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Who we are
We are a dedicated, bilingual team of worker-owners connected with Boston’s working class and communities of color. We live where we work, and we believe in Boston’s thriving local communities. Meet us here.

Our History 

CERO worker-owner Tim Hall says, “When I heard about the green economy for the first time, a light bulb went off in my head.  We can create businesses and jobs for ourselves.”  He and his partners formed Roxbury Green Power and started a waste vegetable oil collection business, selling used cooking oil from restaurants for reprocessing as biodiesel fuel.

By day, Guadalupe Gonzalez did backbreaking work, cleaning commercial buildings. At night, she picked bottles from the trash, selling them to earn precious extra money to support her family — one of the thousands of “hidden” green economy workers.

Determined to put the brakes on unacceptable wages and working conditions, Guadalupe and a team of MassCOSH worker center members joined forces with Tim and Boston Workers Alliance to create a worker-owned compost diversion enterprise.

It wasn’t long before CERO was born. Unique as a bilingual, multicultural co-op, CERO completed a year long Direct Public Offering, raising capital by selling shares of dividend-paying stock to regular community people. Lenders who were initially hesitant to take a chance on lower income entrepreneurs in the green economy are now on board. CERO is growing and providing the jobs it promised to workers who own the company. CERO is proud to be part of a burgeoning solidarity economy fostering workplace democracy and new forms of community investment.

CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics) is an award-winning commercial composting company based out of Dorchester, MA. We provide food waste pickup and diversion services for a wide range of commercial clients in the metro Boston area, and transport compostables to local farms where they are returned to the soil and used to support the local agricultural economy. Our mission is simple: keep food waste out of landfills, save money for our clients, and provide good green jobs for Boston’s hard working communities.
No pests. No smell. No mess. With CERO, you get sparkling clean carts after every pickup. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of service, and we think you shouldn’t be stuck cleaning out carts at the end of a long week. With no odors or dirty bins to worry about, you can focus on what matters: running your business.
Every scrap of food waste collected by CERO is returned to the soil at local farms. From there, it is used to grow tomorrow’s food. We do not contract with big multinational haulers, nor slurry our compost with other waste streams. For every ton of food waste composted with CERO, 0.71 tons of CO2e from landfilling emissions are avoided, and 0.24 tons of CO2e are returned to the soil via carbon sequestration.
CERO provides free, multilingual employee training for your whole team, so things run smoothly from Day 1. We also offer a free, online assessment that can help determine whether or not you are affected by the MassDEP Food Waste Ban. It only takes 30 seconds. On top of that, many of our clients have found that the cost of our service is offset by the money they save on reduced trash pickups, making the transition to composting cost-neutral.

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