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Boston is ramping up its compost pickup program. Here's how to sign up

Ben drops a load of cubed cantaloupe peels into the worm composter in the basement. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Ben drops a load of cubed cantaloupe peels into the worm composter in the basement. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

Happy inaugural Right Whale Day, Massachusetts. Take a moment to read this NPR interactive on how this endangered species is one of the many parts of our global ecosystem being threatened by melting ice. And don’t forget to say hi to Calvin the giant inflatable whale if you’re walking by the New England Aquarium today.

Let’s start the week with another new way you can help the planet:

Boston residents, want the city to come pick up your compost? Mayor Michelle Wu’s office plans to begin expanding the city’s free curbside food waste collection program this July — with the goal of eventually tripling the program from 10,000 to 30,000 households.

  • The expansion will start with 7,150 households on the waitlist for the program, which quickly filled up last summer. If you’re not already on the list, you can sign up here. (The city will keep adding new enrollees until they hit the 30,000 mark.)
  • How it works: Enrolled households just put their food waste bins out on the same day as their scheduled trash and recycling pickup. Read more details and FAQs here.
  • Where it goes: The city takes the food scraps to a composting facility in West Bridgewater or an anaerobic digestion plant in North Andover to get converted into green energy. (How does anaerobic digestion work? Let WBUR’s Barbara Moran explain.)
  • Boston’s program is limited to those living in buildings with six units or less. If you live in a larger apartment building, consider the city’s Project Oscar community compost drop-off bins.

Several members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are kicking off the week with a press conference in Boston aimed at bringing attention to what they say are ethical lapses and partisan rulings from the Supreme Court. It’s part of a new national bus tour launched by progressive groups calling for Supreme Court reform.

  • Roll call: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley all plan to be at the downtown Boston event.
  • What’s their issue: After a recent investigation found that Justice Clarence Thomas did not disclose years of gifts from a Republican billionaire, Warren told Radio Boston that Congress should pass a law establishing a code of ethics for the Supreme Court justices (there is no such standard currently). “They decide how they are going to take gifts, and do whatever they want to do,” Warren said.
  • Go deeper: Read more on how the Thomas gifts scandal highlights “double standard” for ethics in government.

Heads up, commuters: Crews are repaving Storrow Drive over the course of the next month. That means the majority of the Boston parkway will be fully closed in both directions from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weeknights (i.e. every night except Friday and Saturday nights) this week through May 21. Here are the exact stretches that will be closed:

  • Going east: Basically all of Storrow and part of Soldier’s Field Road, from Cambridge Street in Allston to the Leverett Circle
  • Going west: A roughly mile-and-a-half stretch of Storrow, from the Leverett Circle to Massachusetts Avenue.

Speaking of nighttime closures: Blue Line riders will get an extra hour to ride the train before shuttle buses descend to replace after-dark subway service this week. The T says the early closure — running tonight through Thursday — will begin at 8 p.m., instead of the previously planned 7 p.m start time.

  • Why? The T is working to prioritize lifting slow zones on the Blue Line with the two-month Sumner Tunnel closure quietly approaching this summer. However, T officials say they got pushback last week asking them to dial back the 7 p.m. start to 8 p.m. to give riders a little more time to catch the last train at night.
  • What’s next: There’s another identical early Blue Line closure next week as well (May 1 to 4). And depending how much progress the T makes, they’re considering more 8 p.m. closures in June.

One closure that will require a somewhat larger detour: the Cape Cod Canal will be closed to boats this week between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. — and this time it isn’t because of whales. (You’re off the hook, Calvin.)

  • The reason for the canal closure is because crews are finishing maintenance work on the railroad bridge in Bourne.

P.S.— Wu will be taking your questions live on the WBUR airwaves today at 11 a.m. during her monthly Radio Boston interview. As always, you can send in your questions for the mayor through our text club. (Join by simply texting BOSTON to 617-766-0382.)


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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