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June 2004

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)

  • 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


  • 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)


  • US Composting Council (USCC)

  • Waste Management

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

New Supporting Members:
  • Prolerized New England Company
  • Town of Andover, Massachusetts
Renewing Supporting Members:
  • RI Department of Environmental Management
  • Sharp Electronics
REMEMBER: Change your email addresses for NERC staff to
Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director (
Mary Ann Remolador, Assistant Director (
Jessica Wozniak, Program Assistant (
Moon Morgan, Office Manager (
    • Electronic Waste Management & Recycling System Adopted By Legislature
    • Appeal Period Ends for Proposed Operation of State Owned Landfill
    • Maine Recycles Week 2004 gets Underway
    • Massachusetts Issues New Bid for Recycling Containers
    • Massachusetts 4th Annual Organics Summit Draws Regional Audience
    • Fall River Business Recycling Program
    • Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan & Agency Sustainability Guide
    • Recycling Poetry Contest
    • Nike Reuse-A-Show Program Comes to New Jersey
    • June Electronics Recycling Events
    • Governor Inspects RIRRC Facilities

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 minimize the amount of materials requiring disposal by promoting the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and source reduction in the Northeast. Recycling and source reduction includes re-use, re-manufacture, composting, and any other activity that decreases the amount and toxicity of material in the solid waste stream requiring disposal.

  Line People

We are delighted to welcome:
New Supporting Members:
Renewing Supporting Members:
It is through the active participation and support of Advisory Members that NERC is able to provide the strength of multi-stakeholder involvement and problem solving. To see a complete listing of Advisory Members, visit the NERC website.

NERC encourages organizations and individuals concerned with recycling market development to join NERC as an Advisory Member. As an Advisory Member you enjoy discounted registration fees for NERC Conferences and you are invited to participate in workgroups and subcommittees. NERC is committed to a multi-stakeholder dialogue and Advisory Members are a critical component of our success. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein , or visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.

Election of Officers
The NERC Board has elected the following slate to serve as its Officers for Fiscal Year 2005 (July 1 - June 30):

Thank you to Chris Way, New Hampshire, who has served as an outstanding President of the Board. Unfortunately for NERC, he will no longer be on the NERC Board as of July 1st due to changed job responsibilities. However, Pierce Laskey-Rigrod, NH DES, will be joining us. Pierce has been active in NERC for the past few years and we are looking forward to his following in the enormous footsteps of his predecessor!

Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse - NERC to Administrator
Toxics in Packaging ClearinghouseAs of July 1st, NERC will assume the role of program administrator for the national Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH).

"The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) was formed in 1992 to promote the Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation. The Source Reduction Council of CONEG originally drafted this model legislation in 1989. It was developed in an effort to reduce the amount of heavy metals in packaging and packaging components that are sold or distributed throughout the United States.

Specifically, the law is designed to phase out the use and presence of mercury, lead, cadmium and hexavalent chromium in packaging within four years in states that enact the legislation.

Since packaging comprises approximately one-third of the waste stream, it is hoped that this legislation will curb the amount of heavy metals entering the municipal solid waste stream and, ultimately, landfills and incinerators. A reduced contribution of these metals to the waste stream will gradually lower their harmful presence in the environment. " Association Copyright © 2004, The Council of State Governments.

Most of NERC's member states are also members of the TCPH Board: CT, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, and VT. The model legislation has been adopted in each of these states as well as CA, FL, GA, IL, IO, MD, MN, MO, VA, WA, and WI. Patricia Dillon of Dillon Environmental Services will provide technical support to NERC for this project. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Massachusetts Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement ProgramAssessment of Massachusetts EPP Procurement Program Published
Faithful NERC Email Bulletin readers will recall that a year ago NERC performed an evaluation of the Massachusetts Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement Program. The full report has now been published and is available on the web. The appendices are published separately.

USDA Grant Awarded
  • Rural Special Event Waste Management
  • EPP Peer-to-Peer Business Training
  • Managing Unwanted Prescription Drugs

NERC has received notice of a significant grant from the USDA Rural Utilities Services Solid Waste Management Grant Program. The grant, which will begin October 1st, has three project components:

Rural Special Event Waste Management: We will work with six special events - such as Old Home Days and Agriculture Fairs - in rural communities in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to develop and implement systems for recycling and source reduction and to reinforce the recycling message. Creating recycling and compost programs at special events will help to foster awareness about and reinforce a commitment to the environment and waste reduction. Specifically, we will:
  1. Work directly with six rural events (two in each state) to understand the composition of the waste stream. This will be accomplished through waste audits at the events and analysis of documentation from past events.
  2. Analyze this information and characterize the events and associated waste streams.
  3. Provide technical assistance to each event in planning for solid waste management.
  4. Write a "Best Management Practices for Event-Generated Waste in Rural Communities" guidance document.
EPP Peer-to-Peer Business Training: The core of this project will be the development and implementation of a pilot that provides rural businesses with the tools to make environmentally preferable purchasing decisions. A peer-to-peer-mentoring strategy will be used in which businesses with successful EPP programs will train rural businesses that are interested in developing an EPP program. The mentoring process will include providing rural companies with:
  • The tools to understand the environmental impacts of existing purchasing practices;
  • The key steps and considerations for developing an EPP program;
  • A process for involving management and obtaining its support for EPP;
  • The tools to determine program priorities and goals, as well as EPP criteria,
  • Tools to identify EPP product information;
  • Tools for data collection to document impact of program;
  • Strategies for transitioning to an EPP program; and
  • Strategies for maintaining an EPP program.

In addition to the mentoring provided to rural businesses, a how-to guidance document will be created to enable replication of the pilot.

Managing Unwanted Prescription Drugs: The improper disposal of unwanted prescription drugs (UPD) presents serious environmental problems. Among these is water pollution from the disposal of prescription drugs in wastewater, particularly septic systems, and in landfills. EPA studies have demonstrated that prescription drugs can cause water pollution. Although management as a hazardous waste is the best management practice for this waste stream, in the Northeast, municipal household hazardous waste (HHW) collections do not accept prescription drugs. This project will develop and implement a replicable pilot for collecting UPD at HHW collections.

By working with a municipal HHW program and its hazardous waste hauler (HWH), NERC will design and implement a pilot UPD collection. The results will be documented, and a guidance document for holding such events will be created. This will be the first such effort in the Northeast. In addition, currently, there is no published guidance for holding UPD collections.

In addition to the NERC grant, the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District in Western Massachusetts received a USDA grant to partner in this project. As a result, there will also be a pilot in Franklin County, Massachusetts.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.


Free Hazardous Waste Guide for VT Businesses Now Available
With help from local and state agencies, the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC), a regional non-profit member organization serving ten states, has recently published Hazardous Waste Disposal Options for Vermont Businesses: for Use by Conditionally Exempt Generators. This guide is intended to provide businesses with the information they need to make an informed decision about their hazardous waste disposal options. According to Mary Ann Remolador, Assistant Director of NERC, "Vermont businesses need affordable options for properly disposing of their hazardous waste. Businesses that generate the smallest amounts of hazardous waste - conditionally exempt generators - are eligible to use municipal hazardous waste collection programs which can save them money."

The guide may be downloaded. It is set up in a quick-reference format and includes the following sections: a brief summary of the Vermont hazardous waste regulations for conditionally exempt generators so businesses know where to get the appropriate information on state requirements; a list of municipal hazardous waste collections accepting business waste, so businesses know if there are accessible programs in their geographic areas; a directory of hazardous waste vendors servicing Vermont businesses in case businesses generate a hazardous waste not acceptable at municipal programs; and a list of available hazardous waste resources for additional information.

NERC works with state and local agencies to minimize the amount of material requiring disposal by promoting the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and source reduction in the Northeast. NERC members include the six New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Advisory members represent various business sectors throughout the United States.

Any questions regarding the Guide may be directed to Mary Ann Remolador of NERC. 



Electronic Waste Management & Recycling System Adopted By Legislature
The Maine Legislature revised a proposed bill that would have established an 'advance recovery fee' on the purchase of new television sets and computer monitors, that would have funded the management and recycling of these items at municipal and consolidation collection points. The revised bill removes the 'advance recovery fee' and places responsibility on manufacturers to provide for the management and recycling of electronic devices. The Department of Environmental Protection is to publish management guidelines for the environmentally sound handling, processing, refurbishment and recycling of covered electronic devices by December 31, 2004. 

Appeal Period Ends for Proposed Operation of State Owned Landfill
The State Planning Office, through its intended landfill operator Casella Waste Systems Inc., filed a license amendment with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in October 2003, to change the accepted waste streams that would be delivered to the landfill in Old Town, and to increase the height of the landfill. On April 9, 2004, the Department approved the license amendment, which started the 30-day appeal time period. The appeal period ended May 10, 2004, with three appeals submitted to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection, who must now review and consider the appeals. 

Maine Recycles Week 2004 gets Underway
The first steering committee meeting for this year's effort was held on May 19th. Discussion centered on the successes and weaknesses of past programs, and methods for improving and expanding the education/outreach effort of this statewide event.


Massachusetts Issues New Bid for Recycling Containers
Massachusetts DEP has closed its bid for a variety of recycling containers. Five primary categories include wheeled carts, curbside set-out containers, home composting bins, kitchen scrap buckets and public spaces recycling baskets. DEP also sought pricing for the following seven alternative end-use categories: Construction & Demolition Waste Collection, Institutional Food Waste Collection, Residential Curbside Organics (Food Waste) Collection, Public Spaces Recycling, Office Building and Multi-Family Recycling, Residence, Apartments and Workspaces, and Rainwater Collection and Diversion. Selected vendors will be notified shortly and will be posted on DEP's web site. 

Massachusetts 4th Annual Organics Summit Draws Regional Audience
Massachusetts DEP's Fourth Organics Recycling Summit, "Links in the Chain," drew an audience of 175 attendees from all six New England states and New York and New Jersey. Nine sponsors and 18 exhibitors funded the full day event. Presentations from food waste generators (facility managers), haulers and processor/composters, provided the audience with case studies and examples of partnerships among the links in the chain that reduce food waste. DEP plans to post presentations on its web site. DEP presented the conference with a newly produced DRAFT "Hauler Brochure" that it developed in collaboration with haulers and U.S. EPA's WasteWise Program that can be used by haulers to foster business from food waste generators.

Fall River Business Recycling Program
The City of Fall River was awarded a grant by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to implement a business recycling initiative in Fall River. Mayor Edward M. Lambert, Jr. held a press conference on May 10, 2004 to announce the start of the program and the partnership with the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce in this effort to offer Fall River businesses convenient and cost-effective recycling options. Included in the grant is technical assistance provided by WasteCap of Massachusetts. Three recycling companies responded to WasteCap's solicitation for proposals from companies interested in providing recycling services to Fall River businesses. E.O.M.S. Recycling Inc, and AAA Recycling, both of Massachusetts and CleanScape of Rhode Island were spotlighted at a Chamber Breakfast Briefing where they presented a list of their recycling services to those attending the event. Although these three companies will be promoted in the marketing of the program, businesses that are interested in recycling are free to retain a recycling service provider of their choice.

The Fall River Business Recycling Program project team includes Betsey Westell, City of Fall River Recycling Program Manager, Peter F. Kortright, President and CEO of the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce, Marc Fournier, Director, WasteCap of Massachusetts, and Edith DeMello, Project Manager, DEP. 

Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan & Agency Sustainability Guide
In conjunction with the release last week of the Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan by Governor Romney and Commonwealth Development Secretary Douglas Foy, I am pleased to announce the formal release of the Massachusetts State Sustainability Agency Sustainability Planning and Implementation Guide and the Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas Inventory for State Agencies.

The Governor's Climate Protection Plan calls on state government to take a leadership role in helping the Commonwealth to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 and 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. As part of that effort, the Governor has called on state agencies to reduce their own emissions by 25% by 2012 and introduce and expand a host of efforts, including but not limited to, expanding green building efforts, increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste, and using renewable energy and alternative fuels.

To ensure that these goals are met, the State Sustainability Program, created in 2002, and member agencies developed and released today the first edition of the Agency Sustainability Guide. This guide contains information and recommendations on eight different environmental categories, and a road map to help state agencies develop sustainability plans and programs. Additionally, the State Sustainability Program, housed at the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, prepared and released today the first comprehensive inventory of Massachusetts agency greenhouse gas emissions.


Recycling Poetry Contest
Information packets for this year's recycling poetry contest were distributed in March to 3,000 schools in New Jersey. The contest is open to children in grades 4, 5 and 6, and the winning poems will be featured on our 2005 poster/calendar to be printed and distributed in the fall. The poster/calendars are distributed to schools, county and municipal recycling coordinators and other interested parties. Winning students will be invited to the Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR) Annual Awards and Symposium to receive their awards.

Nike Reuse-A-Show Program Comes to New Jersey
The Association of New Jersey Recyclers and the National Recycling Coalition are sponsoring a Reuse-A-Shoe collection in New Jersey. The Nike Reuse-A-Show program takes athletic shoes of every brand, size and color and turns them into Nike Grind. This unique ground-up material is then used to make athletic fields, tennis and basketball courts, tracks and playgrounds. To date Nike has recycled more than 15 million pairs of athletic shoes.

ANJR members will individually sign up to participate and organize their own local collection events. Shoes will be delivered to a central collection facility by June 6, 2004. ANJR will package them for pickup and processing by Nike.


June Electronics Recycling Events
Several countywide electronics recycling events will be held in June:

June 5 in Chester County
June 19 in Delaware County
June 26 in Bucks County
June 26 in Montgomery County


Governor Inspects RIRRC Facilities
RI Governor Donald Carcieri paid a visit to the RI Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) in mid-May to see its solid waste management and recycling facility up close. After spending about two and a half hours with the management team and commissioners, the Governor stated that he was very impressed with the operations. He was briefed on landfill life expectancy issues, the development and marketing of RIRRC' s new industrial park, efforts to increase recycling rates in Rhode Island, and more.


An Exhibit on Plastics & the Environment
An exhibit on "Plastics and the Environment" will open on June, 16, 2004 at the National Plastics Center and Museum in Leominster, MA. It is intended to inform attendees about environmental problems and their solutions associated with the production, use and disposal of plastics. Discussions are at a level appropriate for middle and secondary school children, but will also be informative for adult audiences.

A discussion of reasons for the growing use of plastics and their environmental impact is presented. It is pointed out that their many advantages compensate for possible environmental problems, provided plastics are properly used. Comparisons, illustrated by samples of materials, are made between plastics and their alternate materials, in which advantages and disadvantages are indicated.

The growing use of plastics presents a problem for their disposal. It is recommended that when possible, excessive use is avoided, and that reuse or recycling take place when feasible. The desirability of separating differing types of plastics for recycling is emphasized, and means for doing so are demonstrated with hands-on activities.

Where recycling is not possible, the alternatives of degradation or burning with energy recovery are suggested. The need to carry these out in an environmentally acceptable way is stressed. It is pointed out that plastics represent an energy resource and that the recovery of this energy makes environmental sense.

While the volume of waste plastics can be appreciably reduced by these means, there will always be a remaining portion for which such is not technically or economically possible. Much of this will enter landfills, and the objective is to minimize this fraction. The nature of landfills is shown using a model, and means for minimizing environmental damage, which they might cause, are illustrated.

The exhibit is accompanied by a series of video clips illustrating various aspects of dealing with plastics. Attendees can select from a menu, those that they wish to observe.

There is an attempt to show how plastics affect our lives and environment, and how, with proper use, they may add to the quality of life.

The opening ceremony will take place on June 16th, 4 - 6 pm and will feature greetings by the Mayor of Leominster. For more information, contact Richard S. Stein, Chair, Exhibits Committee, 413-545-3109.