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Another Trash Travelogue

While traveling recently in Glacier National Park, Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director, came across this display of bear damage to park trash cans.

Bear damaged recycling container photo

I guess the bear tossing my compost bin isn't so bad after all!

Voices from NERC's Past

Jeff Bednar, former NERC Board Member and Board President representing Pennsylvania, continues our series of guest blogs by people who have been influential in NERC's 25 year history.

Here's what he has to say:

My introduction to NERC came many moons ago as a new program analyst at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. I was asked to accompany the Pennsylvania representative to a meeting and provide an update on some sustainability endeavors undertaken by the department. As a recycling neophyte, I was practically crushed by the sheer volume of knowledge, intellect and recycling industry acumen that this collective of professionals possessed.

Jeff Bednar and Mary Ann Remolador photo

Jeff with Mary Ann,
NERC's Assistant Director

Strange, unfamiliar terms such…

Thoughts by Ed Boisson, former NERC Executive Director

Happy birthday to the Northeast Recycling Council!

I first became involved with NERC in summer 1994, while I was a recycling market development manager with the California Integrated Waste Management Board. After seeing an ad for the Executive Director position, I pondered my options. Of course I was familiar with NERC's pioneering work negotiating voluntary agreements with newspaper publishers and other industry engagement efforts. And after meeting the staff and members, and discovering that Brattleboro was a great place to live, I pursued the job and soon found myself driving cross country to Vermont.

From Legislative Orientation to Markets

At the time, NERC was transitioning from a legislative orientation to a market development orientation. A recession was deepening, and the mantra then as now became jobs, jobs and jobs. Along with staffers Michael Alexander, Ellen Pratt, Mary Ann Remolador and Rebecca Bartlett, and the Executive Leadership Team of Jeff Lissack (MA) and Janet Matthews (NY), and later Guy Watson (NJ) and Randy Coburn (NY), NERC pursued directions we hadn't conceived of previously. We teamed with regional investment…

The Recycling Trifecta

Occasionally in NERC's blog, I am showcasing companies in the Northeast that use recycled materials in the manufacturing of new products. Today's entry connects three companies – Red Hook Brewery, Poly Recovery, and Foss Manufacturing.

plastic resin pellets photo

Poly Recovery's propriety process turns plastic waste into resins for use in new products.

"The Recycling Trifecta" is a video which shows how Poly Recovery, a full service recycling company located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, worked with Redhook's Portsmouth Brewery to find markets for its plastic waste—including green PET packaging strap used to hold boxes of bottles. The recovered plastic is turned into fiber by Foss Manufacturing to be used in such items as linings for automobile trunks and indoor and outdoor carpet.

Foss Manufacturing is a manufacturer of engineered, non-woven fabrics and…


One of the easiest and overlooked strategies for decreasing waste and increasing recycling at work is to focus on paper. There are many strategies that can be used to reduce the amount of paper used, and to capture the unavoidable wasted paper for recycling. Following are a few examples:

Tips for Paper Use Reduction & Reuse

  • Single space documents and use narrower margins whenever possible.
  • Print and copy files on two sides.
  • Reuse single-sided copies as scratch paper or for drafts of other documents.
  • Reuse file folders and envelopes.
  • If you only need a small amount of information from an email or website, write it down instead of printing it out.
  • Share files electronically instead of printing hard copies.
  • Post announcements in central locations.


Tips for Recycling More Paper

  • Place recycling bins near each printer and copier.
  • Place a recycling bin at each desk.
  • Include the company's recycling goals in orientation packets for new staff.
  • Remind…

Ongoing Reflections....

Sharon Yergeau, with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, continues our series of guest blogs by people who have been influential in NERC's 25 year history.

History with NERC

The NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) established the Planning & Community Assistance Section around 1990. The legislative charge was to "develop and implement a program of technical assistance and cooperation with municipalities and solid waste districts." The 5-person section, including a Recycling Coordinator, was assigned to my bureau, which already included P2 and hazardous waste tracking. Mark Lennon (now of IRN) started in 1992 as our Recycling Coordinator and before too long, was fully engaged in NERC activities. Mark continued his involvement when he was promoted to the supervisor of the section. When Mark left in 1996, the new supervisor (Christopher Way) threw himself into NERC activities. In 2004, when Chris' job was eliminated and he was assigned to another program, I was "it." When my own position was moved to the Commissioner's Office two…