending these great events below. We will be discussing many of our programs including: how to go green with a no-cost home energy assessment, how to start investing in local, renewable energy, tips on starting you own composting system, and great Electric Vehicle rebate programs, just to name a few. Every sustainable action counts! Happy Earth Month!

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What is the Zero Waste Lifestyle?

Go Zero Waste with a Reusable Water BottleBy Morgan O’Connor, Marketing & High Performance Building EcoFellow

Zero Waste is a movement to reduce the amount one consumes and consequently throws away. Adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle is one of the most sustainable ways of living. Zero Waste lifestyle choices influence all environmental areas by preventing resource extraction, reducing the amount of materials sent to the landfill or incinerator, and reducing pollution from producing, transporting, or disposing of materials.

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