Renewing Sustaining Members
New Supporting Member
Renewing Supporting Members
Membership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to sustainable materials management. We are delighted to welcome our renewing Sustaining Members the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR), Council of State Government/Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC), Republic Services, and Sims Municipal Recycling.
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.
Established in 1993, new NERC Advisory Member GDB International generates and markets recycled products, including plastics, paints, metals and paper, to customers in more than 65 countries. The company states that it “has become one of the leading proponents of conservation of natural resources by encouraging companies to recycle their waste and scrap.”
When China banned recycled plastics from the US and other developed nations, it exposed the lack of domestic recycling infrastructure in the United States. Concerns were raised that the huge volume of plastics produced in this country would end up going to landfills, creating environmental problems and losing the economic benefits of using recycled materials. Realizing that plastic scrap is indeed a valuable raw material, GDB International created a “recycling infrastructure to recycle and produce PCR pellets right here in our country and thereby bringing circularity into the Plastics Value Chain.”
Fully operational in July, 2019, GDB’s project added 18 jobs for the production of post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) with a combined capacity of 4200 lbs./hour. The company uses numerous grades of plastic film to produce recycled polyethylene pellets that can then be used for several end applications. The company states that it has “diverted a significant amount of low value film scrap grades from going to landfills and created value for circular supply chains through this venture.”
GDB’s plastics project has won certification from SCS Global Services, an international leader in third-party certification, validation, and verification for environmental, sustainability, and food safety and quality performance claims.
A program that has been a central initiative of GDB since its founding has positioned the company as a leader in the recycled paint industry. Its Evolve recycled paint brand produces a 95% recycled product that benefits the consumer with 50% to 80% lower cost than other paints while maintaining quality.
“By committing ourselves to the environment, we continue to save millions of tons of paint from polluting the ground, the waterways and the air we breathe,” the company states. “Our global sustainability programs help the industry achieve a ZERO waste policy through recycling and reworking of paint related raw materials.”
GDB also manufactures and distributes a range of paper products—including home and office papers, commercial printing and publishing papers, converting, specialty and industrial papers—that are derived from recycled materials. It is also a leading trader and exporter of scrap aluminum, brass, insulated copper cable, lead, stainless steel and zinc.
“GDB’s sustainability goals enhance NERC’s mission,” the company states. “GDB feels proud to be a part of the NERC family.” Likewise, NERC is proud to have as an Advisory Member such a successful and diversified leader in the development of a circular economy.NERC News
NERC has announced its 2020 Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards. Three outstanding programs in the Northeast were recognized, as well as one individual for lifetime achievement. Each of the winners was selected for their particularly high level of environmental achievement that supports NERC's mission. Awards were given to:
“This is the fourth year of NERC’s Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards and we were once again impressed by the quality of the projects submitted for consideration,” commented Josh Kelly of Vermont, NERC Board Vice President.
The American Chemistry Council - Advisory Member award is being recognized for its research to demonstrate whether flexible packaging collected loose in residential single-stream carts could be sorted into a commodity bale (known as rFlex) for reprocessing into recycled content products. The project was conducted in collaboration with several other NERC Advisory Members:
For the pilot, Bucks County, Pennsylvania MRF was upgraded with a flexible plastic packaging recovery system using state-of-the-art optical sorters and peripheral equipment. This first of its kind pilot in the US, demonstrated that flexible plastic packaging can be collected loose in curbside recycling carts and successfully sorted at a MRF. The pilot met four of its five performance goals within one year, and progress towards the fifth continues to proceed.
Massport - Public Sector award, for its Boston Logan International Airport Hydration Station Implementation and Liquid Diversion Collection Program. Through a collaborative effort with the Transportation Security Administration, Massport terminal managers and facilities staff, and the Massport Sustainability team, a need was identified to add additional liquid collection bins at security lines and strategic locations within those lines at Logan’s terminals.
Because of this collaboration, 11 new liquid collection bins were added at security checkpoints. In addition, four water bottle filling stations were added after security checkpoints in Terminal A. These resources allow passengers to empty containers of liquid before they go through a checkpoint, and then refill their bottles on the other side and before boarding a plane.
The results of this two-part program include reducing the disposal of single-use plastic bottles by enabling the refilling of bottles after security, and the diversion of liquid from the waste stream helping reduce risk of worker injury and minimizes the risk of heavy bags breaking. This program has helped save more than 7.5 million single-use plastic bottles from the waste stream through 33 stations that exist throughout the airport.
Urban Mining Northeast Pozzotive Plant - Private Sector award. This facility converts recycled glass feedstock into Pozzotive, a ground glass pozzolan that replaces up to 50% of the cement in concrete. Pozzotive glass feedstock is created using recovered glass from MRFs. Using Pozzotive in place of cement in concrete reduces CO2 on a nearly ton-for–ton basis. Currently operating in New York, they will be opening a Connecticut facility later this calendar year.
Liz Bedard is being recognized with a NERC lifetime achievement award. NERC only occasionally recognizes individuals for lifetime contributions to the environment and sustainability, and this year we are privileged to recognize Liz. Among her many accomplishments are the creation of the APR Recycling Demand Champion program and the creation and launch of the Association of Plastics Recycler’s (APR) post-consumer resin certification program.
As Steve Alexander, President of APR, said, “it is not inappropriate to say that Liz has done more to expand the markets for recyclable plastics than any single individual over the past 13 years. Liz started the movement to create the infrastructure and outline the market demand to recycle plastics beyond PET and HDPE with her leadership of the APR Rigids Plastics Recycling Committee. Prior to founding that committee, the demand for the recycling of bulky rigids and polypropylene was not clear. She instituted a program to identify the market demand for polypropylene (PP) so that recyclers had certainty the market existed should they sort out the PP from their system. Today, more than 250 million metric pounds of recycled PP is in the marketplace, and growing every day. Because of Liz’s leadership, PP has joined with PET and HDPE as one of the most recyclable plastics in the marketplace.”
In addition, we’d like to recognize that Liz was one of NERC’s first Board members, serving for 10 years from 1990 to 2000.
Congratulations to all of the award winners.
This unique workshop will highlight experts on:
The workshop will be from 1 -4 eastern, on November 16 and 17. It is sponsored by the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA), in partnership with NRRA, MRRA, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and Department of Transportation, and the New Hampshire Technology Transfer Center.
CEU's are available from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP).
NERC’s Fall Conference was held as a virtual event in late October. The Conference was attended by more than 160 people from 30 states, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian Provinces. The Keynote Panel on Day One, with Peter Keller of Republic Services, Susan Robinson of Waste Management, and Bob Cappadona of Casella Resource Solutions, was insightful and sparked in-depth discussions about recycling end markets. The Day Two Keynote Panel with Dan Leif of Resource Recycling Magazine and Cheryl Coleman of ISRI, provided perspectives on supporting and promoting racial justice. The session also raised awareness about recognizing racial injustices in our daily practices, policies, and day-to-day interactions.
Other topics discussed during the Conference were effective recycling messaging, fiber recovery from residences, robotics sorting, circular business models, lithium battery safety and state battery EPR, state packaging EPR, the NERC-APR Government Recycling Demand Champions Program, bottle bills, and model minimum recycled content legislation.
Speaker bios and Conference presentations are available on NERC’s website. The Conference Virtual Sponsor Exhibit Hall is full of resources to download and will be available through December 20.
For more information about NERC’s events, contact Mary Ann Remolador, Assistant Director and Event Organizer.
Taking action to support the recycling industry is essential - especially these days. A new national program, 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.
Presenters will be:
|Ali Briggs-Ungerer, Association of Plastic Recyclers, will discuss the long-standing APR Demand Champions Program that drives the use of post-consumer plastic resin in the private sector.|
Lynn Rubinstein, Program Manager of the Government Recycling Demand Champion Program, will introduce this new opportunity for state, regional and local governments, schools, colleges and universities to take action to drive the value of recycling markets by buying recycled
This is a national program and all are welcome to join the webinar.
CEUs are available from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
The virtual ReCook Cafe will feature a mix of live and recorded cooking demonstrations by four professional chefs who will be sharing their favorite tips, tricks, techniques, and more to help home cooks get the most out of their food, reducing waste while creating delicious dishes that are sure to make you go "Mmmm!"
Join this appetizing presentation to learn best practices for maximizing the shelf-life of perishable produce, using parts of foods you didn't know were so tasty, compiling odds-and-ends to create new tasty eats, and so much more.
NEWMOA & NERC greatly appreciate the work by food scrap reduction & diversion experts at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, VT Department of Environmental Conservation, & Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions with planning this webinar.
With the increased cost for recycling services, some municipalities are asking themselves if they should operate their own Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). We will hear the perspectives of three presenters that have first-hand experience with working through the question or have worked directly with communities that have. In addition to featuring different MRF operating models and examples of municipalities considering operating their own MRF, the presenters will share their experience with the questions to ask that will inform the decision-making process before taking on this pivotal role in materials management.
|Mitch Kessler, President of Kessler Consulting|
|Sarah Reeves, Executive Director of Chittenden Solid Waste District|
|Rick Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Delaware Solid Waste Authority|
CEU's are available from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania.
So much national conversation focuses on plastic recycled content, that sometimes paper gets lost. This webinar will open our eyes with two high profile presenters:
Terry Webber, Executive Director of Packaging, AF&PA, will provide an in-depth overview of paper recycling in the US and globally, how markets are shifting, the use of mixed paper in products, and the role of minimum recycled content requirements.
Laura Rowell is the Director, Global Sustainability, for Sonoco Products Company. She will discuss Sonoco's paper packaging recycled content initiatives, the types of products that rely on mixed paper, and international projects to introduce innovation in package recycling.
We hear about the challenges associated with plastic use, recycling and disposal almost every day. It's not just an issue in the US, it's a global issue. In this webinar - the first in a planned 3-part series on plastics - 3 prestigious speakers will present the global perspective and what their organizations initiatives.
Dave Ford, Founder, Ocean Plastics Leadership Council
|Erin Simon, Head, Plastic Waste and Business, World Wildlife Fund|
Yoni Shiran, Systemiq
This buy recycled training webinar is will provide public sector purchasing officials, decision-makers, and recycling advocates with information about:
The webinar will be presented by Richard Keller of the Baltimore County Bureau of Solid Waste Management, Recycling Division. Richard has more than 40 years of legislative, policy and implementation experience in buy recycling programs. He has conducted more than 180 training programs on buying recycled programs. He is the author of the Buy Recycled Training Manual. More than 12,000 copies have been distributed. Baltimore County is currently updating the manual.
Depackaging is a relative new player in the commercial composting industry, providing a tool for commercially generated food waste - such as unsold and damaged food and beverages - to be separated from its packaging. The food is composted in an anaerobic digestor and the packaging is recycled. We will hear from three industry experts on this topic:
Debra Darby, Tetra Tech - will lay the context for how depackaging and anaerobic digestion fit into the commercial composting framework and its evolution.
John Hanselman, Vanguard Energy - will discuss their depackaging facilities and the relationship to anaerobic digestion and on-farm composting.
Brian Paganini, Quantum BioPower - will discuss their depackaging and anaerobic digestor, as well as the soil amendment manufactured as part of the process and its packaging recycling program.
NERC has launched a new LinkedIn page. Be sure to follow-us!
For many years NERC has hosted two national listservs: Eppnet and Organics Management. With an announcement from Yahoo that it is no longer supporting listservs we have moved the listservs to Google Groups. Both listservs are open to the public.
EPPnet is a forum to promote purchasing green products, including with recycled content, and services. Please note: Private vendors are precluded from joining the forum.
The Organics Management listerv offers the opportunity to participate in a conversation about organics management and organics markets. The listserv is unique in that it is open to anyone interested in advancing the organics management hierarchy (i.e., reduction, recovery, recycling [composting], anaerobic digestion).
If you're not already a member and are interested in joining, contact Lynn Rubinstein.
The NERC Board recently voted to initiate the formation of a Northeast Regional USCC Chapter. The goal for the chapter is to support and expand commercial composting and organics management capacity in the region. If you're interested in learning more or getting involved, please contact Lynn Rubinstein.
NERC has a standard practice of publishing all of its webinar recordings and the associated PowerPoint presentations in its website for free access. To find these resources, use the NERC resource search tool and select webinars.
Three webinars had materials posted in the past few weeks:
For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.
A new publication about tire regulations has been posted. The report was co-authored with NEWMOA: Overview of Tire Regulations in the Northeast States.
The purpose of this review is to inform state officials, policy makers, and others about the current status of state tire regulations in the northeast as a basis for discussions about updates and improvements. The following sections summarize the available information on each of the states’ programs. The Appendix provides an overview of northeast states’ tire requirements and programs.
Advisory Member Updates
The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) has published a report summarizing examples of processed glass aggregate (PGA) use throughout the Northeast. In June of 2020, NRRA launched a survey to collect examples of PGA use. The survey garnered a total of 18 participants from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont. Among the survey respondents, most indicated they used PGA for municipal projects with few having used it in private projects. There were no examples of PGA use in a state project. Bedding material for pipes, walls or foundations was the most common application of PGA among survey respondents. The year in which the PGA was used ranged from 1978 to the present and most respondents indicated they were very satisfied with the result after using the PGA.
Brands are going wild moving more and more products into flexible packaging. At the same time, new corporate goals are continually announced, promising totally recyclable packaging portfolios to the general public in the coming years. How will brands reconcile these two seemingly at-odds directions?
A move into Store Drop-Off recyclable polyethylene (PE) film packaging appears to be the leading strategy for brands to try to resolve some of this tension. Store Drop-Off is the only recycling option for flexible packaging at scale in the United States, and is only available to polyethylene flexible packaging.
Labeling PE film as Store Drop-Off can help reduce contamination in MRFs by instructing consumers to keep it out of curbside and take it to the store instead, and serves as complement to How2Recycle’s Not Yet Recyclable label (issued to most flexible packaging) that instructs consumers to throw the film in the trash. But as recently explored in How2Recycle’s Future Guide to Recyclability as well as the How2Recycle Recyclability Insights report, Store Drop-Off recyclability is not a viable long-term recovery solution for all flexible packaging in the marketplace.
That said, too many companies are still using nonrecyclable plastic films (made of materials like polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or a combination of resins) to package products, when Store Drop-Off recyclable PE could be used instead. To make this happen, a lot of innovation is occurring within specific product categories to enable PE film to package the product instead. For example, some innovation is focused on achieving a certain oxygen barrier or greater strength than traditional PE film to enable this shift to Store Drop-Off recyclability.
Before issuing consumer-facing Store Drop-Off labels for these innovations, the How2Recycle program needed to ensure that those innovations did not negatively impact the quality of the Store Drop-Off stream. As a result, How2Recycle recently completed an in-depth, nearly three year study to better understand the Store Drop-Off stream and how certain PE film innovations may impact it.
If you’re interested in learning more about the nitty gritty of where PE film innovation is headed, as well as the mechanical properties of the existing material in the Store Drop-Off stream, check out the full report.
Because of the learnings of the study, the How2Recycle program was able to adopt a transparent, data-driven test protocol for Store Drop-Off recyclability: the Association of Plastic Recyclers’ (APR’s) Critical Guidance Protocol for PE Film and Flexible Packaging. This new standard will push forward collective understanding of flexible packaging recyclability while ensuring new innovations meet the quality standards of recyclers.
In honor of the 23rd anniversary of America Recycles Day on November 15 (and a do-over for Earth Day), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has compiled a month of informative programming we’re calling Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-palooza! Because why celebrate just one day in November, when you can celebrate for the entire month?
RRRecycle-palooza has something for everyone! And we are really excited about it. From learning about buying recycled/environmentally preferred purchasing, to optimizing your outreach strategies, we’ve got topics for all interests. Learn about effective school recycling programs, municipally run MRFs, and practical food waste diversion strategies for businesses and institutions.
We are also pleased to announce that RRRecycle-palooza will feature fun information to get your community pumped about smart recycling. Every Monday in November, we will be posting weekly recycling challenges (#RSMAweeklychallenge) on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages, so be sure to follow Recycle Smart MA and share our content! There will also be two presentations for the general public on Monday, November 16, and Wednesday, November 18. Please help spread the word by sharing them with your networks!
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is proposing regulatory amendments to the waste ban regulations in 310 CMR 19.000. These amendments would modify the waste ban regulations to add mattresses and textiles as materials banned from disposal, and to lower the threshold of the existing commercial organics material (food materials) waste ban so that it applies to entities that generate one-half (½) ton or more of organic waste for disposal per week ( the current threshold is 1 ton per week). MassDEP is also proposing changes to its Waste Ban Guidance Document for solid waste facilities, which is being posted for comment along with the proposed regulation changes.
The regulatory text and a background document are available on MassDEP’s website along with a copy of this Public Hearing Notice. The public hearings will be held at the following dates and times via Zoom:
Monday, November 9, 6:00 PM. Click here to register.
Thursday, November 12, 10:00 AM. Click here to register.
Testimony may be presented orally at the public hearing, or written comments may be submitted until 5:00 PM on December 4, 2020. Written comments must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to John Fischer, MassDEP, One Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is excited to announce that the Recycle Smart MA Smart Recycling Guide is now available in the top seven languages spoken in MA. The downloadable Smart Recycling Guide identifies what materials are accepted by all material recovery facilities in Massachusetts as well as the top five contaminants.Visit https://recyclesmartma.org/smart-recycling-guide/ to view the guide which is now available in Arabic, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Massachusetts residents can now find out what happens to their recyclables after they set them curbside or take them to the local transfer station. This new interactive map is part of the statewide recycling education program, Recycle Smart MA and intended to help demystify the recycling process for residents. Baystaters can click on their community or search by zip code to see which of the nine in-state material recovery facilities (MRF) their materials go to or if their recyclables are source separated, sent to an out-of-state MRF, or their municipality does not provided recycling service. To see the map in action, check out: https://recyclesmartma.org/where-does-it-go/.
Of General Interest
EPA is hosting a webinar explaining the new international requirements that will soon apply to exports and imports of most plastic scrap. These requirements will significantly impact the market for U.S. plastic recyclables. Starting January 1, 2021, international shipments of most plastic scrap will be restricted under a treaty called the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. Exports of plastic scrap will only be allowed with the prior written consent of the importing country and any transit countries. The new Basel provisions will significantly limit the market for U.S. plastic recyclables because countries that have ratified the Convention (i.e., Parties) are prohibited from trading Basel-covered wastes with non-Parties like the United States absent a separate bilateral or multilateral agreement that meets certain Basel criteria.
The regulated community should register for the EPA webinar on November 23rd for detailed information about the new requirements and what exporters and importers need to know to comply.