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January 2009

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Panasonic

Samsung

Benefactors

Bottle Crusher US

Waste Management

Sustaining Members

  • American Beverage Association

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • American Iron & Steel Institute

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, Inc.

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • CURC

  • Dart Container

  • GDB International

  • Glass Recycling Coalition

  • Good Point Recycling

  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)

  • International Bottled Water Association

  • Keep America Beautiful

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • Marcal, A Soundview Paper Company

  • Mattress Recycling Council

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association

  • Nestlé Waters North America

  • NEWMOA

  • PaintCare

  • Plastics Industry Association

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Schaefer Systems International, Inc.

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Sonoco

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)

  • TOMRA

  • US Composting Council (USCC)

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

MEMBERSHIP

Renewing Sustaining Member

Renewing Supporting Member

NERC NEWS

STATE UPDATES

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW YORK

ADVISORY MEMBER NEWS


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NERC's mission is to advance an environmentally sustainable economy by promoting source and toxicity reduction, recycling, and the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services.

State and Advisory Member Updates are provided as submissions to NERC and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.

NERC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


TOPICS

MEMBERSHIP

We are delighted to welcome the Steel Recycling Institute as a renewing Sustaining Member and the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania and Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority as renewing Supporting Members.  Thank you!  Especially in this troubled fiscal time, this demonstration of support for NERC is appreciated.

A hallmark of NERC is the strength of multi-stakeholder involvement and problem solving.  This is a direct result of the active participation and support of NERC’s Advisory Members.

To see a list of Advisory Members and the benefits of membership, visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.

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

NERC NEWS

Power of Purchasing – NERC’s Spring ’09 Webinar Series
NERC will be holding a series of webinars on the Power of Purchasing this spring.  If you would like to know more about incorporating green purchasing into your purchasing decisions, plan on joining us to learn how to:

  • Save money by purchasing green products and services,
  • Make the connection between purchasing green and climate change,
  • Measure the environmental impacts of your green purchases, and
  • Find out about the economic impact of purchasing green.

Check back after the New Year holiday for more information about the agenda, or contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director and Event Organizer.

New Guidance Documents Posted for Unwanted Medication Collections

NERC has completed work on the first comprehensive guidance document for community pharmacies for holding unwanted medication collections.  The guidance document – and companion “Quick Guide” – was written with support from the Community Pharmacy Foundation.  It builds on two years of work with community pharmacies throughout the Northeast and Virginia, and the experiences gained with five collections. 

Both documents are available for free download:

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

NERC March Board Meeting to be held in Hartford

The March Board of Directors meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 18, in Hartford, Connecticut.  The meeting is open to the public and NERC welcomes – and encourages – anyone interested in NERC to participate.  For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.

STATE NEWS

MASSACHUSETTS

Municipal Sustainability Grants Update

MassDEP received 171 applications to its FY09 Municipal Sustainability Grant Program last September, totaling $2.42 million in requests for equipment, materials, and direct project funding.  For the second year in the row, public space recycling containers were the most requested item, followed closely by recycling education materials, and then rain barrels and water conservation kits came in at number three.  Here’s how the requests stacked up:

Grant Item

# of Municipalities
Requesting

Public Area Recycling Containers

88

Consumer Education and Outreach Materials

86

New Pay-As-You-Program Funding

10

Home Composting Bins / Kitchen Scrap Buckets

66

Rain Barrels and Water Conservation Tools

83

School Chemical Management/Cleanout

17

Mercury / Universal Waste Sheds

17

Idling Reduction Campaign Toolkit

17

Diesel Vehicle Retrofit Equipment and
Diesel Hybrid Trucks

20

Mandatory Recycling Enforcement Coordinator

12

Technical Assistance – In-Kind

28

Technical Assistance – Municipal
Sustainability Initiatives

11

In late November, MassDEP awarded communities 2,250 hours of technical assistance from its Municipal Assistance Coordinators for municipal waste reduction projects.  A total of 47 communities will benefit from these projects as some involve multiple municipalities.  Project topics include: Pay-As-You-Throw evaluation, school recycling development, municipal solid waste/recycling contracting, multi-family recycling and more.  There is no direct funding provided to municipalities in these awards.

DEP hopes to announce grants for other requested items and materials this winter.  

Mercury Management Act Update

MassDEP released Phase 2 of the regulations for the Mercury Management Act for public comment on October 20, 2008.  The public comment period closed on November 24, 2008.  MassDEP is currently reviewing all comments and will issue its response to comments along with the final regulations.  Phase 2 of the regulations for the mercury management act accomplishes the following:

  • Bans the sale of specific mercury-added measuring devices in Massachusetts after May 1, 2008,
  • Bans the sale of mercury-added switches and relays in Massachusetts  after May 1, 2009,
  • Defines the process for applying for an exemption to the sales ban,
  • Requires manufacturers of mercury-added products to label them so users will know that the products need to be recycled, and
  • Prohibits disposal of mercury-added products in the trash.

Updates to Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) Programs in Massachusetts

MassDEP has posted several updates to its PAYT website including a searchable database of the 124 municipalities in Massachusetts with a PAYT program.  Visitors to the website can now sort through the searchable database using Excel's auto-filter function.  The tool can be used to identify municipal programs that have the characteristics of most interest to the user, e.g., drop-off versus curbside; bags vs. stickers, flat fee included vs. no flat fee.  In the Excel file users will find two tabs.  One tab has the list of all 124 cites and towns with a PAYT program.  The second tab has a summary and a key on how to use the database.  To accompany this database, a map of Massachusetts and all 124 communities has been added to the website.  The map identifies PAYT municipalities with either a curbside or drop-off recycling program.

State contract FAC55 lets any Massachusetts municipality or political sub-division purchase plastic trash bags for their Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) programs.  The contract was recently rebid and three vendors were awarded.  It is effective through November 11, 2009, with up to five additional extension periods of up to twelve months each ending on November 11, 2014.  The three vendors on this contract are Phoenix Recycling Inc., Boxes and Bags Unlimited, and Mansfield Paper, a Bag Company Division.  Each vendor offers different sizes and pricing; several different size bags are available: 8, 10, 14, 15, 16, 30, 33, 35, and 40 gallons.  These bags are manufactured with 20% post-consumer recycled plastic content.  Bags are made of 100% LDPE plastic and available in various colors.  Bags are available in twist tie or drawstring style and packaged in quantities of 5 or 10 per sleeve.  A customized program information insert is included in the sleeve price.  Minimum order is 20,000 bags.

Developing a New Solid Waste Master Plan:  Statewide Stakeholder Meetings

The Solid Waste Master Plan is the Commonwealth’s blueprint for managing solid waste that is generated, reused, recycled, recovered, and disposed of in Massachusetts.  With a 47% recycling rate, Massachusetts is among the best in the nation, but growth has leveled off and we continue to dispose of materials that have significant value.  Dramatic increases in energy costs, heightened concerns about climate change, renewed interest in more efficient use of waste as second hand materials, and diminishing public resources are prompting the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to fundamentally re-examine the way we think about solid waste management.  A new Master Plan needs to take advantage of new market opportunities and provide a framework for improving the overall environmental performance of our solid waste management system.

At the statewide stakeholder meetings MassDEP will be looking for feedback on the following questions:

  • How can we collectively shift from a “waste management” to a “materials management” system?
  • How can we work with product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to prevent waste from being generated in the first place?
  • How can we increase the amount of waste that is reused, recycled, and composted?
  • How can we encourage recycling markets to grow without depending on government subsidies?
  • How can we encourage entrepreneurs to develop new uses for materials that are recovered from waste?  What are the best ways to stimulate new markets that recover the maximum value from these materials? 
  • What materials should we focus on in the short term, and what strategies should be started now for longer term benefits?
  • How can we get the most value from materials that cannot be recycled or reused?
  • How effective is the waste incinerator moratorium at meeting our goals of increasing recycling, enhancing environmental performance and spurring new technologies?
  • How can we get the best environmental performance from our materials management system at reasonable cost?

 
Mass Recycles Paper Unveils New Ad Campaign

On Thursday, November 6, the Mass Recycles Paper (MRP) Campaign held a stakeholders meeting with the launch of a new advertising campaign aimed at capturing more paper in the recycling stream.  With a goal of helping Massachusetts recycle 1 million more tons of paper annually, Mass Recycles Paper unveiled the new advertising campaign focusing on educating Massachusetts’ residents about paper recycling.  MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt keynoted the event, where she was joined by leaders from state and local governments, the U.S. EPA, businesses, trade associations, and environmental organizations that came to support the Campaign.  MassDEP is actively involved in the Campaign.  Staff members Brooke Nash and Regan Clover serve on the Campaign Steering Committee and MassDEP has provided $50,000 in funding over 2 ½ years to help pay for the Campaign’s part-time coordinator and development of the advertising materials.    

A 15-second, animated Mass Recycles Paper ad ran in 120 movie theatres across the state, between November 14 and December 4, thanks to sponsors Covanta Energy and the Massachusetts State Lottery.  The ads will also run in Boston area newspaper The Metro and in 100 community newspapers publications, with the help of campaign sponsor Got Books!  The ads are also downloadable from the Campaign website and may be used by municipal and commercial recycling program managers to promote paper recycling.

To date, 175 municipalities have signed a resolution supporting the Campaign.  Beth Daley, an environmental reporter for the Boston Globe, recently featured the MRP campaign in her blog. 

Mass Recycles Paper is a public-private partnership of MassRecycle, MassDEP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – New England, state and local officials, business leaders, and citizens. 

Massachusetts Celebrates America Recycles Day!

Massachusetts communities, universities, schools, and residents celebrated the eleventh annual America Recycles Day 2008 on November 15.  Over 20 events took place across the state including recycling art shows, fashion shows, poster and essay contests, recycling pledge events, waste free lunches, and paper shredding events.  Residents across the Commonwealth were able to become better informed about the advantages of recycling and buying recycled products as a result of the successful America Recycles Day initiatives across the state. 

WasteWise "Don't Waste Your Energy" Fall Forum

On November 13, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) conducted its Fall WasteWise Forum featuring topics on energy efficiency.  MassDEP seeks to address the needs of its WasteWise membership by incorporating other areas of waste prevention, such as energy, water, and transportation into its meetings.  Approximately 60 attended the meeting to learn about the Commonwealth's banner year of recently enacted energy legislation.  Commissioner Phil Giudice of the Department of Energy Resources was keynote speaker and provided an overview of the Green Communities Act and other energy programs and resources available to businesses and municipalities, including the ability to now conduct net metering and decoupling of the utility industry.  Sam Nutter of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative provided information on the numerous funding mechanisms for renewable energy projects including solar and wind.  Many projects that qualify are eligible for rebates of upwards of 50% with short pay-back time.  A representative from NSTAR spoke about the utility rebate programs available for commercial users.  In addition, MassDEP presented annual WasteWise awards to Millipore Corporation who received the "Partner of the Year" award and to the Seaport Hotel for "Leader in Innovation."  

Massachusetts WasteWise Program Wins Award

MassDEP was recently awarded top honors by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their promotion of the WasteWise program.  MassDEP received the "2008 Endorser of the Year" award on October 29th in Arlington, Virginia.  Morgan Harriman accepted the award on behalf of the Department.  In addition, Massachusetts WasteWise partners Genzyme Corporation and Raytheon received national recognition for community involvement and recycling in the workplace respectively.

Massachusetts Colleges & Universities Meet

On December 9, representatives from MassRecycle, MassDEP, and many of Massachusetts’ institutions of higher education converged at Brandeis University for a meeting of the Massachusetts College and University Recycling Council (CURC).  CURC is a technical council of MassRecycle, providing technical assistance, education, training, networking opportunities and support to help members better manage their campus waste.

The December meeting included a presentation on the Mass Recycles Paper Campaign and opportunities for involvement in RecycleMania, a nationwide competition amongst colleges and universities in a variety of waste minimization categories.  Eric Friedman of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs discussed and fielded questions regarding recent energy legislation and how it affects green efforts at the college and university level.  Attendees shared success stories and campus waste management techniques.

Upcoming Events

EBC 3rd Annual Regional Construction & Demolition Debris Summit

This C & D Summit will provide an opportunity for companies to showcase their C & D related services or equipment.
Date & Time: Friday, January 16, 2009 - 7:30 - 4:30
Location:  Doubletree Hotel
5400 Computer Drive
Westborough, MA 01581

Massachusetts 9th Organics Recycling Summit: “Greening from the Ground Up”

When: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 from 8:00 - 4:00 (conference & exhibit hall) and Thursday, March 5, 2009 (training session)

Where: SpringHill Suites by Marriott (Devens Common Center), Devens, Massachusetts 

Join MassDEP for a professional conference and vendor exhibit hall focused on organics diversion and composting in Massachusetts.  A second day includes a compost training session.  Last year’s Summit attracted over 200 professionals from 14 states. 

Who should attend:  Businesses, institutions, consultants, haulers, and state and municipal officials seeking innovative solutions for managing organic materials such as commercially generated food waste and innovative compost applications.

NEW YORK

New York Recycles Day

The New York Sate Department of Environmental Conservation celebrated New York Recycles Day (America Recycles Day) as a special event we’ve celebrated at the Department’s Central Office since 1997.  Every year we collect for reuse or recycling, items that may end up in the trash. 

This year, staff:

  • Collected over 250 pounds of unusable clothing for recycling,
  • Conducted a book and magazine exchange,
  • Exchanged videos,
  • Collected 15 pairs of shoes and boots for donation,
  • Collected over 30 pairs of sneakers for recycling,
  • Collected over 40 coats for donation,
  • Collected over 40 pairs of glasses for donation, and
  • Numerous CDs and batteries collected for recycling!

New York State Food Scraps Forum’s Summary

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) coordinated seven, one-day regional food scraps reduction and management forums across the State.  These informal meetings were designed to achieve the following three goals:

  • Facilitate better communication and create partnerships among institutional generators of food scraps and others involved in its management,
  • Identify opportunities for food scraps reduction and donation, and
  • Identify challenges and solutions for diverting food scraps from disposal.

The forums began in March 2008 and continued through December.  Forums have taken place in the following regions of the State:  Capital District, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, New York City, Long Island, Western New York, and the North Country.  Invited participants included farmers, college officials, grocery store representatives, food pantry managers, food service vendors, community recycling coordinators, cooperative extension agents, compost facility operators, State agency representatives, and others.

The forums were designed to focus on the opportunities for reduction and donation of food scraps.  Participants were encouraged to share their successes and challenges.  In many of the forums, this information sharing generated a lot of interest and formed the basis of building new relationships.  Next, the forums focused on management of the food scraps that can’t be donated.  Participants discussed collection logistics, off-site/on-site management, composting, and anaerobic digestion.  The discussions of diversion of food scraps from the waste stream are heavily influenced by what, if any, facilities are located in the area.  For example, in regions with compost facilities nearby, participants focused on how to divert food scraps to these facilities.  In regions without organics management facilities, participants explored how to encourage facilities to locate and how to develop small facilities in the interim that can be registered instead of permitted.

Through the forums participants have built stronger relationships with other participants.  In the Capital District and Buffalo the forums have lead to additional groups working together to divert food waste to a composting.  As a result of the New York City Forum, iWasteNot Systems and the NYC Materials Exchange Development Program teamed up to create an on-line food and food waste discussion group called Shared Harvest. 

The Department is working both internally and with some forum participants to identify next steps for food scraps reduction and management across New York State.

ADVISORY MEMBER NEWS

Connecticut Recyclers Meeting Showcased Electronics, Food, & More

The Connecticut Recyclers Coalition (CRC) brought in speakers on a variety of hot topics for its annual meeting on November 19, 2008.  Tom Metzner, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP), provided the keynote address to more than 80 attendees.  He discussed how Connecticut’s electronics recycling law will be put into practice during the summer of 2009.  The PowerPoint for the presentation is available at the DEP website.    

Other speakers provided case studies of recycling efforts already in progress in Connecticut.  Andy Bozzuto, Mary Ellen Rockwell, and Sally Flynn discussed the innovative food waste collection program run by Global Environmental Services between New Haven and the New Milford Farms composting facility.  Mark Lennon of the Institution Recycling Network (IRN) reviewed IRN’s on-going construction/demolition debris recycling efforts at Yale and other locations.  Mike Bzdyra of the Connecticut Resources Recover Authority (CRRA) and Marilynn Cruz-Aponte of the City of Hartford profiled the single stream pilot program in Connecticut’s capital.  

Bottle Bill & Escheats Likely to Top Connecticut Legislative Efforts in 2009

Legislators and members of environmental organizations such as the Connecticut Recyclers Coalition and Sierra Club are preparing for the 2009 legislative session.  Hopes have been raised that an expansion to the thirty-year old bottle bill may come about due to a change of players in the Connecticut legislature.  As well, Governor Rell has called for the state to recover escheats, the unclaimed deposits from soda, beer, and other “fizzy” beverages.  Rumors of bag-banning legislation are also causing much discussion.