Signature Boston Blog
More Sustainable Convention Centers - Giving Back to the Boston Community

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) and its partners from ABM had the opportunity to tour Save That Stuff in Charlestown, MA. Founded in 1990 by Erik Levy, Save That Stuff is a waste collection facility that offers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional waste disposal methods. Save That Stuff helps educational and governmental institutions like the MCCA uphold commitments to corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and cost control. The MCCA has worked with Save That Stuff for 10 years to reduce our convention centers’ recyclable waste. In a typical year, the MCCA recycles an average of 774 tons between the Hynes and the BCEC with Save That Stuff!


In this article, we highlight some of the innovative ways in which Save That Stuff repurposes waste:

Save That Stuff receives a lot of paper waste! Excess paper from businesses tends to arrive in rolls, which need to be ripped or unwound from the core. The paper is then formed into bales and sold to mills in Maine, Canada, and overseas. Most of this paper is re-made into tissue, toweling, printing, or writing paper.

Styrofoam (expanded polystyrene)
Styrofoam waste is shredded up and re-densified into bales. It is then sent to other facilities where it gets turned back into Styrofoam products, such as reusable coolers or low-end picture frames.

Organic Waste to Energy
Save That Stuff partners with Waste Management (WM) in the operation of this Centralized Organic Recycling (CORe) facility where organic waste gets converted into renewable energy. The waste is sorted, and plastics and other non-organic materials are filtered out and sent to another waste-to-energy facility. The organics are blended into an engineered bioslurry (EBS) and sent to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District wastewater treatment plant, where bioslurry is turned into biogas to be used for renewable energy via heat or electricity.

Save That Stuff Founder Erik Levy holding a blender of engineered bioslurry (EBS) inside the CORe Facility. Save That Stuff Founder Erik Levy holding a blender of engineered bioslurry (EBS) inside the CORe Facility.


In addition to our in-house efforts of sustainability, we are proud that many of our Boston customers are also implementing programs and receiving accolades for their work to minimize their environmental impact and contribute to the local community.

Specialty Coffee Expo - “Walking the Green Walk”
Trade Show News Network (TSNN) recently honored Specialty Coffee Expo with its Sustainability Award at the 2022 TSNN Awards for green practices at their March 2022 event at the BCEC. To quote TSNN, "The Specialty Coffee Expo didn’t just talk the green talk at its show, it walked the green walk and then some. Just a few of the show’s sustainable efforts included a reusable cup program that had a 59% event diversion rate, and more than 2,000 pounds of food and materials donated to the local community on behalf Coffee Expo.” Our congratulations to the Specialty Coffee Association on their industry leadership and efforts to reduce their environmental impact.

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Contributes to Conventions C.A.R.E.
In August, the MCCA welcomed six thousand attendees for the NACDS Total Store Expo (TSE). With large conventions comes a lot of waste, and this is where the MCCA steps in – our Conventions C.A.R.E. (Community Assistance by Responsible Events) program collects clean, usable, nonperishable donations from exhibitors and event planners after conventions and delivers them to local nonprofits around Boston. Exhibitors from TSE donated tens of thousands of clean, non-perishable items to Conventions C.A.R.E. Donations included furniture, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, body washes and soaps, toothpaste, shaving care), diapers, feminine products, supplements, medicine, hand sanitizer, tissues, masks, and more; even rapid COVID tests. These items were then sorted by the C.A.R.E team to prepare for donation.

Multiple community organizations received the TSE donations, including The Gavin Foundation, a nonprofit agency that recently opened a women’s substance abuse treatment facility, the South Boston Community Health Center, and the St. Rose of Lima Parish. We thank NACDS for its massive contribution to the Conventions C.A.R.E. program and for their collaboration with the MCCA to mitigate convention waste for a more sustainable future.

Donations collected by The Gavin Foundation on September 13, 2022


When it comes to sustainability, green means much more than recycling. Learn more about the green building practices we offer at the BCEC and the Hynes.

*This article was written by the MCCA’s communications intern, Jane Doucette, a senior at Northeastern University who is studying Media & Screen Studies and Film Production.