Tishman Speyer: 95% Waste Diversion

Building Profile

Address: 1 Channel Center, 1 Iron Street

Principal use: Office, Financial

Neighborhood: Seaport District

Size: 501,650 sq. ft. spread over 11 floors (almost three acres)

Number of Employess: ~3,000

Project Profile

Project Dates: Mid-2017 - present

Results: Average diversion rate for 2017 is 90%; January-June 2018 average diversion rate is 95%

Vendors Used: Charles George Companies, Inc.


In 2016, leaders at Tishman Speyer were frustrated with high waste generation in one of its buildings. One Channel Center, a Class A office complex in Boston’s rapidly evolving Seaport District, was built in 2014 as a “building of the future”. Designed for tenants committed to their ambitious environmental sustainability goals, One Channel Center includes centralized trash pick-up stations equipped with labeled recycling, compost, and trash containers. Further, the building has two compactors, one for compost and the other for recycling and trash. Most items in the cafeteria and pantry rooms are compostable materials.

However, despite this state-of-the-art infrastructure, the building had an average waste diversion rate of 63% in 2016 which Tishman Speyer was unsatisfied with and determined to increase. Sustainability leaders intensified employee education programs and modified the facility to inspire waste reduction and promote recycling and composting. For example, as part of a project to expand composting, paper towels from the bathroom were directed from the trash to the compost load. Further, sustainability managers initiated comprehensive waste audits and organized on-site events which introduced the building’s sole tenant to their hauling and janitorial supplies vendors.

Although this had a positive impact on the diversion rate, the most meaningful reduction in waste resulted from switching the building’s waste hauler. After researching commercial hauling organizations around the City of Boston and beyond, leaders at Tishman Speyer chose Charles George Companies, Inc. because of its lower-cost and innovative approach. Specifically, Charles George Companies, Inc. was able to sort waste, single stream recycling, and compost loads at its own facility at a lower cost than the previous hauler.

After making this change in waste haulers, One Channel Center’s average diversion rate increased to 90% in 2017. From January-June 2018 the building’s average diversion rate was 95%. In February alone, the waste diversion was equivalent to saving 170 trees, 3,910 gallons of oil, and 70,000 gallons of water! The increases in the diversion rate have also resulted in significant hauling fee savings.

Tishman Speyer, along with its enthusiastic tenant, is now exploring options for future waste reduction at One Channel Center. Whether by bringing less waste into the building or by considering policies currently under development by the City of Boston to reach its Zero Waste goal by 2050, Tishman Speyer is determined to continue on a path to 100% waste diversion.