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February 2023

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Benefactors

Coca-Cola

Samsung

Waste Management

Sustaining Members

  • Advanced Drainage Systems

  • American Beverage Association

  • AMP Robotics

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Blount Fine Foods

  • BlueTriton Brands

  • Bulk Handling Systems

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • CLYNK

  • Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, Inc.

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • Eco-Products

  • Fire Rover, LLC

  • GDB International

  • Glass Packaging Institute

  • Henkel

  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)

  • International Bottled Water Association

  • Keep America Beautiful

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • MRM

  • Nestle USA

  • NEWMOA

  • PaintCare

  • Plastics Industry Association

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Reverse Logistics Group

  • Revolution

  • Serlin Haley

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Sonoco

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)

  • TOMRA

  • US Composting Council (USCC)

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

Advisory Member Spotlight

Safety Management Systems & Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

New & Renewing Members

Sustaining Members

Supporting Members

Newly Published

Blog

  • The Hidden Cost of Landfilling vs. Recycling 
  • Business model innovation accelerates circularity 
  • The technological evolution of materials recycling 
  • 2023: New Laws, New Markets & Recycling’s Moral Halo 
  • Detoxifying chemistry for a circular future 

Seminar Recordings and Presentations

  • Gypsum Wallboard 2: Opportunities to Increase Recycling Strategies for Residential Food Waste Reduction & Composting
  • Gypsum Wallboard 1: Problems, Recommendations, & The Current State of Recycling
NERC In the News
 

Upcoming Events

State Updates

CONNECTICUT

  • Next Steps in Addressing the Future of Waste Management in Connecticut
  • Clarification on Container Redemption program (aka Bottle Bill program)
  • Draft Amendment to Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy (CMMS)
  • DEEP Issues a Request for Information to Solicit Information on Materials Management Infrastructure
  • Sign up for the Center for EcoTechnology Connecticut Business Recycling Assistance Newsletter

MARYLAND

  • Maryland Department of the Environment Shares Recording of Webinar on Food Diversion Law

MASSACHUSETTS

  • MassRecycle 2023 Conference and Trade Show Held on March 23rd
  • MassDEP Hiring Toxicologist in MassDEP’s Office of Research Standards (ORS)
  • Hospitality Single Stream and Cardboard Recycling Training
  • Options for Unwearable Textile Drop-offs in Massachusetts 

MICHIGAN

  • Michigan Legislature Passes Historic Eight-Bill Package Designed to Update Solid Waste Law

NEW JERSEY

  • 2023 NJ Sustainability in Motion Conference Held on March 8-10
  • Association of New Jersey Recyclers Hiring Executive Director

NEW YORK

  • Carpet EPR Bill Signed Into Law by Governor Kathy Hochul
  • Annual Reports Due March 1, 2023 for Businesses and Institutions Required to Comply with Food Donation & Food Scraps Recycling Law 2022

VERMONT

  • Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) submitted two legislatively required reports to the VT General Assembly: 2023 Biennial Report on Solid Waste and Stakeholder Group on the Role of Depackagers inManagingFoodWaste

Advisory Member News

ADVISORY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Safety Management Systems & Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

For years, NERC’s monthly Bulletin has featured Advisory Member Spotlights, introducing to its readers the organization’s newest Benefactors and Sustaining Members. This month, we’ve expanded our coverage to include new Supporting Members, whose contributions to NERC’s success have been essential for years as well. Following are two Supporting Member Spotlights, highlighting the work of NERC’s newest members. Read the full Spotlight here.

Safety Management Systems

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, Safety Management Systems is a certified women-owned business enterprise whose SMS360 software tool, launched in 2016, is used by companies around the world to increase revenue and efficiency by streamlining safety and compliance efforts...

"There is no competition in Safety, and we are proud to have clients who share their knowledge and push the envelope, and SMS360, to protect their workers," says Christien Ducker, Chief Executive Officer & Founder. "Therefore, the partnership with NERC is one more step to meet the increasing need both in the Environmental and the Regulatory Compliance sectors…and we are excited to be on the journey with them."

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

The Tribal Council of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) is headquartered in Akwesasne, NY. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Indian reservation has a total area of 21.0 square miles; 41.5 acres in Franklin County NY were added to the tribal holdings in 2021...

Why partner with NERC? “I am excited to find more dynamic ways to continue reducing, reusing, and recycling,” Casales said. “I will also like to learn of more market options to recycle in New York. We would like to start the collection of recycled textiles.”

NEW & RENEWING MEMBERs

Membership is key to Northeast Recycling Council's regional and national commitment to circularity and sustainable materials management. For more information about NERC's Advisory Member program, please visit Nerc.org/Advisory-Members/What-Is-A-NERC-Advisory-Member and view our Advisory Membership Brochure.

Thank you to the following members for their support. We appreciate your commitment to Northeast Recycling Council and its mission.

Sustaining Members

Supporting Members

NEWLY PUBLISHED

Blog

The Hidden Cost of Landfilling vs. Recycling
by The Recycling Partnership
 
Business model innovation accelerates circularity
by Jon Smieja, GreenBiz Group
 
The technological evolution of materials recycling
by Jon Smieja, GreenBiz Group
 
2023: New Laws, New Markets & Recycling’s Moral Halo
by Chaz Miller, Waste360
 
Detoxifying chemistry for a circular future
by Jon Smieja, GreenBiz Group

Seminar Recordings and Presentations

  • Gypsum Wallboard 2: Opportunities to Increase Recycling
  • Gypsum Wallboard 1: Problems, Recommendations, & The Current State of Recycling

Watch recordings and view presentations here.

NERC IN THE NEWS

Nexus Circular Agrees to $150M Equity Raise

January 5, 2023 | Liz Natsu

“Additionally, the nonprofit organization, Northeast Recycling Council, an advocate for sustainable waste management, invited public comments last year on its model legislation for minimum recycled post-consumer plastic requirements. The proposition states that producers of certain plastic products must manufacture them with a minimum amount of post-consumer recycled plastic.” Read the article.

Upcoming Events

NERC's Spring 2023 Virtual Conference

Building a Diverse Workforce for Sustainable Materials Management 
April 3 - 4, 1:00 - 4:30 pm eastern

Join us to discuss paths to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion into your operations. Sessions will explore expanded recruitment strategies, bias-free interview processes, and other critical programs to retain talent. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in small group discussions, network, and interact with presenters and colleagues. View the agenda and register.

Seminars

NERC Seminars are offered at no cost and are open to anyone.

NERC and NEWMOA logos

Collaborative Solutions to Automate MRFs
March 16, 1:30 - 3:00 eastern

Investing in new technology leads to many questions for MRF owners. The Seminar features two collaborative solutions to MRF technologies—robotics and AI. Some of the key points to be addressed are advantages of using both technologies at one facility, budgetary and space requirements, data reporting, and calculating the ROI. Register.

EPR for Packaging & Bottle Bill Programs: How Can They Coexist?
April 13, 2:00 - 3:30 eastern

Hear from experts on EPR for packaging and bottle bill programs and how these two systems can work together. Presenters include representatives from Circular Materials, National Stewardship Action Council, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Register.

Properly Managing E-Cigarettes & Vaping Waste Streams
April 27, 1:00 - 2:30 eastern

Proper management of waste from e-cigarettes and vaping, including any opportunities for recycling the materials is the focus of this Seminar. Presenters will talk about the different devices and their waste streams, the classification of the waste and requirements for handling the material, and overall challenges. Register.

NERC logo
CT DEEP logo
Material Reuse Forum 3: Measuring Economic Impacts of Reuse
April 11, 2:00 - 3:30 eastern

This quarterly deep dive forum discusses issues impacting the reuse of durable items—construction materials, consumer and household items, electronics, books, textiles, and fixtures and furnishings. Forum 3 will focus on data about the economic impacts of reuse at Finger Lakes Reuse, Reuse Minnesota and Zero Waste Washington. Register.

Material Reuse Committee member and presenter, Emily Barker, Executive Director, Reuse Minnesota, comments on Reuse Minnesota’s Measuring Statewide Impacts of Reuse Report in the Waste Advantage article Reuse Businesses Have Profound Positive Impact on Minnesota’s Economy and Environment:

“This study demonstrates the profound impact reuse has on the local Minnesota economy and environment. It’s not a choice between economic growth or improving our environment, we can do both and the findings really reinforce that belief. We intend to repeat the study using the same model every five years and hope to continue to show progress towards cutting carbon emissions while creating good green jobs for Minnesotans.”

State News

Connecticut

  • The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is excited to share several important next steps in addressing the future of waste management in Connecticut. As a follow up to Governor Lamont’s recent announcement unveiling a series of key waste management proposals designed to ensure the State takes control of its waste future and guards against increased costs from rising tip fees, DEEP wants to inform stakeholders of several opportunities to engage and help to shape these strategies. Full details about how and when you can participate, apply, or submit concept papers can be found here.
  • Connecticut’s Container Redemption program (aka Bottle Bill program) is set to expand the types of beverages covered starting Jan 1, 2023 pursuant to Public Act 21-58. To provide additional clarification regarding this expansion, DEEP has posted a new document on its main Bottle Bill webpage.
  • DEEP has released a draft amendment to the Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy (CMMS), which outlines the details of the self-sufficiency deficit and highlights several solutions, including implementing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging and accelerated organics diversion. DEEP encourages you to submit written comments, which are due by March 10.
  • DEEP has issued a request for information to solicit information on materials management infrastructure to meet the goals outlined in the draft amendment to the Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy. DEEP will hold a public listening session on March 14 via Zoom and accept concept papers and public comments until April 14.
  • To sign up for the Center for EcoTechnology Connecticut Business Recycling Assistance Newsletter, email ReduceWasteCT@cetonline.org.

Maryland

  • The Maryland Department of the Environment hosted a webinar on Thursday, January 19th providing detailed support of the Food Diversion law and newly adopted regulations supporting the law (COMAR 26.04.13). The presentation and a recording of the webinar are available online and reviewed topics such as application for waiver, addressing questions of compliance timeframes and other concerns.

Massachusetts

  • The MassRecycle 2023 Conference and Trade Show will be held on Thursday, March 23rd at the Best Western Royal Plaza & Hotel in Marlboro, MA. The event will kick off with keynote speaker, the renowned Brooke Nash, Branch Chief of the Municipal Waste Reduction Program at the MassDEP. Experts will give solutions to today’s challenges: Telling the Story: Complex Realities and Public Opinion, Moving the Needle on Recycling: Successes and Strategies, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). When you purchase your ticket, consider sponsoring a Conference Scholarship for a volunteer, student, or retiree. Scroll to the bottom of the registration page to contribute. Register here.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) seeks qualified applicants for the position of Toxicologist in MassDEP’s Office of Research Standards (ORS), with a focus on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and other persistent contaminants. The job description and application can be accessed here: REQ# 230001ST - Environmental Analyst V - Office of Research and Standards - Boston.
  • Need help training your staff on single stream recycling best practices? RecyclingWorks developed an easy-to-implement training presentation for the hospitality industry: Hospitality Single Stream and Cardboard Recycling Training
  • Looking for places to take unwearable textiles in Massachusetts? Find options here. Or use the RecycleSmart search engine to find options near you.

Michigan

  • Michigan Recycling Coalition: The Michigan legislature just passed the historic eight-bill package designed to update Michigan solid waste law. Supporters expect the bills to be signed by the Governor soon. This package is the product of 7 years of deliberation in workgroups that included more than 70 different stakeholder groups from Michigan Recycling Coalition to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. With funding secured and an updated policy framework finally in place, Michigan can begin to develop a circular economy to the benefit of Michigan's economy and environment. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Communications Manager Hugh McDiarmid said, "The solid waste and recycling statute updates represent long overdue legislation to modernize materials management systems." Read more.

New Jersey

  • The New Jersey Clean Communities Council and Association of New Jersey Recyclers are pleased to announce NJ’s first statewide conference focusing on sustainability, recycling, litter abatement, materials management and more. The 2023 NJ Sustainability in Motion Conference will be held March 8-10 at Caesars in Atlantic City, NJ. The event will offer a premier opportunity for all to network, earn needed CEUs, and meet with vendors. Learn more and register here.
  • The Association of New Jersey Recyclers, (incorporated in 1984 as a 501c3), a membership based non-profit, seeks an experienced Association Management firm or individual with well-developed management and facilitation skills to replace a retiring Executive Director. The job description and application can be accessed here.

New York

  • Senator Brian Kavanagh announced on January 10, 2023 that the Carpet EPR bill (S5027C/A9279A), which he sponsored along with Assembly member Steven Englebright, was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul. The new law requires carpet manufacturers to establish a program for the collection and recycling of discarded and unused carpeting. Starting in January 2026, carpet sales in New York will be prohibited unless the manufacturers are participating in an approved industry-wide plan for recycling or have established their own program for carpet collection, approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. Read the full press release. Resource Recycling System (RRS) and Signalfire worked with Carpet Recyclers to bring this to fruition.
  • Businesses and institutions required to comply with the Food Donation & Food Scraps Recycling law in 2022 are required to submit an annual report to DEC by March 1, 2023, summarizing their donation and recycling practices throughout 2022. The report can be completed here. View the list of businesses and institutions required to comply with the law in 2022 and their requirements.

Vermont

  • Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) submitted two legislatively required reports to the VT General Assembly:
    • 2023 Biennial Report on Solid Waste – a two page overview of waste issues including PFAS impacting all levels of solid waste and recycling management, rising HHW costs, challenging recycling markets and bottle bill inefficiencies, and impacts from rechargeable batteries to name a few.
    • Stakeholder Group on the Role of Depackagers in Managing Food Waste – looking at Vermont’s food waste ban, food recovery hierarchy, source separation at the point of generation, and the role of depackaging in the organics recycling system.

Advisory Member News

We Can’t Give Up on Plastic Recycling: We Must Do Better

Kristen Rinehart is the vice president and general manager of recycling for Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS), a Hilliard-based storm-water management company and the largest plastic recycler in North America. Here’s a harsh reality: Americans are really good at generating plastic waste and really bad at recycling it. According to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. recycling rate for the 40 million tons of plastic waste generated annually is only about 5%. In October, Greenpeace USA released a report that claims plastic recycling is a failure, declaring, "The data is clear: Practically speaking, most plastic is just not recyclable.” Read more.

AMP Robotics Named in 2023 Global Cleantech & is Featured in Documentary

The annual 2023 Global Cleantech 100 list recognizes the most innovative and promising companies poised to take society from commitments to actions in the effort to reach net-zero carbon emissions. The Global Cleantech 100 companies are delivering sustainable solutions in these six sectors: Agriculture & Food, Enabling Technologies, Energy & Power, Materials & Chemicals, Resources & Environment, and Transportation & Logistics. AMP was named a part of the Group for the fourth year in a row. Read the press release. Additionally, Pique Action, a media company that produces micro-documentaries about climate solutions, released one featuring AMP and their application of AI and robotics in recycling this month. Watch the under five minute video here to learn more.

Please Send APR Examples of Misleading Recyclability Messaging!

The Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) continues to track information about containers with misleading recycling messaging on them. When you spot a container with unclear, potentially misleading or confusing recyclability statements, please snap a photo and send it our way any time! This ongoing research helps us accurately assess the characteristics of deceptive on-pack claims in the market.

Bright Feeds Launches First Food Waste to Animal Feed Processing Facility

New Supporting NERC Member, Bright Feeds, launched the first food waste to animal feed processing facility in Connecticut in 2022. Permitted to process 450 tons a day of food waste, this innovative and sustainable facility will help the region reduce food waste and ultimately curb climate change by avoiding green house gas emissions from unwanted food ending up in landfills. Katie Dykes, Commissioner at CT Department of Environmental and Energy Protection, was the keynote speaker and cut the ribbon at Bright Feeds' Berlin, CT facility. Watch the video of the grand opening. Learn more at: https://brightfeeds.com/news. They will be hosting a facility tour on March 3rd at 10am. Please reach out to Laxmi Wordham to RSVP.

NEWMOA Launches New Website

After more than a year of design, planning, development, and content migration, NEWMOA is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. The new website is mobile-ready and has a much higher level of accessibility. It provides easy navigation to find out about NEWMOA’s various program areas, workgroups, upcoming and past events, and publications and resources. It also includes additional functionality to support our databases and online reporting systems. It provides information about NEWMOA and our membership along with private areas of the site to support certain programs and the NEWMOA Board. Visit it at https://newmoa.org/.

Northeast Resource Recovery Association Annual Conference, May 22-23

For over forty years, NRRA’s Recycling Conference & Expo has been a premier conference focused exclusively on municipal recycling and waste reduction in the Northeast. The 2023 conference theme is Recycling Tools of the Trade. Join hundreds of attendees, exhibitors, speakers and sponsors to discuss the tools and skills necessary to build thriving municipal recycling and waste reduction programs in your community. Attendee Registration is now open!

In other news, NRRA Member Services Manager, Brian Patnoe, recently shared his thoughts on the current recycling markets in an article, The Heartbeat of Recycling.

Recycle Your Paint with PaintCare

PaintCare operates eleven paint recycling programs across the country, providing a network of more than 657 convenient drop-off sites in the northeast alone. Households and businesses are encouraged to recycle products such as paint, stain, and varnish at these drop-off locations. Thank you for your help in recycling over 6.5 million gallons of paint across our five northeast programs in Connecticut, Maine, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont! Read more.

SalemRecycles Hosted Styrofoam Recycle Collection EventSalem Recycling Truck

On January 14th residents of Beverly, Salem, Danvers, and Lynn were invited to recycle Styrofoam with Save That Stuff. Despite the mix of rain and snow that morning, 214 people attended the Styrofoam Recycling Event and the 53-foot trailer was filled. Thanks to SalemRecycles, the Beverly Sustainability Office, The City of Lynn, and the Danvers Recycling & Energy Department for joining forces to host this event!

Sonoco: Sustainability Unpacked — Is End-Of-Life the End All?

Life-cycle assessment quantifies the resources taken from the environment and the emissions put out into the environment. By taking a holistic approach rather than focusing only on end-of-life, Sonoco captures the environmental impact of every stage in the life cycle. Watch their video to learn more. (https://vimeo.com/726135475).

TOMRA, Envipco, and CFA Launch Recycling Makes Cents in CT

TOMRA, Envipco, and the Connecticut Food Association launched a public education campaign complete with a website, RecyclingMakesCentsCT.com, to share why the state is investing in recycling, how people can participate and where redemption locations are located throughout the state. Deposit programs have been proven to raise recycling rates. According to the Container Recycling Institute, beverage containers without a deposit have a 22% recycling rate, whereas containers with a ten cent deposit (Michigan and Oregon) have an 88% redemption rate for recycling on average.

The Recycling Partnership Announces First Grants to Improve Capture of PET

The Recycling Partnership’s PET Recycling Coalition (Coalition) announced three grants to grow and strengthen PET (plastic #1) recycling. In its initial round of granting, the Coalition awarded grants to two PET reclaimers and one Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) that will result in over 2.5 million pounds per year of new PET capture, 50 million pounds per year of new reclamation capacity, and bring access to thermoform recycling to the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Through grants aimed at improving infrastructure, research, and knowledge sharing, the Coalition envisions a thriving PET recycling system that captures significantly more material, improving PET packaging circularity. Read more.