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March 2021

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Benefactors

Bottle Crusher US

Coca-Cola

Panasonic

Samsung

Waste Management

Sustaining Members

  • American Beverage Association

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Iron & Steel Institute

  • AMP Robotics

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, Inc.

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • CURC

  • Dart Container

  • GDB International

  • 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

  • Mattress Recycling Council

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association

  • Nestlé Waters North America

  • NEWMOA

  • PaintCare

  • Plastics Industry Association

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Revolution

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Sonoco

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)

  • TOMRA

  • US Composting Council (USCC)

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

New & Renewing Members

New Benefactor

Renewing Benefactor

Renewing Sustaining Members

New Supporting Members

Renewing Supporting Member

  • Fast Track Materials

NERC News

Newly Posted

Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse News

Advisory Member News

Of General Interest

New & Renewing Members

Membership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to sustainable materials management. 2021 continues as a dynamic time with several new members, along with a great show of support by renewing members.

We welcome our newest Benefactor - The Coca-Cola Company.

In addition, we have a renewing Benefactor - Samsung.

And, several new Supporting members:

And, thank you to renewing Sustaining Members:

As well as renewing Supporting Member - Fast Track Materials.

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.

NERC NewsGet Rejuvenated at NERC’s Spring ’21 Conference

NERC’s Reframing Recycling in 2021 Conference will be held virtually on March 30 – 31 (1 – 5 daily). NERC’s Conferences are well-known for creating productive discussions among industry and government, and the upcoming event will not disappoint you.  

The Conference has been designed to offer attendees with a chance to learn about recycling’s most relevant topics, hear from speakers with the most in-depth knowledge, and discuss your questions and thoughts with other recycling professionals.  By the end of the two days, we are confident that you will feel that your time was well spent.

The Conference will focus on looking at the lessons we’ve learned to move forward in a positive direction for recycling.  The Conference discussions include:

  • Understanding & Choosing the Right EPR Model: The Canadian Experience
  • Setting Post-Consumer Recycled Content Requirements:  Resources for Policy Makers
  • rPET Markets News
  • Secondary Sorting and How  MRF Residuals Can Be Processed to Extract More Resources
  • Demystifying Compostable Packaging
  • Renewed Interest in Refillables
  • EPR for Mattresses, Electronics, and Paint— Lessons Learned and Future Plans

Speaker Bios

Gold Sponsor

 

Silver Sponsors

 

Bronze Sponsors

Plastic Film Recycling & End-Markets - March 9

A panel conversation about residential plastic film recycling and the status of film end-markets.  Presented as a free webinar, the conversation will be moderated by Chaz Miller, NERC Board of Directors.  Speakers will be:

  • Tonya Randell, Stina (formerly More Recycling)
  • Eadaoin Quinn, EFS Plastics
  • Cherish Miller, Revolution
  • Sandi Childs, Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)
  • Shari Jackson, American Chemistry Council WRAP program

CEU credit available from NJ Rutgers, NH DES, and PROP

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Government Recycling Demand Champion Program Grows

The Government Recycling Demand Champion Program (Program) is an opportunity for state, local and regional government entities of any type, schools, colleges and universities (public and private) to support the recycling economy by buying products with post-consumer resin. The Program offers free technical assistance and training, recognition, and tools to support your efforts.

Taking action to support the recycling industry is essential - especially these days.  The NERC-APR Government Recycling Demand Champion Program, provides a simple strategy for closing the loop by buying products with post-consumer plastic recycled content.

There are three ways to participated in the program:

Champions are full program participants that commit to purchasing products made with post-consumer recycled plastic. Current Champions are:

  • Hudson Valley Improvement Authority (NY)
  • Maryland Department of General Services
  • Santa Monica (CA) - Just joined

Advocates intend to purchase products made with post-consumer recycled plastic, but their organization is not ready to act, but will within a year of joining the program. Current Advocate:

  • City of Middletown, Connecticut - Just joined
  • Massachusetts Operational Services Division
  • New Hampshire R4 Program

State Recycling Organization Advocates commit to helping publicize the program and promote purchasing of products with post-consumer resin to their members and the public. Current State Recycling Organization Advocates:

  • Association of New Jersey Recyclers - Just joined
  • Maryland Recycling Network
  • New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3)

For more information, visit the website or contact Lynn Rubinstein, Program Manager.

EPPnet & Organics Management Listservs Available to All

NERC supports two national listservs; one focused on green procurement, the other or organics.  Both are free and open to all as an opportunity for networking and information exchange.  To learn more, visit the following pages on the NERC website:

Newly Posted

MRF Blended Value Study Update Published shows Upswing in Values

The seventh in its series of quarterly reports on the blended value of a ton of materials marketed at MRFs in the Northeast has been published by NERC. The report covers the period October – December 2020. Twelve states are represented in this report, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

These survey results reflect the differing laws and collection options in the participating states.  Four of the states have beverage container deposit laws.  As a result, fewer glass bottles, PET bottles and aluminum cans are processed in MRFs in those states. Those MRFs are also likely to have less revenue from those recyclables.  In addition, the report reflects a mix of single stream, dual stream and source separation to collect recyclables with single stream being the most common approach.  The type of collection used will have an impact on MRF design and operation. Thus, the data from this report reflects the unique blend of facilities and statewide laws in the reporting states.

Overall, values were up significantly from the previous quarter.  The reported values are a weighted average of all responses. 

  • Average value per ton with the expense of handling residuals: $53.96 – up 29% the previous quarter.
  • Average value per ton without residuals: $60.46 - up 23% the previous quarter.

The average processing cost per was $80/ton. This quarter represents a decrease of 5% over the previous period.

The survey will be repeated for the quarter January – March 2021 and a report published of the results.  

The study was made possible with a grant from EPA Region 3.

Current report: MRF Blended Commodity Values in the Northeast - February 2021

Previous reports:

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Funding Opportunities For Organics & Compost Related Businesses From State & Federal Agencies In The Northeast States - Update

Funding Opportunities For Organics & Compost Related Businesses From State & Federal Agencies In The Northeast States is an update to a document last published in 2018.  It provides state-by-state information about funding resources to support the organics industry.  For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Strategies for Collecting Residential Food Waste Webinar Recording & Presentations

Recycling Markets 2021 Webinar Recording & Presentations

Textile Donation Opportunities in the Northeast

Increasingly, NERC is contacted with questions about where to donate textiles.  There are many alternatives, but not all are available everywhere. This new resource provides websites for each of the NERC states, directing consumers to donation outlets in their state: Textile Donation Opportunities in the Northeast.

Model Green Purchasing Policies to Encourage Buying with Recycled Content

With increased interest in buying products with recycled content, government entities may be interested in adopting, or updating, policies to support green procurement. A sample policy has been posted that can be modified to suit your needs: Sample Buy Recycled Policy.

NERC also has several examples of specifications to support green purchasing.  These include:

Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse News

TPCH Updates its Model Legislation to Include PFAS & Ortho-Phthalates

In 2016-2017, members of the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) began discussing the potential need to expand the list of substances, as well as the need to establish criteria and a process to identify new substances, that may be subject to state Toxics in Packaging laws. In evaluating their existing model legislation and the current 19 state toxics in packaging (or ‘tip’) laws, they found that several state laws addressed the issue, usually through a one-time reporting requirement that allowed or directed a state agency to identify additional substances as candidates and make legislative proposals to change the state’s law.

TPCH began their potential model legislation process by considering the addition of chemicals that have been identified as high risk to sensitive or general populations by one or more credible independent risk evaluation organizations. For example, these could be academic, government, non-profit, or for-profit organizations not tied to any industry or manufacturing interest, such as the 2018 Washington State Legislature enactment of amendments to the state’s ‘tip’ law.  The amendments prohibit the use of PFAS chemicals in plant fiber food packaging, contingent on the findings of an alternatives analysis that evaluates each application of PFAS in food packaging.  TPCH also looked at the 2019 enactment of amendments to Maine’s tip law.  Similar to Washington, the Maine amendments prohibit the use of PFAS chemicals in food contact packaging, contingent on the findings of an alternatives analysis, and require the agency to promulgate rules banning PFAS. The Maine tip law amendments also prohibit the use of orthophthalates in food packaging ‘inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, coatings, plasticizers or any other additives to which phthalates have been intentionally introduced in any amount greater than incidental presence.’  In 2019 the Maine State Legislature enacted a separate law called ‘Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging’ that sets up a process and criteria for the state to identify and publish a list of no more than 10 ‘food contact chemicals of high concern.

TPCH state members decided that the legislative actions of Washington and Maine provided a template for the changes that TPCH envisioned.

TPCH has announced the organization’s 2021 update to their Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation. The update includes the addition of the class of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and ortho-phthalates as regulated chemicals, as well as new processes and criteria for identifying and regulating additional chemicals of high concern in packaging. The previous (prior to 2021) TPCH Model Legislation and laws enacted in 19 states prohibit the intentional use of cadmium, lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium in any finished package or packaging component. The laws also limit the total incidental concentration of the four metals to 100 ppm. Incidental concentration may result from the use of post-consumer recycled content to manufacture new packaging and components. The laws take a pollution prevention approach by prohibiting intentional use, and they place the primary burden of compliance on the supply chain by requiring manufacturers and suppliers to verify that their products are in compliance.

It will be up to each state to adopt changes to their existing laws or adopt a new law to address toxics in packaging.

For more information contact Melissa Nadeau, Program Manager.

Advisory Member News

Beverage Industry Announces New Brand to Reflect its Distinct Identity

America’s leading beverage companies today introduced a new look for their industry association that speaks to who we are – a strong, united, forward-thinking industry driving solutions together on issues of importance to the communities, families and customers we serve.

The core strength of the beverage industry is our spirit of innovation. America’s leading beverage companies look for ways to work with community partners, government and advocacy groups on meaningful solutions that make a difference. Our industry has a long history of contributing to the cities and towns we have worked and lived in for generations, driving ideas and advancing changes that support our customers, consumers and communities. A hallmark of the beverage industry is its members’ willingness to put competition aside and work together on issues of importance.

The American Beverage Association recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary by paying tribute to the industry’s legacy of leadership and innovation. The new brand we introduce today builds on past success and reflects the strength and unity we carry into the future, a future in which the beverage industry will continue its leadership role in helping people make informed decisions. 

As we move into our next 100 years as an organization, we will be “American Beverage,” because at our core that is who we are. The innovative, forward-thinking, solutions-oriented approach we bring to our efforts sets us apart, and “American Beverage” captures the strength and unity of our industry as it moves ahead together. Our new tagline, “Driving Solutions Together,” speaks to the collaborative nature of our membership and the organizations the industry works with to achieve positive results.

“This is an exciting moment for our industry,” said Katherine Lugar, president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association. “We have a lot to be proud of due to the leadership our members have shown in reducing our plastic footprint, lessening our impact on the environment and innovating with beverage choices to support families’ efforts to reduce sugar in their diet. Our new look reflects our inherent drive toward innovative solutions.”

"For over a hundred years, our iconic industry comprised of local businesses has continuously demonstrated strong commitment to their customers, consumers and communities,” said Matthew Dent, chairman of the American Beverage Board of Directors and president and chief operating officer of Buffalo Rock Company in Birmingham, Ala. “Our willingness to lead on tough issues is in our nature, has been so for decades, and we are prepared to engage the challenges and opportunities that are in our future." 

The roots of the American beverage industry go back to the 1880s when soft drinks created by pharmacists and small entrepreneurs were delivered by horse and cart. Many of the brands created then are still sold today, and American-made beverages have become a global product known to consumers worldwide. 

Beverage companies first came together under a trade association more than a century ago in 1919 as the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages. During its history, the association has rebranded to better reflect the ever-evolving industry, first to the National Soft Drink Association in 1966 and then to the American Beverage Association in 2004. Our membership is made up of beverage companies, bottlers and suppliers whose 227,000 employees are the backbone of a thriving U.S. industry made up of American companies making American products by American workers in America's hometowns. 

The businesses and people who make up the association membership are solutions oriented. That is why – on issues like the environment, health and wellness, plastic – American Beverage’s membership has joined with government and non-governmental organizations alike on solutions that have a real impact:

  • The Every Bottle Back initiative launched last year with prominent environmental groups is a groundbreaking effort to reduce the industry’s use of new plastic by increasing the amount of plastic bottles that are collected and remade. In its first full year, the beverage industry funded 11 community recycling projects estimated to collect 644 million more pounds of recycled PET.
  • The Balance Calories Initiative is a joint effort with the non-profit Alliance for a Healthier Generation to reduce sugar nationally per person by 20%. Beverage companies are using their strengths in product innovation and marketing to increase consumer interest in beverage options that have less sugar or zero sugar, and smaller package sizes. Today, more than 54% of all beverages sold are zero sugar.
  • The beverage industry is working with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to measure the reduction in its plastic footprint over time in a transparent manner, and the American Beverage Association has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact to work toward a circular economy for plastics. 

Foundation for Plastic Recycling Launches Buy Recycled Campaign

Recycling helps the planet and empowers our communities. Unfortunately, many people do not fully understand what happens to their recyclables after they are put in the bin. Even fewer understand the need to purchase recycled products to complete the cycle of recycling.

This new Buy Recycled initiative seeks to change that.  

The Foundation for Plastic Recycling, established by APR, is launching this new Buy Recycled initiative to stimulate market demand by educating and encouraging consumers to rethink their everyday purchases. When we all buy products made with recycled content, we are giving recyclables a new life.

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Additional resources are on the way. We want to ensure this initiative best serves the needs of both consumers and our community. Please let the Foundation know what resources you would like to see.

PROP Call for Presentations due March 19

Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) are currently accepting presentations for the 2021 PROP Conference through March 19.  We are currently set to have the conference in-person at the Wyndham Gettysburg July 13 - 15.  Of course this may change to a virtual format as we get closer to the conference date, and monitor the COVID-19 restrictions.

CSWD Annual Report Highlights Frontline Workers & Achievements despite COVID-19

The Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020 chronicles a year of helping the residents, businesses and institutions in Chittenden County reduce and manage their solid waste through a wide variety of programs and facilities.

Though CSWD felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic acutely in late FY20, it didn't stop progress toward long-term planning and capital improvements. The FY20 report highlights the frontline workers and behind-the-scenes team members who, despite all the risks and stresses of the pandemic, kept our facilities, services, and programs running for our community.

Other notables include:

An ending budget surplus of $421,187, testament to the quick and decisive action taken by the CSWD Board of Commissioners and Managers to adapt to COVID realities.

The District's Organics Diversion Facility (home of Green Mountain Compost) achieved sales of GMC Compost, Topsoil and Garden Mix that exceeded budget by 85%. Incoming food scrap tonnage dropped by 10% compared with FY19 due to the shutdown of restaurants and educational institutions.

CSWD's own COVID-induced temporary shutdown of facilities also impacted overall tonnage of materials collected at Drop-Off Centers and the Environmental Depot hazardous waste facility. The Depot nevertheless safely managed more than 700,000 pounds of hazardous waste and nearly 7,000 gallons of latex paint re-blended and sold in our Local Color paint program.

The CSWD Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) continued to receive, sort and market "blue-bin" recyclables without interruption. The MRF received nearly 47,000 tons in FY20, a 3.5% increase over FY19.

CSWD supported member communities with just under $18,000 in Community Clean Up Fund grants and provided an additional $15,000 in Waste Reduction Grants to businesses, non-profits and community organizations.

More information is available in the full FY20 Annual Report on www.cswd.net.

CSWD FY20 by the numbers

717,686 pounds Hazardous waste and paint collected at the CSWD Environmental Depot.

10.36 million pounds Community food scraps processed at Green Mountain Compost.

93.94 million pounds Blue-bin recyclables sorted at the CSWD Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

NRRA is Hiring

NRRA is expanding its Member Services team by moving all our educational programs under the Member Services Department. Bonnie Bethune will continue to serve as NRRA's Member Services Manager. Heather Herring has moved from her role as Education Manager to become a Member Services Representative. In that role, Heather will support our members with cooperative marketing and purchasing and technical assistance while continuing her prior focus on NRRA's educational programs, including coordinating Member Operations Marketing meetings and educating students through our School Recycling Club. 

In addition, we are hiring a new Member Services Representative to work with Bonnie and Heather to support our members with cooperative marketing and purchasing, education, and technical assistance in the areas of waste reduction and recycling. Know someone who may be interested in this position?  Please help us find the right candidate by sharing the position announcement and job description widely.  

2020 AF&PA Annual Report – Essential Products, Sustainably Made

We are pleased to release our 2020 AF&PA Annual Report – Essential Products, Sustainably Made. While 2020 presented unique challenges, AF&PA continued to make meaningful progress on priorities for the paper and wood products industry. In an interactive format, our 2020 annual report tracks the actions we took, progress we made and results we delivered.

Download the Report to see AF&PA’s key 2020 accomplishments in the areas of public policy and marketplace advocacy; member and stakeholder engagement; business and policy decision-making support; industry representation; and staff excellence.

Of General Interest

Keep Sharps out of Recycling - Educational Resources

Republic Services is making a push to keep sharps out of recycling.  This continues to present a serious health risk to workers throughout the recycling community.

Milk jugs or other plastic containers are often used to store needles before disposal. Those containers belong in the trash cart. Recycling workers are put at risk when needles (and containers of needles) are placed in the recycling cart.  The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREFD) has a report about these incidents: Needlestick Incidences at Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs)

 A social media graphic is offered by Republic for your use.

Recycling & Composting Resources for Every State

The Solus Group is providing a webpage with state-specific recycling composting resources.

Key Insights into Voluntary Sustainable Packaging Commitments, the SPC Goals Database

Recent updates to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) Goals Database bring that landscape into focus with a searchable, filterable catalog of more than 1,000 commitments made by nearly 400 prominent companies. Explore the Goals Database here.