Skip to Content



Keep Your Mitts Out of the Compost (Please)!

This guest blog is courtesy of Susan Thoman, Compost Manufacturing Alliance

Years before my illustrious composting career evolved, I worked as a restaurant prep cook. During high school and college, I diced and peeled carrots, scrunched freezing cold potato cubes together into thick, creamy egg dressing for potato salad, and spent every Saturday morning peeling 50-pound bags of onions (which is strangely correlated to a limited dating life in those days, as I smelled not of lavender and lilacs, but of a giant onion). In those days, the cooks wore reusable neoprene yellow gloves for mixing, then sprayed them down with scalding hot water, turned them inside out, and hung them to dry at night. Then, the next day, the gloves went on again, were used repeatedly, and were only tossed out when they got nicked with a knife or holes were worn through.

Fast forward to 2018. There is a disturbing number of single use disposable poly gloves migrating into compost collection containers from commercial kitchens. These thin plastic gloves are hard to see, and a…

Keeping the Trains on Track

This guest blog is courtesy of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

Railroad has long been a critical mode for transporting ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal throughout the United States, particularly for distances greater than 200 miles. Since many recycling facilities are served by only one major freight railroad, there are rarely alternative modes of transportation – which means scrap metal and other recycling companies are too often at the mercy of the rail companies. This means having to deal with suffering poor rail service and skyrocketing fees. And recently, things have only gotten worse.

Since major Class 1 freight railroads implemented “precision rail scheduling” at the beginning of 2019, scrap metal recycling companies have seen astronomical increases in shipping costs. Unreasonable rail practices under this new system also include: (1) reductions in available time for rail car loading, unloading and storage; (2) service inconsistencies which precipitate demurrage and storage charges and impact facility operations (e.g. bunched cars, or…

Soil Health Can Help Combat Climate Change

One knows that the issue of soil health has vaulted into the mainstream when an industrial agriculture giant like Cargill collaborates with the Soil Health Institute in an $850,000 effort to help farmers gauge the economic benefits of regenerative farming. For many farmers, adopting practices that promote soil health can require significant changes to traditional practices. Reducing tillage, reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers, and planting cover crops all can present challenges to the agricultural status quo.

Why the urgency driving a call for a significant change in the way our food is produced? According to a recent article in The Guardian, “the world could run out of topsoil in about 60 years…Without topsoil, the earth’s ability to filter water,…

What Can We Do as Consumers About Climate Change?

This Guest Blog is provided by Terri Goldberg, Executive Director, Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA)

For much of my life, shopping has been a form of recreation. I learned good shopping techniques from the best, my grandmother, who was a real pro. She shopped largely for value, quality, and the brands she liked. So that’s what I have usually done. But that’s changing.

I was recently involved with writing a new NERC and NEWMOA handout, “What Can We Do as Consumers About Climate Change?” This short write-up is intended for a general audience and focuses on the climate change impacts of the stuff we consume. From what NEWMOA and NERC staff could find online, there are no other short fact sheets on this topic targeted for consumers. For me, the most powerful statements in the fact sheet emphasize that, “for most products, the greatest contributions to… greenhouse gas emissions happen during production… 42 percent of all green gases are associated with the production,…