New Sustaining Members
Renewing Sustaining Member
New Supporting Member
New Individual Supporter
NERC’s mission is to promote sustainable materials management by supporting traditional and innovative solid waste best practices, focusing on waste prevention, toxics reduction, reuse, recycling and organics recovery.
State and Advisory Member Updates, as well articles of General Interest and guest blogs are provided as submissions to NERC and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.
NERC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
We are delighted to thank and welcome NERC's newest Sustaining Members - Curbside Value Partnership and the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Organization (NEWMOA). We also welcome our newest Supporting Member - The Carton Council, and newest Individual Supporter - Mary Hague, Connecticut.
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.
The broad spectrum of interests represented by NERC's Advisory Members, Individual Supporters, and Board Members and their willingness to participate significantly contribute to the unique and important role that NERC plays in recycling in the region.
Casella Resource Solutions was founded in 1975 as a single truck operation in Rutland, Vermont. The company now provides resource management services to over 175,000 residential, commercial, municipal, industrial, and institutional customers. They operate recycling, organics, transfer, collection, and disposal facilities in six northeastern states.
For nearly forty years Casella has continued to adapt its business model to meet the evolving needs of its customers and communities. The company offers a comprehensive suite of services, called Resource Solutions, to help customers achieve their recycling and resource management goals. Last year, Casella partnered with its customers to recycle over 900,000 tons of recyclables and organics, and produce enough renewable electricity for 30,000 homes.
Some Notable Casella Initiatives
Casella operates five Zero-Sort recycling facilities in Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont, with a sixth facility coming on line in Maine this fall. Through Zero-Sort we make recycling easy to help our customers recycle more. In our plants we focus on safety, efficiency, and product quality, to ensure that we deliver well-sorted high quality baled commodities to our manufacturing customers. Primarily through our Zero-Sort facilities, we recycled over 500,000 tons last year.
Casella Organics transforms organic residuals - such as food scraps, wood ash, paper mill byproducts, and biosolids - into nutrient rich earthlife® soil products and renewable energy. We operate organics recycling facilities in Maine, New York, and Massachusetts, including two anaerobic digesters that process cow manure and food waste into fertilizer and renewable energy. Our earthlife brand encompasses over 40 unique soil products suited for the landscape, horticulture, and agricultural markets.
We provide safe, reliable, and environmentally sound waste and recycling collection services to over 170,000 businesses and municipalities throughout the northeast. Recently we have begun transitioning our fleet to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), which has a lower carbon footprint, emits less local air pollution, and runs more quietly than diesel. Last year our CNG trucks helped us offset 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
In 2013, we and our partners generated over 229,000 Megawatt-hours of renewable electricity, enough to power over 30,000 New England homes. We produce electricity primarily by recovering landfill methane to fuel landfill-gas-to-energy power plants. In New Hampshire we are using geothermal-style technology to directly capture landfill heat to keep our maintenance shop warm. Our landfill in Vermont now hosts a 12-acre, 2.2 Megawatt photovoltaic solar array, installed this year in partnership with a solar developer and the VT SPEED program. As operators of two anaerobic digesters in Massachusetts, we are also producing electricity and heat from organic residuals.
Many of our customers are actively working to achieve zero waste. Until we all reach that goal, our communities will continue to need safe, secure, and affordable disposal options. We design, build, and operate our landfills to minimize the impact of society’s solid waste on the local and global environment. In 2005 we joined EPA Climate Leaders, a voluntary program aimed at understanding and reducing corporate carbon emissions. Since then, we have successfully reduced our company-wide carbon footprint by over 50%, primarily by improving methane capture and recovery at our landfills. Thanks to these efforts, emission rates at our disposal facilities are among the lowest in the northeast.
Casella has been a NERC Advisory Member since 2006. According to Karen Flanders, Vice President of Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs at Casella, “the company founded the first recycling center in Vermont in 1977 to help protect our local environment. Community and environment are still at the core of everything we do. Environmental sustainability is an important business and social opportunity. By applying a sustainability lens to our business strategy we are becoming a better company.”
Looking for an easy way to get updated on seven recycling industry markets? Come to NERC's Fall Conference—The New Era of Recycling. Three plenary sessions as well as concurrent sessions on paper, plastics, steel, organics, electronics, glass, and tire recycling markets will be offered.
The impressive list of presenters and session facilitators are truly a "don't miss out" opportunity!
The Conference will is November 6 – 7 at the Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Beginning this month, the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER), in conjunction with the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) will be administering the Vermont State E-Waste State Standard Plan Recycling Program. The program, which will be entering its fourth year, offers free electronics recycling throughout the state.
NERC is delighted to announce the addition of its first Ex Officio Members of the Board of Directors: Chaz Miller & Chip Foley.
Chaz Miller is Director, Policy/Advocacy, for the National Solid Wastes Management Association, a trade association for private sector haulers, recyclers, composters, and disposal companies. He manages NSWMA’s policy and advocacy efforts on state and Federal recycling, composting, solid waste and truck safety issues. Miller has testified at Congressional and state hearings on solid waste and recycling issues.
Miller has been a keynoter and speaker at recycling and solid waste conferences in the United States and Canada. He was a plenary session speaker at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Waste Management Conference in Tokyo, February 2011.
He writes “The Circular File”, an award-winning column for Waste 360 magazine.
He was President of the Maryland Recycling Network and is currently an MRN Board member. His previous work experience includes the Glass Packaging Institute and the US EPA Office of Solid Waste.
Miller has managed studies on the cost of collecting recyclables at the curbside and a groundbreaking study of the cost of processing recyclables at material recovery facilities. His paper, “From Birth to Rebirth: Will Product Stewardship Save Resources” was named best paper at the 2011 Fall Workshop of the American Bar Association’s Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Section.
Walter J. “Chip” Foley, a graduate of Penn State, started his career with the Federal Election Commission in 1976. He got his true start in public policy by serving over 7 years on the personal staff of Pa Governor Dick Thornburgh’s Washington office working on agriculture, military, insurance and environmental issues.
In 1988, he became the first director of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors’ Source Reduction Council. That position led to his recruitment by the steel industry to open a Washington D.C. office for the Steel Can Recycling Institute (eventually becoming the Steel Recycling Institute). Chip continued in that position as Vice President—promoting the recyclability and recycled content of steel to decision makers. In addition, he held the position of Director of Public Policy for the American Iron and Steel Institute’s Steel Market Development Institute.
He was an advisory member of the Northeast Recycling Council, past Chair of the industry sector of the National Lt. Governors Association, and Vice President for public policy on the Board for the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships. Chip retired from the steel industry in May, 2014. Chip continues to be a contributor to the on-going work of the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse and the Northeast Recycling Council. Chip is also a member of the Titanic Historical Society.
Samsung is a remarkable company. Year after year, it has demonstrated its dedication to sustainability, responsible stewardship of electronics, and support of voluntary initiatives through its Distinguished Sponsorship of the State Electronics Challenge.
This is the fifth year in a row that Samsung has been the sole Distinguished Sponsor of the Challenge. Its support and leadership distinguishes Samsung as an exemplory model of dedication to the public/private partnership effected by the State Electronics Challenge. Both NERC and the State Electronics Challenge extend their deepest appreciation for Samsung's commitment to this program.
Joining Samsung in its support of the State Electronics Challenge are the R2/RIOS program and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These organizations have been Sustaining Sponsors of the Challenge for five and three years, respectively. It is solely through the support of organizations and companies such as these that the State Electronics Challenge is offered. We ask you to join us in thanking them for this extraordinary support.
The State Electronics Challenge is a free program open to local, regional, tribal, and state governments, including public & private K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations.
The Challenge provides access to free technical assistance, tools, resources, and recognition. It also documents the success of participating organizations. Program participants receive annual sustainability reports that detail their reductions in energy use, greenhouse gases, and waste.
To learn more about the State Electronics Challenge, register for an introductory webinar. The webinar is being offered twice this fall.
NERC and the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA) have signed their first memorandum of understanding with each other. This historic document clearly states the intention of the two organizations to work more closely together and to support each other's initiatives in the areas of sustainable materials management, climate change, and debris management.
NERC looks forward to this enhanced relationship and anticipates improved program and service delivery in the region as a result of this initiative. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.
Feel free to visit the NERC website and all your favorite features - such as the blog, the Email Bulletin, and all of our great resources - on your mobile devices. The website is now fully functional on tablets and smartphones. So, enjoy and visit us often.
Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director, has been selected to serve on the NSF Joint Committee (JC) on Sustainable Carpet Standards and the Carpet Recyclability Sub-committee. NSF developed the Carpet JC to review and update the NSF/ANSI 140 Carpet Standard. Contact Mary Ann Remolador, if you have any questions or would like to discuss this further.
There’s been an important upheaval on Facebook….Shakira has unseated Rihanna as Facebook’s most-liked person, with 87.7 million fans. Rihanna is now number two with just 86.5 million fans. NERC, however, needs your help! Are you on Facebook? Is your organization, agency, or business on Facebook? Please take a moment to “Like us” on NERC’s Facebook page. Also, please remember we welcome Guest Blogs and of course your comments as well.
The NERC Blog Worth Repeating is Part 2 of our occasional installments on coffee environmental trends.
While recycling has reached mainstream mediocrity in America, there is still a lot more we can do just to capture the “common” recyclables, including the ubiquitous plastic bottle. And, of course, we keep adding new challenges, such as the “K-cup” or single-serve coffee pod I wrote about in Coffee Controversies. With the growing popularity of single brew coffee systems, Vermont’s own Keurig Green Mountain, formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, has been receiving increasing attention on the waste created by its “K-Cups.” More than 8.3 billion K-Cups were manufactured last year. Primarily made from composite plastic (#7), with an aluminum foil lid, the pods have limited recyclability.
The Nestlé Nespresso company, an autonomous business of the Nestlé Group, is the leader in single cup brewing systems found around Europe. Recent headlines in Environmental Leader read—“Nestle Nespresso Hits 75% Capsule Recycling Goal.” However, upon reading further into the article, the company has not hit a 75 percent capsule recycling “rate.” Rather, according to Nestlé, the recycling “capacity” for its used capsules is now at just over 76 percent. Still laudable though, especially when compared to the recyclability of Keurig pods.
Unlike Keurig pods, the Nespresso capsule is composed entirely of aluminum. The company is primarily depended on existing programs that classify used aluminum as packaging. In Germany, Sweden and Finland, the capsules can be collected and recycled in national or local packaging recycling collection programs.
Nespresso has started to develop its own recovery programs in places where the capsules are not allowed in existing collection programs. According to the Environmental Leader article, the company has installed some 20,000 dedicated capsule collection points in 19 of its markets. These collection points are found at Nespresso Boutiques, as well as at waste collection sites.
Nespresso even has an iPhone app to assist customers in locating collection points to recycle their used capsules.
According to the Nespresso website, in the United States, “Nespresso Club Members” can recycle their used capsules at any Nespresso Boutique. I have yet to run into a Nespresso Boutique, however, so I'm not sure how many of these are around...
As the popularity of Nespresso grows in this country, I’m wondering if aluminum recycling markets would allow the capsules to be collected in residential recycling programs. It seems unlikely in today’s recycling environment, primarily limited to aluminum and steel cans; however, perhaps at scrap metal collection points.
Interestingly, I also wondered about the life cycle comparison of the aluminum capsules to the plastic pods. Apparently in 2009, Nespresso commissioned a lifecycle assessment (LCA) by environmental consultants, Quantis. The study determined that in terms of environmental impact, aluminum capsules that are recycled after use are the optimal way to make an espresso coffee in a single brew system. The studied compared the aluminum capsules, to a capsule made from PLA bioplastic and one from polypropylene plastic.
Stay tuned for more developments in the world of coffee….time for a midday cup o’ Joe right about now I’d say!
With the opening of a new carpet recycling company in Massachusetts, we have updated NERC's Carpet Recycling Infrastructure in the Northeast.
The new company is Carpet Recycling Services, located in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Through its “Best Management Practices for Organics and Debris Management in Rural Towns” project, NERC worked with towns and solid waste districts in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont to develop strategies for better managing organics, from reduction to composting. The project was funded through a USDA grant. Several new documents and presentations developed through the project are now available on the NERC website.
Presentations from Management in Action in Small & Tribal Communities—Opportunities & Case Studies - National Webinar
Presentations from the Vermont Food Scrap Webinar for Vermont Colleges
Presentations from Universal Recycling and Food Scrap Diversion Webinar for Vermont Schools
Presentations from Choosing Organic Amendments/Compost Webinar
Presentations from Community Composting—Lessons from New York City & Beyond
ADVISORY MEMBER NEWS
Foam products maker Dart Container and Plastics Recycling, Inc. are investing $4 million to $6 million to build a facility in Indiana that will process both foam and rigid polystyrene, and the companies say the move comes in response to the resin’s growing market opportunities.
“There’s a big kick on our side of the business of people wanting post-consumer in the products they make,” said Brandon Shaw, marketing manager for Indiana-based Plastics Recycling, Inc (PRI). “This would supply us with more post-consumer to satisfy the demand out there.”
The project will expand the headquarters of Plastics Recycling, Inc. (PRI) in Indianapolis, increasing the firm’s overall recycling capacity from 60 million pounds annually to 85 million pounds annually. PRI also operates a processing facility in Knoxville, Tennessee, but Shaw said roughly 70 percent of its processing happens at the Indianapolis site.
The executive called the move to partner with Dart a “perfect marriage” because the foam producer has experience washing reclaimed PS while PRI has developed systems for recycling and compounding. The two firms have worked together on different polystyrene projects since around 1990, Shaw added.
Some of the material processed at the facility will move to PRI’s sister firm, Recycling Technologies, Inc. which manufactures plastic cores for cash register receipt cores- that business consumers substantial tonnages of recycled PS.
Shaw said PRI is seeing plenty of demand form outside firms as well. One particularly enticing market is insulation board manufacturers, many of which are seeking out polystyrene made with recycled content that can help them fulfill the needs of clients aiming for LEED certification.
Dart Container, meanwhile, has been pushing the recyclability of polystyrene in recent months as it works to convince municipalities nationwide to bring the material into recycling streams instead of enacting bans restricting the use of foam in foodservice settings. Last year, the company helped lobby legislation in New York City who were considering a ban.
The Big Apple ultimately decided to wait a year and test out the practicality of brining foam products into the municipal recycling system. Dart’s Michael Westerfield said such tests have not yet begun but that the expanded operation at PRI, which is expected to be operational in early 2015, will be the destination for recovered PS from New York City if the material does in fact enter the steam there.
“New York gets first crack,” said Westerfield. “If they determine they can collect polystyrene, then this facility is for them. If not, we’ll start working with other cities.”
The Dart and PRI representatives say finding suppliers of recovered material in other locales will not be problematic, especially in the wake of China’s Operation Green Fence. The customs crackdown has caused materials recovery facility operators to reconsider their strategies for PS and other plastics that previously went into mixed bales.
“The technology is there in MRF’s now to get more value out of the mixed streams they bring in,” Shaw said. “I think there will be more people willing to work with us to capture the volume.”
1800Recycling.com, an interactive website dedicated to enhancing and democratizing the consumer recycling experience, has announced a new partnership with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry. The partnership will help educate 1800Recycling’s users about scrap recycling and will provide them access to ISRI’s array of valuable online resources for consumers, businesses, local governments and students.
ISRI members are manufacturers and processors, brokers and industrial consumers of scrap commodities, including ferrous and nonferrous metals, paper, electronics, rubber, plastics, glass, and textiles. ISRI's associate members include equipment and service providers to the scrap recycling industry. Manufacturers and sellers of equipment and services—such as shredders, balers, cranes, cargo transporters, computer systems, and more—find value in promoting the scrap recycling industry through their membership in ISRI.
As part of the new relationship, all ISRI members have been added to the 1800recycling database.
“We are extremely proud to be partnering with our friends and industry colleagues at ISRI,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation’s leading recycler of electronics and e-waste, and parent company of 1800Recycling.com. “At 1800Recycling, our mission is to simplify the process of recycling, and education is a significant element of that process. Teaming with and combining our resources with the consortium of recycling industry thought leaders at ISRI enables us to provide the best possible educational resources available in the world of scrap recycling for all our audiences.”
“We’re thrilled to work with the innovative 1800Recycling team,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Their 1800Recycling.com searchable database is an outstanding resource to help people and businesses connect with our members in their communities to recycle properly. Their commitment to recycling is also consistent with our own and we’re pleased to be able to reach 1800Recycling’s diverse audience with information that will help educate them and empower them to become even more effective and efficient recyclers.”
Among the ISRI online resources that are now available as links on the 1800Recycling site are: Commodities Information, Economic and Jobs Data, scrap metal theft prevention programs, the Design for Recycling Award (recognizing manufacturers that take recycling into consideration when designing a product), and Education Resources for students, including classroom posters and curriculum for K-12 classrooms supporting STEM education, all developed by ISRI in partnership with JASON Learning.
Via its mobile app, online resource and phone service, 1800Recycling.com provides information about recycling services and facilities to anyone, anywhere by ZIP code. Designed to make the recycling process easy and more accessible, 1800Recycling.com’s nationwide search functionality will also become a clickable icon on the ISRI site.
Consumers can also opt to call 1800Recycling via telephone for a 24/7 phone line resource or download the interactive app (1800recycling.com/mobile/) available via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The app, the newly enhanced site and phone service each can direct users to responsible recyclers of electronics, tires, oil, paint, glass, plastic, household hazardous waste, wood, mattresses, carpet, junk – basically everything that can be recycled.
At the fifth Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc. (RMC) E-Scrap Recycling Markets Development Summit, a steering committee, in recognition of the need for a common voice in the Pennsylvania electronics scrap processing industry, announced the launch of the Electronics Recycling Association of Pennsylvania (ERAP). The steering committee is comprised of Covanta, eLoop, Kuusakoski USA, eForce, and the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center.
The mission of the Electronics Recycling Association of Pennsylvania will be to promote the needs of the Pennsylvania electronics recycling industry while openly fostering common relationships that lead to effective and responsible end-of-life electronics management for all Pennsylvanians.
John Moffitt, Covanta General Manager, E-Waste and chair of the ERAP steering committee announced to an audience of over 150 attendees, "Given the concerns of the Pennsylvania electronics recycling industry and consumer demand for recycling electronics are at an all time high, we are evaluating the need to focus our common interests and move together in a unified direction."
Guiding principles that have been proposed by the steering committee include, providing a unified voice for Pennsylvania electronics recyclers; promoting a transparent, open dialogue amongst stakeholders; communicating the benefits of the Pennsylvania recycling industry to the citizens of Pennsylvania; supporting the sharing of industry best practices, especially in the area of safety and health; and advocating for sound electronics recycling public policy in Pennsylvania. Founding membership will be offered to all Pennsylvania permitted electronics recyclers.