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July 2018

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)



Sustaining Members

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Bag To Earth

  • Can Manufacturers Institute

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • CURC

  • Dart Container

  • Glass Recycling Coalition

  • Good Point Recycling

  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)

  • International Bottled Water Association

  • Interstate Refrigerant Recovery

  • Keep America Beautiful

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association


  • Organix Solutions

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Schaefer Systems International, Inc.

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Steel Recycling Institute

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)


  • US Composting Council (USCC)

  • Waste Management

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

New & Renewing Memberships

New Supporting Member

Renewing Supporting Members


Newly Posted

State Updates



Advisory Member News

Of General Interest

New & Renewing MembershipsMembership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to sustainable materials management. We are delighted to welcome our newest Supporting Member - Allagash Brewing, as well as renewing Supporting Members Call2Recycle, the Connecticut Recyclers Coalition (CRC), Mott MacDonald, and the Solus Group.

Thank you to all our Advisory Members. 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.

The broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC's Advisory Members, Individual Supporters, and Board Members and their willingness to participate significantly contribute to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director.


Agenda & Registration Now Available for NERC’s Fall Conference!

NERC’s Fall Conference—The Future of MRFs—will be held on October 30 – 31 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.  NERC and the Agenda Planning Committee developed an Agenda that focuses on the issues that will shape the future of the region’s MRFs.  Both the Conference Agenda and Registration are now available.

The Conference will include some of the industry’s most knowledgeable speakers, in-depth discussions, a variety of exhibitors, and networking opportunities.   Make your plans now to join us and take advantage of the early (discounted) registration rate.  The topics and speakers to be featured at the Conference include:

The State & Future of Northeast MRFs - Perspectives on the changing landscape and anticipated future for the region’s MRFs

Operations Safety & Technology - Lithium batteries & fires; robotics; and more…

Tackling Contamination - Clear messaging and other strategies to engage the public and monitor contamination

Impact of Growing Ecommerce & Potential for Recycling the Increasing Flexible Packaging Shifting materials in the waste stream and potential implications and solutions for future recycling systems

  • Implications of Ecommerce for Packaging Recovery Systems - Ameripen
  • Diverting Flexible Packaging from the Waste Stream – JP Mascaro, TotalRecycle (invited)

See the Agenda for more details about the Conference.

Exhibitor and Sponsor Opportunities Available

For more information about the Conference, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director & Event Organizer.

NERC Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award Program Announced

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) will be presenting an award in recognition of an individual or organization for the impact they have made on sustainable materials management within the NERC 11-state region.  The award will be presented at NERC's Fall Conference, October 30, Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Award Eligibility: Organizations and individuals located within NERC’s 11-member states. 

Criterion: : Demonstrated change in support of sustainable materials management as the result of a project that is in line with and furthers NERC’s mission.

Application Process

  • Applications will be accepted through September 12, 2018 and must be submitted by email to
  • Narratives cannot exceed 250 words, although attachments that demonstrate the achievement are acceptable.
  • You may nominate yourself or another party for an award. 

Application - Complete answers to each question are a requirement for consideration.

  1. Your name, title, and affiliation.
  2. Your mailing address, phone number, and email address.
  3. If different than individual submitted the award application, name of individual or organization being nominated.  If an organization, designate an individual to whom the award should be presented.
  4. Address, phone number, and email address of organization or individual being nominated.
  5. Narrative describing the project, why it should be selected for the award, and how it fulfills the criteria for the award. 250 word limit

Thank you for your award application.  Notification of award decisions will be made in October, with the award presented at NERC's Fall Conference, October 30, Rocky Hill, Connecticut.  For more information about the Conference, visit the NERC website.

Thank You to Robert Isner, Multi-year President of the Board

Robert Isner has stepped down from the NERC Executive Committee after serving two years as the President of the Board.  Robert's service and support of NERC has been outstanding.  We are grateful that Robert will remain actively involved in NERC and its initiatives.

Robert has been with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Waste Engineering and Enforcement Division for twenty-five years, the past seventeen years as the solid waste and hazardous waste program manager. His current responsibilities as Director of Waste Engineering and Enforcement Division include management of compliance assistance, permitting, and enforcement activities for the recycling, solid waste, hazardous waste, and pesticide programs.  Robert has also participated as the Connecticut designee on numerous regional and national workgroups assessing a variety of recycling, solid waste, and RCRA regulatory issues. 

Prior to joining CT DEEP, Robert worked for over eight years as a municipal land use planner while employed by two separate municipalities in Connecticut.  Robert also worked for several years doing environmental planning and real estate development consulting.  Robert holds a Bachelor of Science from UConn and a Master of Science from Central Connecticut State University. 

NERC Grants Award to Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction

NERC has announced that it has awarded a grant to Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction of Omaha, Nebraska in support of its efforts to become a certified electronics recycler. The grant, which was funded by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), will allow Sadoff to become the second recycler in Omaha to be certified to the R2 Standard, and only the third in Nebraska.

“We are excited to receive this grant as it allows us to achieve certification to the R2 standard, this achievement will allow us to grow our business in Nebraska which will result in a greater positive environmental impact for the safe and secure recycling of electronics throughout the state and region” said Markus McDonell, Quality & Management Systems Manager, Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction.

The grant is a component of a comprehensive capacity building program in Nebraska that was initiated to support the responsible recycling of electronics in the state.  Ensuring that electronics recycling facilities are operated with the highest degree of worker health and safety, environmental protections, data security, and compliance with all laws is essential to a sustainable and high-quality operation.

“When the program began in 2017, there were no certified electronics recyclers in Nebraska,” said Lynn Rubinstein, executive director, NERC. “Fortunately, CTA saw an opportunity to enhance the management and recycling of electronics through training and grants. This is the first grant to be awarded, and we anticipate one more will be presented to an electronics recycler in Nebraska that is successfully moving towards certification.”

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.

Jen Fehrmann, Solus Group, New Development Committee Chair

NERC has a standing Development Committee that supports its efforts to expand NERC's membership base and to ensure that members are receiving value from that membership. We are delighted to announce that Jen Ferhrmann of the Solus Group, dedicated NERC member, will assume the role of Development Committee Chair for FY 2019, beginning July 1, 2018. She is the first Advisory Member appointed to this position. 

Jen has been an active participant in NERC since joining in 2017, and currently sits on the Agenda Planning Committee for NERC's Fall Conference. She is also a member of the U.S. Composting Council, and is enrolled in that organization's mentoring program as a mentee. 

Jen serves as Business Development and Marketing Manager for Solus Group, which provides bin tippers and other material handling equipment for the recycling, composting, and materials-management industries. Along with this position, Jen's background in organizational psychology, sales, and print publishing brings a wealth of private-sector experience to her role within NERC. She looks forward to advancing the cause of sustainable materials management in the Northeast and beyond.

Food Waste Diversion in Rural Maryland

In May and June, NERC staff continued to work on organics management projects in Allegany and Cecil counties in Maryland.

In May, NERC staff began working with a nonprofit organization called Deep Roots to start a food waste composting program. Deep Roots serves as a homeless shelter and transitional housing for children and families in Cecil County. Staff at the organization act as mentors to provide healthy life-models, education, and support to homeless families. Their café provides dining services for up to eleven families living at the shelter, as well as others in the community who struggle with food insecurity. NERC is working with Deep Roots staff and residents, along with the Cecil County University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener coordinator and volunteers, to build compost bins and establish food waste collection in their dining hall. NERC will also provide onsite training in food waste composting.

NERC staff continues to work with partners to promote the West Nottingham Academy (WNA) food waste diversion program as a model for other communities. In May, NERC was able to attend a campus event to premier WNA's Student Environmental Council’s Documentary Film, Closing the Loop:  From Waste to Wealth and Clean Energy. This short film—scripted, narrated, and produced by the students—presents an engaging overview of food waste as an issue and the WNA partnership with Kilby Farm to divert their food waste as a practical solution for rural food waste management.

In Allegany County, NERC staff met with teachers and staff at Westernport Elementary School to plan for implementing food waste reduction measures at the school, including “waste free lunches”. NERC also continues to provide composting training for staff and volunteers at Frostburg Grows community gardens. Frostburg Grows is an incubator for innovative sustainable agriculture which addresses the triple bottom line—People, Planet, and Profit.

Frostburg Grows is located on a reclaimed mine just outside of Frostburg. Gardening is done in raised beds under hoop houses. There is also an enclosed compost shed operation, ideal for managing food scraps and other organics. NERC is working with the Frostburg Grows Steering Committee to develop additional partnerships to bring in more materials for composting, including food scraps, to be managed through the site, as well as look at funding opportunities and partnerships for staffing.

In June, NERC helped to organize an open house and food waste composting workshop at Frostburg Grows.  Sponsors of the event included: Frostburg Grows, the University of Maryland Extension-Allegany County, Allegany County Recycling Office, the Western Maryland Food Council, and NERC. The event was deemed a success by organizers, with 24 people attending to learn more about Frostburg Grows and food waste composting.

NERC staff also conducted outreach and mini-composting workshops with the Allegany County Recycling Coordinator at the weekly Farmer’s Market in Frostburg. NERC’s Reduce Wasted Food! Tip Sheet and Basic Home Composting Recipe were distributed; about 30 people stopped by the booth to learn more about composting food scraps.

NERC’s work in Maryland is funded through a USDA Rural Utilities Services grant to implement food waste, organics, and manure reduction and diversion.

For more information, contact Athena Lee Bradley.

NERC Presents at WASTECON® 2018

NERC staff, Athena Lee Bradley, has been invited to present at WASTECON® at a session titled – “Cost Effective Organics Collection and Processing Out in the Country.” She will be joined by panelists from Geosyntec Consultants, Tetra Tech, Inc., and Organix Solutions.

The session will focus on the economics of rural food waste collection and processing programs. 

Drivers for success will be discussed, including how to ensure high participation and capture rates to reduce trash collection requirements, which can deliver real cost savings and greater recognition by businesses and residents on the amount of food that is wasted.

The goal of the session is to identify key issues affecting the economic viability of organics collection and processing programs in rural settings and present practical solutions for developing successful programs.

WASTECON® 2018 is in Nashville, Tennessee from August 20–23. Hope to see you there!

For more on NERC’s work in rural materials management, conduct a search for resources under “rural” on NERC’s website or contact Athena Lee Bradley.

Newly Posted

Effective Strategies for Proper Recycling – Webinar Recording Posted

In early June, the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) hosted the webinar—Effective Education Strategies for Proper Recycling.  Given the high number of webinar registrants (426 from 36 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and three Canadian provinces), it’s obvious that many communities are working on identifying the best strategies for educating residents about what and what is not recyclable.

The webinar presenters shared the methods and resources that they have used for working with the public to eliminate contamination in the recycling stream.  Following are the webinar presentations:

The presentations and recording are also available by searching for webinars on NERC’s Resources webpage.

For more information about the webinar, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director.

New Search Features Added to NERC’s Website

NERC’s website contains a plethora of resources, some of which include webinar presentations and recordings, as well as project guides, fact sheets, reports, etc. To make it easier to search for the resources you need, NERC staff has added two search categories to its Resources Page:  Webinars and Rural/Small Communities. 

The Resources Page is easy to use.  Just click on the category you are interested in and a list of URLs appears. 

For more information about NERC’s resources, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director.


Apply Now for MassDEP’s 2018 Recycling Business Development Grant

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has posted the 2018 Grant Application for the Recycling Business Development Grant (RBDG) program.  This program is intended to help Massachusetts recycling processors and manufacturers create sustainable markets for eligible materials, and to add value to municipal and business recycling efforts.  Selected applicants will receive grant awards of between $50,000 and $400,000.  There are two deadlines for applying in 2018: June 29 and October 5.

Any business funded by the RBDG program must have a location in Massachusetts where the proposed recycling or recycling-related activity such as aggregation, processing, reclaiming or reuse will occur. All grants made under the RBDG program should provide a measurable economic benefit to Massachusetts.  Applicants must be a company or corporation (for-profit or non-profit) properly licensed to do business in the Commonwealth.  Applicants also must have been in substantial compliance with federal and state environmental laws for the past three years. A minimum financial match of 25 percent is required.

Only projects related to the list of eligible materials will be funded. Projects to increase recycling of other materials will not be considered. Eligible materials for this grant cycle are:

  • container glass,
  • comingled recyclables handled by MRFs,
  • mattresses,
  • construction and demolition wood, and
  • bulky rigid and mixed 3-7 plastics.

For more information and to obtain a copy of the application, please visit the MassDEP web site at Applications for the first round must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 29, 2018; applications for the second round must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 5, 2018.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Joshua Cook at 617-292-5619.

Massachusetts Environmental Officials Present ‘Green Team’ Awards to Massachusetts Schools

State environmental officials today recognized students from 59 schools across the Commonwealth for outstanding environmental actions as members of the “Green Team,” a statewide environmental education program sponsored by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

“The Baker-Polito Administration congratulates all the Green Team teachers and students who showed leadership and initiative during the past school year to raise environmental awareness at their schools, homes and communities through Green Team activities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This important educational program helps students take action to protect our natural resources and brings to life the subjects they are learning in school.”

Students of any age can participate in the Green Team program, an initiative composed of students who share the goals of reducing pollution and protecting the environment. Over 50,000 students in nearly 300 classes at 267 schools joined the Green Team this school year. 

Students took part in a range of activities, including:

  • Expanding school recycling programs;
  • Collecting textiles for donation and recycling;
  • Starting a compost pile using organic waste from the school cafeteria, and using the compost it generates to nourish a garden to grow vegetables;
  • Making their school driveways “Idle-Free Zones”;
  • Increasing energy efficiency in their schools and communities; and
  • Reducing their carbon footprint at school and at home.

These activities incorporated classroom disciplines from the fields of science, engineering and mathematics to reading, writing and art, as well as other non-classroom, interrelated projects.

“Green Team students develop creative approaches to environmental stewardship and make a big difference in their schools and communities with their energy conservation, recycling, composting and pollution prevention projects,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Each year, Green Team participants are working to have a positive impact on our environment and take steps to expand recycling and energy efficiency efforts.”  

Participating teachers received a Green Team Kit containing classroom posters, lesson plans, recycling tips and access to a library of other resources. In addition, 60 schools received recycling equipment from the Green Team to initiate or expand school recycling programs. Twelve schools received signs reading “Idle-Free Zone” from the Green Team that serve as a visual reminder to drivers to turn off their engines while waiting in the schoolyard. 

Participating classes were entered into a drawing for prizes, and 59 classes received prizes for their efforts (full listing below). Nineteen schools won grand prizes and will receive schoolwide performances by environmental educators Jack Golden, Peter O’Malley and Earthtunes, or gift cards to local garden centers for trees or garden supplies to further “green” their schools.   

To learn more or to participate in the 2018-19 school year, the 17th year for the Green Team, teachers may sign up online here.

 The following are the Green Team prize winners: 

2017-2018 Green Team Grand Prize Winners

School Name



Agawam Junior High School



Clifford M. Granger School



John A. Bishop Elementary School



Thompson Elementary School



Barnstable High School



Dante Alighieri Montessori School

East Boston


Joseph Lee School



Brookside Elementary School



Monument Valley Regional Middle School

Great Barrington


Kingston Elementary School



Johnny Appleseed School



Bartlett Community Partnership School



Martinson Elementary School



Greater New Bedford Vocational Tech. High School

New Bedford


Captain Samuel Brown School



Rockport Middle School



Witchcraft Heights Elementary School



The Grow School



Katharine Lee Bates Elementary School






2017-2018 Green Team Prize Winners

School Name



Paul P. Gates, M.D. Elementary School



Andover West Middle School



Brackett Elementary School



Oakmont Regional High School



Swift River Elementary School



Bernardston Elementary School



Brighton High School



Andrew Peabody School


Junior K

Cohasset High School



Essex Agricultural & Technical High School



Academy of Early Learning



Greenfield High School



Newton Elementary School



Hamilton - Wenham Reg. High School



NEARI School



Robert F Kennedy Children’s Action Corps EWT School



Memorial Middle School



Silver Lake Regional Middle School



Robert Frost Middle School



St. Patrick School



Stoklosa Middle School



Mason Rice Elementary School



Mount Alvernia Academy



Northfield Elementary School



Norwell Middle School



South Shore Natural Science Center Preschool



Norwood Montessori School



Rockland Senior High School



West Street School



STEM Middle Academy



Swampscott Middle School



Joseph G. Luther Elementary School



Whitin Elementary School



Walpole KinderCare



Warwick Community School



Loker Elementary School



West Brookfield Elementary School

West Brookfield


John R. Fausey Elementary School

West Springfield


Lincoln Elementary School



Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School





NYDEC Launches New Disclosure Program to Protect Consumers from Chemicals in Household Cleaning Products

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced the release of New York’s final policy and form for manufacturer disclosures under the State’s Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program. Introduced in Governor Cuomo’s 2017 State of the State, the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure program requires manufacturers of cleaning products sold in New York to disclose chemical ingredients, as well as other information, on their websites.  New York will be the first state in the nation to require such disclosure and the State’s program goes beyond initiatives in other states by requiring the robust disclosure of byproducts and contaminants, as well as chemicals with the potential to trigger asthma in adults and children.  

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Protecting New Yorkers and the environment from harmful chemicals is of the utmost importance to the state, and Governor Cuomo is leading the nation by requiring these manufacturers to disclose information about all of the chemicals that might be found in household cleaning products, including byproducts and other impurities. The Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program will help the state better understand what chemical hazards the public is exposed to, especially from products made in countries with less protective environmental laws than the United States, and reduce exposure to chemicals of concern.” 

Overseen by the NYDEC, the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program requires manufacturers to disclose the name and unique chemical number of all intentionally added ingredients, including fragrances; all byproducts, such as 1,4 Dioxane, including those present in trace quantities that appear on state, national or international lists of identified chemicals of concern; and any impurity due to environmental contamination present in trace quantities that appear on such lists and are present above levels found in well-regulated public water systems located in the United States.

 Additional disclosures required by the program include a prominent statement regarding the nature and extent of information being withheld as confidential business information; the listing of ingredients in order of predominance by weight; a clear method of indicating that a chemical has been identified as a chemical of concern; the provision of a toll-free number to answer consumer requests for more information; and the posting of studies the manufacturer has conducted on the health and environmental effects of any of its products and ingredients.

 The Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program is the result of extensive discussions with a variety of stakeholders, including industry, private citizens, state agencies, and advocacy groups, as well as a lengthy public comment period. Significant changes were made to DEC’s original proposal to better address concerns raised by the stakeholders. In addition to this information appearing on manufacturer websites by July 1, 2019, DEC is working with the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse to develop and maintain a database of links to the disclosed information for ease of consumer access.

More information about the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program and the certification form can be found on the DEC’s website.

"We thank Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation for this leadership action. New York's new cleaning product ingredient disclosure program is both years in the making and incredibly timely. It will help workers and families identify which products are healthiest. Coupled with a recent law in California, it creates a strong national model and will benefit not only New Yorkers, but all Americans. We look forward to the Governor's continued leadership on product ingredient disclosure for personal care products," said Kathleen Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York.

 It is expected that New York’s approach to cleaning product ingredient disclosure will serve as an example that can be expanded into other sectors of public disclosure or mirrored by other governments.

Advisory Member news

SalemRecycles 10 Year Success Story

In 2008 the City of Salem, Massachusetts created an all-volunteer recycling committee based on the City’s need to educate its’ residents about a then new solid waste and recycling contract.  This year the committee celebrates a decade of success.  Mayor Driscoll, Senator Joan Lovely, and Representative Paul Tucker each recognized the committee’s many achievements at a dinner held in early May.

The committee is comprised of volunteers with backgrounds in graphic design, communications, environmental studies, science, education and the law.

SalemRecycles (SR) has become a recognized recycling leader on the North Shore as the initiator of many first time waste reduction events.  SR has also been the recipient of many grants, awards and special recognition, including the 2017 Mass Municipal Award for Innovation for its cigarette butt recycling program.

SalemRecycles’ accomplishments include: Trash limits and dual stream recycling education campaign; E-waste collections; book swaps; textile drives; an annual swap and drop; a food waste collection program; a semi-annual Repair Café; a newsletter, Facebook page and blog, and plastic bag ban.  The Repair Café, which teaches how items can be repaired and reused instead of being tossed in the trash and replaced, is considered by some to be one of SalemRecycle’s most significant initiatives.

“Raising the consciousness of all residents and stakeholders to the importance of reducing trash continues to influence how people purchase products,” Tony Keck (second time committee chair starting in July 2018) said. “Everyone can find ways to reduce, repurpose, reuse, repair and lastly recycle.”

For more information, visit or

The Value of Professional Certification

Did you know that Pennsylvania’s recycling marketplace contributes significantly to the state economy? The industry is a considerable economic generator, which means that businesses supporting this marketplace benefit from hiring well-trained and educated professionals.

Commitment to ongoing education can be an important factor as employers look to hire or promote. Earning certificates in your field can lead to better visibility, opportunities, and jobs. The Certified Recycling Professional program ensures individual competence by taking candidates through a broad curriculum of skills and knowledge. The certification exam goes beyond training by providing a measurement of knowledge and skills.

Benefits for Employees

The status of CRP is a declaration to your employer, the industry and the public that you are recognized as a trained and educated professional.

  • Earn credibility
  • Demonstrate commitment to your profession
  • Build confidence in your knowledge of the industry

Benefits for Employers

Certification represents a high level of achievement, demonstrates proficiency, and a broad base of knowledge. Certified Recycling Professionals study a broad curriculum, pass a rigorous exam, and commit to ongoing professional development and recertification. When a person becomes certified, it reflects personal commitment and sense of accountability, inspiring credibility and confidence in an individual’s professional knowledge.

Hiring a Certified Recycling Professional or investing in certification for your current employees can help you:

  • Increase the competence level of your staff
  • Build a strong, dedicated team that is committed to high standards of care and quality
  • Increase efficiency and reduce cost

As businesses and government compete to hire and retain qualified team members, your employees will know the organization cares about them and is interested in their futures, inspiring greater loyalty. Employees who participate in ongoing education and training are more satisfied with their jobs, making them more productive and reducing absenteeism.

The Certified Recycling Professional program is a nationally recognized series of courses (40 hours) administered by the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania. A Certificate of Completion is issued by the Pennsylvania State University for each course. Pennsylvania’s Certified Recycling Professional program is accredited by the National Standards Certification Board (NSCB).


Recycling Certification earned in New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois or California can be reciprocally recognized in Pennsylvania by PROP. Applicants need to submit a copy of the corresponding state’s certificate and complete the following two PROP certification classes.

  • Recycling 150 – Recycling Economics
  • Recycling 110 – Recycling & the Law

RotorSHREDDER RS2018:  The Year For “Meatball” Processing

BHS revealed the new upgrade for the Rotoroshredder at the recent IFAT 2018 Trade Show in Munich, Germany.

While the upgrade will improve throughput, output, and lower maintenance cost for all material processed, the impetus of the upgrade was the increasing demand for Shredded Electronic Motors aka “Meatballs” E-Scrap processing. 

Discharge Doors

The newly redesigned discharge doors (figure 1) now consist of 4 rows of identically sized grates. The openings of these grates are selected to suit the desired output size. This new arrangement of grids in conjunction with the hammer location reduces the risk of the separated material from comingling with other material during discharge. For more information or to request a video of the RS2018 meatball processing contact BHS today at 980-335-2544.

BHS-Sonthofen Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHS-Sonthofen GmbH, offers technical solutions for mixing, crushing, recycling and process filtration. The Recycling division offers a broad range of machine technologies and fully-engineered turnkey systems. BHS shredding, crushing and shearing technologies are used for size reduction in the treatment as well as the pre- and post-shredding of a diverse range of recyclable and waste materials. This includes scrap, shredder residual fractions, slag, incineration bottom ash as well as tires, cables, refuse-derived fuels and other domestic, commercial and industrial waste.

Of General InterestWho Killed Recycling?

Recycling is in the dumps. The Chinese government’s decision to ban mixed plastic and mixed paper recyclables imports sent recycling markets into a tailspin. Media outlets are running stories of recyclables going to disposal instead of end markets. Worse yet, this turbulence is likely to continue for another year or longer. Recycling will survive this storm as it has survived others, but will we learn from it or will we continue to repeat our mistakes?

When I started to write this column, my idea was to focus on who “killed” recycling. Yet the reality is that very few people actually tried to kill recycling. Instead, the harm has been inflicted by its friends, not its enemies.

Nonetheless, let’s start with recycling’s “enemies.” Both private and public sector disposal facility owners supposedly see recycling as unnecessary competition that diverts material from their facilities. In addition, the “anti-recyclers” have always opposed mandatory recycling programs for philosophical reasons.

Both suspects have solid alibis. Virtually all of the local governments and companies that own disposal facilities are fully integrated with garbage collection and recycling operations. They know that recycling programs can be profitable when markets are good. More importantly, their commercial and residential waste collection customers demand a recycling program. Companies don’t stay in business long if they ignore their customers. Local governments, too, have to offer a recycling program when their residents demand it. However, the cyclical nature of commodity markets means bad markets make recycling unprofitable. Like garbage collection and disposal, recycling is a service that must be paid for regardless of whether markets are good or bad. As for the anti-recyclers, they can kick up a storm, but they have little political power.   

So, who are the friends who inadvertently helped create this mess? They are the state legislators, environmental officials and recycling advocates who supported unrealistic recycling goals without taking into account the need for end markets, the risk of commodity price fluctuations and the reality of what it takes to change human behavior. 

Too many state legislators voted for laws mandating aggressive diversion or recycling goals without first finding out if those goals were achievable. If they were going to set a 50 percent or higher recycling goal, why didn’t they analyze what could be recycled, at what rate, from which generators before passing the law? Instead, they kicked that bucket to their state recycling officials and to local governments and businesses. 

Recycling advocates, whether in state government or advocacy groups, either ignored or downplayed the obstacles to achieving recycling goals. All too often, a sort of magical thinking prevailed that said if a law is passed, markets would appear and people would automatically recycle. We were so determined to increase recycling, we thought that all that was needed was a state law or local ordinance and success would follow. 

Advocates need to be ruthlessly realistic about the difficulties of changing human behavior so that we don’t just recycle, we recycle right. Recycling advocates need to back up their efforts with real data based on existing and potential markets and the realities of human behavior. The time for rosy scenarios is over.

Waste and recycling companies and public officials failed to ensure their customers, and residents knew that recycling is not free. Sometimes the cost of recycling was hidden in waste management bills or fees instead of being spelled out. Whether this was done by the collectors or by local governments doesn’t matter. The damage was done.

China also helped cause this mess. Buyers create the specification that counts. If they willingly pay for bales of paper that are full of plastics and other contaminants, they are encouraging sellers to ship dirty bales. For years, Chinese mills were knowingly buying bales that did not meet industry specifications and using cheap labor to clean them up. They created a race to the bottom.

Finally, the American public, you and I, share responsibility. We demand that our wastes be recycled. We tell pollsters we want to buy recyclable products and have a green environment. Yet we can’t seem to be bothered to recycle right. We fail to place the right materials in our home recycling bins. We throw trash in recycling bins in businesses, airports and public spaces because we are in a hurry. Human nature is complicated. We all need to become more open about our fallibilities as recyclers and design programs with realistic goals and collection options that entice recycling right.   

Is recycling dying? No. But to successfully sustain recycling programs and to spring back from the current market mess, we need to become realistic about the problems facing recycling. We need to start setting goals based on real-world analysis, not subjective wishfulness. We need to create a business atmosphere that encourages the development of viable manufacturing facilities that can be substantial recycling markets. Recycling can succeed if we acknowledge its costs, set realistic goals and design our programs to accommodate human behavior. Why not start now?

Chaz Miller is a longtime veteran of the waste and recycling industry. He can be reached at

Recycling Terms for Beginners

Official definitions of recycling often seem to evolve as a result of changes in the industry, but a look at the definitions proffered by NERC member states suggests an overriding consistency to what recycling actually means.

While some of the terminology used by the states differs—recycled material, for example, is called “material”, “solid waste”, and “products”—the terms refer to the same thing: material kept out of the solid waste stream for disposal in a solid waste facility. What then happens to recycled materials can be phrased differently from state to state, but for the most part the differences are subtle. For the most part, the definitions state that recycled materials are those that can be processed into new products or raw material for new products.

NERC state member Delaware’s definition of recyclable material includes disposal, but “in an authorized manner to reduce environmental impacts.” And Connecticut’s definition of recyclable (material) states, “These products do not necessarily contain recycled materials and only benefit the environment if people recycle them after use.”

Where states do differ to an extent is in relation to materials and activities that are excluded from their definitions of recycling. Both Delaware and New York specifically include organics among recyclables, and New Jersey classifies compostables as a Class C recyclable material. Massachusetts, on the other hand, excludes organics for composting from its definition.

Other materials and activities that are treated differently by states include construction and demolition waste, and the incineration of solid waste for energy production.

Here are some definitions from other entities:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.

National Recycling Coalition (NRC): Recycling is a series of activities by which material that has reached the end of its current use is processed into material utilized in the production of new products.

Zoos, Aquariums, and Eco-Friendly Waste Management Programs

Today’s Guest Blog is by the Marketing Team of NERC Supporting Member Solus Group. It was originally posted on the Solus Blog on May 14, 2018.

Zoo waste management

Zoos and aquariums face tremendous opportunities (and expectations) for creating eco-friendly waste management programs. The public expects these institutions to offer comprehensive recycling and compost programs to demonstrate their commitment to the Earth. Thankfully, America's zoos and aquariums are up to the challenge. Let's take a look at some innovative institutions to see what they're doing and how they're doing it.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: Leaders in Composting

With Jack Hanna on the board of directors, you'd expect the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to have a top-notch collection of animals. However, the Ohio zoo takes its commitment to the Earth a step farther. It has an innovative composting program that sends 864 tons of material to a local commercial composter. That's 1,728,000 pounds of food scraps, animal manure, and bedding!

Zoos have the unique opportunity to be such prolific composters due to the large amount of animal manure produced. For instance, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the animals produce about two tons per day. By partnering with a nearby facility, the zoo is able to solve a waste management problem while creating nutrient-rich soil and local jobs in the process. 

By collecting food scraps in their kitchens, the zoo adds even more useful organic material to their haul of compost. Zoo maintenance workers can also divert soiled animal bedding from the landfill and send it to the composting facility. Maintenance managers should just remember to provide assistive lifting devices when asking workers to handle awkward, heavy loads.

Philadelphia Zoo: 2017 Green Award Winners

The Philadelphia Zoo has been around for more than 150 years, but it’s still coming up with innovative solutions to worldwide problems. Its current focus is on sustainability, and it’s created an ambitious set of goals to continually drive down energy expenditures and water use.

Two of the zoo's major sustainability goals involve water conservation, and it’s created innovative approaches to achieve them. For instance, to reduce water consumption, it’s installed waterless urinals, and it collects rainwater to flush toilets. These are great examples of changes that save water without negatively impacting the zoo experience.

Over a five-year period from 2009 to 2014, the zoo decreased water use by 64 percent. It’s also removed large swaths of pavement and replaced it with rain gardens and infiltration basins to capture rainwater. This reduces local flooding and gives the zoo extra water to use for landscaping and other applications that use non-potable water. In 2017, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums honored the Philadelphia Zoo's sustainability program with their prestigious Green Award.

Recycling at Zoos and Aquariums

Recycling programs in zoos have never been more robust. Almost all zoos collect plastic, glass, and aluminum, but it's also becoming commonplace for them to accept cell phones and more obscure items. The Topeka Zoo even accepts old holiday lights, which are dismantled and recycled for parts.

This focus on recycling is about more than just keeping junk out of landfills; it also reduces the need for mining and deforestation. More specifically, cell phones require a mineral called coltan that comes from Congo. By harvesting and reusing coltan from old cell phones, there is less need to mine it from the habitat of the lowland gorilla, which helps conserve the species.

As stewards of wild animals, zoos are creating a multitude of programs to help the earth. Whether it's through the alchemy of composting, simple solutions to reduce water use, or reusing parts from old items, zoos are meeting and overcoming their unique waste management challenges.

Solus Group offers a wide variety of quality material handling products with solutions focusing on warehouse storage, shelving, battery handling, industrial safety, dock accessories, drum handling, packaging, industrial and office furniture, and janitorial maintenance. The company provides product solutions that promote facility safety, efficiency, and productivity. The Solus Group is a NERC Advisory Member. The article is reposted by permission. 

NERC welcomes Guest Blog submissions. To inquire about submitting articles contact Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager at athena(at)

Disclaimer: Guest blogs represent the opinion of the writers and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.

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