Skip to Content


New Voices New Solutions: NERC’s Fall Conference Underway

November 1, 2016

Many professional events are promoting opportunities to recognize “young professionals” and/or bring “experienced professionals” together with the “young professionals”. NERC’s fall conference this year strives to do just that, with sessions devoted to two fairly recent developments in the recycling industry—reuse and organics—in which many young entrepreneurs have found success.

The conference, entitled New Voices New Solutions, is being held in Portsmouth NH on November 1-2 Exciting discussions on a range of trending issues are to be expected.

Starting off Day 1 is a Keynote Panel Discussion - What recovery or recycling rate is achievable and how?

The session will explore different perspectives on realistic recycling rates and how they can be achieved.

Topics and panelists for the session include:

Panelists will address the following:critical factors that determine a community's recovery or recycling rate; how can communities to increase their rate or is that even possible in all communities?; and if rates can be increased, does it make economic sense to do so?

The panel is sure to bring out a lively discussion about the practicality of zero waste—a topic not often discussed in the Northeast. Also, expect heated debate about the practical, financial, and technological challenges of raising our diversion rates.

Following the Keynote will be Happenings with Sustainable Packaging. This panel will explore different strategies being used to promote and support sustainable packaging efforts will be introduced in the session.

The panel will address: How has the movement towards greater sustainability impacted the packaging industries?; What sustainable packaging developments have occurred?; and, What are the projected changes for packaging in the US?

The afternoon will feature two concurrent sessions:

Session 1 – The Changing Face of Electronics Recycling—Reuse!

The exciting session will illustrate reuse as the new business model for used electronics.


Topics will include: What role does electronics reuse play in electronics diversion? Why is the electronics reuse industry growing so rapidly? Where are the markets for reusable electronics? And, What is the projected growth for electronics reuse?

Session 2 - Safety in Recycling

Waste management employees face comparatively high injury rates; thus, this will be an important discussion about operational and hauling safety issues for the recycling hauling and processing, featuring industry veterans sharing their wealth of experience. 

Wednesday’s sessions focus on food scrap management. 

The day starts with “A Changing Roadmap for Food Scrap Management”. The session will include a look at the Roadmap to reducing food scraps by 20% through reduction, recovery, and diversion, including: What are the funding options for implementing the action steps in the ReFed collaboration’s recent report? What is the capacity for composting and anaerobic digestion of food scraps in the Northeast States? What will it take to incentivize increased wasted food reduction and recovery?

This unique sessions with start off with an overview of the ReFED report and how it pertains to the Northeast, featuring a presentation by Nathan Clark, Program Manager, for ReFED. Current and planned food scraps management policies, programs, barriers, markets, and more around the Northeast will round out the discussion, with presentations from around the Northeast.

Emerging & Experienced Professionals Tackle Food Scrap Collection

Collecting food scraps presents multiple challenges. Learn from young entrepreneurs and veteran haulers how they are managing collection, vehicles and carts, customer service, and more in this session.


Topics will include: How do you deal with customers that have contaminants in their food scraps? What tips would you give to haulers considering food scrap collection? What do you see as the biggest opportunity and challenge for your company?

The conference will end with a session on Food Scrap Processing Success.

The session will include the newest thinking about food scrap processing, the latest composting and anaerobic digestion technologies, technical and process limitations, keys to success, and overcoming challenge.

Topics and presenters are:

  • Food Scrap Composting Success - Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager, NERC;  & George MacDonald, Director Sustainability Division, Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Treasurer, NERC’s Board of Directors
  • AD Solutions for Food Scrap Management - Daniel Bell, General Manager & Greg Williams, Director of Sales; Agri-Cycle Energy, Stonyvale Inc.

Issues to be addressed include: How can compost operations overcome NIMBYism and the stigma of failed facilities? Are there concerns with managing digestate or substrate from your AD operations? Are facilities successfully marketing compost?

NERC welcomes Guest Blog submissions. To inquire about submitting articles contact Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager at athena(at) Disclaimer: Guest blogs represent the opinion of the writers and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.

Comments (1)

  1. akash:
    May 11, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Nice post to gain extra knowledge

  1. 1

Add a Comment

Allowed tags: <b><i><br>Add a new comment: