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October 2005

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Panasonic

Samsung

Sustaining Members

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Bag To Earth

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, Inc.

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • CURC

  • Dart Container

  • Glass Recycling Coalition

  • Good Point Recycling

  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)

  • International Bottled Water Association

  • Keep America Beautiful

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • Marcal, A Soundview Paper Company

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association

  • NEWMOA

  • Organix Solutions

  • PaintCare

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Schaefer Systems International, Inc.

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Steel Recycling Institute

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)

  • TOMRA

  • US Composting Council (USCC)

  • Waste Management

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

MEMBERS
NEW Sustaining Member:
  • UNICOR
Renewing Sustaining Member:
Renewing Supporting Member:
NERC NEWS NEW PUBLICATIONS TOXICS IN PACKAGING CLEARINHOUSE UPDATE STATE UPDATES
  • MASSACHUSETTS
    • DEP & Massachusetts Food Association Sign MOU to Advance Recycling and Composting
    • DEP Issues RFR for Recycling Industries Reimbursement Credit Program
    • DEP Holds Public Meetings on Department Approved Recycling Program
    • DEP & MassRecycle Sponsor Recycling Facility Tours
    • New Faces, New Positions in DEP's Recycling Program:
      • Bottle Bill Administrator
      • Regional Planner
      • Branch Chief
    • "Pay-As-You-Throw" Can Work in your Community! Here's How!
    • School Green Team Kick-Off
    • Recycling Builds at Marshfield Fair
  • NEW YORK
    • Huge Increase Seen in Recycling Pledges
    • Many Provisions of Mercury-Added Consumer Product Law Now in Effect
  • PENNSYLVANIA
    • Pennsylvania Expands its Recycling Technical Assistance Toolbox
    • Weaver Heads Recycling Markets Center
    • Upcoming E-cycling Days in Two Counties
  • RHODE ISLAND
    • Rhode Island Marinas Recycle 20 Tons of Shrink Wrap
  • VERMONT
    • Vermont Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Alliance Promotes Cleaners to Schools

To join the EMail Bulletin list…
Send an email to Lynn Rubinstein making the request. Please be sure to include your full name and organization.

 

NERC's mission is to leverage the strengths & resources of its member states to advance an environmentally sustainable economy in the Northeast by promoting source reduction, recycling, & the purchasing of environmentally preferable products & services.


Line PeopleTOPICS
MEMBERSHIP

We are delighted to welcome UNICOR as a new addition to our Sustaining Member community and to have Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

PSEG
as a renewing Sustaining Member. In addition, we received a renewing Supporting membership from Interstate Refrigerant Recovery Inc.

Thank you to one and all!

It is through the active participation & support of its Advisory Members that NERC is able to provide the strength of multi-stakeholder involvement and problem solving. To see a listing of Advisory Members and the benefits of membership, visit the NERC Advisory Membership web page.

It is the broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC's Advisory Members and Board Members and their willingness to participate that significantly contributes to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.

NERC NEWS

NERC'S FALL '05 CONFERENCE IS FAST-APPROACHING!
NERC's Fall '05 Conference will be held on October 25-26 at the Hotel Northampton

Don't miss this opportunity to learn about four of recycling's most challenging issues while networking with colleagues and other professionals in the field. We will be discussing the following issues:
  • Industrial packaging materials - the new breed
  • Rejuvenating recycling through a common regional message
  • Enforcement of mandatory recycling programs
  • Increasing recovery of recyclables from multi-family units.

Conference sponsors include the Public Service Enterprise Group, American Forest & Paper Association, the American Plastics Council, Casella Waste Systems, the Steel Recycling Institute and the New England Biosolids and Residuals Association. 

Exhibitor Spaces Still Available at NERC's Fall Conference
We have a limited supply of exhibitor space available at the upcoming conference. Exhibiting at a NERC conference provides you with a terrific opportunity to share your company's products and services with recycling professionals in the Northeast region. Take this opportunity to meet with state recycling officials, recycling trade associations, private businesses, consultants, and recycling non-profits from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont! 

The Continuing Lessons of Unwanted Medication Collections: A Five-Town Event in Massachusetts
We are learning more and more about how to implement the legal and safe collection of unwanted medications with each collection Unwanted Medication Collectionwe hold. With the completion of the second combined household hazardous waste event/unwanted medication collection organized by NERC as a pilot project, we gain better understandings that will help inform the guidance document that will be written as a product of this project funded by a grant from the U.S. EPA. The Western Massachusetts Municipal Recycling Incentive Program Coordinator assisted with the planning of this event.

Perhaps the most significant lesson that emerged is that it takes many people working together at the event, and working hard. Even though the total number of people that have brought medications to these combined events has been relatively low - 16 in South Hadley, MA in June, and 18 in Wilbraham, MA - it required intensive and continuous work on the part of 5 - 6 people. And this work lasted longer than the scheduled collection hours. In short, it is hard work; but the real story is that it is fun and very satisfying.

At the collection itself, the required team includes a pharmacist, a data entry person, a law enforcement officer, and at least two volunteers. Depending on the anticipated size of the event, additional pharmacists could be necessary, as well as more data entry people, and volunteers. And, probably law enforcement as well.

In Wilbraham, we were fortunate to have the generous and helpful assistance of Baystate Health. They provided a pharmacist as well as funding for tent rental and hazardous waste disposal. In addition, three nurses and individuals from the participating communities volunteered their time. And, of course, the Wilbraham Police Department provided essential services and support for the collection. And, the Wilbraham School Department provided access to a computer and printer.

Another significant lesson - and one that is proving to be difficult to resolve in the household hazardous waste collection setting - is that access to electricity is an absolute requirement, as is shelter. While in Wilbraham we had a tent, we were fortunate that the weather was beautiful. If it had rained, it would not have been possible to operate in an acceptable way.

Unwanted Medication CollectionWe also kept track of the amount of paper recycling that was generated. At previous collection events, it had been apparent that a lot of recycling was a by-product but it had not been targeted for data collection. The recycling consists primarily of paperboard. It comes from removing the outer packing from medications. As you probably have noticed from your own experience, the ratio of paper packaging to the number of pills is dramatic. Because the unwanted medications go into a hazardous waste drum, it is important for cost control not to send anything in the drum that does not need to be there. Paperboard packaging, in other words. Approximately 15 gallons of paper were recycled (two over-filled blue bins and several cardboard boxes). In addition, there was two gallons of trash and, to our dismay, 6 gallons of sharps.

Sharps are not accepted in these events, and advertising tries to make that clear. But each time the same thing has happened, someone drops off several boxes worth of unused hypodermics from a diabetic who has died. In Wilbraham, we had something else happen - which was that someone dropped off a one-gallon sealed red sharps container. Because these materials were buried deep in boxes containing lots of medications, and because the amount of materials to be processed always means a delay, we did not know this had happened until the person had left. So, having a strategy for dealing with the unwanted sharps is an important part of the event planning.

People bring the medications in their original containers in paper bags, cardboard boxes, and (most often) plastic grocery bags. A trend that we have seen at all of the collections is a significant percentage of samples, and at least one doctor's home sample collection. These, in particular, have resulted in high volumes of small amounts of material that need to be counted and catalogued. It adds a great deal of work to the event, but it also results in a significant amount of material being safely destroyed.

As always, a simple survey was conducted of the participants. We learned that people were disposing of the medications because:
Had Expired Changed/wrong medication Death Cleaning Never used Taken off medication/
no longer needed
Samples
64% 8% 8% 8% 4% 4% 4%
In total, the material collected was:
  • 30 gallons hazardous waste
  • 1 gallon aerosols
  • 1 gallon controlled substances
  • 6 gallons sharps
  • 15 gallons paper recycling
  • 2 gallons trash

The 32 gallons of medications collected (30 gallons hazardous waste, 1 gallon aerosols - such as asthma inhalers, and 1 gallon controlled substances) was made up of 2% federally controlled medications and 98% non-federally controlled medications. Overall, 30% of what came in was not prescription medication, meaning that 70% was prescription.

There were a total of 537 items brought in, representing an average of 31 items per person. 358 different types of medications were collected.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Best Management Practice Recommendations for the Disposal of Unwanted Medications Not Controlled by the U.S. DEA
The Advisory Committee that has been participating in the Unwanted Medications Collection project has developed the recommendations for the disposal of medications (PDF, 29K). This recommendation is the result of almost a year of discussions and experience. It is offered as guidance to those that may already be, or are intending to, collect and safely dispose of unwanted medications. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Update on Regional Model Electronics Legislation Effort
On September 1st a revised draft of the Model Legislation was released. Comments were solicited from stakeholders and those comments are now posted on the CSG/ERC website. Legislators from throughout the Northeast remain committed to this process and are working diligently to develop a consensus based model.

Many states and regions beyond the Northeast, as well as the U.S. Congress, have expressed interest in this process and the model legislation.

NERC PUBLICATIONS

New Additions to NERC's Web-based Business Assistance Tools: Free Energy Audits for Businesses!
NERC has researched free energy audit opportunities for businesses in the Northeast. This effort is a by-product of the USDA-RUS Solid Waste Grant that NERC is implementing for peer-to-peer environmentally preferable purchasing in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

The free energy audit information has been incorporated into NERC's web-based business assistance tools.

The free energy audits resource can be reached from several locations within the NERC website.
  1. In the Business Assistance Guide .
  2. From both the Resources and Business Assistance menu options on the NERC home page .
  3. Listed in the State Recycling Agency web pages - found by clicking on the state in question on the map on NERC's Website.

NERC Updates Market Resources for Recycling Industries
NERC recently updated the Market Resources for Recycling Industries. This updated document provides a comprehensive compendium of web-based recycling market resources. This reference tool is intended to save recycling entrepreneurs time in identifying markets for recyclable materials. It includes listings of brokers, collectors, processors, end-users, and recyclers of recyclable materials, as well as material recovery facilities. It also includes listings of market related publications, trade associations, and market development organizations.

Any questions related to this publication may be directed to Mary Ann Remolador.

Best Management Practice Recommendations for the Disposal of Unwanted Medications
As mentioned above under NERC News, the Advisory Committee from the NERC Unwanted Medications Management project has released guidance for the disposal of unwanted medications.

TOXICS IN PACKAGING CLEARINHOUSE UPDATE

TPCH Begins Compliance Test Project
This month the TPCH begins to assess retail packaging for compliance with state toxics in packaging requirements under an EPA Source Reduction Assistance grant. Over the next four months, TPCH plans to test over 500 packages for heavy metal content using a portable NITON X-ray Fluorescent Analyzer (XRF). Packaging will be selected from across the spectrum of retail products, including grocery, personal and health care, hardware, pharmaceutical, entertainment, toys, apparel and home furnishings, among others. In addition to random sampling, the test program will target packages with a higher likelihood of non-compliance due to previously reported non-compliance or characteristics such as country of origin, ink color, or material type. Affected states will then have the option to pursue enforcement actions against any companies found out of compliance with state Toxics in Packaging laws. For information about the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse, or the state Toxics in Packaging laws, visit the TPCH website

Connecticut Continues Pursuit of Non-Compliant Flex-A-Min Packages
The State of Connecticut moved into a second phase of compliance assessment and enforcement surrounding the non-compliant Flex-a-min package under its Toxics in Packaging law. Since July, Connecticut has conducted 35 inspections of retail stores to determine whether non-compliant Flex-a-min packages remain on store shelves, in violation of the state toxic in packaging requirements. As a result, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection plans to issue Notices of Violation (NOV) to seven retail stores, where non-compliant packages were found. Under the state Toxic in Packaging law, the entire supply chain - from manufacturer to retail establishment - is responsible for ensuring that packaging and packaging components are in compliance with the law.

The retail inspections and NOVs come after several months of the State of Connecticut and TPCH working with NBTY, Inc., the manufacturer of Flex-a-min, to change its package design and remove all non-compliant packaging from distribution and retail stores. The former Flex-a-min package contained a blinking red light assembly that used lead solder. TPCH and Connecticut were satisfied with the actions taken by NBTY to come into compliance with state laws, which included the direct removal of over 600,000 non-compliant packages from NBTY warehouses and customer locations. NBTY also notified and worked with customers that operate their own warehouses and distribution systems to remove non-compliant packages from their warehouses and store shelves.

STATE UPDATES

MASSACHUSETTS

DEP & Massachusetts Food Association Sign MOU to Advance Recycling and Composting
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Massachusetts Food Association signed a memorandum of understanding on August 24, 2005 that will encourage grocery stores across the state to increase their recycling participation - particularly in the composting of such items as spoiled fruits and vegetables, floral and deli wastes, and waxed cardboard.

The agreement outlines a collaborative effort between DEP and the industry group to advance recycling at supermarkets across Massachusetts by expanding their existing Supermarket Organics Recycling Network.

DEP will do its part by providing technical assistance to stores that want to start new programs and developing a voluntary certification program to provide regulatory relief incentives for supermarkets that establish and maintain comprehensive recycling programs.

The 57 grocery stores that participated in SORN last year composted and recycled between 60 and 75 percent of their waste, diverting 8,900 tons of organics, 26,200 tons of cardboard, and more than 1,000 tons of plastic from disposal, saving an average of more than $45,000 per store in the process.

Participation has since grown to 62 supermarkets. DEP and MFA hope at least 100 Massachusetts grocery stores will be recycling organics by next year. Their ultimate goal is for all supermarkets in the state to have active recycling and composting programs in place by 2010. For more information on this program contact Julia Wolfe.

DEP Issues RFR for Recycling Industries Reimbursement Credit (RIRC) Program
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued its RFR for the Recycling Industries Reimbursement Credit Grant Program (RIRC). RIRC provides grants to recycling companies for the purchase of capital equipment and/or funding for pilot projects to overcome barriers to establishing, or increasing the use of, difficult to recycle materials (food waste residuals; construction and demolition debris: paint, asphalt roofing shingles, wood, gypsum wallboard, carpet, used building products and components; and, commingled materials: mixed glass and mixed plastics). Please note that DEP anticipates having approximately $100,000 available for RIRC this fiscal year. RIRC applications are due on October 12, 2005. 

DEP Holds Public Meetings on Department Approved Recycling Program (DARP)
DEP has scheduled four public meetings to gather comment from municipal officials, regional groups, and members of the general public regarding proposed criteria for the FY2007-08 Department Approved Recycling Program (DARP) - three in September and one coming up in October. DARP establishes minimum program criteria for municipal recycling and composting programs. "DARP" communities are exempt from comprehensive "waste ban" inspections of MSW that is tipped at Massachusetts transfer stations and disposal facilities. Banned items include paper, glass, metal and plastic containers, leaves and yard waste.

The public meeting in October will take place on October 12th, (Wednesday) at the Wilmington Public Library from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM.

DEP &MassRecycle Sponsor Recycling Facility Tours
Come see what happens to your recyclable materials after they're collected at the curb or drop-off facility! MassRecycle and DEP have joined forces to offer free tours of Massachusetts recycling facilities, featuring a wide range of materials (paper, asphalt roofing shingles, glass, and building materials) and locations. Registration for the tours is available on-line at www.massrecycle.org.

The tours are valuable to municipal and commercial recycling and facilities staff because they will:
  • See processing and manufacturing of recyclable materials.
  • Learn what can and cannot by recycled and why.
  • Gain an appreciation of the materials, contamination issues, and markets.
  • Get take home stories regarding your recyclables to build support for your programs.
October 5: ReStore Home Improvement, Springfield
(11:15 am - 12:30 pm)

The ReStore sells used building materials, including the kitchen sink! (Note: MRC Meeting schedule prior to tour.)

October 19: Container Recycling Alliance, Franklin
(10:00 am to 12:00 pm)

Container Recycling Alliance sorts mixed-color container glass into feedstock for glass manufacturers.

New Faces, New Positions in DEP's Recycling Program

New Bottle Bill Administrator: Nicholas Oliver has joined the DEP's Commercial Waste Reduction Branch as its new Bottle Bill Administrator. In addition to handling bottle bill administration and policy related issues, Nicholas will be working on enhancements to the Mass Earth911 web site, public area recycling, and waste reduction in Massachusetts hospitals. Before coming to DEP, Nicholas served as Director of Advocacy for the American Heart Assn, Northeast Affiliate.

New Regional Planner: Tina Klein joined DEP's Municipal Waste Reduction Branch in August, filling the position previously held by Lori Segall. Tina is working with cities and towns on household hazardous waste programs, school chemical management grants, and vehicle idling reduction grants. She also oversees the Municipal Waste Combustor's Mercury Separation Plans and manages state contracts for electronics, mercury and HHW collection. Tina worked as the City of Lowell's recycling coordinator before joining DEP.

New Branch Chief: DEP is pleased to announce Peggy Harlow as its new Branch Chief for Commercial Waste Reduction. The position was vacated by Peter Allison in August, 2004. Peggy is no stranger to DEP; she served as the Municipal Recycling Grant Manager for 7+ years in the Municipal Waste Reduction Branch. Peggy brings a wealth of experience and know-how to her new position.

"Pay-As-You-Throw" Can work in your community! Here's How!
Many Massachusetts cities and towns are adding fees to supplement property tax revenues for trash services. Trash fees come as unit fees, flat fees, or a combination of these. As of July 2005, 114 Massachusetts municipalities use Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) programs to finance all or part of their solid waste budget and the number is growing. In the past year, the DEP awarded grants to 19 municipalities to evaluate PAYT and three municipalities to implement new programs.

DEP promotes PAYT for management of municipal solid waste (MSW) because it offers three advantages over a tax-based system:
  • Equity/Fairness - Users who generate more trash pay more; just like they would for water or sewer usage or electricity. Those familiar with PAYT programs view them as a fair way to fund trash disposal.
  • Environment - National and local research shows that residents reduce their trash tonnage by 15 - 50% when required to pay by the bag/barrel. Brockton's Mayor, John T. Yunits, said "PAYT has been successful in their City, reducing trash 24% initially and more each year and resulting in cleaner streets" .1
  • Economics - A PAYT system can reduce the demand on property tax revenues. DEP statewide data shows that the average per household trash tonnage is 30% lower in PAYT cities and towns . 2

Rate Setting and Estimating Revenue - Rate setting is key to setting and meeting a city or town's annual solid waste costs. The ideal is to match fixed costs with predictable funds and match variable costs with PAYT fees. Fixed costs are defined as costs that do not change with the tonnage of solid waste generated by a municipality's residents for providing curbside collection. Variable costs change as tonnage changes - primarily the disposal cost of trash. Setting unit fees (the fee per bag) is a critical step since this fee must adequately account for the municipality's yearly cost of solid waste disposal.

For more information visit the DEP website for a listing of Massachusetts PAYT programs and contacts; and to obtain technical assistance, financial planning and grants to offset start-up costs. 

1Mayor John T. Yunits, Mayor's Panel, DEP Waste Forum Conference, January 13, 2004
2DEP Bureau of Waste Planning Data from 2002 Recycling Data Sheets, provided by John Fisher

School Green Team Kick-Off
DEP kicked off its school Green Team program, now in its fourth year, by mailing brochures to each public school principal and past Green Team teachers. The brochure invites them to join the Green Team, DEP's school waste reduction and recycling program, for the new school year. Teachers who join are mailed a Green Team kit, consisting of a classroom poster, program guide, lesson plan, achievement stickers and magnet. Classes progress through three achievement levels as they complete recycling activities. At the end of the school year, participating classes receive Certificates of Recognition and prizes. Additional resources and recycling equipment are available to Green Team members via the web site. Last year, 151 teachers representing 29,000 students joined the Green Team and 37 classes received awards for their participation.

Recycling Builds at Marshfield Fair
Last year, DEP provided a grant for a pilot recycling program at the 10-day Marshfield Fair. The program succeeded in recycling 5 tons of cardboard, bottles and cans, comprising about 10% of the Fair's waste stream, and was embraced by the Fair management to continue at future Fairs. DEP's Ann McGovern coordinated the volunteer recycling effort at the Fair again this year, from 8/19 through 8/28/2005.

Once again, approximately 5 tons of cardboard, bottles and cans were recycled, representing about 10% of the Fair's waste, similar to last year's results. Even better, 190,000 people attended the Fair, about 2% more than last year, yet the Fair experienced a 7% reduction in the tonnage of trash disposed compared to last year, in addition to the 10% recycled.

Some of the additional diversion might be a result of more people emptying bottles and cans for recycling, whereas in the past they were often thrown in the trash half full. With the help of 14 volunteers during the 10-day event, recycling has been adopted as part of the Fair's waste management system and has raised awareness of vendors and the public about conserving resources, reducing waste and recycling. For example, one of the vendors recycled used cooking oil from the other vendors for making biodiesel fuel for his truck.

Fifty 32-gallon wheeled carts w/specially designed lids to accept bottles and cans and 150 14-gallon curbside recycling bins were placed next to each trash can throughout the 25-acre fairgrounds. Vendors flattened cardboard and placed it on the ground next to the bins. Fairgoers and vendors placed bottles and cans in the curbside bins and toters. Contamination in the bins and toters was minimal, as long as there was a trash can next to them. Volunteers assisted with flattening cardboard, monitoring bins and public education. The Marshfield Fair Grounds staff picked up the recyclables at 7 am each morning (which is when the trash is picked up by packer truck) using a pick up truck, and transferred them to one of two 30 cubic yard roll off containers located in the maintenance area. The roll off containers were filled and emptied 4 times during the 10 days. North Shore Recycled Fibers, the Town of Marshfield's recycling contractor, donated the use and hauling of the roll offs.

Incorporating recycling into the Fair's waste management system requires more time and labor on the part of the Marshfield Fair Grounds staff, as well as assistance from volunteers. But the Fair Directors continue to embrace recycling because it is more environmentally responsible, gives a good public appearance, conserves resources and saves on disposal costs.

NEW YORK

Huge Increase Seen in Recycling Pledges
At the recent New York State Fair held in Syracuse, over 9,000 New York Recycles Pledge cards were collected during the twelve day event. The number of pledge cards collected was twice the number collected in any previous year. We believe this is in part due to the use of the new collection box, signs, and staff interaction with the public. The box and signs were located on a 4 foot high kiosk adjacent to the Department of Environmental Conservation's information building. Shown with the pledge box used are a number of the posters collected as part of the Department's New York State Recycles Poster contest.

Many Provisions of New York's Mercury-Added Consumer Product Law Now in Effect
New York RecyclingOn July 12, 2004 Governor George E. Pataki signed a new law banning the sale of mercury-added novelty products and mercury-fever thermometers in New York State and requiring new labeling and proper disposal or recycling of mercury-added consumer products. The new law also prohibited primary and secondary schools from purchasing or using mercury. Many of the provisions of the law had a July 1, 2005 effective date.

Mercury-added products include items such as thermostats, thermometers, switches, medical or scientific instruments, electrical relays, lamps and batteries - excluding button batteries. Disposal of mercury-added products will not be allowed in the normal trash but must be managed by separate delivery to a solid waste management facility, recycling facility, authorized hazardous waste facility or at a municipally sponsored household hazardous waste collection program.

New York State joins a growing number of other states in adopting legislation that recognizes the environmental and public health consequences associated with the mismanagement of this highly toxic substance. The new requirements for labeling and responsibly managing the waste from mercury-added consumer products are a critical first step in identifying and limiting potential exposure to mercury.

Provisions of the new law now in effect include:
Purchase and use of elemental mercury by primary and secondary schools is prohibited after September 4, 2004.
Sales of mercury thermometers are restricted after January 1, 2005.
Sales of toys or novelty products containing mercury are prohibited after January 1, 2005. (A product is not a mercury-added novelty solely on the basis that it is a game with a light screen display containing mercury, or includes an easily removable battery containing mercury.)
A manufacturer that produces or sells mercury-added novelties shall notify retailers that sell mercury-added novelties about the product ban and inform them of how to properly dispose of the remaining inventory.
Sales of elemental mercury, except for specific research, dental and manufacturing uses are limited after January 1, 2005.
Products containing mercury must be labeled after July 12, 2005.
Waste products containing mercury must not be incinerated after July 12, 2005.
After July 12, 2005, waste products containing mercury must be managed separately from other solid waste. Fluorescent lamps from households and small businesses (100 or less employees and discarding 15 or less waste lamps per month) are exempt from these disposal restrictions. However, New York State's existing hazardous waste regulations still apply.
Effective July 12, 2005, penalties for improper disposal of mercury added products will be: first offense violators will be provided with a warning and education material; second, third and fourth offenses would receive a $50, $75 and $100 fine respectively. Penalties for all other violations will be $100 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent violations.
Penalties will be deposited into the State's Environmental Protection Fund.

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Expands its Recycling Technical Assistance Toolbox
Pennsylvania crossed its 200th recycling technical assistance project threshold and is poised to offer 20 new projects to local governments in FY 05/06. The program, now in its seventh year, provides professional consultations to local governments seeking improvements in recycling program efficiency and effectiveness. A repository of project reports is housed at http://www.dep.state.pa.us (keyword: recycling technical assistance).

The Recycling Technical Assistance program is a partnership between PA DEP, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development's Governor's Center for Local Government Services, PA State Township Supervisors Association (PSATS), and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). The arrangement allows SWANA to provide the technical services at no cost to local governments. Projects include recycling collection, education, processing and marketing, leaf and yard waste collection and compost facility design, and Pay-As-You-Throw collection program feasibility and implementation.

PA DEP is offering additional recycling program guidance through a technical report available from http://www.dep.state.pa.us (keyword: recycling). "Building Financially Sustainable Recycling Programs Technical Report for Pennsylvania Local Governments" provides a vision, strategies and practical steps for helping recycling programs to become more self-sufficient. The report was prepared by R.W. Beck, Inc. DEP, PSATS, and R.W. Beck will be conducting a statewide series of training workshops in the fall of 2005 to introduce the concepts of the report to local government officials.

Weaver Heads Recycling Markets Center
The Commonwealth's recently formalized effort to revitalize and strengthen the recycling industry across Pennsylvania is now being led by a respected expert in the environmental field. The board of directors of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC) located on the Pennsylvania State Harrisburg campus, announced the appointment of Warren J. Weaver as the center's first director.

A 10-year initiative to create a center to encourage the continued growth and economic health of the Commonwealth's recycling and reuse industry was rewarded in late 2004 with the startup of the Recycling Markets Center. In November, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty announced the award to Penn State of an $863,000 grant to create the center and indicated it was the first installment of a five-year, $5 million DEP commitment.

Secy. McGinty reported that Pennsylvania's recycling industry comprises more than $18.4 billion in gross annual sales, pays $305 million in taxes, and provides jobs for more than 81,322 employees at an annual payroll of approximately $2.9 billion.

The mission of the Recycling Markets Center, with offices in Church Hall on the Penn State Harrisburg campus, is to expand and develop more secure and robust markets for recovered secondary materials, stimulate demand for products with recycled content, and research and maintain up-to-date market trend data. The center is designed to be the lead organization to develop recycling markets in Pennsylvania, working with environmental, technical assistance, and economic development organizations to support generators, haulers, processors, manufacturers, and end users of recycled materials and products.

The Environmental Training Center at Penn State Harrisburg was charged in November with establishing the center. Training Center Director and Berg Professor of Environmental Engineering, Charles Cole, reports the RMC now has its own board of directors and staff and "will operate as an independent entity." The Board consists of twelve members representing economic development and recycling interests across the Northeast and Midwest. The Board is led by Chair, Joanne Shafer, who is Deputy Director of the Centre County Solid Waste Authority and a Professional Recycling Officials of Pennsylvania (PROP) Board Member.

Weaver, a resident of York, served as the regional representative for PENNTAP, the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program of Penn State since 1994. In that capacity he provided technical assistance for companies within Pennsylvania, much of it centering on environmental areas and pollution prevention. Since 1996, he had been co-located in York with MANTEC, the Manufacturers Technology Center for South-central Pennsylvania, to provide environmental services to its manufacturing clients. Weaver is a certified ISO 14000 auditor, a certified wastewater treatment plant operator, and is a leading proponent of clean and sustainable manufacturing technologies.

Prior to joining PENNTAP, he held various technical and managerial positions on the user and supplier side of the environmental and printing industries. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Millersville University and an MBA from Widener University.

Upcoming E-cycling Days in Two Counties:
Dauphin County E-Cycling Day October 8

Dauphin County residents can recycle unwanted electronics for free on October 8, from 9 to 1, at the Harrisburg Area Community College. Dauphin County residents can bring all sorts of unwanted electronic equipment as well as cardboard and used clothing. .

Cumberland County E-Cycling Day October 15
Cumberland County residents can recycle unwanted electronics for free on October 15 at Big Spring Middle School.

RHODE ISLAND

RI Marinas Recycle 20 Tons of Shrink Wrap
In a pilot project for the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) and Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC), fifteen Ocean State marinas recycled 40,000 pounds of marine shrink wrap this year.

Plastic shrink wrap is used by owners to protect boats during winter storage. In the past 15 years, shrink wrap has become the overwhelming material of choice to protect stored boats. Last year, about a million pounds of shrink wrap were sold in Rhode Island. But it became a problem to dispose of the shrink wrap since it was so bulky and takes up unnecessary space in the Central Landfill.

Until now, there were few alternatives to throwing away the shrink wrap. Late in 2004, RIMTA and RIRRC got together to change that. Working with the Institution Recycling Network (IRN), a cooperative that recycles many different materials throughout New England, and with pilot funding provided by RIRRC, the two organizations set up a demonstration project to show that recycling can be easy, efficient, and cost-effective. The IRN was brought in to handle the logistics of the project - handling contacts with marina operators, distributing bags, organizing the weekly collection route, managing processing and marketing of the wrap, tracking and recordkeeping - as well as to manage and streamline the economics of the pilot.

Early this spring, large, clear plastic recycling bags were distributed to 15 marinas throughout the state. The bags were big enough to hold the wrap from one or two boats, and most important they were made of a plastic that can be recycled along with shrink wrap.

As the marinas unwrapped boats in April and May, they stuffed the used shrink wrap into the recycling bags, cutting out any non-plastic items like vents and zippers that would contaminate the plastic when it was recycled. Once a week, IRN sent around a collection truck - a standard rear-loading trash truck - and picked up the bags of wrap from the marinas. The wrap was returned to a processing facility where it was packed into bales and sold to a manufacturer.

The manufacturer was Trex Company, which manufactures Trex® decking and railing, the leading brand of composite decking. It is a combination of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood that, in addition to backyard decks, is used to build docks at boatyards. So, the shrink wrap used at Rhode Island marinas will be returning to marinas in a long-lasting recycled product, and one that has the added benefit of replacing toxic pressure-treated wood.

Starting this fall, RIMTA will be encouraging all marinas in the state to participate in recycling shrink wrap as part of RIMTA's Clean Marina Program. With over 100 marinas in Rhode Island, RIMTA hopes to collect at least 50 tons of shrink wrap when boats are wrapped this fall and unwrapped again in the spring.

VERMONT

Vermont Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Alliance (VEPPA) Promotes Environmentally Preferable Cleaners to Vermont Schools

Healthy Schools
…Are Cleaned With Environmentally Preferable Cleaners
Is Yours a Healthy School?

Following up an end-of-the-year keynote presentation on Green Cleaning at the 48th Annual School Plant Operation & Maintenance Conference, members of The Vermont Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Alliance, mailed copies of A Purchasers & Users Guide to Safe and Healthy Custodial Cleaning Chemicals to all public, private and other independent schools throughout Vermont.

Custodians truly hold the key not only to every door in the school, but to the health of everyone in the school.

Custodians truly hold the key not only to every door in the school, but to the health of everyone in the school. Research makes it clear that students can't learn and teachers can't teach if the building they come to every day makes them ill. School custodians, in choosing the cleaning and other chemicals they use, affect indoor air quality. In effect, chemical exposures that jeopardize your own health also pose potential health risk to others in the building. This would be a particularly challenging problem if there were not simple solutions - available today.

Environmentally Preferable Cleaning SuppliesVEPPA was formed in 2004 to identify and address real and imagined obstacles to the purchase and use of EP custodial cleaning chemicals in schools. The Alliance is comprised of representatives from the Vermont Departments of Education, Environmental Conservation, Health, and Buildings & General Services, the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust, INFORM, and the Association of Vermont Recyclers. Alliance members developed a simple brochure responding to common questions and concerns about EP cleaners, offered the key note presentation, and developed the Purchasers & Users Guide.

The 132-page document provides information school custodians, principals, and purchasing agents need to safely transition to environmentally preferable chemical cleaning supplies. In particular, the guide offers useful information about how to conduct and evaluate a hazard inventory of existing chemical cleaners, how to safely manage hazardous waste, ingredients to avoid in cleaning products, and how to locate environmentally preferable (EP) cleaning supplies.

For more information about the effort and the Purchasers & Users Guide please contact Doug Kievit-Kylar, Pollution Prevention Planner and Outreach Specialist with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.