Renewing Sustaining Member
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NERC's mission is to advance an environmentally sustainable economy by promoting source and toxicity reduction, recycling, and the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services.
State and Advisory Member Updates, as well articles of General Interest are provided as submissions to NERC and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.
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We are delighted to welcome Curbside Value Partnership, UNICOR, Sims Metal Management, and the Steel Recycling Institute as renewing Sustaining Members of NERC, and Castle Ink Cartridges, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, and the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation as renewing Supporting Members.
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.
To see a listing of Advisory Members and the benefits of membership, visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.
The broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC’s Advisory Members and Board Members and their willingness to participate significantly contribute to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.
Capture the Energy of Recycling was the theme of NERC’s Fall Conference on October 27 – 28 in Northampton, MA. For one and a half days, recycling professionals discussed the importance and impact of the energy savings that the use of recycled-content feedstock for manufacturing has on the U.S. and the world’s energy needs. Eric Harris of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. challenged all of us to celebrate and share this message with our legislators, communities, and colleagues to continue growing and supporting recycling and the green jobs it creates.
For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director & Event Organizer.
One of the highlights this month for NERC staff was making a presentation to graduate students at Antioch College in Keene, New Hampshire. Innovative strategies for materials management were the focus for this class and learning about Materials Exchanges and how they fit into this strategy was the topic of the discussion. Speaking to a young and enthusiastic audience on the past and present role of Exchanges throughout the northeast and future plans for developing a national Reuse Marketplace network of Exchanges was an exhilarating and educational experience for all.
For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director.
The Northeast Recycling Council has been holding regional events for more than 20 years and it will be holding its Spring Workshop on March 23, 2010 at the Hotel Northampton in Northampton, Massachusetts. If you are interested in the possibility of presenting at this event and being recognized by your peers, please submit a one-page abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by
Spring Workshop Abstract Deadline - November 16, 2009
All source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and green purchasing topic ideas are welcome. For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Event Organizer.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) Advisory Board recently joined federal, state, and local officials to celebrate two decades of success in recycling and environmental protection at the MRF's 20th anniversary celebration.
"The Springfield MRF is the premier recycling facility in Massachusetts and continues to set the example for recycling efforts statewide," said MassDEP Deputy Commissioner Lucy Edmondson. "Year after year, this public-private partnership proves the environmental and economic value of recycling in the Commonwealth."
Four local residents received recycling awards at the celebration, which also included entertainment from the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School "green team," a poetry reading from Amherst poet Wally Swist, and a display of artwork made out of recycled materials. The MRF Advisory Board presented Outstanding Recyclers of the Year awards to Holyoke Mayor Michael Sullivan, Pioneer Valley High School teacher John Lepore, Northampton schools volunteer Micki Darling, and Holyoke businessman Steven Bosco. Following the ceremony, guests attended a "green" luncheon, in which all food waste and paper goods were composted at Bear Path Farm in Whately.
"In Western Massachusetts, the MRF now serves nearly 80 cities and towns and processes more than 40,000 tons of recyclables each year. Quite simply, the center has become a model of how communities can save money through sound environmental management. Today's event is the successful culmination of a campaign that began more than 20 years ago," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.
When the MRF was constructed in 1989 on Birnie Avenue in Springfield, it was the first recycling facility in the Commonwealth. In the past 20 years, it has processed 850,000 tons of residential recyclables, including 595,000 tons of paper. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates such efforts have saved more than 10 million mature trees, more than 4 billion gallons of water, and 1.7 million cubic yards of landfill space. The paper processed at the MRF over the years has been manufactured into newsprint, telephone books, chipboard, book board, and game board.
In addition, in the last 20 years, municipalities in Western Massachusetts have received approximately $9 million in revenue sharing and direct payments for the recyclables delivered to the Springfield MRF. It is estimated that municipalities have avoided at least $40 million in disposal costs. "We have seen that going green is good for the environment and is also good for the city's budget," said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
"My administration looks forward to continuing the pursuit of green initiatives that are environmentally and fiscally prudent."
The Springfield MRF today accepts recyclables - glass, metals, paper, and plastic - from 78 Western Massachusetts municipalities. The materials are processed by Waste Management Recycle America, which operates the plant. For more information on the Springfield MRF, please visit www.springfieldmrf.org.
The Mass Material Trader has reached a milestone of 50 members. With funding from the EPA and the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), MassDEP launched the Massachusetts Material Trader in August as a FREE on-line material exchange network to stimulate the reuse of industrial surplus and office materials in the state.
"Reuse is a key component of MassDEP’s materials management strategy. Mass Material Trader serves as an online resource for businesses, schools, non-profits, and municipalities to locate or offer used industrial or office surplus materials enabling these organizations to reduce waste and save money," said MassDEP’s Director of Consumer Programs Greg Cooper.
Organizations interested in fostering disposal alternatives for used materials such as surplus inventory, manufacturing by-products, or even office furniture can visit http://www.massmaterialtrader.com and reduce their carbon footprint by signing up as a member and posting unwanted materials.
Subscribers can post listings of items and materials they wish to dispose of or browse for those currently available in their area. Each listing contains a description of the material or item, contact information, and in some cases cost and delivery information. The actual exchange transactions are carried out directly between the interested parties.
Materials accepted include: containers, packaging, plastic/rubber, wood/pallets, metals, paper, textiles/leather, glass, electronics, construction materials, industrial and office equipment, and more. To become a member:
MassDEP and NERC encourage you to forward this information to a colleagues or businesses in the Commonwealth.
On October 7, the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy heard testimony at the State House in Boston on legislation to expand the Massachusetts Bottle Deposit Law (Bottle Bill) to include water, sports drinks, juices, and teas. Those testifying in support of an expanded Bottle Bill included Secretary of Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Laurie Burt, about a dozen legislators, city and town representatives, leaders of environmental advocacy and civic groups, as well as private citizens and business owners. In addition, a resolution was presented in support of an expanded Bottle Bill with the signatures of 100 mayors and select boards throughout the Commonwealth.
The Bottle Bill, implemented in 1983, has significantly reduced beverage container litter and captured 73% of deposit beverage containers for recycling over the last 25 years, as citizens return empty beverage containers for a deposit and the product producers are responsible for taking them back. However, due to expansion in the beverage market, approximately 30% of beverage containers sold in the Commonwealth, such as water, sports drinks, juices and teas are currently sold without a deposit. Less than 1/3 of non-deposit containers are recycled, leading to large amounts of litter and landfill waste and high collection, disposal and litter abatement costs for cities and towns. An expansion of the Bottle Bill could save Massachusetts municipalities up to $7 million annually in avoided costs. It would also help clean up the Commonwealth’s parks, rivers, and municipal ball fields.
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) has announced that Mark Mehall of South Bend, Indiana, will be joining the organization as Executive Director. Mark will be responsible for fiduciary management and forecasting, funds expansion, program development, supervision of staff, and building consensus amongst PROP’s Board of Directors and a diverse membership represented by government, industry and other non-profit organizations.
“This is an exciting time for our organization and I am thrilled to have Mark join us as we move forward,” said Lori Robson, President and Interim Executive Director. “I believe his combination of experience in the industry and fiduciary management will take PROP in a great direction.”
Mark Mehall has twenty two years of experience in solid waste management which includes managing a municipal landfill, planning and implementing municipal recycling programs, creation of special waste programs, and operating a state agency promoting the advancement of commercial/industrial waste reduction programs and extended product/producer responsibility efforts. Mark most recently served as Executive Director of the St. Joseph County Solid Waste Management District.
The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania is the state’s official association representing recycling professionals and is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the interests of recycling, recycling programs, composting and composting programs in Pennsylvania through education, information exchange, technical support, applied research and coordination of recycling industry initiatives.
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is offering a series of networking conference calls this fall. The upcoming schedule of calls is:
Deciding What Chemicals to Produce: Different Perspectives
Thursday, November 5 1:00-2:30 pm EST
John Warner (Warner Babcock Institute of Green Chemistry), known as one of the Fathers of Green Chemistry, as well as Greg Bond (Dow Chemical Company) will speak about different perspectives on how best to ensure the safety of chemicals used in everyday products.
Communicating with Consumers on a Score of 1 - 10: Emerging Developments in Sustainability Rating Systems
Thursday, November 19 1:00-2:30 pm EST
Explore the opportunities and limitations of sustainability rating systems with Dara O'Rourke (UC Berkley) and Rand Waddoups (Wal-Mart). Speakers will discuss their experiences with Goodguide.com and Wal-Mart's Sustainability Index.
Boosting Battery Recycling in the US: Setting Goals and Measuring Progress
Wednesday, December 2 2:00-3:30 pm EST
Learn how battery recycling can be increased, ways to measure recycling performance, and the challenges encountered along the way from Carl Smith (Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation), a government representative, and PSI.
Economic and Environmental Benefits of EPR: Making the Case for Product Stewardship
Tuesday, December 15 2:00-3:30 pm EST
Hear from Jen Holliday (Chittenden County Solid Waste District, VT) and Cynthia Dunn (CA Integrated Waste Management Board) about product stewardship's financial and environmental benefits. Learn about PSI's new Financial Benefits Calculator and series of case studies and factsheets about product stewardship's bottom line benefits.
Missed our first call (and the latest) in Product Stewardship 101? Over 130 joined us for this call! If you are interested in hearing this call for free, go to the website for Product Stewardship 101 to access the first call.