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January 2020

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Panasonic

Samsung

Benefactors

Bottle Crusher US

Waste Management

Sustaining Members

  • 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

New & Renewing Memberships

Renewing Distinguished Benefactor

Renewing Sustaining Member

Renewing Supporting Members

NERC News

Newly Posted

State Updates

NEW YORK

Advisory Member News

Of General Interest

New & Renewing Memberships

Membership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to sustainable materials management. We would like to welcome renewing Distinguished Benefactor - Consumer Technology Association (CTA), as well as renewing Sustaining Member - Council of State Governments, and renewing Supporting Members:

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.

NERC News

Agenda Coming Soon for NERC’s Spring Conference

NERC staff and the Agenda Planning Committee are reviewing the abstract submissions and will be announcing the agenda in the next week or two!

In the meantime, make sure you have the Conference in your calendar to hold the dates—April 20 – 21.  Rebooting Recycling: Taking a Fresh Look at Solutions is the Conference theme.  We will be featuring sessions about new and unique approaches to reuse, recycling, contracting, and safety.

Any questions regarding the Conference details, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director and Conference Organizer.

Best Management Practices for Community Composting Team Building - Webinar - January 21, 1:00 - 2:15pm (eastern)

This is the first of a 2-part webinar on community-scale composting. Part 1 is all about people; Part 2 (date TBD) will focus on systems and the science of composting. 

In this first hour-long webinar we'll address roles and tasks, training and retaining volunteers, and share lessons learned through case studies of community composting at rural sites, community gardens, and housing developments. There will be plenty of time for Q&A. 

Featured speakers will be:

  • Natasha Duarte, Composting Association of Vermont
  • Libby Weiland, Vermont Community Garden Network
  • Cassandra Hemenway, Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District

Part 2 of this series (date TBD) will focus on the nuts and bolts of community composting, from siting and feedstock collection to system management and composting through the winter.

Pre-registration is required.

This webinar is made possible with funding through a USDA Rural Utilities Solid Waste Management grant.

For more information, contact Natasha Duarte.

NERC Board Adopts Post-Consumer Recycled Content Policy

After close to a year of deliberation, the NERC Board of Directors has adopted NERC's first Post-Consumer Recycled Content Policy. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Using Recycled Content Materials in Road & Infrastructure Projects - Workshop, April 15, Concord, NH

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA), in partnership with NRRA, MRRA, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and Department of Transportation, and the New Hampshire Technology Transfer Center, are offering a one-day workshop about using recycled content in road and infrastructure projects.

This special one-day workshop will provide you with new insights and examples of practical applications. Presentations will address:

  • Plastic corrugated drainage pipes with recycled content
  • Ground asphalt for roads
  • Use of crumb rubber in roads
  • Processed glass aggregate (PGA)

A preliminary agenda has been posted.

  • The registration fee for the workshop is $75 and includes lunch.
  • The registration deadline is March 31.
  • The deadline for registration cancellations is March 23rd.  There will be a $25 processing fee for any cancellations.
  • All registration payments are due in full before April 15.

REGISTER NOW!

Newly Posted

Presentations & Recording from Third Webinar in Packaging Series Now Available

The European Packaging EPR webinar, which took place on December 5, provided details about the EPR models for packaging being implemented throughout Europe.  The Webinar presenters were Clarissa Morawski, Executive Director of Reloop Platform & Victor Bell, US Managing Director of Environmental Packaging International. The  recording and presentations from the webinar and subsequent webinars in the series can be found by going to the Resources section of NERC’s website and then selecting webinars.

For any questions regarding the webinar, contact Mary Ann Remolador, Assistant Director.

Minutes from the October Board of Directors Meeting are Now Available

In October, the NERC Board of Directors held its annual meeting.  The minutes from that meeting are now posted.

State Updates

NEW YORK

New York Passes Paint EPR Law - Signed by Governor

New York has passed an extended producer responsibility law for paint; joining several other states in the region.  The law was signed by the Governor on December 16th, making it the 5th state in the region to adopt such legislation. 

The law provides for PaintCare extending its paint collection and recycling program to New York. The program will be open to households, businesses, government agencies, and others with leftover paint in New York. Once the program launches, PaintCare sites in New York will accept the following at participating drop-off locations:

  • House paint and primers (latex or oil-based)
  • Stains
  • Deck and concrete sealers
  • Clear finishes (e.g., varnishes, shellac)

DEC Highlights State's Leadership in Reducing Waste on "New York Recycles Day"

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos recognized November 15 as "New York Recycles Day," celebrating the State's national leadership in promoting recycling and reducing waste. New York's efforts complement America Recycles Day, a national initiative to raise awareness of the economic, environmental, and social benefits of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

"New York remains a national leader in forward-thinking recycling strategies, programs, and policies focused on responsible and sustainable stewardship to better protect the health of our communities and the environment,” Commissioner Seggos said. “As global recycling markets fluctuate, it’s more important than ever that DEC continues to protect our natural resources. On New York Recycles Day, I encourage all New Yorkers to commit to the core conservation principles of reduce, re-use, and recycle to ensure the world is a better place for generations to come.”

Across the state, individuals, community groups, businesses, schools, and government agencies celebrated New York Recycles Day in a variety of ways, from encouraging others to reduce their waste by pledging to start an office or school recycling program, participating in the NY Recycles poster contest, hosting a reuse exchange, and improving awareness of local recycling requirements. These combined efforts help educate and inform New Yorkers about the advantages of the three R's through community events. Additional information about America Recycles Day events is available at the Keep America Beautiful America Recycles Day website..

NYS Solid Waste Management Act

The New York State Solid Waste Management Act of 1988, signed into law by Governor Mario M. Cuomo, required municipalities to adopt local laws or ordinances by September 1, 1992, requiring the separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials from solid waste. Since that time, local source-separation programs have captured and diverted more than 350 million tons of recyclable materials from disposal resulting in an estimated net emission reduction of 1.1 billion metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of taking 230 million cars off the road for one year.

Recycling Markets Experience Changing Trends

Recycling markets are experiencing volatility due to changing trends, particularly overseas. The State of New York encourages all communities to continue recycling and to contact DEC if they are experiencing difficulties adapting to recycling markets. At Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's direction, and recognizing current challenges, DEC is working with industry stakeholders, municipalities, academic institutions, and others to develop short- and long-term actions to bolster recycling markets, expand recycling education and outreach strategies, and improve the quality of recyclable materials while providing increased flexibility for recycling facilities across New York.

In order to decrease contamination in recyclables processed through single-stream facilities and increase the marketability of the resultant recyclables, DEC encourages all New Yorkers to 'recycle right.' Each community has specific recycling rules and all New Yorkers should check with their municipality on the types of paper, metal, plastic and glass items that can be recycled. Recyclables have the best marketing value when they are clean and dry before being placed in the collection bin.

Tips to Recycle Right:

  • Keep recyclable items loose in the bin; do not use plastic bags;
  • Do not recycle single-use cups and plates, condiment packages, coffee pods, stirrers, straws, paper napkins;
  • Return rechargeable batteries to retail recycling locations;
  • Compost at home or send yard trimmings and food scraps to a local or municipal composting program;
  • Donate dishware, mirrors, glassware and ceramics if in good condition;
  • Donate textiles if in good condition;
  • Do not recycle any type of rope, hose, or twine; and
  • Return needles to appropriate collection locations. Visit DEC's Household Sharps website for more information.

DEC urges the public to "keep it out when in doubt," as contamination in the recycling supply chain reduces the quality of recyclable materials. For more information contact your local recycling coordinator or visit the DEC website for information and resources on the “Recycle Right NY” campaign: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/116113.html.

NY Invests in Recycling

Over the last three decades, to help maintain sustainability in the recycling industry, New York State has invested more than $242 million in recycling grants through the State’s Environmental Protection Fund to support municipal waste reduction and recycling programs with recycling infrastructure, equipment, collection vehicles, local education and outreach programs, and municipal recycling coordinator salaries. Targeted funding and focus over the last several years include food recovery, food waste collection and organics recycling, as well as electronic waste recycling. Other programs designed to encourage waste diversion in New York include stewardship programs like the electronic waste reuse and recycling act, the rechargeable battery recycling law, mercury thermostat collection act, and the drug take-back law, as well as the lead-acid battery recycling law and the bottle bill.

Recycling is required by law in New York to decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustors, slow the rate of the extraction of raw materials from the earth, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce litter.

Study of NYS Bottle Bill Expansion  

To help evaluate potential impacts, DEC tasked the Pollution Prevention Institute (P2I) to produce an impact study of the expansion of the bottle bill to include wine and liquor containers. The study finds that using existing redemption rate values for containers under New York’s current bottle bill, expansion to include wine and liquor containers would increase the recycling rate of these bottles by approximately 65 percent. And in addition, that while there would be additional upfront and ongoing costs to the wine and liquor industry, local recycling programs would benefit financially from the removal of wine and liquor bottles from curbside recycling by not having to collect and process this material. In addition, New York State would gain revenue through unclaimed deposits. To conduct the study, P2I reviewed other U.S. “bottle bills” and laws covering wine and liquor sales, reviewed proposed bottle bill expansion legislation from the 2019 New York State Legislative, gathered information from stakeholders to help assess potential impacts, identified the scope of the potential expansion to wine and liquor bottles, completed a high-level cost / benefit analysis, and assessed current available capacity to use more recycled glass.

NYS Bag Reduction Act

To assist in achieving the state’s waste reduction goals and keep our land and waterways cleaner, the New York State Bag Reduction Act will take effect on March 1, 2020.  This act prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags by retailers in New York State and is expected to significantly reduce the nearly 23 billion plastic bags currently used each year by New York residents. For consumer information on the plastic bag ban, visit:  https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50034.html.

New York Recycles Day recognizes the benefits of waste reduction, recycling, and buying products made with recycled content and promotes these practices in homes, businesses, schools, and more. For additional information visit DEC's recycling webpage.

Notice of Proposed Rule Making - Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling – Public Comment Period, Availability of Documents, & Public Hearing

Statewide - Notice is hereby given that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing a new 6 NYCRR Part 351 Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling. The proposed rule sets forth the requirements of Titles 27 and 28 of Article 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law with respect to the prohibition on the distribution of film plastic bags; allowable reusable bags; and the recycling of film plastic by stores. The regulations also address the related requirements for manufacturers. This rule making is referred to as Part 351.

The Notice of Proposed Rule Making is available in the November 27, 2019 issue of the State Register. DEC will accept written public comments through Monday, February 3, 2020.  Additional details are provided below.

Availability of documents for review: The express terms for Part 351 and supporting rule making documents are available on DEC’s web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html#public. These documents may also be inspected at NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY. Please call Kayla Montanye for an appointment at (518) 402-8706. 

Public Hearing: A legislative public hearing to receive public comment on the proposed rule will be held as follows:

Monday, January 27, 2020 at 1:00 PM

NYS DEC

625 Broadway, Room 129

Albany, NY

This location is accessible to persons with impaired mobility. Interpreter services will be made available to the hearing impaired, at no charge, upon written request at least five business days prior to the date of the hearing. Written requests for interpreter services are required and should be submitted by Friday, January 17, 2020. Please address requests to Kayla Montanye, NYS DEC, Division of Materials Management, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7253.

DEC invites all persons, organizations, corporations and governmental agencies to attend the hearing and submit either written or oral statements. At the hearing, persons who wish to make a statement will be invited to speak. It is requested that oral statements also be submitted in writing. DEC will give equal weight to written and oral statements. Since a cumulative record will be compiled, it is not required for interested parties to attend the hearing.

Written comments: The public is invited to submit written comments on the proposed Part 351 rulemaking through Monday, February 3, 2020. Written comments can be submitted by:

  • Email to plasticbags@dec.ny.gov and please write “Comments on Proposed Part 351” in the subject line of the email; or
  • Mail to Kayla Montanye, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Materials Management, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7253

Contact: For more information about this Notice, please contact Kayla Montanye, NYS DEC, Division of Materials Management, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7253; Phone: (518) 402-8706; E-mail: plasticbags@dec.ny.gov.

Advisory Member news

ISRI Seeking Assistant Vice President of Sustainable Development

ISRI has posted a job listing for a new position - Assistant Vice President of Sustainability. 

The Director of Sustainable Development oversees the development and execution of an integrated strategy addressing the priorities of the segments of the recycling industry (plastics, paper and packaging) most directly impacting the residential recycling stream, building on ISRI’s existing work in this area. This position will lead the strategic planning and execution of sustainable development initiatives on behalf of ISRI and its members and will build the association’s membership, policies and programming with emphasis on the plastics, packaging and residential segments of the recycling industry.

The job description is available here.

Samsung Recognized by EPA for Electronics Industry Achievements in Innovation and Recycling

 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the 2019 winners of its Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge Awards.

“These companies represent the electronics industry’s leaders in sustainable product design and life cycle management,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Samsung is one of nine companies earning the Agency's 2019 Electronics Challenge Gold Tier Awards.

EPA further recognized Samsung Electronics as one of two SMM Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for innovation in an environmentally responsible way. Samsung is receiving the Cutting-Edge Award for developing an affordable, upcycled and smartphone-based diagnosis camera to improve eye health care equality in underserved populations. Currently piloted in Vietnam, the camera extends the life of obsolete phones, uses 50% recycled content and is designed for easy reuse or recovery.

BioCycle CONNECT—Communications Toolkit

On January 8, 2020, The JG Press, Inc. will launch BioCycle CONNECT, a free e-issue that brings real-time access to the tools, knowledge and networks crucial to successful implementation of best-in-class organics recycling programs — delivered to email inboxes 48 times per year. BioCycle CONNECT continues BioCycle’s 60-year leadership as the Organics Recycling Authority in the next decade, as we transition from a print to a digital platform in 2020. We are seeking your assistance to spread the word to Northeast Recycling Council members and others in your network.

This transition to digital strengthens BioCycle’s dual mission — delivering premier content that drives connections within the organics recycling sector while connecting the organics recycling sector to other industries as solutions to strengthen food systems and build climate-resilient communities — by increasing our ability to provide dynamic content across digital channels and decreasing barriers to access. Each edition of BioCycle CONNECT brings new feature articles, department items, event updates, breaking news and more on topics like composting, organics recycling, anaerobic digestion, compost and biogas utilization and food waste management — brought to you by BioCycle's "faculty" of experts. BioCycle CONNECT content links to BioCycle.net and incorporates the in-depth content that has been available for 60 years in print. 

As a key organics recycling stakeholder and long-time supporter of BioCycle magazine, I am asking for your help in getting the word out about BioCycle CONNECT to your members who will benefit from this new, one-of-a-kind resource via your newsletter, listserv or other communications network. To assist, we’ve created the attached art and toolkit that includes key information and content templates to share our announcement across email, newsletters, website and social media. 

Of General Interest

The Science of PFAS: Public Health & the Environment -Northeast Conference – March 31 – April 1, Framingham, Massachusetts

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are an emerging environmental and public health issue that regulators, consultants, and academic researchers are working hard to address. The public are becoming increasingly aware of PFAS and its challenges since a major motion picture, Dark Waters, was released in the past month (Focus Features 2019). The film portrays the drama surrounding the original legal fight concerning PFAS in the water systems in West Virginia communities.

PFAS can be found in:

  • Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water
  • Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams (a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs)
  • Workplaces, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS
  • Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility)
  • Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time (U.S. EPA 2019)

If humans or animals, ingest PFAS (by eating or drinking food or water that contain PFAS), the PFAS are absorbed, and can accumulate in the body (U.S. EPA 2019). People can be exposed to PFAS by:

  • Drinking contaminated municipal water or private well water
  • Eating fish caught from water contaminated by PFAS (PFOS, in particular)
  • Accidentally swallowing contaminated soil or dust
  • Eating food that was packaged in material that contains PFAS

Communities throughout the Northeast and the rest of the country have sites where drinking water is impacted by this class of chemicals. State environmental agencies in the region have undertaken extensive sampling of wells and are working on installing treatment systems or alternative water supplies for residents in areas where the results have exceeded the states’ action levels.

Over the past year, NEWMOA has partnered with NERC, the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), and others to organize a “Northeast Conference: The Science of PFAS: Public Health and the Environment.” The event will take place March 31 - April 1, 2020 at the Framingham Hotel and Conference Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. The goals of the conference are:

  • Ensure that local, state, and federal action to address PFAS contamination is informed by the most current and reliable science
  • Facilitate networking and information-sharing among key stakeholders on PFAS topics
  • Identify important gaps in the science and policy to help inform future research

The conference organizers expect conference attendance to include:

  • Local, state, and federal government officials
  • Academic researchers and students
  • Consultants and vendors
  • Companies that use, make, or sell products that contain PFAS 
  • Non-governmental and environmental organizations

The conference will include plenary and concurrent sessions and an exhibit and poster area. The concurrent sessions are anticipated to cover:

  • Toxicology and Health Effects
  • Environmental Behavior
  • Treatment, Remediation, and Disposal
  • PFAS Uses and Alternatives
  • Environmental Sampling and Analysis

NEWMOA is seeking sponsors for the Conference. There are four levels of sponsorship, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Conference Sponsors as of December 2019 include:

  • Platinum: SGS North America, Inc.
  • Gold: Vista Analytical Laboratories,Weston and Sampson, and CDM Smith
  • Silver: ECT

NEWMOA is also seeking exhibitors for the Conference. A limited number of exhibit spaces are available. For more information on sponsoring or exhibiting, contact Jennifer Griffith, jgriffith@newmoa.org.

Recycled Content Tool Updated

EPA created the Recycled Content (ReCon) Tool to help companies and individuals estimate environmental impacts from purchasing and/or manufacturing materials with varying degrees of post-consumer recycled content. Estimates provided by the ReCon Tool are intended to support voluntary reporting initiatives, as well as such initiatives as EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) Program. Find the updated tool here: https://www.epa.gov/warm/recycled-content-recon-tool.