New Sustaining Members
Renewing Sustaining Members
New Supporting Members
Renewing Supporting Members
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.
February was an extremely busy month for NERC Advisory Memberships. We are welcoming two new Sustaining Members, as well as two new Supporting Members, and several renewing Members in both categories.
We are delighted to welcome the National Waste and Recycling Association and IPL, Inc. as new Sustaining Members in NERC, and the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resource Recovery Authority (SCRRRA) and Rock and Recycling Solutions as new Supporting Members. Of course, we are very grateful to renewing members as well: renewing Sustaining Members Electronics Recyclers International, Metech Recycling, and MRM, and renewing Supporting Members the Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR) and R2 Solutions.
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.
Knowing and understanding the technical aspects of managing organics is what most people focus on when interested in starting or when implementing an organics management program. The key components that are often overlooked, but are equally essential for success, are problem solving and strategic decision making. Identifying existing and forthcoming problems, being proactive in addressing issues, and implementing appropriate solutions are all part of the mix of successfully managing organics.
NERC's upcoming Workshop —Organics Management in Urban and Rural Areas—will address maximizing the prevention of nuisance issues and methods for addressing common problems (odors, storm water/leachate management, dust, traffic, and vectors). In addition to sessions, a hands-on activity for designing and developing a composting facility to optimize organic material management is included.
Workshop Dates: April 15 – 16, 2014
Location: Haraseeket Inn, Freeport, Maine
Sponsorship & Exhibitor Space Available
For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC's Assistant Director & Events Organizer.
NERC is actively working on organics management in the Northeast, check the NERC website for a list of organics-related projects, resources, and ways that NERC can partner with you to advance organics in your community, school, or business.
For more information contact Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager.
In early March, Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director, is presenting about the State Electronics Challenge at the Southeast Recycling Conference (SERC) in Destin, Florida. The presentation, is part of a session on electronics recycling, and is entitled. Green Your IT – Buying, Using, Recycling. In April she will be a guest presenter at a course at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, which is adivision of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The course is entitled: Sustainable Technology: Environmental and Social Impacts of Innovations.
Mary Ann Remolador, NERC's Assistant Director, will present at the Northeast Resource Recovery Association's Annual Conference in June about green purchasing specifications developed for toner cartridges, multi-purpose paper, and office supplies. The specifications are the result of NERC's Simplifying Environmentally Preferable Purchasing for Public Sector Agencies project. In addition, she will present about opportunities for reuse, including the Reuse Marketplace at MassRecycle's R3 Conference & Trade Show in April, and the Federation of New York Solid Waste Association's Solid Waste/Recycling Conference & Trade Show in May.
Athena Lee Bradley, NERC Projects Manager, will also be speaking at the Federation of New York Solid Waste Association's Solid Waste/Recycling Conference & Trade Show. She will present on a panel entitled "Clean Your Plate," featuring a discussion about food scraps recycling. Her presentation, "Best Management Practices for Reducing, Recovering, and Recycling Food Scraps: Opportunities, Action, and Case Study Examples," will provide an overview of communities which have implemented food scrap management programs in accordance with the organics management hierarchy. Scenarios will include reducing food discards ("EPA's Food Too Good to Waste" for commercial food scrap reduction); food recovery (food donation and food to animals); integration of food scraps into home composting; collecting food scraps (commercial and residential collection options); and, integration of food scraps into compost operations (municipal, on-farm, and private sector).
Buying products with recycled content or decreased/no toxicity is essential to our shared mission of promoting recycling. NERC's national EPPnet is a listserv committed to a discussion about green procurement. Membership is limited to the purchasing and recycling communities. Vendors are not included in the listserv membership. For more information, and to join, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EPPnet/
The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) is a nationally recognized leader in sustainable materials management for the public and private sector. It boasts a 28 year history of innovative and effective research, program design and implementation, educational materials, and public-private dialogue.
NERC's outstanding staff is expert in a wide range of topics, including source reduction, reuse, recycling, recycling, composting, environmental education, and green procurement. This expertise is available through consulting services. More detail can be found on the NERC website. Please be in touch with any questions.
NERC is now participating in the NRC Recycling Organizations Council (ROC). The ROC is a network of state, regional and provincial recycling organizations. The mission of the ROC is to build and strengthen organizational capacity of state, provincial, and regional recycling organizations through peer to peer networking and communication, and training. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.
Supporting green hotels is important. Finding a hotel that is a green as the Harraseeket Inn is unusual…worth revisiting this NERC Blog from January 21, 2014.
The Harraseeket Inn is a member of the Green Hotel Association and a Maine Certified Environmental Leader located in Freeport, Maine. The Inn is located on the Maine coast, where the Harraseeket River meets Casco Bay. The Inn goes beyond just the usual water conservation promotion of encouraging guests to reuse towels and linens. It actively recycles and composts. The Inn doesn't just practice being green it also promotes it.
The Harraseeket Inn believes that doing business with local purveyors helps the community by keeping its economy strong. According to the Inn's owners, their "first priority is purchasing locally grown and harvested foods." These practices support local farmers and fishermen, preserving traditional skills and open space, and reduce the energy expended to transport foods from long distances. Their fish primarily comes from the Maine coast (except the salmon, which is wild caught from the Pacific Northwest). In addition to local and organics foods, the Inn offers low glycemic and gluten free options on their menus as well.
Recycling and Composting at the Inn
The Inn is committed to recycling as much as possible:
All rooms have a recycling bin in them and housekeeping carts are equipped with a reusable blue bag for collecting the recyclables. The Inn uses a single-stream recycling system where all recyclable products are placed in one ten-yard dumpster to be picked up weekly. Electronics and durable goods are taken to the Freeport transfer station for pickup. Scrap metals and other miscellaneous debris are taken to appropriate locations for resale and recycling.
The Inn's used fryolator oil is recycled by a local organic farmer who uses it to heat his greenhouses or by converting it to biodiesel for use by the Inn. A 40-gallon biodiesel reactor is used to make 40 gallons of biodiesel a week from used fry oil to operate the Inn's John Deere tractor, Mercedes station wagon, and Chevrolet pick-up truck.
The Inn composts their kitchen and restaurant food scraps. In fact, two of the Inn's employees graduated from the renowned Maine Composting School. The Inn composts using two methods. An Earth Tub is used for vegetable scraps only in order to help prevent any odor issues which may arise and to generate compost to use as soil amendment on the Inn's grounds. Horse bedding and leaves from the Freeport transfer station and the Inn's property are used as carbon sources.
The Earth Tub cannot handle the quantity of food scraps generated by the Inn's kitchens, so the remaining materials are taken to a local organic farm—New Leaf Farm. The farmer handles all the seafood and meat scraps, as well as vegetable scraps and landscape materials generated at the Inn. The collected material is transported by the kitchen steward each day to the farm. The Inn purchases produce from the farm to "close the loop."
Other Environmental Measures
A sophisticated HVAC system at the Inn reclaims waste heat from the refrigerators, walk-in coolers, ice machines, and freezers and uses it to heat the guest rooms and public areas. It can also move heat from the sunny side of the building to cooler rooms on the shady side.
All incandescent light bulbs have been replaced with CFL light bulbs and older T-12 fluorescent lights with T-8 or T-6 lights. When equipment, such as refrigerators or electric motors is replaced, the Inn purchases "Energy Star" compliant equipment.
Low-flow toilets are installed in all guest rooms and restrooms.
The Inn uses no dangerous chemicals or fertilizers on their five acres of grounds. Pet friendly melting agents are used on winter walkways. The flower gardens are planted with Maine heirloom plants and native species, along with culinary herbs for use in the kitchens.
Many of the plastic products used in the restaurants have been replaced with compostable, eco-friendly products, including drinking straws, stir sticks, and to-go containers. Office products used at the Inn are made with recycled materials. All ware-washing chemicals and housekeeping cleaning supplies are Green Seal Certified.
In Search of a Green Hotel
NERC has been trying to work with its conference venues to adopt greener practices, including recycling and composting. NERC is pleased to find such a green venue as the Harraseeket Inn to host its spring workshop.
NERC's Organics Management in Urban and Rural Areas Workshop will be held on April 15 – 16, at the Harraseeket Inn. The workshop will address the technical and practical aspects associated with developing and maintaining organics management programs in both urban and rural areas. Expert trainers and pertinent sessions will teach and aid attendees to understanding the composting process, potential problems, and available technologies. In addition, hands-on exercises will give attendees the opportunity to solve common problems and to design facilities that avoid potential problems.
NERC has a number of resources for green hotel practices, including Waste Reduction & Green Purchasing at Hotels. Additional information can be found be conducting a search in the Resources section of NERC's website.
By Athena Lee Bradley
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection submits its first Report on Connecticut’s E-Waste Recycling Program to the Connecticut Legislature after two and one half years of program implementation. In summary, Connecticut’s E-Waste recycling program has achieved many milestones including recycling over 25 million pounds to-date, creating many new Connecticut and other regional job opportunities, and saving taxpayers and municipalities over a million dollars in avoided disposal fees.
On January 23, 2014, the New York Product Stewardship Council (Council) and the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) sponsored a day-long Summit on the implementation of New York State's Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (Act). (Information about the law.) The goal of the Summit was to begin a multi-stakeholder dialogue with municipal and state representatives, electronic waste (e-waste) collectors/consolidators/recyclers, electronic equipment manufacturers and collective organizations, and environmental groups. The Act is now over three years old and there are various issues that stakeholders have wanted to discuss to better implement the law and its goals. Over 65 individuals attended the Summit to express their positions, challenges and perspectives. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss those elements of the state's e-waste program that are working well, which areas need improvement and potential actions or steps that can be taken or considered to help fulfill the goals of this very comprehensive extended producer responsibility law. The Council is committed to continuing the critical dialogue begun at this Summit over the next year to help address the short and long term challenges identified, resulting in a stronger and more sustainable New York State e-waste program
In 2014, the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) is launching a statewide campaign to increase the amount of textiles that are recovered for both reuse and recycling.
According to the U.S. EPA, two million tons of textiles are reused or recycled each year, yet that represents only 15% of generated textiles. This leaves approximately 1.2 billion pounds+ of recoverable textiles that end up in the trash in New York State alone, with a value of over $100 million!
Currently, textiles comprise 5-8% of the waste stream. Of the material that is currently being recovered:
NYSAR3's 2014 Statewide Textile Recovery Campaign seeks to involve a broad spectrum of community stakeholders including consumers, municipal representatives, non-profit and for-profit clothing collectors, textile recyclers, educators, and more.
There is a long history of cooperation between the recycling industry and the law enforcement community working together to reduce metals theft. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) is beginning the new year with a couple of major announcements that will further strengthen the ties between the two groups and establish a multi-faceted approach to combating metals theft.
ISRI recently created a new position of Director of Law Enforcement Outreach which will be responsible for working with the newly formed Law Enforcement Advisory Council (additional information below) to develop and implement a law enforcement training program as well as coordinating outreach with the law enforcement community.
ISRI is pleased to announce the hiring of Brady Mills for this position. Mr. Mills recently retired from the U.S. Secret Service after more than 27 years. He began his career in the Secret Service in 1986 in the Detroit Field Office followed by field assignments in the Washington and Fresno offices, and as Resident Agent in Charge of the Sacramento office.
From 1994 through 1998, he served on the Presidential Protective Division, including a period as Team Leader on the Counter Assault Team. From 2006 through 2012 he held headquarters assignments in the Inspection Division and the Office of Training at the Rowley Training Center. Mr. Mills ended his career with the Service as the Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service Liaison Division.
Throughout his career, he interfaced with numerous foreign and domestic government agencies, as well as law enforcement organizations throughout the U.S. Prior to his career with the Secret Service. Mr. Mills served as a Trooper for five years with the Pennsylvania State Police.
Mr. Mills graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. degree in Administration of Justice. He also earned a Master of Science in Management from the Johns Hopkins University.
Earlier this year, ISRI announced the creation of a Law Enforcement Advisory Council, a select group of experienced law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and security personnel from around the country with an understanding of the metals theft issue. The Council will advise ISRI in the development of a comprehensive program to address metals theft, including a multi-layered training program to assist law enforcement. The group held its first organizational meeting in January in Washington, DC.
The following individuals serve on ISRI's Law Enforcement Advisory Council:
Stay tuned for further information on the launch of this metals theft prevention program, including law enforcement training, as it is developed in the coming year. As ISRI works to expand its outreach efforts and embark on this new phase, the ScrapTheftAlert.com alert system will continue to operate as it has in the past.
Recycling is a growing priority for today's industries and communities so shredders are needed that can tackle the toughest materials. Filling that demand is UNTHA's RS 150, a four-shaft shredder backed by decades of proven expertise and developed by UNTHA shredding technology GmbH of Austria, one of the world's leading providers of recycling equipment. The RS150 is now readily available in the States through UNTHA's American division, UNTHA shredding technology America, Inc., based in Hampton, NH.
At up to 500 horsepower and standing 20 feet tall, the RS 150 is a marvelous monster of a shredder. The RS150 has a four-shaft shredding system. It first coarse shreds material, then fine shreds it, all in one single operation. The RS 150 comes from the illustrious RS Series, which has been tried and tested for decades. It is well known as a line of powerful, rugged shredders which easily handle difficult operating conditions and multiple-shift continuous operation. "More than 30 years of expertise is built into the RS Series," says Bernhard Mueggler, president and CEO of UNTHA America. "We have more than 8,000 of these shredders in daily operation around the globe."
Already, more than 10 RS 150s have been installed worldwide, including two in the States. Another three United States installations are already planned. Mueggler explains why the RS 150 is already making its mark: "Recycling operations love it because it increases the volume of material they can process, allowing them to boost sales. Circuit board refining companies use it to shred circuit boards then refine the precious metals they contain, such as gold, silver and copper. Refrigerator recyclers are also getting on board because once the compressors are removed; this machine can devour entire refrigerators. It's an amazing multi-purpose product."
With the launch of the RS 150, fans of the RS series can now obtain a shredder that is known for its reliability and available at a lower cost. These shredders are designed to handle products as diverse as sheet metal casings, aluminum rims and tubes; electronic WEE scrap such as small and large appliances, IT and telecommunications equipment, consumer electronics and tools; hazardous waste; tires from anything from automobiles to trucks; copper and aluminum cables, and tough jobs such as spring mattresses, ropes, carpets and Gore-Tex rolls.
The RS 150, like other shredders in the series, is known for being low-maintenance, thanks to UNTHA's patented design features which help keep the machine's critical gears and bearings clean. Routine servicing is easy, so downtime is minimized, saving companies both time and expense.
"We understand that time is money," says Mueggler. "Therefore, all UNTHA shredders are built to handle long hours of operation with minimal servicing. Customers are also able to test our machines prior to purchase to verify that they can handle specific materials under the exact operating conditions for which they will be needed. All of our machines can also be customized to meet the requirements of a particular industry."
To learn more about the RS 150, or any UNTHA shredders, visit www.untha-america.com or call (603) 601-2304.
OF GENERAL INTEREST
Free Webinar - March 18, 2014, 2:00 – 3:30 pm eastern
Waste diversion (recycling and composting) have stagnated in Vermont, hovering around 30% for the past 10 years. Vermont’s Universal Recycling law (Act 148) is designed to increase diversion by instituting phased-in bans on recyclables, food scraps, and yard debris from landfills. This webinar will cover the key features of the Universal Recycling law, including when your facility might need to comply, how to comply, and what haulers and facilities are currently available to help you comply with the law.
The webinar will specifically focus on food scrap management through reduction, recovery, and organics recycling or composting. We will discuss how to estimate how much food waste your facility produces, how other colleges and universities in Vermont are successfully diverting food scraps from their waste stream, how to create and manage a food scrap separation program at your facility, and how to troubleshoot, manage, and mitigate issues before they occur.
Presenters will include: Josh Kelly and Bryn Oakleaf, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Solid Waste Program; Donna Barlow Casey, Director, Center for Sustainable Practices, Vermont Tech; Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager, Northeast Recycling Council; Additional presenters TBA: Case studies in College/University Food Scraps Diversion
For more information: Contact Josh Kelly, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation or Athena Lee Bradley. Northeast Recycling Council. For information on Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law visit the Universal Recycling webpage.
In 1960, Compost Science, now BioCycle began publication. Its founder, Jerome Goldstein stated in the inaugural issue's editorial: "We are thoroughly convinced that there is a need to conserve this country's as well as the world's natural resources. We believe that converting municipal and industry organic wastes into useful products would be an effective step forward in a long-range conservation program." More than 50 years later, organic materials continue to be undervalued as a resource.
In the United States, organic materials continue to be the largest component of municipal solid waste; comprising around 56% of the materials we send to landfills and incinerators. Yard trimmings are recycled at just over 57%, while less than 4% of food scraps are currently recovered. This means that 34 million tons of food is discarded by homes and businesses in the U.S. annually. Discarding organic materials as waste impacts our environment, energy use, and economy, taking up landfill space and contributing to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Organic materials can instead be turned into viable new products, including mulch, compost, fuel, and electricity, helping to create locally-based jobs and supporting local and regional economies.
Around the Northeast there is growing activity to advance the diversion of organics, particularly food scraps through reduction, recovery, composting, and anaerobic digestion.
New commercial food scrap source separation requirements (Recycling of Source Separated Organics—CGS 22a-226e as Amended by P.A. 13-285) became effective January 1, 2014. The mandate requires generators of 104 tons per year (tpy) or greater of food scraps to divert these organics from disposal and recycle the organics, if the generator is within 20 miles of a facility permitted to accept food scraps and has the capacity to accept them. Onsite composting can also count as compliance. The law applies only to commercial food wholesalers and distributors; food manufacturers and processors; supermarkets; and, resorts & conference centers. The law is designed to phase-in so that by January 2020, commercial generators of 52 tpy of food scraps will need to comply. The law does not apply to residential generators.
Connecticut currently has three compost facilities that can are permitted to accept food scraps. There is growing interest in the state to promote anaerobic digestion for handling food scraps.
In an effort to promote composting and lead by example, the Connecticut State Office Complex has signed up to participate in the US Food Waste Challenge in recognition of their on-site office composting program of 18 years. The program will help to promote composting good publicity for leading by example.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection have recently updated its Composting and Organics webpage.
In 2010, the Wilmington Organic Recycling Facility (WORC) opened; the facility is permitted to handle 160,000 tpy of organics, including food scraps. Also in 2010, Blue Hen Organics opened up in Southern Delaware.
In 2013, the state adopted a Universal Recycling Law requiring businesses to participate in comprehensive recycling starting January 1, 2014. Under the law commercial establishments define what "comprehensive" means to them and whether organics comprise a significant enough portion of their waste stream to mandate diversion. The state has 50% recycling rate goal. An assessment is planned later this year to see how the state is doing to determine what more has to be done, if anything, to help meet the goal.
Home of the internationally world acclaimed Maine Compost School, composting has been promoted successfully around the state for a number of years. The State just finalized its Organics Recovery Composting Manual. Maine is planning a series of workshops for the coming year to be regionally located, focusing on food scrap diversion. Numerous municipal, farm, and private compost facilities accept yard trimmings and other organics, including residues from the state's large seafood industry.
The Maine Department of Environmental Management Office of Sustainability is working to promote the acceptance of other source separated organics, such as food scraps from residents, schools, cafeterias or restaurants, at these facilities.
New regulations for designing compost facilities - 310 CMR 16.00: Site Assignment Regulations for Solid Waste Facilities- changed the regulatory framework for the way sites are permitted to foster the development of more composting and anaerobic digestion in the state.
A recently adopted solid waste ban on food scrap disposal by commercial generators— 310 CMR 19.000: Final Commercial Organic Material Waste Ban Amendments, January 2014—goes into effect October, 2014. The law requires any entity that disposes of at least one ton of organic material per week or more to donate or divert food scraps from disposal.
Currently some 300 supermarkets divert food scraps to recovery and compost programs. Municipalities are also beginning to pilot food scrap composting programs.
The New York Department of Conservation provides $7 million in matching grants for capital projects to municipalities for the purchase of recycling/composting equipment. In Upstate New York there are two anaerobic digestion facilities have begun operation in the Buffalo area. Both are accepting food scraps and biosolids.
The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCCRA) compost facility is accepting 9,000 tons per year (tpy) of food scraps in the Syracuse area. Several smaller operations around the state, including the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency compost operation, are also accepting food scraps. NYC is mandating organics diversion based on square footage of retail outlet.
Pennsylvania has several general permits applicable for facilities to collect and process food scraps through composting. The state has recently developed a general permit for quarry operations to accept food scraps. To date, five permits have been issued for facilities to accept food scraps; two facilities are operational. An estimated 300,000 tpy of capacity for processing food scraps is anticipated once these operations go online. On-farm AD operations in Pennsylvania are permitted to accept food scraps; several new on-farm AD operations are coming online in the near future.
The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center sponsors an Organics Management Assistance Program and has an organics business assistance fact sheet, hosts workshops, and provides turnkey technical assistance that supports organics product development as well as new or existing market opportunities.
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) is working on its upcoming annual conference in July with a goal to increase organics training and add an organics track this year. PROP offers a certified organics training track in its Professional Recyclers Certification Program. This program is also offered in conjunction with other states, including Maryland.
Legislation was recently introduced in the state (H7033) to promote diversion of food scraps, modeled on the Connecticut food scraps diversion legislation. Commercial establishments generating more than 52 tons per year of food scraps would be required to divert organics to recovery and composting, with phase-in to all commercial generators by 2021, provided there is a facility within a 20 mile radius to accept and process the food scraps.
The RI Food Policy Council involves different food associations united to working on increasing food security in the state and promote a viable, sustainable agriculture system for Rhode Island. The Council also advocates for food recovery and composting.
There is one large facility—Earth Care Farm—operating in the state under an agricultural permit to accept food scraps. Another facility is scheduled to be built in Johnston next year.
Vermont's Universal Recycling Law (Act 148) bans from disposal all organics, starting larger food scrap generators this year (104 tpy or more), and progressing to a complete food scrap ban for commercial establishments and residents by 2020
The state's Act 148 "working group" developed and is promoting universal statewide symbols for recycling and composting.
An organics map is being developed to map existing compost facilities, generators, etc. with the goal to connect generators food recovery agencies and/or processing facilities.
 See Zanolli above.