Nature Wins Podcast

Nature Wins Podcast Episode 4: Cape Ann’s Waste Story

In this episode of Nature Wins, host Maureen Aylward speaks to Cape Ann-based waste professionals to learn more about Cape Ann’s waste story. Listeners will hear from Sharon Byrne Kishida, solid waste and recycling expert, who advocates for better waste policies across Cape Ann. Conor Miller and Andrew Brousseau talk about their inspiring composting business – Black Earth Compost.

Segment 1: Host Maureen Aylward interviews municipal waste expert, Sharon Byrne Kishida.

Segment 2: Maureen Aylward speaks to Conor Miller, CEO, and Andrew Brousseau, Compost Manager, from Black Earth Compost.

Notes and Resources

Nature Wins Episode 4: Sharon Byrne Kishida, Massachusetts Product Stewardship Council

Sharon Byrne Kishida is a planning committee member for the Massachusetts Product Stewardship Council (MassPSC) that advocates for product stewardship legislation for mattresses and paint and extended producer responsibility legislation for packaging. A long-time resident of Rockport, Sharon recently retired from MassDEP where she served 23 years as the regional waste/recycling coordinator for the Northeast District 3 (39 cities and towns North of Boston). She is a municipal solid waste consultant and member of the Cape Ann Climate Coalition Legislative and Interfaith Climate Justice Committee.

Segment Resources

Website: Earth Compost’s Conor Miller and Andrew Brousseau

Conor Miller, Partner, CEO, started Black Earth in 2011 after moving east from Jackson Hole, WY where he worked for a recycling collection company. A once avid backcountry skier and surfer, he now finds running Black Earth to be the greatest adventure, focusing on the collection side of the company and capital allocation. Having been the truck driver, welder, salesman, and many other hats in the beginning due to necessity, Conor has a strong foundation in all aspects of business that you only get from experience.

Andrew Brousseau, Partner, Compost Manager

Black Earth Compost was founded in January 2011 in Gloucester, MA. Originally a one man, one truck, Cape Ann company, it has steadily grown to become the leading full service compost company in New England. With over 35 trucks, it is dedicated to collecting food scraps from residents, schools, supermarkets, colleges, and more, all across eastern MA and RI. It is also the only vertically integrated company that composts the material too, returning it to customers and selling it in garden centers across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Segment Resources

Black Earth Compost Website:

    Nature Wins: JoeAnn Hart

    JoeAnn Hart is the author of Highwire Act & Other Tales of Survival, a collection of short fiction forthcoming from Black Lawrence press in September 2023. Her most recent book is Stamford ’76: A True Story of Murder, Corruption, Race, and Feminism in the 1970s (University of Iowa Press, April, 2019), a crime memoir that weaves together the personal and public threads of a friend’s 1976 bow-and-arrow death. Her novels are Float (Ashland Creek Press, 2013) a dark comedy about plastics in the ocean, and Addled (Little, Brown, 2007) a social satire that intertwines animal rights with the politics of food. Her work, which also includes articles, essays, and drama, often explores the relationship between humans and their environments, natural or otherwise. Publications include, the anthology Dreams of a Broken World, Orion, Solstice, The Hopper, and the anthology Black Lives Have Always Mattered. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest seaport, where fishing regulations, the health of the ocean, and the natural beauty of the world are the daily topics of wonder and concern.

    Web site:

    Nature Wins: Kim Radochia

    Artist Kim Radochia creation’s capture movement and energy to immerse viewers in the moment. Her intense process of making, exploring materials and connecting to place has led to inventive, vibrant artworks that convey fragility and strength.

    Highlights of Radochia’s career include an invitation from the Cape Ann Museum to create a community sculpture for the opening of their Sculpture Green in 2021, titled Heart in the Haystack. In 2016 she installed A.B., a kinetic stainless steel sculpture based on molecular structures on the grounds of Cell Signaling Technology, a bioscience company in Beverly, MA. Radochia was featured in Art New England magazine in 2011 as one of three sculptors to watch in David Raymond’s article Setting the Pace. In 2010 Radochia won an open competition and was commissioned to create an atrium sculpture at Appleton Mills in Lowell, MA.

    Radochia’s exhibitions and installations include an invitation to exhibit at the Huntenkunst International Art Fair in Ulft, ND, Art Miami, Sculpt Miami, the Miami International Art Fair, Miami, FL and Adelphi University’s Sculpture Biennial, Garden City, NY. Recent solo exhibitions include, Shimms at Casco Bay Artisans Gallery, Portland, ME, Less at The Object Center, Boston, MA and Murmurations at the West Branch Gallery in Stowe, VT.

    Radochia attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston, MA, Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY, and has taught middle school, high school, and lectured throughout the country on creativity, art, and sculpture. Kim’s art is represented by Casco Bay Artisans Gallery, Portland, ME and Matthew Swift Gallery, Gloucester, MA.

    Web site:

    In this episode of Nature Wins, host Maureen Aylward speaks to NOAA Biologist Eric Hutchins ( segment 1, Eric will outline the $5.38 million National Grid settlement with the US Department of Justice in July 2023. The former Gloucester Gas Light Company damaged the marine environment with chemicals from coal tar released during manufacturing gas.
    In segment 2, Maureen and Eric will discuss beech leaf disease and biodiversity loss on Cape Ann.

    In this episode of Nature Wins, host Maureen Aylward speaks to Dick Prouty, TownGreen Board Chair, and Candace Wheeler, a member of Gloucester’s Clean Energy Commission, about decarbonization and mitigation actions in Gloucester and why these actions are important. In Segment 2, Maureen interviews Gemma Wilkens, City of Gloucester Sustainability Coordinator, about her role, progress on the City’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan, how residents can take climate action, and the Energy Savings Fair.

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