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[X] CLOSEMENU

June 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

MEMBERSHIP

New Sustaining Member:

  • United Recycling Industries

Renewing Supporting Members:

NERC NEWS

NEW PUBLICATIONS

STATE UPDATES

CONNECTICUT

  • A New Prescription for Hospital Cleaning
  • Developing the State Solid Waste Management Plan
  • Plug into Clean Energy
  • When it Rains, It Absorbs

MAINE

  • Update on Proposed Solid Waste Legislation in Maine
  • Earth Fest in Washington County
  • Educational Reusable Resources Centers Meeting

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Congratulations to 18 New MA WasteWise Partners
  • MA DEP Wins Award for Supermarket Organic Recycling Network
  • DEP Attends National Conference on Carpet Product Stewardship
  • New Workshop on Municipal Idling Reduction

PENNSYLVANIA

  • ICSC & EPA Announce Winners of America's Marketplace Recycles! Awards Program
  • Recycling In Pennsylvania Tops 4.4 Million Tons, Saving Materials Valued At $68 Million Avoided Disposal Costs Save More Than $240 Million
  • Upcoming Electronics Recycling Events in Luzerne County

VERMONT

  • Successful Vermont Materials Exchange Improves Service to Business
  • Job Opening Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District: Waste Reduction Coordinator


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.
 
NERC is an equal opportunity employer & provider.


 

United Recycling Industries

MEMBERSHIP

We are delighted to welcome United Recycling Industries as NERC's newest Sustaining Member.

In addition, we have several renewing Supporting Members:

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

 

Annual Materials Exchange Managers Meeting to Discuss Marketing Plan
Last year NERC received a grant from EPA Regions I & II to develop a marketing plan to help New England and New York Materials Exchanges make more exchanges. As part of this effort, NERC will host the annual Materials Exchange Managers Meeting on June 16th at Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island. The meeting agenda primarily will focus on the draft Marketing Plan for Materials Exchanges that Bryant College faculty and students are preparing. For more information, or to attend - space is limited, contact Mary Ann Remolador.

 

 

Election of Officers
The NERC Board of Directors has elected its slate of Officers for the coming fiscal year - and it may seem familiar. The current Officers were unanimously elected to serve a second term (or in the case of our esteemed Treasurer, another term).

For Fiscal Year 2006 (July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006) the Officers of the Board will be:
President: John Trevor, Rhode Island
Vice President: Jeff Bednar, Pennsylvania
Treasurer: George MacDonald, Maine
Secretary (non-elected position): Lynn Rubinstein, NERC

Thank you to these Board Members for continuing to serve in these critical roles and providing outstanding leadership.

 

Upcoming NERC Fall Conference & Meetings - SAVE THE DATES
Yes, it is early, but before you leave for a summer of fun, please be sure that your fall calendar is up to date! All of the following events will be held at the Hotel Northampton, Northampton, Massachusetts.

  • NERC FALL CONFERENCE: October 25 & 26th
  • Advisory Members Only LUNCH: Tuesday, October 25th
  • NERC Board of Directors Meeting: October 27th
  • Toxic in Packaging Member Meeting: October 24th

 
Regional Electronics Legislation Update
On April 29th NERC jointly hosted a meeting with the Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference that brought together legislators and staff from ten Northeastern States and the Province of Québec on the topic of developing regionally consistent end-of-life management electronics legislation. The legislators heard from approximately 90 stakeholders in the day-long meeting; including representatives from manufacturing companies, retailers, leasing companies, environmental groups, recyclers and local government. In addition, three PowerPoint presentations that were made at the meeting are posted on the CSG/ERC website:

The legislators intend to develop regionally consistent model legislation that will be released in mid-July. A public meeting to hear comments about that legislation will take place on Monday, July 25th, in Montville, CT, at the Mohegan Sun. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

 

Unwanted Medications Presentation at Michigan Recyclers Coalition Annual Meeting
In May, NERC Executive Director Lynn Rubinstein made a comprehensive presentation about the how's and why's of managing unwanted medications. The presentation is based on the information and experience that has been acquired to date through grants from USDA and EPA.

 

NERC Office Equipment Gets Reused
A few weeks ago, the NERC office was preparing to temporarily move the office in preparation for some repair work. This might not sound exciting at first, but for those of us working in an office that hasn't had any maintenance done since the Carter administration, these were exciting times! The packing process made it clear that there were items that we no longer needed (typewriter…remember those?) or wanted (desk with wobbly legs) so NERC's Office Manager, asked the building manager if he wanted any of these treasures - and he did. Significantly, he also promised to let other tenants know that items were up for grabs. Not five minutes after the NERC door closed behind him, five people trooped into the office to see what there was available. The desk, typewriter, chair mats, dial-up modem, and assorted other items disappeared.

In the course of giving away office equipment, Moon asked one person who had recently moved into the building that if he had any extra boxes suitable for packing the NERC folks could use. He wasn't sure, but there was a knock on the door the next morning and six boxes were offered up and gratefully accepted.

Rather than each of us taking the unwanted items to the local recycling center, we had our own "swap shop" in our building - grassroots reuse at its most basic!

 

NERC PUBLICATIONS

 

Minutes NERC March Board of Directors Meeting
The Minutes of the March 23rd Board of Directors meeting is now available on the web.

 

STATE UPDATES

CONNECTICUT

A New Prescription for Hospital Cleaning
Cleaning a hospital is not like cleaning your home or office. There are patient areas that must be sanitized with germicidal cleaners and non-patient areas where other types of cleaners are used. Why would a hospital consider using environmentally preferable and bio-based products, sometimes referred to as "green" cleaning products, when the old tired and true products work just fine?

Using toxic cleaning products not only has serious health consequences for janitorial staff but also can be a source of complaints from nurses and other hospital employees who are exposed to them every day. Patients, with their health already compromised, may also be particularly sensitive to the chemicals used for cleaning their rooms. These negative impacts are counter to a hospital's main mission -- to promote, restore, and maintain the health of all the people they serve, including employees as well as patients and visitors. Greenwich Hospital, concerned about employee safety, compiled an exhaustive inventory of cleaning products used at their facility. As a result, the hospital found that they could replace 62 products with only 10 green cleaners and 7 germicides. In addition to reducing the negative health impacts, Greenwich Hospital found that switching to "green" resulted in cost savings and more efficiency.

Recently, some Connecticut hospitals learned more about the green cleaners at a workshop held on March 30 at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven. The workshop was co-sponsored by the CT Hospital Environmental Roundtable (CHER). CHER is a collaboration of the DEP, Hartford Hospital, and Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) and is open to any Connecticut health care facility. The focus was on environmentally preferable products (EPP) and bio-based products that can be used by hospitals for cleaning and food service. (See below for definition.) The purpose of the workshop was to make hospitals aware of health and environmental effects of toxic cleaning products and to have them learn more about "green" alternatives and how to switch to these products at their hospitals.

The world of EPP and bio-based cleaners is new territory for most hospitals in the state. There are only three Connecticut hospitals currently using less toxic cleaning products -- William Backus Hospital in Norwich, Greenwich Hospital, and Danbury Hospital. At the March 30th workshop, experts on this topic presented technical information on these products and staff members from two different hospitals talked about their practical, "real" world experiences using the cleaners. Vendors were also available to answer questions and to distribute samples of their products. Workshop attendees even had refreshments on plates made from sugarcane, grass, and reed plasma.

As a result of the workshop, hospital representatives learned that using environmentally preferable and bio-based products can improve employee health and patient and visitor comfort, and can significantly cut operating costs. By being good environmental stewards, hospitals make a strong statement about their commitment to the health of the all the people they serve.


Definition: An Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) has a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products used for the same purpose. These products also take into consideration recycled content, waste minimization, water, and energy conservation and the amount of toxics disposed or consumed. A bio-based product relies on plant or animal materials as the main ingredient. The materials used to produce the products are from renewable resources and generally do not contain synthetics, toxins or environmentally damaging substances.

Some EPP and bio-based products are Green Seal certified. Green Seal is a non-profit organization that identifies and certifies products and services that "because less pollution and waste, conserve resources and habitats, and minimize global warming and ozone depletion" and perform well. To earn the Green Sea, an industrial and institutional cleaner must meet the following standards:
  • Do not contain carcinogens, reproductive toxins, skin and eye irritants, skin sensitizers;
  • Are not combustible;
  • Do not contribute to photochemical smog, tropospheric ozone production or poor indoor air quality;
  • Are not toxic to aquatic life; and
  • Can be readily biodegradable.
For more information on the CT Hospital Environmental Roundtable (CHER) and presentations from a recent meeting on green cleaning, visit the DEP website. Additional resources can be found at:

Developing the State Solid Waste Management Plan
DEP has begun the task of developing an updated State Solid Waste Management Plan. The Plan will address the management of all solid waste generated in Connecticut. The public will have opportunities for participation throughout the planning process. Early on, DEP intends to hold a one-day public stakeholder forum that will present the status of the State's recycling and solid waste management activities and gaps between current solid waste generation rates and goals. DEP will be inviting the public and other stakeholders to the forum that is tentatively scheduled for early June 2005. Please check the DEP website concerning the forum for more information as it becomes available.

Plug into Clean Energy
Did you know that as of April 1, you could buy clean energy for your home and business in Connecticut? Every customer of Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating can sign up for either 100% or 50% clean energy.

In Connecticut, clean energy is defined as energy from wind, solar, small-scale hydro, landfill gas, fuel cells, ocean thermal or waves/tides, and small-scale sustainably harvested biomass. Biomass includes a wide variety of renewable materials, including wood, agricultural crops, and animal manures. The clean energy product offered by one clean energy supplier, Sterling Planet, includes the following energy mix: 33% from wind, 33% from small hydroelectric generation, and 34% from landfill gas generation. The other clean energy supplier, Community Energy, draws 60% of their power from wind and 40% from landfill gas generation.

If you choose to purchase clean energy, the cost depends on which supplier you choose and how much electricity you use in a month. Check your electric bills to find out your usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh); keep in mind your usage varies throughout the year. An average household (using 500 kWh per month) that purchases a 100% clean energy product will see an increase of around $6 a month for their electricity; the 50% option will be around a $3 increase. Your regular monthly utility bills will include the cost of your clean energy purchase.

The clean energy market in Connecticut has grown in recent years with the restructuring of the electric market, the legislative requirement for growing percentages of clean energy in our supply mix, and increasing awareness that clean energy is available and as dependable and strong as conventional sources of energy. Clean energy has many environmental and societal benefits, including cleaner air (reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, SO2, NOX, mercury) and healthier communities (lower asthma rates and respiratory disease). These qualities are especially important to the people, flora, and fauna of Connecticut's communities. Interested in learning more? 

When it Rains, It Absorbs
Let nature manage your rainwater by collecting it in a rain garden and allowing the water to percolate slowly back into the ground. You will create a beautiful garden that also helps the environment.

A rain garden is a shallow depression in the soil that has several permeable layers of coarse stone and gravel, under a mix of soil, compost, and sand. Plants that thrive in well-drained soil are added and may include native flowers and grasses. The garden is positioned to receive runoff from roofs, sidewalks, and any paved surface. The garden serves as a temporary reservoir for rainwater and its plants benefit as the water slowly flows back into the ground. Rain gardens are a creative way to beautify any area while managing stormwater run-off.

Rain gardens are becoming more common, and there are examples around the state that offer ideas if you are thinking of making one. The University of Connecticut has a rain garden near the Towers Dining Hall that helps reduce stormwater runoff from a parking area. "Rain gardens eliminate standing water, filter runoff pollution, recharge local groundwater, create habitat for birds and butterflies, and most of all, improve water quality," said Richard Miller, UConn's Director of Environmental Policy.

Another rain garden project in Haddam is being piloted by UConn's Non-point Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program in conjunction with UConn's Department of Natural Resources Management and Engineering. This project involved the creation of a vegetated rain garden to receive runoff from the back half of a large conference room roof. The amount and quality of runoff are being monitored as it enters and flows through the garden.

The Jordan Cove Urban Watershed Project in Waterford is the location of many rain gardens. In this residential housing development, each lot has a rain garden and the entire project is being monitored for the effectiveness of many alternate forms of stormwater management.

 

MAINE

Update on Proposed Solid Waste Legislation in Maine
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. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been directed to conduct a study and producing 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. The municipal officers may impose fees for the disposal of such HHW.

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.

Sidebar: Efforts are underway to construct a publicly operated HHW collection facility and this will provide a level of opportunity for residents.

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'.

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 DEP'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 a number of edits to the language were suggested. The committee will review a rewrite of the bill and consider it again.

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 DEP 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, giving Alton 'automatic intervenor' status if the State Planning Office files for an expansion of the landfill. There were some other bills related to lead issues, emissions from resource recovery facilities and other waste related topics.

Earth Fest in Washington County
The University of Maine at Machias was the site of Washington County's annual celebration of Earth Day. Despite the rain, snow, and sleet, enthusiasm for the day was not dampened. The Waste Management and Recycling Program attended the festivities and talked about recycling in Maine.

Educational Reusable Resources Centers Meeting
The directors of Maine's educational reusable resources centers met in Auburn. On April 26, the first meeting of all four of Maine's reusable resource center directors was coordinated by the State Planning Office's Waste Management and Recycling Program staff. The centers have a long history of supporting of Maine's educational community on a shoestring. All directors noted that during the process of obtaining and distributing materials and surplus items, significant contributions are also made to reducing the state's waste stream. This week's initial meeting was well received and productive, with the educational reusable materials centers joining together to share their experiences and plans. They agreed that this event would be the first of several meetings to facilitate cooperative planning and to improve and expand networking and individual situations.

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Congratulations to 18 New MA WasteWise Partners!
Since 2003, the following 18 organizations in MA have joined WasteWise: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts Department of Correction, Commonwealth of Massachusetts- Bureau of State Office Buildings, Mykrolis Corporation, The RETEC Group, Inc., George B.H. Macomber Company, Triumvirate Environmental, Hines/NOP Riverfront LLC, Consigli Construction Co., Inc., Roche Bros. Supermarkets, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC, Whole Foods Market - Massachusetts, Sisters of St. Joseph, Staples, Inc., Big Y, Aramark - Brandeis University, greenGoat Consulting, Mashpee Environmental Coalition, and Randolph Board of Health.

WasteWise is a voluntary partnership program, which provides waste reduction technical assistance and public recognition to small, medium, and large partner organizations. In 2003 the Commonwealth of MA entered into a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the US EPA's WasteWise program to allow both agencies to better coordinate our efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our waste reduction programs.

MA DEP Wins Award for Supermarket Organic Recycling Network
The MA DEP and the Mass Food Association have won a Worcester Business Journal/Mass Audubon Society environmental award for its Supermarket Organic Recycling Network (SORN) partnership. SORN was among five winners selected by the WBJ and Massachusetts Audubon Society, and profiled in a special section of the Journal's April 18th edition. See the DEP News Release for additional information.

DEP Attends National Conference on Carpet Product Stewardship
As part of the follow up the National Agreement on Carpet Product Stewardship (MOU), DEP's Steve Long attended the third annual meeting of Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) on May 10 and 11 in Pine Mountain, Georgia. CARE is the third-party organization established under the MOU with the mission of helping the carpet industry to realize the recycling and reuse goals in the MOU. MOU signatories also provided each other with updates on their efforts to fulfill their roles and responsibilities under the MOU. Steve chaired a session entitled: Government Procurement Activities to Promote Market Development. CARE's third annual report is available on its web site. Massachusetts and NERC signed the carpet MOU in January 2002.

New Workshop on Municipal Idling Reduction
DEP is offering a free workshop on how to plan and implement a municipal idling reduction campaign. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 1 - 3 in Drucker Auditorium of the City of Newton's main library. This workshop is being offered in conjunction with DEP's new Idling Reduction Toolkit grants that were awarded to 15 Massachusetts cities and towns this spring. Learn more about the Toolkit Grant and how to use it, and hear from community leaders about how to set up an idling reduction program. The workshop will feature four speakers:
  • Rick Gregg, Founder/coordinator, Idle-Free Campaign, Lenox, Mass
  • Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, Alternatives for Community and Environment, Roxbury, Mass
  • Julie Ross, Mass DEP, Diesel Idling Reduction Enforcement Coordinator
  • Brooke Nash, Mass DEP, Municipal Waste Reduction Branch Chief

 

PENNSYLVANIA

ICSC & EPA Announce Winners of America's Marketplace Recycles! Awards Program
In recognition of Earth Day celebrations, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of their "America's Marketplace Recycles!" Awards program, which recognizes outstanding efforts and achievements by ICSC members to conserve resources, recycle, and purchase recycled content products at shopping centers across the country. U.S. shopping centers generate a wide variety of materials that are prime candidates for recycling; including corrugated cardboard, mixed paper, glass, plastic, metals, food waste, landscape trimmings and shipping pallets.

In announcing the winners, ICSC President and CEO Michael P. Kercheval said, "This awards program has provided both the EPA and ICSC the opportunity to not only highlight those shopping centers and retailers who are leading the way in regards to recycling but has given us another avenue to get the word out about the importance of recycling."

The EPA provided technical assistance and guidance to ICSC through its Resource Conservation Challenge program. Tom Dunne, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator, praised ICSC for its leadership, "EPA is pleased to have assisted ICSC in the establishment of this important initiative. We believe improvements in recycling at America's shopping centers will have a significant impact. More importantly, shopping centers are a crucial venue to help educate our nation's consumers of the value of recycling."

The "America's Marketplace Recycles!" Awards program was designed to increase public awareness of the benefits of recycling and featured seven categories in order to fully encompass the diverse nature of the shopping center industry. The featured categories were: Best New Recycling Program; Best Expansion of an Existing Recycling Program; Outstanding Retailer; Outstanding Mall Owner/Developer; Best Public Awareness Campaign/Promotional Event; Best Community Partnership/Beneficial Use of Funds; and Most Innovative Recycling Program. In addition, from among the overall nominations, a single outstanding program was selected as the "Recycler of the Year."

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global retail real estate trade association of the shopping center industry. ICSC directly benefits more than 50,000 members in over 96 countries by assisting in the development of their businesses through professional education, conferences and conventions, publications, research and legislative action.

Winners of the 2004 America's Marketplace Recycles! Awards
Outstanding Retailer (Local or Regional): Giant Eagle, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Giant Eagle maintains an extensive plastic bag recycling and waste reduction program. In 2004, over 322 tons of plastic was recycled system-wide. At the store level, cashiers credit customers with 5 cents for each bag reused. Giant Eagle is a national leader in conservation efforts and has been an EPA certified Energy Star Leader for two consecutive years.

Outstanding Shopping Center Owner/Developer: King of Prussia Associates (Kravco Simon), King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

King of Prussia Associates has instituted a comprehensive recycling program - including food court waste, plastics and paper - throughout its three properties. In recent years there has been a steady increase in both the volume of materials recycled and the percentage of total waste that is recycled rather than landfilled.

Recycling In Pennsylvania Tops 4.4 Million Tons, Saving Materials Valued At $68 Million Avoided Disposal Costs Save More Than $240 Million
On behalf of Governor Edward G. Rendell, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty has announced that Pennsylvanians recycled a record 4.45 million tons of municipal waste in 2003, according to reports filed by Pennsylvania counties. Aside from the environmental gains of diverting waste from landfills, the economic benefits of recycling are estimated at more than $68 million.

"Residents continue to show their commitment to ensure the health of Pennsylvania's environment and economy by taking advantage of more recycling opportunities," Secretary McGinty said during a tour of Blue Mountain Recycling. "Families and businesses, churches and schools are sending millions of tons of recyclables to manufacturers to generate new products rather than sending materials to landfills or burning them. Because of the commitment made by Pennsylvanians, our recycling and reuse industry leads the nation in creating jobs and in sales."

Blue Mountain Recycling was founded in 1999 as a material recycling facility in Philadelphia. Blue Mountain, with three operating centers and more than 80 employees, is the only company in the area to have invested millions of dollars to provide the technology required to execute a single-stream recycling program. The single-stream process enables the generator to easily combine all of their recyclables together with no hassle, and the company sorts it out.

In 2003, the state diverted 4.45 million tons of municipal waste from disposal at landfills and waste-to-energy facilities. Municipal waste includes typical refuse from households, businesses, schools and institutions as well as industry offices and lunchrooms.

While many understand the importance of recycling to preserving our natural resources, recycling is also an engine of economic growth in Pennsylvania.

The Commonwealth's recycling and reuse industry includes more than 3,200 establishments with total annual sales of $18.4 billion. The industry employs more than 81,000 people and has an annual payroll of $2.9 billion. The employment, payroll and sales numbers are more than any other state in the Northeast and are the second highest in the nation.

In addition, Pennsylvania's recycling and reuse industry has an indirect effect on the economy estimated at $1.8 billion, and a direct impact on the tax base, contributing $305 million each year.

The economic benefit of recycling in 2003 can be assessed in part by using published commodity prices for goods such as steel cans, glass, plastic bottles and corrugated paper. An analysis of 1.4 million tons of Pennsylvania's 2003 recycling reveals the materials were worth in excess of $50 million. If the remaining 3.3 million tons of other materials were valued at even half this amount, the total would be more than $68 million. This does not include the estimated value of avoided disposal, which can be calculated as more than $240 million at the estimated statewide average disposal cost of $54 per ton. Of course, recycling has a profound effect on Pennsylvania's environment, as well.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by Pennsylvania recycling: Pennsylvania recycling reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2.1 million metric tons of carbon equivalents per year, which is equal to 6 percent of all industrial carbon equivalent emissions from fossil fuel combustion in Pennsylvania and 2.6 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and other emissions.
  • Pennsylvania recycling saved energy: Pennsylvania's recycling efforts saved 75.7 trillion BTUs of energy, equal to nearly 5.9 percent of all energy used by industry in Pennsylvania. This is equivalent to 610.7 million gallons of gasoline. It represents the amount of energy that would be required to power 739,969 homes for one year in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania recycling reduced air and water pollution: The recycling of paper, plastic, glass, aluminum cans and steel cans in Pennsylvania resulted in reductions of 8,230 metric tons of water pollutants and 285,430 metric tons of air pollutants (not including the greenhouse gas reductions already discussed). Recycling reduced emissions of sulfur oxides, an important ingredient in acid rain formation, by 7,295 metric tons - an amount equal to 0.8 percent of all such emissions from electrical utilities in the state. Nitrous oxides were reduced by 7,712 metric tons - an amount equal to 5.1 percent of emissions from Pennsylvania electrical utilities.
  • Pennsylvania's recycling conserved natural resources: By recycling 1.02 million tons of scrap metal in 2003, Pennsylvania's recycling efforts reduced the need for virgin materials by twice that amount, including 1.3 million tons of iron ore, 716,167 tons of coal and 61,386 tons of limestone. By recycling 577,601 tons of mixed paper, newsprint, phone books and office paper in 2003, Pennsylvania reduced the need to cut more than 7.6 million trees. On average, a live tree removes 60 pounds per year of air pollution from the environment.

Pennsylvania recycling first eclipsed four million tons in the state in 2002, and in 2003 its residents, businesses and institutions continued the upward trend.

The Governor's Growing Greener II initiative will ensure the continued success of recycling in Pennsylvania. The General Assembly continues to demonstrate that ensuring the highest standards of environmental protection while revitalizing communities remains bipartisan. Recently, the state legislature agreed to put a $625 million bond question to make significant investments to improve Pennsylvania's economic and environmental health before voters. The bond question appeared on the May 17th primary ballot.

Upcoming Electronics Recycling Events in Luzerne County
  • Butler Township, June 4, Butler Township Road Department, 14 W. Butler Drive, Drums, PA 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
  • Hanover Township, June 18, Hanover area Junior Senior High School, 1600 Sans Souci Parkway, Hanover Twp. 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Pre-registration is required for 10 or more computers and/or televisions. Contact Ed Latinski or Beth DeNardi, contact numbers 1-800-821-7654 or 570-820-6300, for more information.

 

VERMONT

Successful Vermont Materials Exchange Improves Service to Business
Vermont businesses have a new and improved way to exchange reusable materials through the Vermont Business Materials Exchange (VBMX). An updated website launched this month links companies wanting to get rid of materials with those seeking to find used supplies, and it's free to use. Using the VBMX can save businesses money on both disposal fees and purchase costs.

The website makes it easy for users to post and edit their own material listings and even post photos. And for those just looking, the site includes a searchable database. Currently the site contains more than 400 classified listings of items ranging from filing cabinets to plastic pails to building trusses.

"VBMX has definitely saved our District time and money," says Don Maglienti, Recycling Coordinator for the Addison County Solid Waste District. "We've used the service to obtain containers, office equipment, and salvaged materials. Whenever I need something, I start my search with VBMX."

Maglienti found 100 free gaylords (large cardboard boxes) through a VBMX listing. With new containers costing five to six dollars a piece, the only cost to the District was driving to Bennington to pick them up. A posting request for windows needed for a District renovation project yielded free windows from a company in Massachusetts. Again, the only cost was the price to pick the materials up.

The VBMX web site is available to any businesses, manufacturers, schools, nonprofits, and towns looking for used materials or seeking new homes for their surplus items. In recent exchanges: the Riverside School in Lyndonville found 15 Windsor chairs for $10 a piece; Cheese Traders and Wine Sellers in South Burlington sold three coolers for one dollar to a farmer to use for his farm stand; and WVNY Channel 22 in Burlington bought refurbished monitors from American Retroworks, a Middlebury electronics recycling business.

VBMX is a program of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and is managed by Amy D. Moore of Internet Support Service.

Job Opening Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District: Waste Reduction Coordinator
Implement waste reduction programs including K-12 school outreach & community programs for the Chittenden Solid Waste District. Full-time position starting July l27th. BA & 2 yrs related exp. $33,554 salary + benefits. Job description available at http://www.cswd.net or by calling 802-872-8100. Send resume + letter of interest by 4:00 PM, June 5th to Nancy Plunkett, CSWD, 1021 Redmond Rd, Williston, VT 05495.