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June 2019

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

  • Interstate Refrigerant Recovery

  • 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

New & Renewing Memberships

Renewing Sustaining Member

Renewing Supporting Member

NERC News

Newly Posted

State Updates

MASSACHUSETTS

Advisory Member News

New & Renewing Memberships

Membership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to sustainable materials management. We are pleased to thank renewing Sustaining Member TOMRA, and renewing Supporting Member Allagash Brewing.

Thank you to all our Advisory Members. To see a complete listing of NERC's Members and Supporters, as well as the benefits of membership, visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.

The broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC's Advisory Members, Individual Supporters, and Board Members and their willingness to participate significantly contribute to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director.

NERC News

Call for Papers for NERC’s Fall 2019 Conference

The Northeast Recycling Council extends an invitation to all who are interested in presenting at its Fall ’19 Conference that will be held on October 29 – 30 in Providence, Rhode Island.  The primary topics for NERC’s Conference will be plastics packaging recycling issues.

NERC’s Conferences are unique in that they provide an opportunity for government and industry to jointly discuss the issues considered to be the most important and timely for sustainable materials management. The Conferences attract an expert speaker pool and a diverse audience of government, industry, non-profits, and consultants working in sustainable materials management. 

Presentation abstracts on the following plastics recycling topics will be considered for the Conference:

  • Single Use Plastics
    • Plastics Packaging
    • Plastic Bags
  • Regulatory Approaches
  • Impact of the Basel Treaty
  • Future of Plastics Recycling Markets
  • Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
  • Micro-plastics
  • Ocean debris
  • Innovative Products or Technology

Detailed Abstract (350 words or less): Describe the details of the proposed session content, as well as the presenter’s credentials and contact information—phone number and email address.

Submission Deadline: July 1, 2019

Send Submissions to Mary Ann Remolador, Assistant Director & Events Organizer. Feel free to call with any questions at 802-254-3636.

NERC 2019 Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award Program Announced

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) is pleased to announce that it will be presenting an award recognizing an individual or organization for their contribution to growing an environmentally sustainable economy within the NERC 11-state region.

Applications for the 2019 NERC Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award are due September 10, 2019.  Download the award application here.

To be eligible, an organization or individual must be located within one or more of NERC’s 11-member states.

Awards will be given in recognition of demonstrated change supporting an environmentally sustainable economy as the result of a project that furthers NERC’s mission.  Awards will be given in three categories:

  • NERC Advisory Member
  • Public Sector
  • Private Sector

The award presentation will take place at NERC's Fall Conference, October 29, 2019, Providence, Rhode Island.  For more information about the Conference, visit the NERC website.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director.

New Webinar Series Announced

NERC is offering a new webinar series offered in response to multiple inquiries.  The webinars are free and each will be available to the first 500 registrants.  

The Bottle Bills—Benefits and Challenges webinar is scheduled for July 17 at 1:30 p.m. (EST).  The webinar will explore some of today's most popular discussion points for bottle bills. The presenters include Susan Collins, President of the Container Recycling Institute.  Susan will present the latest news with bottle bills globally, nationally, and within the Northeast states. Chris Nelson, Supervising Environmental Analyst of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, will provide us with the details about Connecticut's existing and proposed expansion to Connecticut's Bottle Bill and how it can work with the proposed packaging EPR Bill. And as someone who has been responsible for a MRF in a bottle bill and non-bottle bill state, Sarah Reeves, Executive Director of the Chittenden Solid Waste District in Vermont will discuss her first-hand experience of the impact of bottle bills on a MRF's revenues.

The US Regulatory Approaches for Packaging is scheduled for September 11 at 1:30 p.m. (EST).  The webinar will provide insight into the different approaches states are taking to address packaging.  Cole Rosengren, Senior Editor of Waste Dive, will provide an overview of the different strategies states have proposed across the nation to deal with packaging and how industry groups have responded.  Cole will also focus in on the Northeast states specific approaches and their status.  Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of the National Stewardship Action Council, will present California’s proposed strategies and the steps they have incorporated into their proposed approach.  In addition, Sarah Lakeman, Sustainable Maine Project Director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, will present the specifics of Maine’s proposed strategies and their intended outcomes. 

Webinar Series Schedule & Registration Links

  • Bottle Bills - the Benefits & Challenges, July 17, 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. (EST).  Register Here
  • U.S. Regulatory Approaches for Packaging, September 11, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EST). Register Here
  • Packaging EPR - Canada & Europe, Date to be determined

For more information about the webinar series, contact Mary Ann Remolador.

Inaugural Regional Recycling Impact Workshop a Big Success

Lynn Rubinstein, NERC (left) & Keefe Harrison, the Recycling Partnership

In early May, NERC and the Recycling Partnership joined forces to offer the first Regional Recycling Impact Workshop. Attendees were selected from more than 150 scholarship applicants from the 11-state NERC region. The event, and scholarships, were sponsored by Keurig Dr. Pepper, ISRI, the Carton Council, the Massachusetts Beverage Association, USA Hauling, and Casella Resource Solutions. 

The workshop, presented by the Recycling Partnership team, highlighted the importance of messaging, education, collaboration, and team building.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

NERC in the News - Did you Know?

NERC and its projects regularly receive press coverage and recognition.  You can keep up-to-date with this coverage on the NERC in the News page on the NERC website.

For more information, contact Robert Kropp, NERC's Office Manager.

NERC Serves on the Board of New Non-Profit—Glass Recycling Foundation

The Glass Recycling Foundation (GRF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed to provide and raise funds for intervention, demonstration and pilot projects that address gaps in the glass recycling supply chain across the United States. The GRF will work in collaboration with the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC), which consists of nearly 40 members from the entire glass recycling value chain including MRFs, glass recyclers, local government organizations, end markets and brands.

NERC serves on the Board of the GRF along with Diageo, Strategic Materials, Owens-Illinois, Urban Mining NE, California State University, Chico, and the Recycling Partnership.

For more information about the GRF, contact Mary Ann Remolador.

NERC Works With Massachusetts Communities on Glass Recycling Issues

As part of a special project of the Glass Recycling Coalition, NERC led an effort to provide direct technical assistance about glass recycling to two communities in Massachusetts—Groton and Dennis. NERC collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Assistance on this project.

For more information about how NERC can work with communities on glass recycling issues, contact Mary Ann Remolador.

NERC Works With Sustainable CT

Sustainable CT is a voluntary certification program that recognizes the sustainability efforts of Connecticut municipalities. Acquiring program certification requires municipalities to submit an annual proposal with supporting data and documentation.  For this year’s certification process, NERC staff is serving as a reviewer of the materials management and waste reduction sections of the received proposals.

For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador.

Newly Posted

NERC & NEWMOA Post “What Can We Do as Consumers About Climate Change?”

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) have published a Fact Sheet to help consumers understand the impact they can make on climate change. The goal of this initiative is to build public awareness about what individual actions consumers can take to have a positive impact on climate change.

The Fact Sheet emphasizes that a significant percentage of greenhouse gases are associate with the production, transportation, and disposal of materials and products. In fact, one recent study has found that greenhouse gas releases from consumption are increasing even as those from direct use of energy by consumers in their homes and for transportation are decreasing. The Fact Sheet includes ten steps that consumers can take to make a difference.

Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director of NERC stated that” bringing the concept of personal action beyond energy conservation into the conversation of climate change is a critical step in making the connection between sustainable materials management and the environment.”

Terri Goldberg, Executive Director of NEWMOA noted that, “our partnership with NERC has been exploring the climate impacts of products and materials during the past two years. This new publication is the outgrowth of our efforts to develop a simple message for consumers about the link between climate change and consumption of materials and products. Discussions on this topic in the past have focused on the climate impacts of end-of-life waste management activities. But through this effort, we know that much more significant climate impacts are associated with the raw material extraction and production and transportation of products before they reach the consumer. To achieve substantial impacts, we need to look upstream to make a real difference. We hope that this will help spur more discussion and action on this critical topic.”

NEWMOA and NERC collaborated with the West Coast Forum on Materials Management on the drafting of the handout.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Update to Northeast Recycling Business Assistance Guide

The Recycling Business Assistance Guide for the Northeast is a comprehensive compendium of resources available to start-up and expanding recycling businesses in the 11 northeast states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The Guide provides state specific contact and program information about grant and loan fund programs, tax incentive programs, sources of technical support, and other resources for assisting recycling businesses.

The topic headings are:

  • Primary resources
  • Grant & loan funding programs or grant, tax incentive, & loan funding programs
  • Technical assistance for recycling businesses
  • General business assistance
  • Disaster debris management
  • Waste reduction & reuse resources

Each listing includes a contact name, address, phone, email, and web address (when available).

In addition, there is a complete list of the recycling industry trade associations with hyperlinks to their websites.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Expanding Opportunities for Donating Edible Food - Webinar Recording & Presentations

NERC recently collaborated with NEWMOA to hosted webinar about expanding opportunities for donating edible food.  Featured speakers were:

  • Lorenzo Macaluso, Center for Ecological Technology (CET) - Presentation
  • Sherri Stevens and Nick Lachapelle, Hannford Supermarkets - Presentation

In addition to the PowerPoint presentations, a webinar recording and a handout about Hannaford's food donation decision flow chart are available for download.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

State Updates

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts Statewide Recycling Initiative “Recycle Smart” - Over 200 Partners Strong

Recycle Smart MA is a statewide recycling education initiative focused on educating residents on what can and cannot go in the recycling bin. As part of this initiative, Massachusetts developed standardized recycling guidelines for the state so that residents can be confident they are recycling smart- regardless of where they live, work, or play.  The initiative also features the “Recyclopedia” search tool, where residents can search for instructions on how to properly recycle or dispose of hundreds of common materials.

Recycling stakeholders that want to play an active role in promoting better recycling in Massachusetts are encouraged to sign up as partners. Partners receive free educational tools and social media content to help raise awareness and improve the quality of recycling in their communities.  Just 6 months after launching the Recycle Smart MA Partner program, MassDEP is pleased to announce that over 200 municipalities, businesses, community groups, non-profits, schools and universities have signed on to help spread the message about how to “Do Your Part and Recycle Smart.”

Learn more at RecycleSmartMA.org or by following Recycle Smart MA on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

MassDEP’s Contamination-Fighting Grant in its Third Year

MassDEP’s Recycling IQ Kit grant, now in its third year, continues to deliver impressive results. The Recycling IQ Kit was designed to provide steps, tools, and resources to help improve the quality of residential recycling programs.  The toolkit includes:

  • Guidance for engaging with the community’s MRF and hauler
  • Instructions and tools for targeted messages
  • Tools for tracking and reporting results
  • Customizable artwork for education and outreach
  • Resources for implementation of direct curbside/drop-off feedback

In 2018, a total of 14 communities (12 curbside; 2 drop-off) were awarded grants ranging from $7,500 to $40,000 for a total of $575,000.  The curbside communities targeted their two most contaminated routes as determined by their hauler and/or their recycling coordinators.  Each curbside community formed teams of enforcers to tip recycling cart lids, leave “oops” tags and reject contaminated carts over an 8 week period (16 weeks if recycling is collected every other week). Oops tags identify why the cart was being rejected.  The communities also spread the word about cleaner recycling via mailers, press releases, social media, and local signage (a-frames, car magnets, billboards, etc.).  The drop-off communities revamped and simplified their facility signage using the Recycling IQ Kit artwork. 

The positive impact of the program is confirmed by the data.  Each grantee is required to submit a final report that includes their tagging and set-out rates, as well as successes and lessons learned.  The table below represents the average tagging rates of some of the 2018 grantees from the first week of tagging to the last week of tagging.  The last column is the average percentage change from weeks 1-8, or the delta between weeks one and eight. The higher the percentage, the fewer carts were rejected by the end of the program.

Municipality

Tagging Rate Week 1

Tagging Rate Week 8

Percentage tagging reduction

Chatham

 Drop-off

 

 

Dartmouth

23.0%

4.0%

82.0%

Everett

35.2%

16.0%

55.0%

Fairhaven

34.4%

6.2%

82.0%

Fitchburg

24.7%

7.9%

68.1%

Halifax

6.8%

4.6%

33.0%

Lynn

7%

5%

95.4%

Newburyport

78%

13%

84.0%

Stoneham

22.6%

6.6%

71.0%

Tewksbury

17.1%

2.4%

85.8%

Yarmouth

 Drop-off

 

 

Our efforts are truly paying off.  A notable lesson learned in 2018 was that having a pre-determined, consistent set of criteria for tagging bins (and strict enforcement of those criteria) resulted in fewer repeat offenders and a more significant reduction in tagging in the targeted areas. The results in 2018 surpassed the average percentage changes in 2017!  Further, we are hearing encouraging news from our Massachusetts haulers and MRFs who have reported an improvement in communities that have implemented the program. 

So far, in 2019 MassDEP has awarded 8 communities (6 curbside; 2 drop-off) for a total of $197,000.  Notably, this year we have three communities that will be implementing in the central part of the state, and the first community implementing in the western part of the state.  We’ll keep you posted on how it turns out.

If you would like more information about the Recycling IQ Kit, contact Janice Paré.

Announcing MassDEP Recycling Business Development Grant Program for 2019

The Recycling Business Development Grant (RBDG) program is intended to help Massachusetts recycling processors and manufacturers create sustainable markets for eligible materials, and to add value to municipal and business recycling efforts. Selected applicants will receive grant awards of between $50,000 and $400,000.

Targeted materials for the 2019 RBDG are:

  • Container glass – developing market outlets and uses for container glass sourced from MRFs or glass drop-off programs
  • Comingled recyclables handled by MRFs – increasing capacity to handle or reduce contamination of mixed recyclable streams consisting of: paper, cardboard, and glass, metal and plastic containers
  • Clean Gypsum Wallboard –beneficiation, processing, and recycling of clean wallboard
  • Mattresses – dismantling and recycling of mattresses at a processing facility
  • Furniture – dismantling and recycling or refurbishment and reuse
  • Bulky Rigid and Mixed Plastics – recovering and processing bulky rigid plastics and mixed 3-7 plastics (not intended for single-resin streams)

2019 applications are due October 4, 2019 by 5:00pm.

Visit the MassDEP RBDG webpage or for more information about eligibility and material requirements, and a link to the application.Advisory Member Updates

CSWD/Green Mountain Compost Receives Grant From Vermont Department Of Environmental Conservation

The Chittenden Solid Waste District / Green Mountain Compost has been awarded a grant worth $500,000 by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), an arm of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

The overall purpose of the grant award is to fund an expansion of CSWD’s Green Mountain Compost facility in Williston to include additional composting and organics transfer. The intent is to increase the facility’s food processing capacity and efficiency in keeping these materials out of the waste stream.

Funds from the grant will go toward engineering design and permitting, construction, and materials and equipment purchases. Under the terms of the grant, CSWD will secure at least a 60% match of the overall project cost and expects to complete the project by late summer, 2020.

"We are very excited about this grant from the state," said Sarah Reeves, CSWD's Executive Director. "CSWD sees great opportunity in options to manage the expected increase in landfill-diverted food scraps as we approach 2020.”

Act 148, Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, bans food scraps from the landfill beginning July 1, 2020.