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July 2005

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Panasonic

Samsung

Sustaining Members

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Bag To Earth

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, Inc.

  • 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

  • Keep America Beautiful

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • Marcal, A Soundview Paper Company

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association

  • NEWMOA

  • Organix Solutions

  • PaintCare

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Schaefer Systems International, Inc.

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Steel Recycling Institute

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)

  • TOMRA

  • US Composting Council (USCC)

  • Waste Management

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

MEMBERS
Renewing Sustaining Member:
  • ElectroniCycle
Renewing Supporting Member:
NERC NEWS NEW PUBLICATION STATE UPDATES
  • CONNECTICUT
    • Bottle Bill Expansion Dies
    • CT DEP Begins Revision of Solid Waste Management Plan
  • MAINE
    • Update on Maine's solid waste legislation
  • MASSACHUSETTS
    • Announcing the New MA DEP Community Recycling Program Listing for Small & Medium Sized Businesses
  • PENNSYLVANIA
    • Annual Legislative Day Held
    • Electronics Recycling Event in Pittsburgh
  • RHODE ISLAND
    • Recycling Grants Awarded
OF GENERAL INTEREST

To join the EMail Bulletin list…
Send an email to Lynn Rubinstein making the request. Please be sure to include your full name and organization.

 

NERC's mission is to leverage the strengths & resources of its member states to advance an environmentally sustainable economy in the Northeast by promoting source reduction, recycling, & the purchasing of environmentally preferable products & services.


Line PeopleTOPICS
MEMBERSHIP ElectroniCycle

We are delighted to welcome ElectroniCycle as a renewing Sustaining Member. In addition, the Town of Andover (Massachusetts) DPW has renewed as a Supporting Member.

Thank you to one and all!

It is through the active participation & support of its Advisory Members that NERC is able to provide the strength of multi-stakeholder involvement and problem solving. To see a listing of Advisory Members and the benefits of membership visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.

It is the broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC's Advisory Members and Board Members and their willingness to participate that significantly contributes to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.

NERC NEWS

NERC's Fall Conference - October 25 & 26
Come join us on October 25 -26 to discuss some of the most relevant topics in recycling today. Topics that will be featured include: Growing Concern Over Industrial Packaging Materials - learn about the variety and complexities of the packaging materials currently being used, as well as the disposal and recycling problems businesses are facing in dealing with them; Rebranding Recycling - Work with your peers towards developing a new message for recycling; Enforcement of Mandatory Recycling Programs - Come face-to-face with NJ's recycling enforcement team to find out how they are getting businesses to recycle; Shaking Each Tree Branch Part II - Increasing Recovery from Multi-family Units - Learn about strategies for getting residents in multi-family units to actually recycle;

If you have questions, contact Mary Ann Remolador of NERC.

Draft Model Regional Electronics Legislation will be Released July 15th
If you're interested in the regional electronics legislation effort that NERC and the Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC) have been working on, check the NERC website - there will be a link posted on the NERC home page on July 15th for the proposed legislative language.

Since February 2005, NERC and CSG/ERC have been working on a collaborative project to develop a unified, coordinated legislative approach to end-of-life electronics management in the Northeast. In recent months, CSG/ERC and NERC have been facilitating an effort among legislators and legislative staff from ten states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Québec to craft model legislation. As part of this process, legislators solicited input from state environmental agency solid waste management staff, and held a one-day meeting with more than 90 stakeholders to hear what they wish to have included in regional legislation governing electronics end-of-life management. The legislators also participated in a series of bi-monthly conference calls during which they debated key elements of electronics management systems.

Throughout this process, CSG/ERC and NERC have sought to forge consensus among legislative participants from the region on the scope and content of electronics legislation. With the July 15 release of the draft model legislation, we are seeking input from stakeholders on this initial approach agreed to by the legislative participants.

Public Dialogue Scheduled for Model Regional Legislation
The Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC) and the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) invite you to attend a Public Dialogue on Regional Model E-Waste Legislation on Monday, July 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Montville, CT. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to offer legislators and staff from the Northeast your comments regarding draft model electronics legislation that will be released on July 15.

The meeting will be held in conjunction with the CSG/ERC Annual Meeting, which will be held on July 25-28, 2005 at the Mohegan Sun.

Participation in the July 25 Public Dialogue is open to the public; however, all participants must register to attend and to speak. Please RSVP by Friday, July 22nd, by contacting Rona Cohen of CSG/ERC.

Vendor Tables Available for NERC's Fall Conference
NERC has a limited number of vendor tables available for the Fall Conference. If you know of a business that is interested in networking with recycling officials, recycling trade associations and other recycling businesses in the Northeast, refer them to exhibitor information for information on how they can sign up. For additional information, contact Mary Ann Remolador of NERC.

NH & ME EPP Peers Identified
With USDA funding, NERC has been working on an EPP Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Project in the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The arduous task of finding the right peers to work together on EPP issues has finally paid off. In Maine, we are working with Jason Wentworth of the Washboard Laundry in Portland and Lisa Newcomb of the Belfast Dance Studio in Belfast. In New Hampshire, we are working with Cleve Horton of Calef's Country Store & Gift Shop in Barrington and Bill Jones of NAS Insurance Company. (You may remember Bill. He was a speaker at NERC's Spring '05 Conference.) Some of the issues we will be tackling with these businesses include energy efficiency and how you make space energy efficient without losing its charm (i.e., old barn being used as retail space), less toxic cleaners, alternatives to latex gloves for food service, recycled content bathroom and office paper products, and alternatives to using salt in the winter.

In addition, we are courting two elementary schools in Vermont and are hopeful that they will join the ranks of this project in the near future.

For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador of NERC.

EPP Presentations Made at both the VT & NH Businesses for Social Responsibility Annual Events
As a result of reaching out to the Vermont and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility to participate in the EPP Peer-to-Peer Project, NERC staff and members of the project Advisory Committee were requested to make presentations at their annual events. For more information or for copies of the presentations, contact Mary Ann Remolador of NERC.

NERC Staff Attends Paper Stakeholders' Meeting
In June, NERC staff participated in EPA's National Paper Recovery Strategy Meeting in Washington, DC. Attended by more than 50 participants, this meeting included discussions on the quality and supply of recovered paper, the demand for recycled-content paper, and identified specific projects to focus on these issues. For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador of NERC or Michael Scozzafava of EPA Headquarters.

Corporate Contributions Received in Support of NERC's Work on EPEAT
In response to a request by NERC that electronics manufacturers help to support NERC's ongoing work in implementing the national EPEAT (electronics procurement environmental assessment tool), including leading the communications committee, we have received generous support from both Panasonic and Sharp Electronics. Thank you to both of these outstanding companies and their ongoing commitment to supporting green development and procurement of consumer electronics.

Unwanted Medication Collection a Success in South Hadley, Massachusetts
Unwanted Medication CollectionIn mid-June NERC worked with the South Hadley, Massachusetts Department of Public Works to hold a very successful unwanted medication collection in conjunction with the town's annual Household Hazardous Waste Event.

Perhaps the major "coup" of the event was the collection of almost 2,500 estrogen replacement patches. In total, 30 gallons of hazardous waste were shipped for incineration and 1/2 gallon of controlled substances went to the South Hadley Police Department. There were a total of 22 participants. In addition, we had one Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (a pharmacy) bring in two boxes of compounding chemicals, for which they paid $190.

An overview of the event follows:
  • 22 participants
  • 2,197 items
  • Average of 100 items per participant
  • Shipped 30.5 gallons (30 gallons hazardous waste, 1/2 gallon controlled)
  • Average of 1.4 gallons or 2.7 pounds per participant
  • 8 controlled items = .004% of material that came in

Why Disposing of Medications Whose Medications

 

Cooley Dickinson Hospital & South Hadley Police DepartmentNERC's efforts were funded by the US EPA through an Innovative Solid Waste Management Grant. We are grateful to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Northampton, Massachusetts for providing the services of a pharmacist, and to the South Hadley Police Department for its support and assistance. In addition, Athena Bradley of the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District provided important support at the event through a grant from the USDA. Thank you.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein of NERC.

NERC Continues Work with Materials Exchanges
NERC has been working with the New England and New York Materials Exchanges to assist them by developing a marketing plan that focuses on low/no cost marketing strategies in order to make more exchanges. Funded by EPA Regions I & II, this project has included working with faculty and students of Bryant University's Sustainable Business Program. In June, NERC and Bryant unveiled the marketing plan at the Annual Materials Exchange Managers Meeting. We'd like to thank the RI Export Assistance Center for providing us meeting space at the University.

In addition, NERC presented its work on marketing for the Exchanges at SWIX's National Materials Exchange Conference & Managers Meeting held in Orlando in March.

For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador of NERC.

NERC PUBLICATIONS

Latest EPPNet Digest
The most recent edition of the EPPNet Digest is now posted. Access to the Digest is one of the benefits of a NERC membership. The EPPNet Digest is published quarterly.

This Digest edition contains 17 EPPNet messages posted April 1 through June 28, 2005. This issue features conversations about:
  • Restaurants/Food Service
    • Alternative to Latex Gloves
  • Schools/Universities
    • Help with Elementary School Equipment
  • Other Commodities
    • Greener Conference/Display Materials?
    • Purchasing Practices that Favor Biobased Products
  • Paper
    • Recycled-Content Braille Paper
    • Wrapping Paper & Recycled Content
    • Recycled Corrugated Boxes with 200 lb Test
    • ISO Recycled Preprinted Checks
  • Plastic
    • Agricultural Film Plastic
  • Cleaning Products
    • Environmental Commercial Oven Cleaner
    • Non-Toxic Cleaner for Dance Floor
    • An EPP Disinfectant
  • Toxics & Nontoxic Alternatives
    • Ink Fixative
  • Packaging & Shipping
    • Producer Take-back for Packaging at Conference
  • General Publications
    • Cleaning Can Kill
    • WA's Buildings & Schools to Meet LEED
  • Solid Waste & Recycling Services
    • Good Single Stream Recycling Programs
Issues Identified at NERC Conference Session about Increasing the Supply of Recyclable Materials
The NERC Spring 2005 meeting included a facilitated discussion which sought to identify and provide suggestions for increasing the supply of materials recovered from the municipal and commercial waste streams for recycling. The goals of the session were to explore:
  1. Strategies Trade Associations are using to increase the supply of recycled materials;
  2. Available resources for supporting municipal and regional recycling programs (research, toolkits, technical assistance, databases, etc.); and
  3. How can strategic partnerships be created between Trade Associations and the people who actually collect the materials: government, businesses, property managers, haulers, etc.

Essentially the session sought to explore ways that the different interests represented could work together to address the fundamental issue of lack of supply and excess processing capacity. Specifically, programs or initiatives Trade Associations are engaged in that would enable more materials to be recovered from the waste stream.

The gravity of the supply issue has been addressed by speakers representing different materials at several previous NERC meetings. It was reinforced in this discussion with the consensus being that when and if domestic processing capacity was eliminated, it would never return. Some participants indicated that this was in stark contrast to the situation in China, where mills could cease and renew operations "with the flip of a switch". Competition from the Chinese market has been a boon to recycling programs when marketing their materials. However, the competition has put market pressure on domestic processors competing with them on price and quality.

Participants in the session identified several fundamental issues that need to be recognized and addressed to ensure that the recycling infrastructure as we know it remains viable and sustainable in the future. These issues included:
  • Education - Promoting Recycling
  • Recycling Incentives
  • Economics of Recycling
  • Collaboration, Cooperation & Coordination
  • Trade Associations
  • Supporting State Recycling Efforts
  • Product Stewardship/Extended Producer Responsibility

A full report on these recommendations can be found on the NERC website at http://www.nerc.org/

STATE UPDATES

CONNECTICUT

Bottle Bill Expansion Dies
Despite strong lobbying from numerous environmental groups the effort to expand CT's deposit law to include plastic water bottles died. Legislators were unwilling and/or unable to bring it to a vote.

CT DEP Begins Revision of Solid Waste Management Plan
Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection has hired the consultants of R.W. Beck to work with the DEP in a revision of the solid waste management plan. Several stakeholder meetings and forums are being held in June. The Connecticut Recyclers Coalition has been invited to serve on the Stakeholder Working Group. For more information contact Arlene Cyr at 860-424-3223 or Arlene.cyr@po.state.ct.us.

MAINE

The following were 'solid waste' bills heard before the Legislative Joint Standing Committee on Natural Resources:

LD 141 an Act to Ensure Proper Disposal of Debris and Protection of the Environment
This bill would ban the importation of construction/demolition debris into the state for disposal.

Outcome: The bill was a vehicle to carry a concern regarding possible toxic releases from the incineration of waste construction/demolition debris. DEP has been directed to conduct a study and produce a report on the source, volume and management of construction/demolition debris in Maine.

LD 381 an Act to Enhance the Safe Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste
This bill would require municipal officials in each county to work together to designate an existing transfer station or recycling center in each county to accept HHW for disposal by residents of that county on a year-round basis.

Outcome: This bill was identical to one introduced last year (which was defeated). LD 381 was discussed, an overview of the current HHW programs in the state was had and the committee was sympathetic to the need of managing HHW properly but was unable to support the bill. The committee voted 'ought not to pass'.

LD 406 an Act to Amend the Dates Associated with the State's Recycling and Waste Reduction Goals
Current statute has the state achieving the 50% recycling goal by 2003. That was not reached so the bill would push the date out to 2009. The bill also clarified that the State's waste reduction goal was a biennial goal, not an annual one. That 5% waste reduction goal target would be pushed out to 2009.

Outcome: After much discussion on what has been done and what needs to/will be done, the bill was supported by the committee and voted out 'ought to pass'. The Governor signed this into law on May 25, 2005. Public Law Chapter 220

LD 597 an Act to Amend the Solid Waste Landfill Laws
This bill would require that an adjudicatory public hearing would be required when an increase in the height of a commercial or state-owned landfill that accepted special waste was requested and specifies that the applicant shall pay the Department of Environmental Protection's costs in processing the application. The bill also amends the law governing the joint citizen advisory committee for the state-owned landfill in Old Town to include two representatives of the Penobscot Nation.

Outcome: The bill received strong support from the committee but the number of residents requesting the adjudicatory hearing was raised to five (5) and one member of the Penobscot Nation would be appointed to the West Old Town Landfill's citizen advisory committee. The Governor signed this into law on June 8, 2005. Public Law Chapter 341.

LD 880 an Act to Prohibit Municipal Landfill Dumping
This bill directs the Board of Environmental Protection to adopt rules to limit the transfer of bypass waste to landfills and to ensure that disposal in a landfill is not the primary means for disposal of municipal solid waste.

Outcome: After discussion, the committee determined the bill was not appropriate and voted 'ought not to pass', but not before getting a commitment from the Department of Environmental Protection to develop clearer guidance on what constitutes 'by-pass waste'.

LD 1076 Resolve, To Recognize Alton as a Host Community with Regard to the West Old Town Landfill
This resolve directs the State Planning Office to grant the Town of Alton status as host community to the state-owned landfill in Old Town, should an event occurs that increases the likelihood of financial or environmental impact to the Town.

Outcome: The bill was amended to have the Department of Environmental Protection grant Alton 'automatic intervenor status' if the State Planning Office seeks an expansion permit for the West Old Town Landfill and the Town of Alton requests automatic intervenor status in that permit process. Governor signed the bill on June 2, 2005. Resolve Chapter 74.

LD 1669 Resolve, To Authorize Certain Host Community Benefits Relative to a Landfill in the City of Old Town Owned by the State
This resolve directs the operator of the State owned landfill in Old Town to enter into a host community agreement with the City of Old on terms and conditions that are at least as favorable to the City as provided for in the operator's bid to the State. The agreement shall be executed within 90 days after the adjournment of the First Special Session of the 122nd Legislature or 90 days after the effective date of this subsection.

Outcome: The bill is being held over until the second session of the 122nd Legislature.

There were some other bills related to lead issues, emissions from resource recovery facilities and other waste related topics.

MASSACHUSETTS

Announcing the New MA DEP Community Recycling Program Listing for Small & Medium Sized Businesses
See the newly added list to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's website of business recycling programs in Massachusetts at http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/business.htm#rsd. DEP hired NERC to conduct a formal inventory of communities in Massachusetts where small and medium-sized businesses have access to recycling services through municipal or regional programs, cooperatives, or other community programs. A database was developed and will be periodically updated. Information will be posted on DEP's website and integrated into the service provider locator on the Earth 911 website at http://www.earth911.org. For more information on this project see the final report posted with the listing or contact Julia Wolfe.

PENNSYLVANIA

Annual Legislative Day Held
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) held its annual Legislative Day in May in Harrisburg. It appears that its efforts have started the ball rolling on possible reauthorization of the waste tip fee that funds the state's recycling grant programs. PROP members talked at length to almost all of the key legislators in leadership and many rank and file members. Participants and PROP staff also distributed recycled PET lunch bags containing snacks packaged in recycled content containers and compost grown products to the entire General Assembly. Discussions with legislators confirmed that most did not realize that the Recycling Fund was in such distress. Though the plight of funding is not fully appreciated, legislators are supportive of recycling and generally understand that its grant programs have brought a great return on the Commonwealth's investment.

Electronics Recycling Event in Pittsburgh
The Pennsylvania Resources Council will be collecting unwanted electronics at its Construction Junction location at 64 South 14th Street in Pittsburgh on July 16, 2005 and September 17, 2005. Please contact Ginette Walker at 412-431-4449 ext 243 for more information.

RHODE ISLAND

Recycling Grants Awarded
The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation recently awarded three grants to help the City of Warwick, The Audubon Society of Rhode Island and Recycling for RI Education further their recycling endeavors in Rhode Island.

The City of Warwick received a grant to aid in the purchase of automated recycling carts for the city's recycling program. The plastic containers used by the city have been steadily increasing in cost due to the rising price of plastic resin. The city has had success with this automated collection program in the past, increasing the recycling recovery by 40 percent and will use the funding to further its achievement.

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island also received a grant to sponsor the "Get the Drift and Bag It" clean up. For twenty-one years, The Audubon Society has helped the International Coastal Cleanup coordinate the largest one-day cleanup of the world's waterways. The Audubon Society will help organize the 1,700 volunteers for trash pickup and recycling. The intention of this program is to educate waterway users on the potential problems caused by littering and to encourage recycling and correct disposal methods. In addition to the grant, RIRRC staff will aid the project organizers in proper disposal of the collected trash and recyclables.

Also, Recycling for RI Education received a grant to help fund operations of their "Recycle Center." This organization has received RIRRC funding since 1998 and has been providing clean, non-toxic recycled products to teachers and various non-profit programs. These educators and programs use the goods for academic purposes as well as organizational functioning.

OF GENERAL INTEREST

SWANA Responds to the Growing Concern of Electronic Disposal in Landfills
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has offered the following information about a training opportunity relating to the end-of-life management of unwanted electronics.

As the amount of electronic waste continues to rise, alternative disposal programs for electronics are becoming increasingly necessary. Many government officials are beginning to propose legislation that would ban electronics from landfills.

Examples of some of the current and proposed regulations include:
  • Product Stewardship: These programs assign a percentage of responsibility for the disposal of electronics to the manufacturers. New York City Council, for example, has recently proposed a bill assigning responsibility to manufacturers. This legislation could be in place as early as January 2008.
  • CRT Bans: Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) are a leading contributor of lead to the waste stream. In an effort to keep this hazardous material out of the nation's landfills, many states (including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, and Vermont) have placed bans on the disposal of CRTs in municipal landfills.
  • Electronics Ban: Arkansas, for example, is suggesting a state-wide ban on electronics and computers from its landfills.
  • Electronic Waste Recycling Promotion and Consumer Protection Act: Proposed in March of this year by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), this bill would not only offer tax credits for diversion of electronic waste, but would ban all computers and electronics with screens larger than four inches from municipal landfills in the United States.

While local and state governments decide how electronic waste should be handled and who should take responsibility, the United States Congress must still decide the fate of the analog television signals. The decision to mandate a switch from analog for a fully digital network could render over 15 million TV sets useless instantly. While Congress could maintain the older signal through a legal loophole, the switch to digital could occur as early as New Year's Eve, 2006. This would result in an enormous spike in the amount of lead and other hazardous materials entering the waste stream.

Due to the growing concern of hazardous metals entering landfills, solid waste managers will need to address the handling of electronic waste quickly. In response to this, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has released its "Establishing Electronics Recycling" E-Study Course. Authored by Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director of the Northeast Recycling Council Inc., the course is meant to teach solid waste professionals the latest on E-Waste. This course provides an overview of the complex topic of used electronics end-of-life management, and gives each student the necessary knowledge and tools to design and implement an effective recycling program in their community.

As the issue of electronic waste will affect all communities throughout North America, SWANA has made this course available online. This will allow solid waste professionals, including those with budgetary and scheduling constraints, to take advantage of this vital training. Self paced and accessible through the internet, the course allows learners to train on their schedule, from the comfort of their home or office. Along with receiving the industry's top training, SWANA Certified Professionals can also earn up to 20 CEUs toward their recertification.

As the amount of electronic waste continues to grow and becomes increasingly regulated, establishing an electronics recycling program will become vital to the success and future health of solid waste operations. For more information or to register

For those individuals who prefer to train in a traditional classroom setting, SWANA will be offering this course at its annual Conference and Exhibition WASTECON, taking place in Austin, TX September 26-27, 2005. And as an added bonus, attendees will receive a special tour of our new WASTECON Electronics Recycling Pavilion. This is a great opportunity to speak with vendors and processors regarding your e-cycling program.