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December 2004

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)




Bottle Crusher US

Waste Management

Sustaining Members

  • American Beverage Association

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • American Iron & Steel Institute

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, Inc.

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • CURC

  • Dart Container

  • GDB International

  • 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

  • Mattress Recycling Council

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association

  • Nestlé Waters North America


  • PaintCare

  • Plastics Industry Association

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Schaefer Systems International, Inc.

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Sonoco

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)


  • US Composting Council (USCC)

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

  • American Ref-Fuel
    • Hartford & Mansfield Special Event Recycling
    • Beneficial Use General Permits
    • The ReCONNstruction Center Goes International
    • Maine Recycles Week a Success!!
    • Mrs. Baldacci Welcomes Maine Recycles Week 2004 Sponsors & Steering Committee Members
    • Municipal Solid Waste Report Summaries Are Now Available
    • Cost-Sharing Continues for Household Hazardous Waste Programs
    • Board of Environmental Protection Dismisses Appeals on Landfill
    • MA DEP chosen for EPA Grant Funds
    • The Fifth Massachusetts Organics Recycling Summit
    • DEP Awards $863,000 Grant to Promote Continued Growth of State's Recycling Industry
    • Demonstration Grants
    • PENNDOT Recycling Initiatives
    • Glass Processors Update
    • Use of Recycled Concrete Aggregate in Road Applications
    • Fluorescent Lamps Recycling Pilot
    • Association of Vermont Recyclers (AVR) Revamping its Educational Programs
    • AVR Updates

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 American Ref-Fuel as a renewing Supporting Advisory Member and PSEG as a renewing Sustaining 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 Receives Additional Funding From EPA Region II to Work With Materials Exchanges
EPA Region II has provided NERC with a $7,050 grant to supplement its current Materials Exchange project that was funded by EPA Region I. With the addition of the Region II funding, the project will be expanded to include New York. NERC is working with Materials Exchanges to assist in the development of marketing strategies to increase the number Exchange users and to expand networking between the Exchanges and public sector purchasing officials. For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador.

First Pilot Unwanted Drug Take-Back Collection Scheduled
Working in cooperation with the Franklin County (MA) Solid Waste Management District, NERC is about to conduct its first drug take-back program. Thanks to funding from the USDA Rural Utilities Service, NERC and the Solid Waste District will be able to design and host several pilots in Franklin County. The proper end-of-life management of unwanted drugs has become a significant emerging environmental and public policy concern, with several studies demonstrating the presence of drugs in drinking water supplies and affecting the aquatic environment. NERC actually has two federal grants related to this topic; the USDA RUS project, and also funding from EPA through its OSWER Innovative Solid Waste Management Grant Program. Among the tasks that the projects are tackling are developing recommended best management practices.

In perhaps its first significant action, the Advisory Committee has determined that secure hazardous waste incineration the only truly acceptable end-of-life management option. This differs significantly from the, until now, generally accepted best management practice of "flushing". NERC will be working with the Northeast states environmental agencies to update their website recommendations to delete all flushing recommendations.

The Advisory Committee for the two projects includes an exciting cross section of stakeholders, including Bayer Pharmaceuticals, CVS Pharmacy, PharmEcology, Strong Environmental and Capital Returns (both national reverse distributors), several state agency representatives, wastewater districts, solid waste districts and resource recovery corporations/associations, the Northwest Product Stewardship Council, Clean Harbors, the medical profession, the American Plastics Council, and Dillon Environmental Associates. In addition, the US DEA is participating in the discussions to provide guidance about the federal drug laws.

In addition to the event scheduled in Massachusetts on December 9th, we are currently planning an event to take place in the South Portland, ME CVS Pharmacy. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Free Collection and Disposal of Unwanted DrugsFree Collection and Disposal of Unwanted Drugs

Do you have unwanted drugs in your home? Help protect your family, community and the environment by properly disposing of them.

On Thursday, December 9th, from 9 am until 12 pm, Franklin County residents will have the opportunity to properly dispose of unwanted drugs at no cost. The collection will take place at the Montague Senior Center in Turners Falls.

Unwanted drugs include:

  • Expired drugs
  • Drugs that are no longer used
  • Drugs that didn't work for you
  • Unknown tablets and capsules

It's easy to participate! Simply clean out your medicine cabinets, drawers, and cupboards and bring all expired and unwanted drugs to the event for proper disposal. A police officer and pharmacist from Franklin Medical Center will be present to supervise the collection. The drugs will be sent to a hazardous waste facility for secure incineration. If you want to, use a marker to cross off your name, but please leave the name of the drug and other related information readable.

  • Protect the environment! NEVER flush unwanted or leftover drugs down the drain- this can contaminate water and harm wildlife and drinking water
  • Protect our community! NEVER put unwanted drugs in the trash - drugs can be stolen and used, potentially resulting in death or illness.
  • Protect yourself and your family! NEVER take someone else's prescription or give your unwanted drugs to someone else- it could kill.

Spread the word to your friends and family. Having unwanted prescription drugs around the home presents a danger to children, guests and pets who could accidentally ingest the drugs. This collection event is an important new program that will help protect your health, your children and grandchildren's health, our community and the environment.

For more information, call the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District at 772-2438. The Franklin County Solid Waste Management District and the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. are organizing this event with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture, and assistance from Franklin Medical Center, the Montague Council on Aging, and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

NERC Attends 2004 Byproducts Beneficial Use Summit & Participates in 2005 Summit Planning Meeting
Held in Kansas City, Missouri, the 2004 Byproducts Beneficial Use Summit attracted 200 participants to discuss a range of topics related to industrial byproducts and beneficial reuse determinations. Some of the featured topics included examples of material applications, risk assessments, and recent research findings. During the Summit, NERC staff participated in the initial planning meeting for the 2005 Summit. This event is scheduled to take place next November in Pennsylvania. Having next year's Summit in the Northeast is a wonderful opportunity for NERC state and advisory members to attend this extremely informative and successful event. Mark your calendar now, and look for more details to come. Contact Mary Ann Remolador for more information.

Northeast Newspaper Publishers Update - 2003 Data & Final Year of Current Agreement
In 1998 the Northeast newspaper publishers and NERC adopted a landmark resolution and commitment to buy recycled content newsprint and to annually report on that usage. The agreement that embodies that resolution includes the following language:

The Northeast Recycling Council hereby resolves that it is in the public interest to support the recommendations of the Northeast Newspaper Recycling Task Force. NERC's support is contingent upon a buy recycled newsprint resolution consistent with that contained in the Task Force's 1998 report being endorsed by a significant number of newspaper publishers. For purposes of this NERC resolution, a significant number shall mean publishers who represent at least eighty percent of the newsprint consumption by daily newspapers in the region. 1

NERC further resolves to work in cooperation with those newspaper publishers to evaluate the effectiveness of, and if deemed necessary amend, the buy recycled newsprint resolution after three years to determine the impacts of the resolution on the investment decisions of newsprint manufacturers, and on the economic sustainability of old newspaper recycling in the Northeast. (Emphasis added).

With the reporting of the calendar year 2003 data (see below) that three-year mark has been met and technically the agreement has sunsetted. The NERC Board has been working with the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), our major partner in this venture, to negotiate a continuation of the Agreement. The NAA has proposed that the Agreement be renewed in perpetuity with a change relative to data collection. The NERC Board discussed the NAA proposal at its Board Meeting in October. The Board has responded to the NAA and there will be a joint conference call of the NERC Board and NAA leadership on December 1st to discuss the matter in more detail. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Thus, depending on the outcome of the discussions with the NAA and newspaper publishers of the region, the Calendar 2003 data may be the last data collected and reported on the total tons of newsprint purchased in the region, the tons of recycled newsprint fiber and the percent of recycled fiber content. The 2003 data showed a disappointing decline in the average recycled content while seeing a significant increase in the overall tonnage of newsprint.

1 That threshold was reached in the fall of 2001.

Northeast Newspaper Publishers Agreement - 3 Years of Data Reporting
  Total Metric Tons Newsprint Purchased Tons Recycled Newsprint Fiber Percent Recycled Fiber of Total Newsprint
1997- Baseline 2,375,000 (Jaakko Poyry estimates for total newsprint shipped to NE) 644,000 (Jaakko Poyry estimates for DIP/RCP in total newsprint shipped to NE) 27%
2001 1,529,783 440,790 28.8%
2002 1,339,465 380,110 28.4%
2003 1,643,212 403,012 24.53%

In the January Email Bulletin we will report on the results of the joint conference call, an analysis of why the significant shift in figures for calendar year 2003 and an overall assessment of the impact of the Agreement by the industry.

Consumer Reports ViewPoint Endorses Producer Responsibility for Electronics Recycling - NERC Responds
The November 2004 issue of Consumer Reports took a strong stand on producer responsibility of electronics recycling. The NERC Board of Directors voted to send a letter in response endorsing the NEPSI strategy and encouraging the Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, to examine the work undertaken by NEPSI. The letter sent by NERC follows.

NERC Fall Conference ~ A Tremendous Success
The NERC Fall Conference enjoyed record attendance, outstanding speakers, door prizes donated by Signature Marketing, excellent vendors, and the now notoriously wonderful Social Hour sponsored by PSEG. And as if that wasn't enough, John Manak was honored with the NERC-Citizen of the Year Awardin honor of his many years of dedicated support and guidance to NERC as well as a remarkable career and dedication to recycling market development in general.


We'd like to extend a special thank you to our conference sponsors:
Glass Packaging Institute Environcycle, Inc.
Signature Marketing Steel Recycling Institute
Wheelabrator Bridgeport,  L.P.

And, also thank you to the conference exhibitors:
The NITON Corporation

John Manak Jeff Bednar & Mary Ann Remolador
John Manak, Con Edison,
was awarded the
NERC-Citizen of the Year Award
Vice President of the Board,
Jeff Bednar, PA DEP
& Mary Ann Remolador,
Assistant Director, NERC,
pose with aluminum beer bottle
Lynn Rubinstein Peter Grogan
Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director, NERC, Workshop on Conducting an Environmental Audit of Electronics Recyclers Peter Grogan, Weyerhaeuser,
What Would it Mean if We Didn't Recycle?

The NERC Spring Conference will take place March 22 & 23rd, Northampton, Massachusetts - Save the dates!


Toxics in Packaging - It's There & It Matters
The NERC Fall Conference demonstrated that Toxics in Packaging - It's there and it Matters! Since the early 1990s, 19 US states and the European Union have passed Toxics in Packaging legislation that prohibits the intentional use of 4 heavy metals in packaging. The conference shattered the widely held belief that manufacturers are in compliance with the legislation and the issue of toxics in packaging is no longer a concern. Victor Bell of Environmental Packaging International provided several examples of recent non-compliance discovered in the European Union by manufacturers selling similar products in the US market.

A demonstration by a Conference exhibitor, NITON which sells hand-held x-ray fluorescence analyzers, provided further evidence. Several packaging samples brought in by conference participants tested positive for banned heavy metals. As a result, the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) plans to conduct further compliance testing early next year.

John Shaine Victor Bell
Jon Shein, NITON Corporation Victor Bell, Environmental Packaging International

Permanent Exemption Granted for Glass & Ceramics with Vitrified Labels
At its bi-annual membership meeting in October, the TPCH adopted a permanent exemption to the Toxics in Packaging requirements for glass and ceramic glassware with vitrified labels. Exemption "g" allows the intentional introduction of 3 of the 4 restricted metals (lead, cadmium and hexavalent chromium), while retaining tight mercury restrictions. The exemption applies only when the test sample is prepared according to a new ASTM standard and tested per the EPA Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). The Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators (SGCD), an active TPCH member, was instrumental in supporting the development of this new sample preparation standard. The current exemption was due to expire on January 1, 2005.

The new ASTM standard (C1606-04) is a protocol for grinding glassware to obtain uniform and consistent samples for subsequent testing using the TCLP test. Heavy metals may be contained in enamels used to print labels on glass and ceramic packaging. The permanent exemption was granted following research sponsored by SGCD demonstrating that the enamels are "vitrified" or chemically bonded onto the substrate when fired at high temperatures. When properly vitrified, the heavy metals are highly resistant to leaching in landfills or to volatilization in incinerators.


NERC Annual Meeting of the Board Minutes, October 2004
The Minutes from the NERC Annual Meeting are now posted. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.



Hartford & Mansfield Special Event Recycling
In Connecticut recycling is a state law, and we are all required to recycle at home, at work, or out at a special event. We have made great progress in CT and recycling has become a part of life for most people. We separate recyclables from our trash at home, but somehow at special events, the recycling ethic escapes us. The City of Hartford and the town of Mansfield have taken a stand to do something about the inadequate recycling options at special events.

The Hartford MarathonThe Hartford Marathon
Staff from the City Council, Hartford's Waste & Recycling and Parks Departments, and the CT DEP teamed up with the Hartford Marathon Foundation, Inc. to pilot special events recycling, starting with this year's Hartford Marathon on October 9, 2004. Ten Clear Stream™ units (see photo) were placed in Bushnell Park along with fifteen 95-gallon blue recycling toters. The Clear Stream™ units make recycling straightforward since they have holes in their lids that fit only bottles and cans and are well labeled. In addition, their clear bags allow people to see what is in the receptacle and this discourages contamination with trash. The 95 gallon blue toters, however, were sometimes mistaken for trash containers, especially if there wasn't a green trash barrel placed right next to it. With the help of enthusiastic volunteers most bottles were collected for recycling and the grounds were trash free. The pilot program was a success, a great learning experience and jump-start to establish recycling at all special events held in the Capitol city. 

Mansfield Festival on the Green
Festival on the Green Composting StationMansfield celebrated its first Festival on the Green on Sunday afternoon, September 19, 2004.Festival on the Green Recycling Station Waste stations included can and bottle recycling, Hosmer Mountain Soda bottle return and composting. Food vendors were asked to serve food on paper plates or bowls and beverages in recyclable containers. Attendees were provided with knives, forks and spoons made from corn. Volunteers guided fair attendees in the disposal of their waste. At the end of the day 71 pounds of paper plates and cups, napkins, corn-based forks and spoons, and food went to the transfer station for composting. 29 pounds of bottles and cans were recycled, Hosmer Mountain Soda got their bottles back for reuse and the remaining 82 pounds went to the trash incinerator. Of the 182 pounds of waste produced, 55% of it was either recycled or composted. Mansfield used 20 "trash stations" in total. Clear StreamTM Units (see photo) were placed next to the trash barrels and composting buckets. The town of Mansfield owns 10 Clear Stream™ Units and had borrowed the other 10 from the town of Middletown and Granby.

For more information please contact Ginny Walton, recycling coordinator for Mansfield.

  • DO put out one recycling container for each trash barrel and place them right next to each other.
  • DO label all containers clearly so that no one is confused as to what belongs in them.
  • DO use lids on the recycling containers that have just the right sized holes for bottles and cans--this prevents contamination.

Beneficial Use General Permits
Beneficial Use ProgramAs solid waste disposal costs in Connecticut continue to increase, one of the priorities of the DEP is to promote the beneficial use of certain materials that otherwise would be burned or landfilled. Beneficial use is defined as using a solid waste in a manufacturing process to make a product or as an effective substitute for a commercial product. (See Connecticut General Statute 22a-209f for more information.)

As a result of several proposals from businesses in the State, the Beneficial Use Program, administered by the Bureau of Waste Management, is in its final stages of drafting three general permits: 1) Storage and Processing of Scrap Tires; 2) Storage, Distribution and Beneficial Use of Two Inch Nominal Tire Chip Aggregate in Leaching Systems in Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems; and 3) Storage and/or Processing of Asphalt Roofing Shingles (ARS), and/or for the Storage, Distribution and Beneficial Use of Ground Asphalt Aggregate (GAA). The first general permit will allow current scrap tire volume reduction facilities as well as new businesses to register as a "Storage and Processing Scrap Tire Facility." This permit will allow a scrap tire volume reduction facility to process this waste into a recyclable material. The permit has a maximum storage and processing capacity in addition to other appropriate permit conditions that will ensure protecting of human health and the environment while encouraging the reuse of our limited resources. Registration, applicable fees and financial assurance will be required.

The second general permit will allow the storage, distribution and beneficial use of two (2) inch nominal tire chip aggregate in leaching systems in subsurface sewage disposal systems. These "retailers" of two (2) inch nominal tire chip aggregate have minimal permit requirements, require the general permit approval, will ensure that this recyclable material is used appropriately, and shall assist in verifying the marketability of this material. The subsurface sewage disposal systems installers would be required to follow the DPH technical standards currently under development and would not have to register with DEP.

Shingle RecyclingThe third beneficial use general permit would allow spent residential asphalt roofing shingles to be stored, processed, beneficially used as Ground Asphalt Aggregate (GAA) in sub-base, aggregate base and/or hot mix binder applications where it will be covered with a top course of asphalt pavement. Hot mix asphalt top course cannot be produced with GAA. This general permit will assist in the removal of this waste stream from our landfill and provides the mechanism for reusing our finite resources.

The draft permits will be ready for public notice this autumn. All interested parties will have a 30-day Public Notice period to comment in writing on these permits. Public hearings will then be scheduled. 

The ReCONNstruction CenterThe ReCONNstruction Center Goes International
On the World Wide Web, that is! The ReCONNstruction Center recently launched its website. The new website is attractively designed and easy to navigate and is an important step in promoting their mission and building name recognition.

The ReCONNstruction Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmental and social sustainability by salvaging unwanted, but good building materials, reselling them at affordable prices and to support these activities specifically in urban areas.

A lot has happened in the last year for the ReCONNstruction Center. Besides the website, their next biggest accomplishment was winning Ford Motor Company's Best Business Plan Contest, surpassing 1,200 other applicants. In addition to the cash award, they have been assigned a counselor from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) who will advise them for one year on the implementation of their business plan. The Center is currently open by appointment only, but they are aggressively pursuing the lease of a warehouse/retail space that the Center can call home.

Finding funding seems to be the biggest challenge and hurdle. They are also still in need of people willing to serve on volunteer committees and the Board of Directors. And, of course, they are anxious to find an affordable warehouse/retail space.


Maine Recycles Week a Success!!
Communities, schools, and businesses across the state celebrated the sixth annual Maine Recycles Week, held from November 8th to the 15th. This week-long, statewide event promotes recycling and the importance of buying products made from recycling materials. Throughout this week, schools, businesses, and municipalities will acknowledge the importance of recycling through a variety of activities that range from school events and displays to specially-scheduled promotions at local transfer stations and recycling facilities. 40 schools competed for recognition in the most thorough slate of activities ever. This year, cash awards will be presented to the top seven schools participating in Maine Recycles Week, based upon their ability to successfully plan and implement recycling and related programs. A traditional high point of the week is the annual school poster competition, which for this year students will interpret the theme Reach for Recycling! in their artwork. Last year, over 1,000 posters were submitted for judging. The top winning posters will appear on next year's recycling calendar.

Mrs. Baldacci Welcomes Maine Recycles Week 2004 Sponsors & Steering Committee Members
The First Lady welcomed sponsors and steering committee members to the Blaine House on November 8. Mrs. Baldacci read from the official proclamation, in which the Governor named November 8-15 as Maine Recycles Week 2004. As an educator, Mrs. Baldacci acknowledged the importance of working with our children and emphasizing the responsibility we have to recycle and reduce the wastes we generate. A steering committee of representatives from business, organizations, and local government supports and oversees the event. Private donors sponsor it. This year's sponsors include: Penobscot Energy Recovery Company, The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Domtar Industries, Inc., Maine Energy Recovery Company, Maine Resource Recovery Association, Maine Turnpike Authority, Lewiston Sun Journal, Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Maine State Planning Office, Aggregate Recycling Corporation, Poland Spring Bottling Company, Returnable Services Inc., Waste Management, Inc., L.L Bean, Oakhurst Dairy, Commercial Paving & Recycling, Chewonki Foundation, Boise, Colony Hotel, Harraseeket Inn, Northern Maine Development Commission, HP Hood, Inc., Maine Recycling Corporation. Mrs. Baldacci congratulated the steering committee for its efforts and recognized the sponsors for their important contributions with words of appreciation and plaques. 

Municipal Solid Waste Report Summaries Are Now Available
Reconciliation has been completed on 311 municipal solid waste management reports for the calendar year 2003. Summaries of the individual programs are being developed and mailed to each reporting program. The three documents being sent include 2003 year data as well as up to nine past years of data and include: a solid waste management program summary data sheet, with totals of municipal solid waste and recycling information; a review of their recycling program efforts; and a sheet showing detailed breakdowns on various components of the waste stream.

Cost-Sharing Continues for Household Hazardous Waste Programs
The Waste Management & Recycling Program will again be accepting applications for cost-sharing support related to the collection and management of household hazardous waste (HHW) in 2005. Applications will be accepted from all publicly furnished programs, including new applicants as well as those programs that received funding in 2003-04. While the Office anticipates that grant requests will be focused on reimbursement for 'one-day' HHW collection events, alternative management options will be reviewed.

The grants furnish financial assistance, along with on going technical support, for the proper management of unwanted and unused HHW products. Approximately $200,000 in grant funds is available to municipalities and other public entities to assist with the operating expenses of publicly offered household hazardous waste management programs, with a priority given to regional programs. In order for all applications received in 2005 to have equal funding opportunity, Applications for Reimbursement will be accepted and aggregated through November 30, 2005, at which time awards will be made.

The program's over arching goal is to improve the well being and safety of our citizens in their environment. Household hazardous wastes pose a threat to our environment and are a risk to persons in their homes. These wastes can also be harmful to workers in the solid waste industry if mismanaged or disposed of improperly. This program is intended to encourage the safe and timely removal and management of HHW.

Board of Environmental Protection Dismisses Appeals on Landfill
On October 21, the Board of Environmental Protection heard appeals filed against the Department of Environmental Protection's decision to issue a license amendment to the State Planning Office for the West Old Town landfill that is now owned by SPO. In a meeting that lasted all day, the board heard from the appellants, 'We The People' and Paul Schroeder, as well as testimony from the State Planning Office, Casella Waste Services, who is the selected contractor for SPO, and DEP staff. The board deliberated for nearly an hour before voting 7-1 to dismiss the appeals. For more information, contact George MacDonald.



MA DEP chosen for EPA Grant Funds
The MA DEP proposal to EPA's Resource Conservation Challenge Innovative Workgroup proposal has been chosen for funding. This project will provide a variety of technical assistance methods to enable supermarkets and other large generators of food waste to cost-effectively divert food waste from disposal to composting operations, and to assist compost operations located on farms, and municipal and state lands, by helping them to improve management practices and increase cost-effectiveness of their composting operations.

The Fifth Massachusetts Organics Recycling Summit
"Getting to Yes: Strategies for Organics Recycling Success"
When: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2005, 8:30am to 4:00pm
Where: Boxborough Holiday Inn, Boxborough, MA.

Join 200 of your colleagues in a daylong summit focused on the food waste management and composting infrastructure in Massachusetts. Presentations will address the challenges and successes of promoting and growing programs and capacity of food waste generators, haulers and compost facility operators. Visit dozens of equipment and product vendors and network with colleagues and potential business partners. 


DEP Awards $863,000 Grant to Promote Continued Growth of State's Recycling Industry
The DEP has awarded a $863,429 grant to Penn State University to create the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center at Penn State-Harrisburg to encourage the continued growth and economic health of the Commonwealth's recycling and reuse industry, which already leads the nation in employment, payroll and sales numbers.

"The success of our recycling program is proof that environmental stewardship can be a driver for sustained economic growth," said Secretary McGinty, who made the announcement at the Penn State Harrisburg Campus in Middletown, Dauphin County. "This center will assist in developing healthy, accessible markets for Pennsylvania's recycled materials."

Pennsylvania's recycling industry comprises more than 3,247 recycling and reuse businesses and organizations that generate more than $18.4 billion in gross annual sales, pay $305 million in taxes and provide jobs for more than 81,322 employees at an annual payroll of approximately $2.9 billion.

The mission of the Recycling Markets Center, or RMC, is to expand and develop more secure and robust markets for recovered secondary materials, stimulate demand for products with recycled content, and research and maintain up-to-date market trend data. The center will be the lead organization to develop recycling markets in Pennsylvania, working with environmental, technical assistance and economic development organizations to support generators, haulers, processors, manufacturers and end-users of recycled materials and products.

"Our job is to create the center, and get it up and running. However, the RMC will have its own board of directors and staff, and will operate as an independent entity," said Dr. Charles A. Cole, Berg Professor of Environmental Engineering and Director of the Environmental Training Center at Penn State Harrisburg, which, as the parent entity, will review such items as RMC strategic plans, business plans and financial reports. "The center is an exciting prospect and will continue Pennsylvania's leadership in the important field of recycling, by showing the way to develop new markets for recycled products."

DEP earlier this month awarded $485,270 in recycling markets infrastructure development grants to finance equipment purchases that will increase the use of Pennsylvania-generated recycled feedstock at Waste Not Technologies LLC of Saylorsburg, Monroe County, and St. Jude Polymer Corp. of Frackville, Schuylkill County. The increased ability of manufacturers to locate and consume materials from state recycling programs will encourage the development and expansion of Pennsylvania's recycling industry, directly benefiting both our environment and the economy.

"The RMC is the next logical step in our recycling program," Secretary McGinty said. "For us to recycle more of our trash instead of sending it to landfills, which is better for our environment, we must make sure there are viable local markets for all the recycled materials."

Act 175 of 2002 requires DEP to develop a recycling program plan, including a market-development program, and formulate strategies to make recycling programs in Pennsylvania self-sufficient. Market development programs will be financed by the Recycling Fund, which is supported by a $2 per ton fee on all materials disposed of in landfills in Pennsylvania. Act 175 extended the Recycling Fund fee through 2008.

Governor Rendell has proposed an $800 million bond referendum to expand and enhance Growing Greener. Part of this initiative would provide $25 million a year to the Recycling Fund to assist municipalities with existing programs that give more than 10 million Pennsylvanians access to recycling. The money also will help 42 municipalities newly mandated to recycle as a result of the 2000 federal census. However, the Legislature did not pass the Governor's initiative before adjourning for summer.

For more information on Pennsylvania's recycling market development programs, visit, Keyword: "DEP Market Development."

Demonstration Grants
DEP has awarded $137,600 in Waste Recovery Demonstration Grants for two public-private partnerships to develop innovative resource-recovery projects in Philadelphia and McKean counties. These projects are for public and private entities working in partnership to develop innovative waste-recovery processes.

Liberty Township, McKean County, in conjunction with RecycALL Inc., will receive $100,000 to develop and demonstrate a manufacturing process that utilizes mixed broken glass derived from the processing of recyclables. The glass will be used as a raw material in the production of concrete products such as highway barriers and drainage outlet boxes.

Philadelphia, in partnership with the White Dog Café, will use $37,600 to establish an on-site, in-vessel, food-composting demonstration project. The project will highlight composting operational needs and issues in an urban setting while producing a compost soil amendment.

DEP offers up to three Resource Recovery Demonstration Grants worth as much as $100,000 each year to municipalities, counties and solid waste authorities to fund up to 75 percent of the cost of developing unique and innovative demonstration projects that recover energy or materials from solid waste. Grants are funded under the Solid Waste Resource Recovery Development Act, known as Act 198 of 1974. Demonstration projects must recover at least 50 percent of the solid waste entering the system, either in the form of energy or materials. Eligible costs include education, final engineering, capital costs, and testing and evaluation.

PENNDOT Recycling Initiatives
Tarrtown Bridge Project Tire Shred Embankment Project
The Tarrtown Bridge Project, which will use approximately 750,000 tires as lightweight geotechnical fill, is ongoing. The tire shredding and bridge construction contract was awarded to A&L Construction (Belle Vernon, PA). The PENNDOT Strategic Environmental Management (SEM) Program Office developed the geotechnical subsurface and embankment model for the Tarrtown project to model slope stability, embankment movements, and settlement, and developed trigger values for the instrument alarm system designed to monitor temperature, pressure and voltage in the fill area. This project used tires from two municipal cleanups, thus saving disposal costs for DEP and the associated municipalities. PENNDOT also held two tire amnesty days, and a tire collection day for tire dealers, replacement and automotive companies to supply clean car and truck tires for no tipping fee in order to obtain the tires necessary for the project.

Post-Consumer Shingles in Hot Mixed Asphalt (HMA) in a Paving Demonstration Project
Evidence that PENNDOT's SEM Program Office is becoming recognized for promoting recycled materials reuse is that contractors are now beginning to initiate material substitutions on PENNDOT projects. A contractor initiated the project for this project with no cost substitution. This project was conducted even though the first post-consumer shingle project conducted by PENNDOT was evaluated in May -June 2004 as not being successful. As a result, PENNDOT SEM Program Office has opened dialogue with the contractors to address perceived issues and performance in anticipation of possibly conducting additional demonstration project projects.

Septic Sand
Recycled glass manufactured to meet the specifications for fine or coarse aggregate in DEP's on-lot sewage system regulations had been acceptable for use as a replacement for aggregates in on-lot systems for many years. However the required approval process of this material by the Department on a site-by-site basis made its use impractical. In February 2004, a listing was added to the alternate aggregate section of the Alternate Systems Guidance to help remove previous barriers from the use of recycled glass in on-lot systems. Glass sand for on-lot systems including free access intermittent sand filters and recirculating sand filters now requires approval only by the sewage enforcement officer, and not by the Department, on a site-by-site basis, which is the same requirement that all aggregates have. As a result, one MRF has depleted their stockpile of about 8,000 tons of broken glass cullet within a few months of approval of this requirement.

Rails to Trails Project
PENNDOT is working with a local conservancy group to construct an embankment for handicap access to an old rail trail with the use of crushed glass as fill material. It is estimated that approximately 22,500 tons of glass cullet will be needed for the 700 linear foot section of the trail that needs to be filled to meet existing grade. DEP provides support for such projects through a Memorandum of Understanding with PENNDOT's Strategic Environmental Management Program Office (SEM). Funding in the amount of $90,000 from the SEM Program Office will offset additional design and purchase costs associated with utilizing the glass cullet.

Crushed Glass-Dredge Material Blends
DEP is supporting a demonstration project through PENNDOT's SEM Program in conjunction with the Army Corp to utilize dredge material from the Delaware River to blend with crushed glass in order to enhance the physical properties of the material so that it can be used in embankments or as structural fill material. If this project is successful, this method may be utilized in metropolitan areas in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Erie, where PENNDOT can receive dredge material provided for free by the Army Corp and blend it with locally crushed glass, thus saving on transportation costs of appropriate soils into these urban areas. This use will require a beneficial use permit from DEP and language for the permit will be developed as part of the project. Field-testing is now complete and modeling efforts will be underway shortly.

Workshop on the Engineering Applications Using Crushed Glass
DEP and PENNDOT will conduct the second crushed glass workshop in Spring 2005. The purpose of the workshop is to share new information on crushed glass applications in transportation and other engineering applications. The last workshop brought together PENNDOT district engineers and glass processors, and resulted in renewed interest in using glass as an alternative to aggregate in transportation projects.

Glass Processors Update
All of the glass processors in PA have been visited by DEP recycling staff.


Use of Recycled Concrete Aggregate in Road Applications
ANR Staff are working with the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VAOT) to increase the state's use of Recycled Concrete Aggregate. Currently, towns are reluctant to use recycled concrete based solely on ASHTO specs. Towns want to know that the materials they use meet state specs as well. The VAOT is evaluating the use of recycled concrete as a sub-base, considering a pilot project to focus on this use and writing recycled concrete aggregate specifications.

Fluorescent Lamps Recycling Pilot
DEC is currently working with a retail hardware store chain (True Value) in Vermont to establish a two-year pilot program for the collection of small quantities of fluorescent lamps and tubes from homeowners and small businesses for recycling. Under the pilot project, funding would be provided to the hardware chain for lamp collection, transport and recycling. This program would potentially provide convenient year-round collection for residential and small business generators of fluorescents throughout the state in more that 25 locations.

At the present time, lack of year-round convenient collection is a major barrier to recycling. DEC has an active ongoing outreach campaign that has included newspaper and radio ads, direct mailings to businesses, newspaper inserts of a lamp recycling flyer, outreach to schools, and outreach to solid waste haulers. DEC will be comparing statewide recycling rates for previous years (prior to the campaign) and the current calendar year 2004.

Association of Vermont Recyclers (AVR) Revamping its Educational Programs
Beginning in January 2005, AVR will initiate a new line of service-learning, place-based educational programs and provide schools with more ongoing technical assistance. School programs will focus on Composting, Recycling, Watershed/Hazardous Waste, and Consumerism. It will continue to offer its theatre productions, "ReUse Art," Illegal Burning and Healthy Homes, Clean Water programs to schools and communities.

AVR Projects Update
Special Events
In September, AVR hosted a Trash Mask booth about ReUse Art at theTunbridge World's Fair with artist Sandy Rainer. In October, AVR again
teamed up with teen actors from the Solar Fest Troupe to perform AVR's 'The End of The World Show', which is a teen written satiric farce about
consumerism's impact on the earth. It was the main evening entertainment at the annual New England Environmental Education Association (NEEEA) Conference. The teen troupe received a standing ovation, and then fielded a half hour of questions from educators anxious to gain insight on youth involvement in and perceptions of environmental issues. AVR collaborates with organizations and schools to create teen End of the World Troupes.

The Youth Environmental Coalition (YEC) at the NEEAA conference through an AVR workshop entitled For Teens, By Teens. Five teens, from three high schools, presented a mini-waste audit (a.k.a. Trash on the Lawn Day) and described waste reduction projects at their schools. The students planned and facilitated the session with assistance from AVR's new YEC Coordinator, Rista Harness. At the next full YEC meeting, scheduled for the first weekend in November, the teens will begin planning the 2005 Youth Environmental Summit and other YEC activities.

School Technical Assistance
AVR is mailing information to over 500 Vermont schools to encourage recycling of fluorescent bulbs. AVR staff will be available to assist schools to learn how to properly package, store, and recycle spent fluorescents. Options available to schools include their local solid waste district, electrical wholesalers that offer recycling services, bulk lamp recyclers, and the state's purchasing contracts for fluorescent bulb recycling.

EP Cleaners in Schools Taskforce
AVR has organized a taskforce of statewide organizations to form a multi year strategy to help all Vermont schools switch to environmental preferable cleaning products. We are working with VT Dept. of Health's ENVISION program, VT Dept. of Environmental Conservation, INFORM, plus others.

Healthy Home Clean Waters Campaign (HHCW)
HHCW educates the public about Household Hazardous Wastes, impacts on water quality and human health, and how to switch to less toxic alternatives. AVR is completing a town wide project in Bethel Vermont. We hosted HHCW exhibit tables at the Recycle Depot, Town Meeting, the Bethel Festival and others. AVR also conducted a publicity campaign, mercury thermometer exchanges and educated people on the need to recycle florescent bulbs. AVR's HHCW is most effective as a town wide or district wide campaign, with input from community leaders.


Eight NERC States Join Initiative to Curb Backyard Burning
Eight NERC states - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont - have signed a resolution to reduce pollution caused by backyard burning of household waste. The resolution calls for strengthening restrictions of open-air burning and educating residents about the environmental hazards.

A study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state and the DEC found that burning 10 pounds of household trash in a barrel potentially causes as much pollution as burning 400,000 pounds of trash in a commercial incinerator. The regional project to reduce backyard burning has been lead by NEWMOA with funding from EPA Region I.

Electronics Recycling Update from Nova Scotia (and Atlantic Canada)
As indicated in the August 3 update, the four Atlantic Provinces, with additional support from Natural Resources Canada, Industry Canada, and EPS Canada, commissioned an "Electronic Waste Recovery Study". The budget for this comprehensive initiative is pegged at $100,000 with a target completion date of January 31, 2005. The two key objectives are to identify the current national infrastructure for reusing and recycling EoL electronics and, secondly, to focus on the options and economics for establishing collection, reuse, and recycling systems for EoL electronics in Atlantic Canada.

Further to the August update, the Steering Committee received the draft first interim report from PHA Consulting Associates on September 3, 2004. Our committee met with the consultant at the offices of Industry Canada in Ottawa, ON, on September 16 for a formal presentation of the report and in-depth discussion regarding content, offering comments and consensus approved input for a final version of the document which has since been received. Titled "Establishing The Baseline", this report addressed and updated volume estimates of product generation and quantities of materials found in EoL electronics, identified existing systems for collecting and processing EoL electronics (in Canada and beyond), as well as end-use markets for both reutilized products and the various component materials.

The target date is November 30 for receipt of the second interim report, which will address: preferred collection options, focusing on producer take back and depot systems; preferred options for processing EoL products that are suitable for reuse, as well as those that are not, focusing on refurbishing, or pre-processing for component materials and centralized processing; regulatory framework requirements for these preferred options; defining of stewardship roles within these frameworks; and a benefits analysis.

Venues for the second and third meetings were flipped to facilitate a tour of the Computers for Schools facility in Ottawa, as this leading-edge refurbishing facility and its smaller-scale satellite operations across the country are poised to play a significant role as provinces or regions roll out electronics recycling programs. The mid-December meeting in Moncton, NB, will include a presentation on results of a six-month pilot electronics collection project conducted by Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation in Moncton and surrounding areas.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia's Minister of Environment and Labour remains committed to establishing a program in the province. An initial steering committee meeting was held on August 31 with representation from the Department, RRFB Nova Scotia, EPS Canada and the Retail Council of Canada. Draft regulations for an "Electronic Product Stewardship Program" have been readied for public consultation, which may be announced in the weeks ahead.