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April 2005

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)



Sustaining Members

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, Inc.

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • CURC

  • Dart Container

  • Glass Recycling Coalition

  • Good Point Recycling

  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)

  • International Bottled Water Association

  • Keep America Beautiful

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • Marcal, A Soundview Paper Company

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association


  • Organix Solutions

  • PaintCare

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Schaefer Systems International, Inc.

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Steel Recycling Institute

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)


  • US Composting Council (USCC)

  • Waste Management

A list of all the logos of our Sustaining Members can be found under Advisory Members

New Supporting Member
    • Bottle Bill Expansion Discussion Begins
    • ReCONNstruction Center
    • Sneaker Mountain to Kick Off Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program
    • Case Study on Resource Management Contracting
    • State is Promoting Reuse for Municipalities
    • DEP & OSD Receive State Sustainability Grant
    • DEP Announces Rain Barrel Grant Awards
    • DEP Offers Healthy Lawns & Landscapes Workshops Throughout Massachusetts
    • Water Conservation Kits - a New DEP Grant
    • DEP Job Posting For HHP Position
    • Many Provisions of New York's Mercury-Added Consumer Product Law Become Effective July 2005
    • Recycled Composition Material Study to Help Maximize Efficiency of Material Recovery Facilities Completed
    • Plastic Bags Targeted for Proper Disposal

To join the EMail Bulletin list…
Send an email to Lynn Rubinstein making the request. Please be sure to include your full name and organization.

NERC's mission is to leverage the strengths & resources of its member states to advance an environmentally sustainable economy in the Northeast by promoting source reduction, recycling, & the purchasing of environmentally preferable products & services.

Line People

We are delighted to welcome the Housatonic Resource Recovery Authority as NERC's newest Supporting Member. It is through the active participation & support of its Advisory Members that NERC is able to provide the strength of multi-stakeholder involvement and problem solving. To see a listing of Advisory Members and the benefits of membership visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.

It is the broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC's Advisory Members and Board Members and their willingness to participate that significantly contributes to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.


NERC Hires DSM Environmental Services for Special Events Project
NERC is happy to announce that we have selected DSM Environmental Services to provide consultancy services for its USDA-funded Special Events Project. As the project consultant, Peter Allison of DSM Environmental, will provide technical assistance to the organizers of two special events in each of ME, NH and VT by meeting with event organizers and providing them with a waste diversion and recycling plan. Peter will also manage waste audits at each of these events, and will assist NERC in developing a Guide for Developing Recycling Programs at Special Events. For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador.

Thank you to Conference Sponsors & Vendors
As always, NERC's Conference benefited from the generous support of our sponsors.

Northeast Recycling Council, Inc
Spring Conference - Northampton, Massachusetts
March 22-23, 2005
A F & P A Clean Harbors
Cooley Dickinson Hospital
CVS Aluminum Can Council

American Plastics Council
Steel Recycling Institute
ISRI Verizon
And conference attendees also benefited from the presence of vendors. Thank you to the vendors.

Regional Electronics Legislation Project Update ~
In the past month there has been a great deal of activity on this project. Many important documents and fact sheets have been posted:

There is now a drop-down menu on the left had bar of the NERC home page entitled "Regional Electronics Project". As additional documents are added or updated, they will be posted in that location.

The STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED! Among the unique features of this project is that the legislators askedfor assistance in developing regionally consistent electronics legislation. They recognize the need for regionally consistent legislation and asked for help in formulating it.

The stakeholder meetings are scheduled for FRIDAY, APRIL 29th, in New York City at the EPA Region 2 office. At this time we have legislators representing seven of the Northeast States committed to being there in person. Staff from the other states will be present.

This presents a unique opportunity to have input into the development of electronics end-of-life management legislation.

We are asking you to RSVP so that we have an adequately sized room & refreshments.

The schedule of stakeholder meetings is as follows:
10 a.m. - Manufacturers only
1 p.m. - Retailers/Leasing entities only
3 p.m. - Recyclers/Environmental Groups only

To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please contact Lynn Rubinstein. The CSG/ERC contact for this project is Rona Cohen, Senior Policy Analyst for the CSG/ERC Energy & Environment Program. Rona can be reached at (212) 482-2320 /

EPPNet Quarterly Digest
The latest EPPNet Digest is now available. It covers the period January 1 through March 21, 2005, and the topics are:



Bottle Bill Expansion Discussion Begins
During a recent Environment Committee hearing, Connecticut legislators heard both pro and con arguments regarding a bill to expand Connecticut's deposit legislation to include PET water bottles. Dozens of representatives of the supermarket industry argued against the proposed expansion. The Connecticut Recyclers Coalition was joined by representatives from environmental groups and municipalities lobbying in favor of expansion.

ReCONNstruction Center
Connecticut's nascent reuse center, The ReCONNstruction Center, is open for business in Hartford. The non-profit center has already filled several thousand square feet of temporary warehouse space with good quality, pre-owned usable building materials. They are in need of pallet shelving and other warehouse items. For more information visit

Sneaker Mountain to Kick Off Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program
Nike and the Connecticut Recyclers Coalition are marking the graduation of the state-wide sneaker recycling program to a year-round, on-going effort by creating Sneaker Mountain. On Saturday April 23rd Connecticut residents are welcome to bring a pair of sneakers or a truckload to Yale University's Cross Campus lawn across from 451 College Street in New Haven. Connecticut is the only state to implement the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program statewide. Schools, municipalities and others are welcome to bring their sneakers in large or small quantities throughout the year following the April kick-off. For more information contact CRC president 


Case Study on Resource Management Contracting
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has posted a new fact sheet titled, "Resource Management Contracting (RM) at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital" which highlights the first-year recycling successes of the 2002 RM contracting pilot project. In a nutshell, the hospital has saved roughly $11,000 using this new contract.

State is Promoting Reuse for Municipalities
The state is working with Massachusetts municipalities to promote reuse; one of the best ways to reduce waste and extend the useful life of equipment. The state's surplus property office (SSPO) manages equipment for all state agencies that are downsizing, relocating, or replacing existing equipment. John Crisley of DEP's Municipal Waste Reduction Program, in cooperation with Paul Guerino of the State Surplus Property Office, send bi-weekly Email messages listing the availability of surplus chairs, tables, office equipment, computers, and other used property. Using this simple method has notified local managers about the availability of state surplus.

"Reusing equipment and materials is the best way to conserve resources, and this effort has the added benefit of saving cities and towns money in these budget conscious times," said DEP Commissioner Robert W. Golledge.

Ashland, Watertown, Dartmouth and a Chelmsford charter school have received surplus equipment for their offices.

The Ashland Department of Public Works (DPW) obtained surplus office cubicle partitions from the Turnpike Authority to help reorganize their offices. David Miller, Management Analyst for the DPW, said "I personally think that the DEP's Surplus Property Initiative is a great opportunity to reuse/recycle usable equipment. We actually feel as though we won the lottery when we got our hands on the cubicles; with the statewide budget crunches we would not have been able to do this much needed redesign to the DPW offices."

The Watertown library also obtained 24 surplus office cubicle partitions also from the Turnpike Authority. The town library is undergoing a 2-year renovation. Beverly Shank, the Library Director, said "We're using the 24 divider panels to set up department and office space in our temporary quarters on the ground floor of a vacant school building. Finding these surplus panels meant one less expense in our overall project budget".

The Murdoch Charter School in Chelmsford obtained 15, Dell Pentium III desktop computers. Mara Gorden, Murdoch's Director of Technology and Development, was able to expand a language lab for Spanish classes using these surplus computer from the MA Department of Revenue. Ms. Gorden said "As a charter school our budget tends to be smaller and therefore we need to stretch our dollars. The option of surplus has enabled to acquire equipment we would not have otherwise been able to get". Murdoch also obtained overhead projectors from State Surplus Property Office with DEP's assistance.

Murdoch Charter School in Chelmsford
Murdoch Charter School in Chelmsford used 15 surplus computers to expand a Spanish language lab.

The Town of Dartmouth obtained 2 lap-top computers (mid 1990's models) from the Executive Office of Public Safety for secretaries to take minutes at public meetings. Michael Gagne, Executive Administrator, said "…it is great to be able to get a piece of equipment the Town needs and not have to buy new and pay the price of new". The units originally retailed for $500.00 each in the mid-90's but were obtained for a nominal $10.00 administrative fee through the state surplus system.

The DEP's Municipal Waste Reduction Program has distributed a "wish list" to enable communities to fax in a list of needed equipment for town offices and get help finding it from state agency inventories. For more information contact

DEP & OSD Receive State Sustainability Grant
The State Surplus Office at the Operational Services Division (OSD) and DEP's Municipal Waste Reduction Program are a joint award recipient of a State Sustainability Program grant from Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA). The grant will help pay for the development of an OSD database to better manage state surplus property between agencies and other public entities, and to improve the means of advertising surplus on the OSD web site. The State Surplus Property Office manages both state vehicle auctions and the surplusing of office equipment, furniture, computers and electronics, and other related items. John Crisley of DEP and Paul Guerino, the surplus property manager, will be working together on the project. The grant award is for a maximum of $10,000.

DEP Announces Rain Barrel Grant Awards
DEP has awarded discounts for discounts on 1,204 total rain barrels to 24 municipalities through its FY05 Municipal Recycling Grant Program. This new program teams up state and local recycling and water departments to help residents conserve water, save money and reduce stormwater run-off.

A rain barrel collects water from the roof when it rains and stores it for use during dry weather to water outside plantings or wash a car. This helps replenish groundwater and benefits our water supply. A one-inch rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof yields 562 gallons of water. Using rain barrels is an excellent way to save some of this water and take pressure off our water supply and stormwater management systems. Run-off from a quarter-inch rainfall will easily fill a barrel. Five rainy days can provide 275 gallons of free water. Collected rainfall is especially valuable during droughts or dry conditions. It contains more nutrients and less salts than tap water, so it's great for plants.There are two types of barrels available through the DEP program. Both are 55-gallon recycled barrels that are placed under a downspout to collect run-off. They both have screened openings to keep mosquitoes, other insects and debris out. Through the grant program, they will be available for $47-$55, a $10 discount off the municipal bulk purchase price and nearly 50% off the retail price. Residents prepay for the barrels and pick them up on a specified pick-up day. Check with your municipality to see if they offer rain barrels and how to place an order.

DEP Offers Healthy Lawns & Landscapes Workshops Throughout Massachusetts
Over 30 Massachusetts municipalities requested Healthy Lawns and Landscapes Workshops on their FY2005 DEP Municipal Recycling Grant applications. DEP is providing 9 regional workshops this spring. Residents from any municipality may attend a workshop.

These workshops can help municipalities meet the public outreach and education component of their Nonpoint Source Discharge Elimination System Phase II stormwater management plans, required of all communities by EPA under the Clean Water Act.

Encourage your residents to attend a free workshop to learn how to have beautiful yards without using chemicals that may harm children, pets and our environment. Homeowners, landscapers and municipal staff are welcome to attend and should call the contact person listed to register. The workshops cover:
  • Health effects of pesticides;
  • How to create healthy soil for lawns and landscapes;
  • Simple steps to healthy lawns;
  • Alternatives to lawns (flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables, groundcovers);
  • Alternatives to pesticides and chemical fertilizers

All attendees will receive a gift and a chance to win a compost bin. Refreshments will be served.

March 28, 7-9 pm
Newton Free Library
Intersection Walnut and Homer St., Newton
Contact: Barbara Herson, 617-964-7463

March 30, 6:30-8:30 pm
Leominster City Hall Auditorium
25 West St., Leominster
Contact: Rose, 978-534-7590 x501

April 2, 9-11 am
West Parish Church
Rte. 133 at Reservation Rd., Andover
Contact Joyce Ringleb, 978-475-3490

April 3, 2-4 pm
Newbury Firemen's Memorial Hall
3 Morgan Ave. (behind firehouse), Newbury
Contact: Abby Gindele, 978-499-3898 or Kay Halloran, 978-499-0413

April 7, 7-9 pm
Great Falls Discovery Center
2 Avenue A, Turners Falls
Contact: Franklin County Solid Waste Management District: 413-772-2438

April 26, 7-9 pm
Agawam Public Library
750 Cooper St., Agawam
Contact: Tracy DeMaio, 413-786-0400 x 286 or Mike Pattavina, 413-263-3234

April 28, 6:30-8:30 pm
South Hadley Town Hall
116 Main St., South Hadley
Contact: Jane Southworth, 413-538-5033

Water Conservation Kits - a New DEP Grant
The Department of Environmental Protection has developed a new element in its Municipal Grant Program: assisting communities with promoting residential water conservation. This fiscal year, DEP has awarded 17 communities with grants of household water conservation "kits" consisting of water efficient showerheads and kitchen faucet aerators, and toilet leak detection dye tablets. Municipalities can distribute these devices individually, as requested by householders, or package them as "kits." Additionally, grantees can receive optional outdoor water saving devices, including rain gauges, to determine supplemental yard watering needs, and garden hose nozzles, to prevent hoses from being left on. To better serve municipalities in the future, DEP is requiring grantees to gather feedback from 10% of recipients of these water conservation devices to determine if the devices are being used and to gauge residents' satisfaction with them. This information will be used to inform decisions on future year's grant programs.

DEP Job Posting For HHP Position
Mass DEP is seeking applicants for the position of Household Hazardous Waste Reduction Planner. This is a contract position at DEP's Boston Office in the Bureau of Waste Prevention, Municipal Recycling Branch. This position is currently held by Lori Segall. Unfortunately, Lori has decided to leave DEP at the end of June, 2005, to pursue new directions in the environmental field. DEP's loss will be someone else's gain.

The position description and an application can be obtained by going to and clicking on Jobs. Then scroll down to "Vacancies Open to All Applicants" and select "Planners" under the Official Job Title column.

The application period is currently scheduled to close on March 29, 2005 however this is likely to be extended an additional 2 weeks.


Many Provisions of New York's Mercury-Added Consumer Product Law Become Effective July 2005
On July 12, 2004 Governor George E. Pataki signed a new law banning the sale of mercury-added novelty products and mercury-fever thermometers in New York State and requiring labeling and proper disposal or recycling of mercury-added consumer products. The new law also prohibits primary and secondary schools from purchasing or using mercury.

Mercury-added products include items such as thermostats, thermometers, switches, medical or scientific instruments, electrical relays, lamps and batteries - excluding button batteries. Disposal of mercury-added products will not be allowed in the normal trash but must be managed by separate delivery to a solid waste management facility, recycling facility, authorized hazardous waste facility or at a municipally sponsored household hazardous waste collection program.

New York State joins a growing number of other states in adopting legislation that recognizes the environmental and public health consequences associated with the mismanagement of this highly toxic substance. The new requirements for labeling and responsibly managing the waste from mercury-added consumer products are a critical first step in identifying and limiting potential exposure to mercury.

Provisions of the new law now in effect include:
  • Purchase and use of elemental mercury by primary and secondary schools is prohibited after September 4, 2004.
  • Sales of mercury thermometers are restricted after January 1, 2005.
  • Sales of toys or novelty products containing mercury are prohibited after January 1, 2005. (A product is not a mercury-added novelty solely on the basis that it is a game with a light screen display containing mercury, or includes an easily removable battery containing mercury.)
  • A manufacturer that produces or sells mercury-added novelties shall notify retailers that sell mercury-added novelties about the product ban and inform them of how to properly dispose of the remaining inventory.
  • Sales of elemental mercury, except for specific research, dental and manufacturing uses are limited after January 1, 2005.
Additional provisions that will become effective after July 12, 2005 are:
  • Products containing mercury must be labeled.
  • Waste products containing mercury must not be incinerated.
  • Waste products containing mercury must be managed separately from other solid waste. Fluorescent lamps from households and small businesses (100 or less employees and discarding 15 or less waste lamps per month) are exempt from these disposal restrictions. However, New York State's existing hazardous waste regulations still apply.
  • Penalties for improper disposal of mercury-added products will be: first offense violators will be provided with a warning and education material; second, third and fourth offenses would receive a $50, $75 and $100 fine respectively. Penalties for all other violations will be $100 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent violations.
  • Penalties will be deposited into the State's Environmental Protection Fund.


Recycled Composition Material Study to Help Maximize Efficiency of Material Recovery Facilities Completed
The Recycled Composition Material Study has been completed for DEP by RW Beck. The Study is intended to provide insight on the composition of residential and commercial recyclables that are collected and processed in Pennsylvania and develop recyclables composition data that can be used by communities to estimate recyclables amounts by material type that otherwise would be reported as mixed recyclables. The study is a continuation of a smaller undertaking that was completed in conjunction with the Statewide Municipal Waste Composition Study of April, 2003.

The study reveals breakdown in percentages of incoming residential commingled containers and single stream recyclables by weight. Furthermore, it shows the composition of incoming residential recyclables for paper, containers and rejects for curbside, two stream, single stream and drop off. The amount of rejects was found to be lowest in curbside collection programs and highest in single stream programs.

The Study is available on DEP's website.


Plastic Bags Targeted for Proper Disposal
Last month, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation began an advertising and PR campaign to help Rhode Islanders control their plastic bag waste. The corporation has spent about one million dollars annually in clean-up costs and fines, and sought to find a better method to dispose of and/or recycle plastic bags.

First, the corporation conducted a survey of R.I. residents to learn about their shopping bag habits and opinions. It was learned that plastic bag usage is firmly entrenched in local households. Half of all Rhode Islanders used only plastic bags, 45 percent use both paper and plastic, and five percent opt for paper bags only. A majority of those surveyed, 53 percent, report that they prefer plastic to paper. Another 23 percent prefer paper only, and 24 percent prefer both equally or have no preference. Three quarters of the 500 Rhode Island households surveyed said that while they believe that paper bags are better for the environment, they still choose plastic bags for their groceries. Canvas bag responses were negligible. However, thirty-eight percent of respondents said that they reuse plastic bags for lining small trash cans and other needs.

Using figures reported by respondents about the number of plastic grocery bags they use on average per month, RIRRC estimates that the state's average monthly consumption is approximately 16 million plastic bags or 192 million bags annually.

The goal of the new campaign is to have all parties, retailers and consumers, be responsible for the proper disposal of the bags. To that end, the RIRRC Board of Commissioners recently voted to waive tipping fees for dedicated loads of plastic bag waste. Additionally, the MRF at RIRRC now has the capability to bale plastic bags. The executive director, Sherry A. Mulhearn, has been meeting with representatives from the larger markets and drug store chains to have a dialogue about plastic bag collection and recycling programs, as required by R.I. law. Although they admit they have been lax or not in compliance, all were willing to correct the situation once brought to their attention. The stores will be responsible for segregating the waste and trucking it to Johnston, R.I. Meanwhile, RIRRC has been encouraging Rhode Islanders who choose plastic bags to tie them in knots to prevent wind-blown litter.


Nova Scotia's Waste Reduction Programs
Learn more about Nova Scotia's waste reduction programs in RRFB Nova Scotia's latest newsletter.

Learn more about:
  • Mobius Environmental Awards
  • Handling Fee Committee Update
  • Paint Recycling Program
  • Education and Awareness Campaigns
  • Nova Scotia Recycles Contest
  • RRFB Nova Scotia Sponsorship Program
  • Social Marketing Workshop
  • Caribbean Delegates Visit Nova Scotia
  • Business Waste Reduction Tips
  • Environmental Program Funding
  • Electronics Stewardship News
  • Used Tire Management News
  • Message from Rick Ramsay, Chair of RRFB Nova Scotia