Renewing Sustaining Member
New Supporting Member
Renewing Supporting Member
New Lifetime Individual Supporter
NERC’s mission is to promote sustainable materials management by supporting traditional and innovative solid waste best practices, focusing on waste prevention, toxics reduction, reuse, recycling and organics recovery.
State and Advisory Member Updates, as well articles of General Interest and guest blogs are provided as submissions to NERC and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.
NERC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
We are delighted to thank Samsung for renewing its Benefactor membership in NERC, and to also thank renewing Sustaining Member - the , and renewing Supporting Member - (ISRI)the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER).
NERC is delighted to welcome its newest Supporting Member - the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR).
NERC is also pleased to announce Lifetime Individual Supporter status for Chip Foley, Maryland.
A hallmark of NERC is the strength of multi-stakeholder involvement and problem solving. This is a direct result of the active participation and support of NERC's Advisory Members. NERC has 50 Advisory Members and Individual Supporters. To see a complete listing and 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.
Panasonic Corporationis one of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world, comprised of over 634 companies. The Japanese company began when Konosuke Matsushita founded Matsushita Electric Housewares Manufacturing Works in 1918. The foundation of the company is to devote itself to the “progress and development of society and the well-being of all people around the globe.” In looking at the company’s history, it is really a window into the growth of the consumer appliance and electronics markets over the past 90 years.
In the early 1920s the company made its manufacturing debut with bicycle headlamps. In 1927, the company moved into electro-thermal products, including irons and “feet warmers.” In the 1930s, it started in radio production, developing its first radio in 1931. The company set up an electric motor department in 1933. Matsushita stated at the time that, "the quality of life of the average family is destined to improve, and a day will come when most homes use at least 10 electric motors. The demand for motors will be unlimited." In the mid-1930s the company began production of dry cell batteries and the next year started production of light bulbs.
World War II disrupted the company’s productions and left many of its factories destroyed. However, with the household appliance boom after World War II, Panasonic began to rebound and Matsushita's prediction was quickly being realized. In the 1950s, Panasonic continued its ventures into the household electronics market, branching into washing machines, televisions, and refrigerators. In 1959, the Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (MECA) was established in New York. The 1960s saw the company venturing into production of console stereos and speakers, fully automatic washing machines, console TVs and color televisions, air conditioners, microwave ovens, cassette recorders, and the consumer VCR.
The consumer electronics movement continued to grow around the world through the 1970s and into the 1980s. By 1983, Panasonic had already produced 10 million VCRs and its Video Division accounted for a large proportion of the company's sales. The company’s VHS system gradually cornered the divided video market at the time and by 1987 had become the worldwide standard. The 1980s saw continued advancements in audio, video, and electronics technologies, including mobile phones. In the 1990s Panasonic played a pivotal role in the development of digital television systems and became a leader in the plasma display panel technology by 2005. Less than 10 years later, Panasonic is now in the forefront of bringing 4K resolution products and technologies to the market including 4K Ultra HD TV
In addition to its consumer products, Panasonic’s business and industrial products are found throughout the globe and every corner of our daily lives. For example, rapid growth in electric and hybrid vehicles have in part been made possible by Panasonic, now the global leader in production of EV batteries. In fact, Panasonic’s advanced battery technologies power Tesla’s all-electric vehicles and the world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius. Panasonic also is a global leader in the development of energy storage batteries and systems for both residential and commercial applications.
Panasonic made an impact in corporate environmental responsibility in the early 1990s with its "Environmental Charter." The charter called for the adoption of the latest environmentally-friendly technologies and processes to be applied in all of the company’s operating units.
In 2007, Panasonic Corporation announced its “Eco Ideas Declaration,” as a commitment to the acceleration of environmental management, especially in addressing global climate change. The company is pursuing advanced environmental strategies based upon three “eco ideals,” including reducing its global carbon footprint, increasing the number of energy-efficient products it manufactures and encouraging the growth of environmental awareness and sustainability worldwide.
Panasonic Corporation of North America is a strong proponent of the responsible recycling of electronics. Panasonic, together with Sharp Electronics Corporation and Toshiba America Consumer Products, established the Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM). MRM is an EPA-award winning venture which manages collection and recycling operations.
Panasonic recently became NERC’s second Benefactor Advisory Member. Remarked Panasonic’s Director of the Corporate Environmental Department, “our company has been actively involved in NERC’s electronics projects for a number of years, including as a Sponsor of the State Electronics Challenge, and through MRM’s Advisory Membership. We are honored to provide increased support to advance NERC’s environmental work by becoming a Benefactor.”
NERC has completed developing model specifications for three common products that purchasers find it difficult to purchase "green" versions of—toner cartridges, copy and multipurpose 20 lb. paper, and office supplies. The project was made possible with funding from the Roy A. Hunt Foundation.
If you are a purchaser or are interested in the procurement of EPP products, please take the time to review the model specifications.
Please email your comments, suggestions, and edits to Mary Ann Remolador, NERC's Assistant Director and Project Manager by June22nd. The specifications will be finalized and posted on NERC's website by July 31, 2014.
NERC would like to thank the following people for assisting with the development of the specifications:
Copy and Multipurpose Paper: Karl Bruskotter, City of Santa Monica, California; Susan Kinsella, Responsible Purchasing Network; Bob Lazarro, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and Becky Wheeler, Eugene Oregon Purchasing Office.
Office Supplies: Karl Bruskotter, City of Santa Monica, California; Stacey Foreman, City of Portland, Oregon; and Ann Marie Weidemann, Division of Purchase and Property, New Jersey Department of Treasury.
Toner Cartridges: Shirli Axelrod, Seattle Public Utilities, Washington; Brian Berini, Vermont Buildings and General Services; Alicia Culver and Susan Kinsella, Responsible Purchasing Network; Jason Edens, City of Seattle, Washington; Robert Matesic, Rochester Institute of Technology, Imaging Testing Laboratories; and Beth Meer, Commissioner's Policy Office, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Over the past 20 years, the U.S. recycling industry has changed tremendously. With the continued and constant stream of new products in the marketplace, new legislation, overseas markets, gas and oil prices, and economics, we thought that it’s time to get reacquainted with recycling industries and markets.
Stay informed and join the discussions on November 6 – 7 at the Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst, Massachusetts. Mark your calendars now!
The Conference agenda and registration will be posted on the NERC website in August.
Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available. For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director & Events Organizer.
NERC will partner with the US Composting Council to hold a meeting to discuss the impact of organics legislation in the Northeast. This regional meeting will take place on November 5th. As a result, the dates of NERC’s Conference have changed. NERC’s Fall Conference on the new era of recycling will follow directly on November 6 - 7. Both events will take place at the Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst, Massachusetts. Mark these dates in your calendars so you don’t miss them. More details to come on NERC’s website.
For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director & Events Organizer.
NERC is pleased to announce the newly elected leadership for NERC in FY15:
Richard "Rick" Watson, Delaware Solid Waste Authority - President. Rick was appointed as the Delaware Solid Waste Authority's (DSWA) Chief Executive Officer by the DSWA's Board of Directors in December 2013. Rick received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Clarkson University and a Masters of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Delaware. He has been a part of the DSWA family since 1981, where he first served as a project engineer for Delaware's first double lined sanitary landfill. He has served as DSWA's Chief Engineer since 1991 and has overseen design, construction, and operation of all solid waste projects, including landfills, transfer stations, landfill gas control systems, and various recycling projects. He is a Professional Engineer in Delaware, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, and is the first United States International Waste Manager for the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). Rick has led instruction in landfill design and operation for the ISWA and served as Past President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America. In addition, Mr. Watson has served as an Environmental Engineering Program evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. As Chief Executive Officer, he is responsible for a wide range of duties, including planning, organizing, and implementing all programs, budgets, and operations for the DSWA.
Guy Watson, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Vice President. A 1976 graduate of the University of Michigan, Guy is the Chief of the Bureau of Recycling and Planning in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Program. This Bureau is responsible for the development and implementation of various aspects of the Statewide Solid Waste Management Plan, administration of the county solid waste and recycling planning process, county and municipal Recycling Enhancement Act grants, recycling tonnage and solid waste disposal data management, and implementation of the Electronic Waste Management Act. Guy is also the Department’s representative to the New Jersey Clean Communities Council and has been a member of the NERC Board of Directors for more than 20 years. Prior to his position with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Guy was the recycling coordinator for Somerset County, New Jersey, and director of Middlebush Compost, Inc. During his four-year tenure with Somerset County, hehelped establish Somerset’s state and national award winning curbside collection program serving over 200,000 residents. Guy has been a professional in the recycling field for over thirty years.
Sarah Kite-Reeves, Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation - Treasurer. Sarah is the Director of Recycling Services for the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation. In that capacity, Sarah is responsible for managing the municipal recycling program, has general oversight of the Materials Recycling Facility, leads the Corporation’s lobbying efforts, and manages advertising, PR, and public education and outreach activities for RIRRC. Sarah has 14 years of experience in the solid waste industry and is a certified Recycling Systems Manager.
Vermont’s Universal Recycling law (Act 148) seeks to reduce waste and improve statewide diversion rates for recyclable and compostable materials (organics). Under Act 148, mandated recyclables are banned from disposal by 2015; leaf and yard debris, as well as clean wood by 2016; and, food scraps are banned from disposal beginning with largest generators in 2014 and phased in to a full ban by 2020. The law also mandates parallel collection by facilities/haulers that collect trash: mandated recyclables by 2014/2015; leaf and yard debris by 2015/2016; and, food scraps by 2017. Under the law, Vermont schools will also need to implement recycling and organics diversion programs.
NERC was awarded a Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Waste Management and Prevention Division “Universal Recycling School Grant” to implement recycling and organics diversion programs in four schools (K-12) in Bennington County. The goal of the grant is to help schools come into compliance with the requirements of the Universal Recycling law and help to educate the next generation of Vermonters on how easy and important it is to recycle and divert organics. NERC was one of four entities to receive a School Grant award.
Through the project, NERC will conduct the following activities:
For information on the Vermont School Project, contact Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager.
Join NERC’s new Listserv for Advancing Organics Management in the Northeast!
This new listserv is an opportunity to share information about what is happening with organics management in the Northeast. This is a unique listserv as it is open to anyone interested in advancing organics diversion in the Northeast through promotion of the organics management hierarchy (i.e., reduction, recovery, recycling [composting], anaerobic digestion).
NERC’s Organic Management Listserv will provide a forum to share information, questions, ideas, and concerns on regulations and strategies for promoting organics diversion; updates on existing or upcoming related programs, projects, services, initiatives, goals, events; identifying ways to advance organics diversion through reduction, recovery, composting, and anaerobic digestion; and business development.
Listserv Requirement: The listerv is hosted by Yahoo. A Yahoo email account is required of everyone interested in participating in the listserv; log in can also be done through a Facebook account. Once you are a member of the listserv, you can elect to use a non-Yahoo email address.
To join the listserv: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/OrganicsManagementNE/info
Contact Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager, for additional information or if you have questions on signing up for the listserv.
Coffee Controversies first appeared in the NERC Blog on May 6, 2014.
My morning beverage of choice these days is tea. However, I do still enjoy a cup of java now and again. My brewing method—the French Press—comes in different sizes, is simple and makes a great cup of coffee. No filters, made primarily of glass or metel, and the only “waste” are the grounds, which of course I compost.
However, as they say…the times they are a changin’. “Pods” are the growing coffee trend. To those of you unfamiliar with the “K-cup” or pod…it’s basically a small plastic cup and filter which is filled with coffee and sealed with an aluminum foil-type cover. The brewer places the pod in a special “single-cup brewing system,” (“Keurig” is the most common manufacturer in the US) and with the push of a button, the lid is pierced and a high-pressure jet of hot water flows through the pod. In less than a minute a single cup of coffee is brewed—a relatively good tasting cup of coffee actually.
Drip coffee, while still the most popular way to brew coffee, is facing stiff competition from the pod. Last year, US consumers spent more than $3.1 billion for K-cups, compared to $6 billion for roasted coffee and $2.5 billion in instant coffee. By 2018, it’s anticipated that consumers will spend almost as much on coffee pods as they do on bulk coffee.
And, it’s not just coffee that comes in the “pod” these days. Keurig also has similar brewing systems and pods for tea and iced beverages, and is reportedly going to roll out a system for Campbell's soup later this year. Soup in a pod….doesn’t sound particularly appetizing. The company has also entered into an agreement with Coca-Cola to be the “exclusive provider” for Keurig’s new cold-beverage pod system.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ Keurig K-cups and Starbucks currently dominate the single cup brewing market. Nespresso, part of Swiss giant Nestlé, popular in Europe with its single-serving espresso machines is also increasing its influence in the US. The number of manufacturers of “k-cups” will soon be rapidly rising as patents for the single cup brewing system owned by Green Mountain expire.
Of course, the popularity of the pod boils down to convenience. Anyone who travels these days can attest to the handiness of being able to have a single serving cup of coffee at the B&B. The system eliminates the necessity of determining who cleans out the coffee pot around the office. And, it fits in with the time-crunched coffee drinking commuter. However, as with many conveniences there is a price to pay.
In 2013, Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion K-Cups—reportedly, according to Mother Jones, enough to circle around the equator 10.5 times. About 5 percent of Green Mountain’s current cups are made out of recyclable plastic; the rest of the cups are made from composite plastic (#7). The plastic has limited recyclability. And, the aluminum lid must be separated from the cup/filter and the wet grounds emptied prior to recycling. The small size of the pod also hampers recyclability as the pods may end up in the residue at processing facilities. Nespresso's lid and pod is made entirely from aluminum, technically more recyclable, but may be contingent on acceptability in curbside programs.
If the nature of our growing love for pod coffee is convenience it can be assumed that consumers are not going to go to the trouble of separating the lid from the plastic pod, emptying the grounds, and washing the pod. Single-brewing cup manufactu
rers are reportedly looking into options, including compostable pods. Stay tuned…I think I’ll go get my French Press out now.
Minutes from the NERC April Board of Directors' meeting are now available on the NERC website. You can also find past minutes via the Resources search tool. Just click on NERC documents. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director.
CT DEEP recently published to the web a new interactive GIS map of food residual generators and food residual recycling facilities in CT. This map is intended as a general planning tool for project developers, haulers, and food residual generators to further the goals in the Statewide Solid Waste Management Plan, and to help food residual generators comply with the Organics Recycling Law CGS Section 22a-226e.
The map includes a 20 mile radius around each permitted food residual recycling facility. Layers can be toggled on/off using the features along the top of the map. Click on any symbol for information about that generator/facility. A description of the map and other relevant links can be found by clicking on “Details” at the top left side of the map. New food residual processing facilities (both anaerobic digestion and composting) will be added to the map as they are permitted by DEEP. Generator data will only be updated periodically if resources become available. Please note that the map does not display well in Internet Explorer, especially older versions, so use Firefox or Chrome for best results.
The map, report, database and shapefiles are an integral package of information and can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/organicsmapping. Our resources on organics, including this new map, can be found on the web through our newly reorganized and expanded Composting & Organics Recycling web page at www.ct.gov/deep/composting.
Please contact K.C. Alexander with any questions or feedback.
The Sustainability Division at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is offering a series of eight free workshops throughout the state to encourage the recovery of food scraps and the beneficial reuse of those materials either through composting, anaerobic digestion or other applications. Forty (40) percent of Maine’s municipal solid waste is organics and could be diverted from a landfill and beneficially reused.
“Reducing the materials being sent to our landfills isn’t just good for the environment, although the benefits are clear – it makes economic sense too. Expanding landfill capacity takes time and money, which is reflected in rates taxpayers and businesses have to pay. There are options for these materials recovered from disposal – whether they are composted, utilized in manufacturing or energy production – that provide economic benefits,” said Patricia Aho, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Organics can pose a challenge because their generation can be sporadic and difficult to predict, be wet and require a higher level of attention because of associated odors. The workshops provide guidance on how to address those challenges successfully.
Each session will include: an introduction to Maine’s Food Scrap Recovery Program; techniques to divert, collect and process food scraps; regulations surrounding food scrap recovery and use; and lessons learned from current/past collection efforts. Full-day sessions will also include a tour of an organics processing facility.
The Department is co-hosting the sessions: in Auburn, with the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments; in Ellsworth, with the Hancock County Planning Commission; in Wiscasset, with Lincoln County Recycling; in Skowhegan, with the Town of Skowhegan; in Bangor, with the Eastern Maine Development Corporation; in Calais, with the Sunrise County Economic Council (also broadcast in Machias); in Caribou, with the Northern Maine Development Commission; and in Freeport, with the Harraseeket Inn.
Entrepreneurs, municipal employees, farmers, local haulers, businesses and private citizens are all invited to attend.
In its 2014 Materials Management Plan, the department identified organics diversion and beneficial reuse as a priority in moving forward with sustainable materials management. These workshops are a step toward meeting that goal.
For more information, contact Mark King.
State Agencies are Becoming Greener, Implementing Programs to Protect Our Environment and Conserve Our Natural Resources
A new report released in May, demonstrates that New York State agencies have made significant progress to achieve a sustainable environment by reducing the amount of paper used and waste generated, improving their recycling rates, and lowering energy consumption and the use of toxic chemicals in agency operations.
Highlights of the "Second Progress Report on State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability," which summarizes agency performance between state fiscal years 2008-09 and 2011-12, include:
The report is available at: OGS Executive Order 4 web page.
State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, "State agencies are actively working to promote sustainability and environmental quality, including implementing better management practices to reduce waste and energy consumption. Governor Cuomo has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to protecting and enhancing our environment, and state government is becoming a green leader."
State Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, "Overall, New York's experience has shown that sustainable practices do not cost more. They can even save significant amounts of money, especially in the areas of energy use and waste reduction."
Overall, 85 percent of reporting state agencies now use green cleaning products, 80 percent have implemented policies to reduce energy use, and 79 percent have an office supply reuse program. New York experience has shown that implementing sustainable practices do not cost more and many times can actually save money.
Claire L. Barnett, executive director, Healthy Schools Network, Inc., said, "This is a state report of national significance. The agencies are saving money while reducing the environment and health impacts of their purchasing. Every school seeking cost-effective greener, healthier products should be calling for better access and information."
Richard Bernhauer, founder and CEO of Product Research Co., Inc. and ProCare Copier Systems, in Binghamton, said, "My company has been re-manufacturing multi-function office equipment for more than 23 years. State procurement of low-cost, high quality re-manufactured goods and other green products helps to protect the environment and bring jobs to upstate New York. I commend Governor Cuomo for his support of this important green initiative."
Programs to reduce waste and improve energy efficiency in State operations are part of a larger strategy to protect our land, air and water. New York is a leader in promoting renewable energy, combating climate change by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, protecting open space, and enhancing water quality in all regions of the state.
ADVISORY MEMBER NEWS
Chip Foley, Steel Recycling Institute, has retired. A sad day for the recycling community at large and for NERC. Chip has been a national figurehead in the recycling community, and an active participant in NERC for almost 25 years.
In recognition and gratitude for his service to NERC, the Board has issued a proclamation honoring his contributions, and also awarded Chip with a lifetime Individual Supporter status in NERC.
Congratulations to Gray’s Woods & Park Forest Elementary Schools for winning the Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge. Park Forest collected the most bags overall (1,497 pounds) and Gray’s Woods collected the most per capita (3.80 pounds per student). Honorable Mention goes to CLC Charter School for a close second and unbelievable effort!
Approximately 4,000 students from 16 State College Area Elementary Schools competed in the eight week Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge recycling a total of 5,631 pounds of plastic bags and film (that’s approximately 360,384 bags)!
We would like to thank our partners, The Centre Region Council of Governments, State College Borough, The Trex Company, Weis Markets, Lowe’s and A Bag’s Life. They were instrumental in the success of the challenge.
Gray’s Woods & Park Forest will each receive a raised garden bed made from Trex Recycled Plastic Lumber filled with Weis Choice Compost and $50.00 in “seed” money.
All sixteen participating schools will receive a Trex Recycled Plastic Lumber Park Bench (made from 10,000 recycled plastic bags) donated by Weis Markets as well as a Trex Recycled Plastic Lumber Bird House.
Our sixteen participating schools were as follows: CLC Charter School, Corl Street Elementary, Easterly Parkway Elementary, Ferguson Township Elementary, The State College Friends School, Goddard School, Gray’s Woods Elementary, Houserville Elementary, Lemont Elementary, Mt. Nittany Elementary, Nittany Christian School, Nittany Valley Charter School, Our Lady of Victory Catholic School, Park Forest Elementary, Radio Park Elementary and The Young Scholars of Central PA Charter School.
This challenge took place nationwide with 424 schools participating and collecting over 131,000 pounds of plastic. This is approximately 9,779,625 plastic bags that have been recycled and saved from the landfill! This is an outstanding achievement and all schools should be commended for their participation.
The plastic bags collected by the schools will be sent to the Trex Company and recycled into plastic lumber.
For additional information on this Challenge, please contact Amy Schirf.