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NERC Blog

Make an Impact on World Environment Day 2018

It’s World Environment Day—“a global celebration of nature, a day to reconnect with the places that matter most to you.” It’s a fantastic opportunity to get involved in a cause and do something in your local community to help make a positive impact on our environment. According to organizers, World Environment Day is the UN's “most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.”

Student Art as Message

“Our creative projects communicate a vital and urgent environmental truth: We need to sustain the planet that sustains all our lives now and for our future generations.”

Zoos, Aquariums, and Eco-Friendly Waste Management Programs

NERC Supporting Member Solus Group blogs on composting and other sustainability measures being embraced by leading zoos in the United States.

The Dangers of “Wishcycling”

As the impacts of China’s new import policies to reduce trash in the recyclables begin to impact our collection programs, you may be seeing a lot more articles about the health of recycling, both locally and across the globe. In many cases, these articles are communicating the same basic information: • Recycling contamination – or the percentage of trash mixed with recyclables – has increased and it’s jeopardizing the global recycling industry • Going forward, China will not purchase recyclables if there is just a fraction of trash mixed with the items • As a result, we all must focus our efforts on recycling the right items the right way

A Diversion Model for Rural America

As a part of its environmental sustainability efforts, West Nottingham Academy in Maryland has developed a partnership with Kilby Farm and Creamery. Kilby Farm serves as an outdoor classroom for WNA students and provides internship opportunities for students. The Farm also has a methane digester for processing manure from its 600-cow dairy operation. Last year, Kilby Farm started accepting all of the food waste and soiled napkins from the WNA Dining Services to feed into their methane digester. Students designed the food scrap collection program, developed promotion (with assistance from Kilby Farm), and provided training and ongoing monitoring of the food scrap collection. Once per week the ollected food scraps are transported by school staff and students to be tipped into the digester. Ultimately, the students involved with the school’s sustainability efforts are hoping to promote its Kilby Farm partnership as a model for food waste diversion for other rural and agricultural communities. NERC is working with the school through its USDA funded "Implementing Food Waste, Organics, and Manure Management in Rural Maryland Communities".

Worm Farming in NYS

The BioSoil Farm produces worm castings, potting soil and liquid nutrients at their facility in Glenville, New York. The workforce producing these products? One hundred and fifty thousand Night Crawlers living in low-rise bins on the farm. In communities of around 10,000 per bin, the worms are fed organic waste grain and compost from a farm in Vermont to create microbe rich castings.

Novel Networking at NERC’s Spring Workshop

An unexpected visitor arrives, seeking the knowledge of NERC Spring Workshop attendees. Afterward, both visitor and attendees praise the serendipity of the meeting.

Remembering the Rich History of Earth Day

Launched in the United States in 1970, Earth Day has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon involving over one billion people.

All Things Compost

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is just around the corner! ICAW is a comprehensive educational initiative celebrated annually in the US and countries around the world during the first full week of May. It is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry. This year the week dedicated to building awareness about compost will be held May 6 – 12 with the theme of Compost! Building a Better Future.

The Pay as You Throw Solution

Our country’s recycling and composting rate has been stagnant for about five years now, holding steady at around 34.6%. Recycling markets “in chaos” continues to be the story of the day. I sympathize with the companies and municipalities hit hard by the current decline in recycling commodity markets. However, I can’t help to wonder why it’s still the national consensus that disposing of trash should be paid for by tax dollars, but recycling has to pay for itself. There are some 89,000 local governments in the United States. Yet, less than 9,000 of those communities have adopted Pay as You Throw (PAYT). I would submit that while our focus on recycling commodity markets is important, so too should we start focusing on the fact that garbage hauling and disposal is not free.