Renewing Sustaining Member
New Supporting Members
Renewing Supporting Members
Membership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to sustainable materials management. We are very pleased that two new Supporting Members have joined: Environmental Education & Research Foundation (EREF) and Northern Virginia Solid Waste Management Board
In addition, we thank our newest Supporting Member Urban Mining Northeast, and renewing Supporting Members International Sleep Products Association, MSW Consultants and Materials Innovation & Recycling Authority (MIRA).
To see a complete listing of NERC's Members and Supporters, as well as the benefits of membership, visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.
Headquartered in Patterson, NY, new NERC Advisory Member Bottle Crusher US is the sole domestic distributor of compact glass bottle crushers designed and manufactured by New Zealand-based Expleco. Describing the products distributed by Bottle Crusher US, Expleco states, “We provide solutions that are both economically and environmentally sustainable and reduce pressure on global landfill and waterway catchments. Our aim is to assist and support environmentally conscious brands and establishments in their ongoing battle to minimize their operational footprint.”
NERC spoke recently with Steven Hebert, President of Bottle Crusher US, about the challenges of starting up a business during a pandemic and the successes he and his company have realized in its early days.
Hebert established Bottle Crusher “just before the virus hit,” he said. “I had just gotten notice that our first machines arrived. With the pandemic it’s been quite a challenge but we have been well received by the marketplace.”
The recycling of glass presents unique challenges to many communities, especially given the expense of transporting such heavy materials over distances; as Hebert noted, “Trucking is what kills the profit, as a result, glass is often sent to landfills. It can represent 20% by weight of trash from communities that have ended or suspended the recycling of glass.” Hebert said.
“Each year only one-third of the roughly 10 million metric tons of glass that Americans throw away is recycled,” Chemical & Engineering News reported in 2019. Solutions to the problem of landfilled glass require an all-hands-on deck approach, and the products distributed by Bottle Crusher US provide one: the crushing of glass bottles into sand and other construction and infrastructure materials.
Given the gravity of the glass recycling problem, it’s not surprising to learn that the field occupied by Bottle Crusher US and other companies has become increasingly competitive. However, “We’re totally different because a majority of our competitors are based on a much larger footprint, and that’s where the problem is,” Hebert said. “If you spend $5 million (on a machine) to recycle glass you have to have a large region, you have to truck the glass in and truck the sand out. With ours, a good-sized two-ton operation installed is $50,000.”
“Our smallest unit does 600 pounds per hour,” he continued. “It’s a good place to start and get involved, and grow from there. We have a group down in New Orleans we’ve been working with. It’s three kids from Tulane and right now they’re picking up 10,000 pounds of glass three times a week.”
“Every single beer glass and wine bottle that is used in the city will exist forever in a landfill a couple hundred miles from here, and simultaneously we're losing so much land every single minute due to coastal erosion," Tulane student Max Steitz said. "If we could set up this symbiotic system that works well to solve these problems, it could do some real good for the city."
Hebert said, “We’re working with professors and different labs and coming up with formulas for topsoil, sandblasting, and concrete: there are all kinds of uses. The Tulane kids did one TV spot, which got six million hits. We’re getting a lot of interest from colleges, restaurants, bars, hotels, wineries, high rise office and residential buildings, and community groups as well.”
The involvement of Hebert and his company with NERC began with its sponsorship of NERC’s Glass Forum in September. “The contacts are the hard part, and our meeting through the Forum was invaluable to us,” he said. “We’re setting up a forum so that users of our products can talk to each other and share information.”
Hebert also noted the benefits of becoming and Advisory Member. “The exposure that we’ve received and the availability and access to influential contacts have been a real positive boost to our business.” NERC welcomes Bottle Crusher US to its growing roster of Advisory Member, and looks forward to ongoing collaborations to help solve the problems associated with recycling glass.
Recycled content products began with paper, but attention has shifted to plastic. It's time to re-focus on paper! This webinar will address current market place dynamics and opportunities for recycled content paper.
Terry Webber, Executive Director of Packaging, AF&PA, will provide an in-depth overview of paper recycling in the US and globally, how markets are shifting, the use of mixed paper in products, and the role of minimum recycled content requirements.
Laura Rowell, Director, Global Sustainability, for Sonoco Products Company. She will discuss Sonoco's paper packaging recycled content initiatives, the types of products that rely on mixed paper, and international projects to introduce innovation in package recycling.
We hear about the challenges associated with plastic use, recycling and disposal almost daily. A "talk show" panel of speakers will discuss the global perspective and what their organizations are doing to address plastic use, waste, and recycling. The panel will be moderated by Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director, NERC. Panel members will be:
Dave Ford, Founder, Ocean Plastics Leadership Council
Erin Simon, Head, Plastic Waste and Business, World Wildlife Fund
Moving the conversation about alternative recycling technologies from speculation to reality, and its role relative to traditional recycling programs and post-consumer resins, is the goal of this webinar. We will hear from:
Paula Luu, Closed Loop Partners, will describe what alternative recycling technologies are, its role as it relates to mechanical recycling, including market impacts, and the question whether the resins resulting from these technologies “truly” post-consumer.
Ron Cotterman, Sealed Air, will discuss the company's commitment to post-consumer content and its use of resins (PET) that are both mechanically sourced and from alternative recycling suppliers.
Mark Agerton, Proctor & Gamble, will discuss its use of polypropylene from mechanical and alternative recycling sources, and the relationship to long-term sustainability goals.
Craig Cookson, American Chemistry Council, will moderate the webinar.
This webinar will provide purchasing officials, decision-makers, and recycling advocates with information about:
Presenter Richard Keller, Baltimore County (MD) Bureau of Solid Waste Management, Recycling Division, has more than 40 years of legislative, policy and implementation experience in buy recycling programs. He has conducted more than 180 training programs on buying recycled programs and is the author of the Buy Recycled Training Manual.
Depackaging is a relative new player in the commercial composting industry, providing a tool for commercially generated food waste - such as unsold and damaged food and beverages - to be separated from its packaging. The food is composted in an anaerobic digestor and the packaging is recycled. In this webinar, jointly hosted by NERC and NEWMOA, we will hear from three industry experts on this topic:
|Debra Darby, Tetra Tech - will lay the context for how depackaging and anaerobic digestion fit into the commercial composting framework and its evolution.
|John Hanselman, Vanguard Energy - will discuss their depackaging facilities and the relationship to anaerobic digestion and on-farm composting.
|Brian Paganini, Quantum BioPower - will discuss their depackaging and anaerobic digestor, as well as the soil amendment manufactured as part of the process and its packaging recycling program.
Taking action to support the recycling industry is essential - especially these days. A new national program, the NERC-APR Government Recycling Demand Champion Program, provides a simple strategy for closing the loop by buying products with post-consumer plastic recycled content.
Presenters will be:
|Ali Briggs-Ungerer, Association of Plastic Recyclers, will discuss the long-standing APR Demand Champions Program that drives the use of post-consumer plastic resin in the private sector.
Lynn Rubinstein, Program Manager of the Government Recycling Demand Champion Program, will introduce this new opportunity for state, regional and local governments, schools, colleges and universities to take action to drive the value of recycling markets by buying recycled
This is a national program and all are welcome to join the webinar.
With the new year, will the recycling markets get better? We will hear from three leading industry experts on what to expect in 2021.
The Conference will be held on March 30 – 31, 2021 and will be a virtual event. Mark your calendar now, so you don’t miss it!
NERC’s staff and the Agenda Planning Committee (APC), made up of NERC’s Board of Directors and Advisory Members, are busy developing the agenda. The Spring APC includes the following:
Board of Directors
We expect to have the agenda posted on NERC’s website by January.
The Conference contact is Mary Ann Remolador, Assistant Director & Events Organizer.
The Northeast Recycling Council invites all who are interested in presenting at its virtual Spring Conference on March 30 - 31 to submit a presentation abstract.
NERC’s Conferences are unique in that they provide an opportunity for government and industry to discuss the issues considered the most important and timely for advancing toward a circular economy. The Conferences attract an expert speaker pool and a diverse audience of government, industry, non-profits, consultants working in sustainable materials management, and students interested in recycling issues.
NERC is seeking abstracts about the following:
Abstract Submission Requirements
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: DECEMBER 16
Email abstracts to Mary Ann Remolador.
If you have any questions about the Sponsor Exhibit Hall or the possibility of sponsoring a future NERC Conference, contact Mary Ann Remolador.
Chaz Miller, member of the NERC Board of Directors, has been recognized with a National Recycling Coalition (NRC) Lifetime Achievement in Recycling Award.
The annual awards program is designed to honor and recognize outstanding individuals, programs, and organizations around the country, both for their achievements, and to serve as a model and a resource for learning for NRC members.
Chaz was recognized by the NRC as an invaluable national advocate for recycling. Throughout his career, he implemented many recycling programs, including office paper recycling and national glass recycling. Miller has testified in favor of recycling before congress, has spoken at conferences all over the world, and authors an award-winning column focused on recycling and waste issues. Most recently he chaired his home county’s Aiming for Zero Waste Task Force and continues to consult on recycling and waste reduction.
The NERC Board has voted to initiate a Regional USCC Chapter. It is seeking to establish an eight-state Chapter of the US Composting Council (USCC): Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Three states in the NERC region are not included in this launch as they either already have USCC Chapters or strong state-based organics organizations. The goal of the Chapter will be to support and expand commercial composting and organics management capacity in the Northeast. A fact sheet is available.
NERC’s role will be to help in the formation of the Chapter, including identifying individuals to form a Board of Directors, assisting in the development of legal documents, and providing general staffing support to the Chapter Board in the stages leading to membership solicitation.
Debra Darby, Tetra Tech, has played a key role in designing this initiative and in planning for its launch.
We are currently seeking representatives of the organics community from Delaware, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island.to join the initial Board of Directors. Representatives from other member states have already been identified. For more information, or to express your interest, contact Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director.
Writing in the July NERC Bulletin, I noted that the number of NERC’s social media followers were continuing to grow rapidly: “Since I started managing the platforms,” I wrote then, “the numbers of followers have increased exponentially, to 900 on Facebook and over 2,200 on Twitter.”
A mere five months later, the number of followers has continued to grow. We’ve surpassed 2,400 followers on Twitter; and while the number of followers on Facebook remains about the same, post reach and engagement have both increased dramatically (by more than 100%) over the past month.
And as a reminder to followers of NERC’s efforts on behalf of recycling and waste reduction, either through social media, its informative website, or the virtual activities we’ve hosted in recent weeks and months: NERC also posts a weekly blog on its website. The blog, which features guest writers as well as pieces written by NERC staff, is regularly the most popular page on NERC’s website, according to analytics. You can subscribe to receive a weekly email when the blog is posted. NERC’s blog welcomes comments as well. Readers can scroll down to the end of any piece, there is space for leaving a comment and engaging with the leading issues in the recycling and sustainability spaces. NERC enthusiastically welcomes the interaction that blog comments provide.
But that’s not all! NERC also hosts a YouTube page, which gives us the opportunity to expand the viewership of webinars and other events that during the ongoing pandemic have gone virtual. Recent additions to the page include webinars on avoiding food waste and the effectiveness of container deposit laws.
Additionally, NERC hosts a LinkedIn profile which provides updates to upcoming events as well as recordings of webinars and other activities. Please be sure to follow us.
NERC continues to welcome the opportunity to share some of the most important industry insights with its social media followers, and encourages those followers to enter into dialogue with us.
For more information contact Robert Kropp, NERC Office Manager.
NERC has published the sixth in its series of quarterly reports on the blended value of a ton of materials marketed at MRFs in the Northeast. This report covers the period July – September 2020. Eleven states are represented in this report, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.
The reported values are a weighted average of all responses.
These survey results reflect the differing laws and collection options in the participating states. Four of the states have beverage container deposit laws. As a result, fewer glass bottles, PET bottles and aluminum cans are processed in MRFs in those states. Those MRFs are also likely to have less revenue from those recyclables. In addition, the report reflects a mix of single stream, dual stream and source separation to collect recyclables with single stream being the most common approach. The type of collection used will have an impact on MRF design and operation. Thus, the data from this report reflects the unique blend of facilities and statewide laws in the reporting states.
Overall, declining values were seen as compared to the previous quarter.
These values are down significantly from the previous quarter (April – June 2020).
The average processing cost per was $84/ton. This quarter represents a decrease of -12% over the previous period, and an increase of + 1% since the survey began.
The survey will be repeated for the quarter October – December 2020 and a report published of the results.
The study was made possible with a grant from EPA Region 3.
For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.
After a successful virtual workshop on Increasing the Use of Recycled Content in Road & Infrastructure Projects, we have posted the PowerPoint presentations.
A recording of the event is available for the fee of $75 - the same as the workshop registration fee. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.
In preparation for the upcoming buy recycled training webinar on January 13, the presenter - Richard Keller - has provided us with two new resources:
Register here for the webinar.
NERC's Board of Directors held its annual meeting in October. The minutes from that meeting are posted on the NERC website.
Advisory Member News
A first ever look at the benefits of using automation in the waste industry to impact the bottom line. Get an understanding of the benefits of automated collection and learn how to create a safer work environment through automation. Written by waste expert Don Isabella, this white paper demonstrates how waste haulers and municipalities can lower operation expenses and achieve long-term gains in productivity and employee retention. Get an in-depth overview of specific paybacks and how to keep employees safe.
IBWA commissioned Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) to do an “Analysis of Food Grade Recycled PET (rPET) and HDPE (rHDPE) in the United States." This report summarizes the results of a study to model various food grade recycled content scenarios for incorporating recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) and recycled natural high density polyethylene (rNHDPE) into beverage bottles and to identify gaps in supply and other potential challenges to achieving targeted recycled content levels. It also includes a discussion of market dynamics related to each recycled resin that may affect the ability to meet modeled targets.
Key takeaways from the analysis are:
IBWA was also provided a model to create a gap analysis to determine the feasibility of meeting various food grade recycled content commitments and/or mandates. Click here for a copy of the report.
In celebration of America Recycles Day, Strategic Materials and other key stakeholders in the glass recycling value chain are excited to launch the story of glass and it's role in the circular economy. Watch now>>>
Please enjoy our video as told by:
A shorter version is also available here.
The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA), a recycling nonprofit that enables communities to manage their own recycling programs, has released an ArcGIS story map and video that provide a transparent look at glass recycling. At a time when depressed recycling markets have many people wondering what happens with their recyclables, NRRA recognizes its 100 member communities in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts that are successfully recycling glass for over half a million residents.
Through its unique recycling cooperative model, NRRA provides its municipal members with two options to recycle their glass bottles and jars. First, communities can recycle glass into fiberglass insulation, which can be used to insulate homes and businesses. Second, communities can crush glass into processed glass aggregate (PGA), which can be used in road and other infrastructure projects in the place of gravel and sand.
“We are grateful for the dedication of our solid waste operators, who quickly adapted their operations to allow residents to continue to safely recycle during the pandemic,” said Reagan Bissonnette, NRRA Executive Director. “Sharing this story map and video is a way to thank our solid waste operators and provide their residents with a transparent look at how their glass bottles and jars are being recycled into new products, saving both natural and financial resources for their communities.”
The story map includes photos, videos, and interactive maps that show the one hundred participating communities and seven consolidation sites where glass is delivered. Users can explore the maps to see which municipalities participate and where the nearest glass recycling site is to their community. A new video in the story map explains how glass is crushed into processed glass aggregate and provides examples of how the product can be used locally by municipal public works departments and contractors.
The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce has recognized the Cape May – Lewes Ferry for excellence in utilizing Environmentally Friendly “GREEN” business practices at Chamber’s annual meeting. Cape May County Chamber of Commerce virtually presented the 2020 Environmental Leadership Award to the Delaware Bay Ferry Service at its 27th Annual Conservation Awards at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting held on October 21, 2020.
In presenting the award, Steve Morey from Mott MacDonald and Chairman of the Cape May County Environment and Legislative Committee remarked, “The accomplishments of the Cape May – Lewes Ferry cover all three of our Environmental Leadership Award criteria to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Their positive impacts of reducing plastics and other solid wastes from our Cape May County waters alone merits recognition of the Cape May County Chamber 2020 Environmental Leadership Award.”
“We’re pleased to be recognized by the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce for our focus on environmentally friendly business practices,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “The resort communities we serve have some of the world’s greatest beaches and the marine life in the Delaware Bay is particularly vibrant. It takes effort by all of us - particularly with the increased use of single-use products during the pandemic - to make meaningful change in order to protect and sustain our environment both landside and at sea.”
The Cape May Lewes Ferry has achieved facility environmental milestones through implementation of several environmental (“GREEN”) best practices and site improvements. Over the past 18 months, the following are some of the environmentally friendly and community based initiatives that were implemented:
CMLF continues to look for energy efficiency opportunity and more recently, sources of renewable energy – including the installation of LED bulbs and energy efficient equipment throughout the operation. With grant funding approved from NJDEP’s “It Pays to Plug In” program, the Ferry expects to have two new electric car charging stations for the public to use at the Cape May Ferry Terminal in the near future.
This webinar will investigate how marketing can be zero waste, especially considering the impact of giveaways such as t-shirts or water bottles. It may seem like a good idea to give people reusable bottles, but these kinds of promotional materials may lack the long-term impact we want.
What are some strategies to get the most response for the least environmental impact? Is it worth putting things like stickers and reusable utensils in the budget to begin with?
University of Kentucky
California State University San Marcos
ReuseWood, the online North American directory outlining reuse and recycling options for wood and wood products, is working with the American Wood Council to put some new energy into this service. So far they have restored the Wood Guide section so that consumers can navigate 'what to do with' their materials, and are working to increase registration in the directory portion from 1500 to 2000 (or more) registered solution providers or wood sources. They are also in the process of reviewing and updating all the guide articles with a completion target date of October 31, as well as many other updates to come.
If you generate or accept reusable wood anywhere in North America, register your organization with ReuseWood.org, and check them out to find reused materials for your next project!