At a Glance
Engagement and Behavior Change, Financial Evaluation and Planning
Eskedar Gessesse helped to implement a waste pilot program at Comcast Corporation, which will enable the company to move toward its aspirational goal of Zero Waste.
The global media and technology company, Comcast Corporation, is working towards Zero Waste, and one of the ways they’re doing so is working to reduce the amount of food waste and recyclables it sends to landfills. To make an impact, Comcast’s Office of Sustainability first needed to identify ways to achieve this goal. EDF Climate Corps fellow Eskedar Gessesse was brought onto the Sustainability Team to pilot initiatives focused on recycling, composting, and improve employee engagement to increase Comcast’s waste diversion rate at their Philadelphia headquarters.
Gessesse collaborated across departments and with external partners to plan and implement a four-week waste pilot at the Comcast Center on four of its office floors. The components of the pilot were:
- Placing post-consumption compost bins in office floor break-rooms.
- Collecting and recycling used coffee/tea packets.
- Replacing disposable plastic utensils, paper cups, and lids with compostable alternatives.
- Providing informative signage near waste bins to help improve the sorting of different waste types.
The pilot was preceded by a waste characterization that was conducted on the pilot floors to baseline the amount and composition of waste generated. Gessesse used the results of the waste audit to quantify the potential increase in the diversion rate and the financial impact of the pilot program on waste management. Additionally, she recommended ways to engage and educate employees in order to increase impact on waste diversion rate.
The waste pilot has the potential to increase the building’s waste diversion rate by nearly 30% if implemented on all office floors and cafés with only a marginal increase in waste management costs.