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NERC's mission is to advance an environmentally sustainable economy by promoting source and toxicity reduction, recycling, and the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services.
State and Advisory Member Updates, as well articles of General Interest are provided as submissions to NERC and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.
NERC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
A hallmark of NERC is the strength of multi-stakeholder involvement and problem solving. This is a direct result of the active participation and support of NERC’s Advisory Members. To see a listing of Advisory Members and the benefits of membership, visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.
The broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC’s Advisory Members and Board Members and their willingness to participate significantly contribute to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.
Ever wonder how to use and benefit from web-based social networking, material trading, and environmental measurement tools? If so, plan on joining us on March 23 for NERC’s Spring ’10 Workshop to learn what these tools are, how to use them, and how to harness the opportunities they provide for marketing your operations.
Mark your calendar now and watch for the agenda and registration in January.
Date:March 23, 2010
Location: Hotel Northampton, Northampton, Massachusetts
Agenda & Registration Availability: Early January on NERC’s website
Who Should Attend: Businesses, business service providers, state environmental agencies, municipal recycling coordinators, sustainability coordinators, consultants, and non-profit organizations.
For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC Assistant Director and Events Manager.
As part of a USDA rural school assistance grant, NERC will be providing technical assistant to eight schools in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. NERC staff will work with the schools to promote source reduction, recycling, and composting. The first on-site school visit will take place in New York in December.
For more information, contact NERC Projects Manager Athena Lee Bradley.
NERC is delighted to report that it has received funding from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to administer the Vermont Business Materials Exchange (VBMX) for a second year.
VBMX has grown in the past year, with a steady stream of posted listings and the number of VBMX members has increased. VBMX now has 770 active members—a 58% increase in membership since April. And, currently there are 80 available items posted, and 18 wanted.
We know that VBMX works because we regularly receive testimonials about the impact that VBMX has made. For example:
For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC Assistant Director and VBMX Manager.
NERC’s Board of Directors has completed a strategic plan for the organization for 2010 – 2012. Entitled “Envisioning Our Future,” it sets as NERC’s goals to:
For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.
Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) hosted Rhode Island Recycles Day on Saturday, November 21. Rhode Island Recycles Day is a local celebration of America Recycles Day, observed on November 15. For the event, RIRRC offered expanded recycling services and new partnerships to increase awareness and educate the public about recycling.
Throughout the year RIRRC hosts local household hazardous waste and e-waste drop offs in Rhode Island’s 39 municipalities and at the Central Landfill in Johnston. At Rhode Island Recycles Day, Rhode Islanders had the opportunity to recycle standard e-waste and household hazardous waste items, and also other items ranging from rechargeable batteries and hard-to-recycle plastics to personal papers that needed shredding. Shred-it, was onsite with four mobile shredding trucks to handle secure destruction of confidential documents.
In addition to Shed-it, the Call2Recycle Mobile Educational trailer was onsite. The interactive trailer visits recycling sites throughout the United States and Canada offering attendees the ability to test their recycling knowledge and learn how rechargeable battery and cell phone recycling helps conserve natural resources. Visitors can also play games and win prizes.
PSEG once again has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI North America), a list comprising the leading 20 percent of North American companies in terms of sustainability performance. The results of the DJSI are watched by market participants and are used by asset managers in 16 countries to manage a variety of sustainability-driven portfolios, such as mutual funds.
“We agree with those who say that long-term shareholder value is created by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental, and social developments,” said Ralph Izzo, PSEG Chairman, President, and CEO. “We are committed to the key ingredients that drive long-term financial growth: operational excellence and disciplined investment.”
PSEG was one of 139 companies named to the DJSI North America list, and one of only 10 U.S. electric companies to be listed on the index. PSEG’s 2009 Corporate Sustainability Report is available online.
Everyone wants to know their carbon footprint; businesses, consumers, and government officials are more aware than ever of the ways their actions affect climate change. Recycling is one way that people and businesses reduce their greenhouse gas emissions every day. Now, EPA has developed the online iWARM tool, which lets people quickly and easily calculate the impact of a recycling activity – recycling an aluminum can, for example – on climate change.
iWARM, which stands for individual waste reduction model, calculates the amount of energy and greenhouse gas emissions that are saved when certain consumer products – such as a cereal box or an aluminum can – are recycled instead of sent to a landfill. iWARM contains information about 19 household products that are commonly recycled. The energy savings from recycling each product are displayed both in numerical amounts and in terms of the amount of time certain household appliances could run on that amount of energy. For example, recycling a one-gallon plastic milk container saves enough energy to operate a 60W incandescent light bulb for more than eight hours. Assumptions about the recyclable products and the energy consumed by household appliances are also available online.
iWARM builds on EPA’s WARM tool, which calculated the energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions from certain waste management practices, such as recycling a ton of scrap aluminum. The assessments developed for WARM are used in several other environmental tools, including the Northeast Recycling Council’s Environmental Benefits Calculator. While WARM was developed primarily for businesses and municipalities, iWARM was developed with individuals in mind. iWARM is the next step in extending the concept pioneered by WARM to other activities.
It was recently reported in Waste and Recycling News that annual catalog deliveries amount to about 56 for each American. According to Catalogue Choice some 20 billion catalogs are produced each year for American households, consuming some 3.6 million tons of paper. Paper used to manufacture catalogs tends to contain less recycled content then other types of paper production and as a result uses up to 15 million trees a year, according to Catalogue Choice. They estimate the energy used to produce and dispose of all that paper is equal to some 119 trillion BTUs, and accounts for 11 million tons each year of CO2 emissions. On top of that there is an estimated 56 billion gallons of waste water generated, along with 4.1 million tons of solid waste.
While we all like to look at the nice pictures of items in catalogues, the Internet affords us an equally pleasing view of most catalogues. Ordering items online is certainly fast and easy. Catalogue Choice offers an easy “opt out” online answer to many of the most popular catalogues. It may take some persistence on our part to eliminate unwanted catalogue mailings, but even a small reduction in catalogue production can have a huge impact on our environment.
Something to think about for next year’s holiday season…greening your holiday lights and recycling the old incandescent bulbs. According to HolidayLEDs, their bulbs consume 90% less energy than regular, incandescent holiday lights and have up to a 50,000 hour bulb life. The company also offers customers a chance to recycle their old incandescent holiday lights and receive a 15% coupon discount on any purchase of new LED holiday lights off their website. Last year the company recycled 5,000 pounds of incandescent lights. The program will run through February 2010.
A final note for the holiday season—a European company (Royal DSM) suggests that a solution for the millions of holiday trees decorating our homes each year (30 million real Christmas trees in the U.S. alone) is to recycle them into ethanol. According to the company, converting five Christmas trees could make enough ethanol to power a car for about 120 miles.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome. Send them to Athena Lee Bradley.