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October 2017

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

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Sustaining Members

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

New & Renewing Memberships

New Sustaining Member

Renewing Sustaining Members

Renewing Supporting Members

NERC News

Newly Posted

State Updates

MAINE

MASSACHUSETTS

NEW YORK

Advisory Member News

New & Renewing MembershipsMembership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to sustainable materials management. We are delighted to welcome a new Sustaining Member - Shaefer Systems International. We also would like to thank renewing  Sustaining Members: American Chemistry Council (ACC); CSG/ERC; Good Point Recycling; Sony; and The Recycling Partnership. As well as renewing Supporting Members: DSM Environmental Services and Maine Resource Recovery Association (MRRA).

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.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director.

NERC News

See Who Will be Attending NERC’s Fall Conference & 30th Anniversary!

The excitement is building for NERC’s upcoming Conference in Amherst, Massachusetts on November 13 – 14!  Not only do we have a stellar Agenda and list of speakers, we will also be celebrating NERC’s 30th Anniversary!  As part of the Anniversary celebration on the evening of November 13th, NERC will be presenting awards to a select group of leaders in our field.

One of the great things about NERC’s Conference is the variety of attendees and the opportunity for networking.  Take a look at the following list of some of the people who will be attending NERC’s event.  We’re sure you’ll find names of those you’ve been meaning to reach out to.

· Al Sabino, Casella Waste  Systems

· Jim DeLuca, Aqua Solutions

·  Mike Begin, Decade Products

· Anthony Casali, IPL

· Joanne Shafer, Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority

·  Mike Will, Coastal Wire

· Brenda Grober, Empire State Development

· John Pepi, University of Massachusetts Amherst

·  Monique Oxender, Keurig Green Mountain

· Brooke Nash, Dawn Quirk, Janine Bishop, & Lydia Meintel-Wade, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

· John Pizzimenti, USA Hauling & Recycling

·  Jonathan Bilmes & Paul Kelly, Town of Enfield, Connecticut

· Chaz Miller, National Waste & Recycling Association

· Jon Mann, BE Equipment

·  Randal Coburn, Empire State Development

· Chip Foley, NERC Board of Directors

· Julie Zaniewski, Unilever

·  Ray Dube & Keegan Smith, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England

· Chris Hudgins, International Sleep Products Association

· Josh Kelly, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

·  Resa Dimino, Barbara Heineken & David Refkin, Resource Recycling Systems

· Christine Cassidy, Dart Container

· Justine Fallon & Katherine Caddy, Mattress Recycling Council

·  Richard Penner, Re-TRAC Connect

· David Aldridge, Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority

· Kaley Laleker, Maryland Department of the Environment

·  Rob Wirtanen, Industrial Hearing Testing

· David Cook, Greenpeace

· Laurene Hamilton, Cox Enterprise

·  Rick Watson & Mike Parkowski, Delaware Solid Waste Authority

· David Keeling, Steel Recycling Institute

· Kyle Wiens, iFixit

·  Robert Isner & Chris Nelson, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

· David New, Obaggo Recycling

· Lindsey Scharg, Fire Rover

· Roger Guzowski, Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority (MIRA)

·  Debra Darby & Emily Metcalf, Organix Solutions

·  Lisa Skumatz, SERA Skumatz Economic Research Associates

· Ron Santos, ReCommunity Recycling

·  Don  Long, Delaware Department of Natural Resources

·  Liz Bedard, Association of Plastic Recyclers

· Rusty Angel, Machinex Technologies

·  Dona Neely, Devens Eco-Efficiency Center

·  Margaret Gorman, American Chemistry Council

· Samara Norman, Trex

·  Donald Maglienti & Sarah Lundquist, Addison County Solid Waste Management District

·  Mark Bobman, BRRFOC

·  Steve Lynch, MidAtlantic, Solid Waste Consultants, LLC

·  Emma Sabella & Shomita Bhattacharya, Center for EcoTechnology

·  Mark Lennon, IRN - The Reuse Network

·  Susan Robinson, Waste Management

·  Ethan Hausman & Sarah Reeves, Chittenden Solid Waste District

·  Mary O’Brien, Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District (VT)

·  Terri Goldberg, Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA)

·  Jason  Linnell, National Center for Electronics Recycling

·  Megan Daum, Can Manufacturers Institute

·  Todd Moore, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

·  Jen Heaton-Jones & Robin Bennett, Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority

·  Megan Pryor & George MacDonald, Maine Department of Environmental Protection

· Tony Randall, More Recycling

·  Jerry Powell, Resource Recycling Magazine

·  Michael Alexander, Recycle Away

·  Wesley Young, Local Search Association

·  Jim Binder, J Binder Consulting LLC

Don’t forget to Register!

GOLD SPONSORS 

massdep-logo-left-full-text     KEURIGGM_LOGO

 CTA logo 2   panasonic-logo-200 samsung 

30th ANNIVERSARY PLATINUM SPONSORS

      casella_logo  

SILVER SPONSORS

  

 

BRONZE SPONSORS

Re-TRAC_logo_final  APR logo 2015  

  Organix Solutions Logo   

 Recycling Today Logo   ResourceRecyclingLogoFramed    

For more information about the conference, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director & Events Organizer.

See Old Friends, New Colleagues, & Exciting 30th Anniversary Award Ceremony & Celebration - November 13

NERC's 30th anniversary celebration will be here soon: Monday, November 13th, 5 - 7:30 p.m., Lord Jeffrey Inn, Amherst, Massachusetts. Many people from NERC's past and present will be there to help celebrate, and we hope that you will be there as well.  In addition, we will be presenting the NERC Leadership awards during the celebration.  Outstanding representatives from the industry will be there to be honored and recognized for their contributions to sustainability and to NERC. 

It is possible to attend "only" the celebration rather than the full conference.  Registration is required and there is a nominal fee if you are not attending the conference.  For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.

New Members from Massachusetts & Vermont Join NERC Board

We are delighted to welcome two new members to the NERC Board: Brooke Nash, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP); and Josh Kelly, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.  Greg Cooper, MassDEP, is stepping down from the Board after having served for nine years. Greg has been an important member of the NERC community and supporter of its initiatives and his contributions will be missed.  Thank you Greg for all that you have done!  Brooke has previously served on the NERC Board, and we are delighted to welcome her back.

Brooke has spent her entire career in the solid waste and recycling field.  Since 1997, she has served as the Branch Chief for Brooke NashMunicipal Waste Reduction at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, where she manages technical assistance programs, grants, and training to increase the effectiveness of local and regional waste reduction programs.  Prior to MassDEP, Brooke worked in the recycling field in a hands-on capacity, as executive director of Solana Recyclers, a nationally recognized non-profit organization that operated municipal recycling and public education programs in San Diego county.  She has served on the board of directors of the Northeast Recycling Council and the California Resource Recovery Association, as well as numerous regional and local environmental organizations.   She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Josh Kelly is replacing Cathy Jamieson who has served on the Board for the past several months.  We are very appreciative of Cathy's involvement and engagement with NERC and also look forward to working with Josh.

Josh KellyJosh Kelly is the Materials Management Section Chief and joined the Agency of Natural Resources, Solid Waste Program in July 2013 and currently supervises a team of six that is responsible for the implementation of the state’s recycling, composting, product stewardship, and waste reduction initiatives. For nearly a decade he worked for the Trust for Public Land on land conservation projects throughout Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. He has also worked for the Highfields Center for Composting, to develop community composting programs and for the Institute for Sustainable Communities, conducting sustainability trainings for local government officials around the country. Josh has a BS in Environmental Studies and Biology from St. Lawrence University.

NERC Convenes Glass Committee

There is a lot of interest in supporting glass recycling in the Northeast.  This sentiment was clearly expressed during NERC’s Glass Forum held in the Fall of 2015. As a way to further the discussions and to possibly define a role that NERC might be able to play in promoting greater diversion of glass containers to the greatest value end uses, NERC has convened a Glass Sub-committee.  The Committee will be tasked with defining the primary issues in the Region and identifying potential solutions. 

The members to NERC’s Glass Committee include:

  • Brenda Pulley, Keep America Beautiful
  • Brooke Nash, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Cathy Jamieson, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
  • Chaz Miller NERC Board Member
  • Chris Nelson Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
  • Curt Bucey, Strategic Materials
  • Doug Smith, Sony
  • Kayla Montanya, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Megan Pryor, Maine Department of Environmental Protection
  • Michael Foote, City of Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Natalie Starr & Ted Siegler, DSM Environmental Services
  • Peter Schirk, BHS-Sonthofen
  • Ray Dube, Coca Cola Bottling of New England
  • Sarah Reeves, Chittenden Solid Waste District, Vermont
  • Steve Changaris, National Waste & Recycling Association

For more information about the Glass Sub-committee, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director.

Read all about it! - NERC's Blog

NERC’s blog  has a lot of positive attributes. Blog articles feature a wide range of material management topics, including recycling markets, wasted food reduction, litter, sustainable business practices and a lot more. We offer insights into current happenings, notable projects and lessons learned, and ideas worth repeating. Some of our blog articles are instructive, others tend toward opinion pieces, and some are light and humorous. And, we feature guest posts from a wide range of sources.

The NERC blog articles are typically a quick read, usually not more than 800 words or so. Articles often contain hyperlinks for additional information and of course source material. We include colorful images and photos whenever possible. We understand everyone is busy, so we only post articles once per week.

We practice a “soft sale” approach to the blog. A blog announcement is sent to your email containing a brief overview of the posted blog article for the week and a hyperlink directly to the article should it entice your interest.

Signing up for the NERC blog is easy and best of all, it’s free! Once you’ve signed up you’ll be all set to kick back, take a short break and enjoy the NERC blog with coffee, tea, or lunch!

Interested in posting your musings…contact Athena Lee Bradley.

Re-Blog: 1987…a Good Year

1987 was a big year for recycling and the founding of several notable recycling organizations, including NERC and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. To promote NERC’s exciting history and our upcoming anniversary celebration, I offer a few quotes from people integral to our organization’s past.

Shelley Dresser, NERC's founder and first Executive Director, offered some interesting notes on NERC's early history, including why NERC’s office ended up in Brattleboro!

“NERC was conceived at the Solid Waste Conference at the Penta Hotel in New York, during a conversation I had with Bernard Melewski, Counsel, New York State Commission on Solid Waste. As a garbage barge floated around NYC on a 112 day expedition, attempting to find a home for trash it was carrying, it became clear that a solution oriented approach to solid waste management was necessary. With Maurice Hinchey, a legislator from New York and the chairman of the Council of State Governments environment committee, I had all the support I needed to begin this endeavor.

“NERC's name went through several iterations, from "Solid Waste Advisory Team" to "Recycling Advisory Team" to the "Northeast Recycling Council."

Connie Saulter, NERC's second Executive Director, noted the importance of the “…dedicated number of individuals and agencies who maintained a strong vision of the importance of a public/private partnership toward solid waste/recycling initiatives.”

She added, “NERC's greatest strengths were and remain the people that are involved in its programs. What has made NERC so effective over the years is its ability to bring people together to share information on recycling. NERC had State members openly sharing information on how programs were working (or not), private sector representatives being up front on how state regulations were affecting their businesses (the good, the bad, and the costly), and always good big picture guidance from EPA, especially Cynthia Greene who has maintained her strong support all these years.

“NERC has served locally and regionally as a clearinghouse for sharing information – a neutral corner, as it were, where federal and state agencies and industry groups can gather to share information, build relationships, and hopefully, develop common goals and create alliances to work together towards those goals.”

Cynthia L. Greene, Manager of US EPA New England, Energy and Climate Unit first got involved with NERC as a grant project officer for NERC’s paper recycling study (early 1990s). She remarked that her fondest memories of NERC were the “… quarterly meetings and the fruitful exchange between the states, working with the Direct Marketing Association and the Post Office on recycling, the ground breaking work on determining the economic benefits of recycling, and the venture forums.”

Her insightful thoughts (in 2012) on the most “pressing issues” facing the recycling industry in the next five years—“Food waste recycling and keeping recycling as a vital environmental issue in the public's consciousness.”

Jan Ameen, the Executive Director of the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District in Massachusetts, had these thoughts on her first encounter with NERC—early in her career in the waste management field.

“In 1991, I participated in NERC's Office Wastepaper Study conducted by Jaakko Poyry. Mary from Jaakko Poyry showed up in Waterbury and together we sorted through office paper from the collection program I had set up. Then we had a lovely lunch. Not surprisingly for a waste management junkie, I still have the mug she gave me for participating in the study. It sits on my desk in Greenfield (Massachusetts) and is still used. Whenever I use it, I time travel right back to that day of sorting paper at the Waterbury office complex.”

Tom Houska, with TEH Consulting in Delaware, first became involved with NERC in the early 1990's as a board member representing the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA). He notes “…NERC's greatest strength has been to adapt to the needs of its membership. It also had the ability to find middle ground in the discussion process…the greatest achievements were the documents produced by NERC that provided basic and sound information to the region as a whole. NERC was able to bring various interests and groups together to look at trends and opportunities on a regional basis. NERC also set the standard for other regional recycling organizations to follow.”

Jeff Bednar, former NERC Board Member and Board President representing Pennsylvania, reflected  “Mostly, I am pleased and encouraged that the organization remains as vibrant and healthy as ever, and as a resident of one of the NERC states, I am glad that NERC continues to promote recycling in my state so we can secure all of the community benefits of a healthy recycling program.”


NERC’s 30th Anniversary & Fall Conference is November 13 - 14, 2017 in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Newly  PostedNew Food Recovery Hierarchy Compendium

NERC’s new Food Recovery Hierarchy Compendium is comprised of Food Recovery Hierarchy project examples from around the country.

The Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes actions that can be taken to prevent and divert wasted food. Each tier of the Food Recovery Hierarchy—Source Reduction, Feed Hungry People, Feed Animals, Composting, and, Industrial Uses is included in the Compendium.

Extensive research was conducted to obtain representative projects from each state, as well as national ones. While the compendium highlights examples from small, rural, and tribal communities, it also includes projects from urban area which provide models for any size community.

The Compendium was developed through its USDA funded Implementing the Food Recovery Hierarchy in Rural Vermont Communities project.

State Program Contact Information Updated

Among the resources on the NERC website are state-by-state listings of which state agency staff to contact for information, organized by topic. This information is updated annually, and the following state information has been updated in the past few months:

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director.

State UpdatesMAINE

Maine Compost School Offers Large Animal Carcass Management Trainings

The Maine Compost Team will be offering a large animal carcass management training from September 26th-28th of 2017. The training will prepare participants for emergencies such as foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreak or natural disaster to assist with the disposal of carcasses utilizing the composting process. The training is recognized as part of the ongoing program to become a subject matter expert (SME) in composting for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA currently has a list of SMEs that are utilized throughout the country. Following successful completion of the course examination, a list of applicants will be forwarded to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for retention. Participants wishing to complete their SME training would need to work with one of the established USDA SMEs during an actual deployment. The first large animal carcass management training was held at the Maine Compost School in August of 2017. The training was well-attended and featured a host of experiences including: classroom lecture, hands-on exercises, disaster planning, and simulated composting emergencies where students donned Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and used farm equipment and resources to handle multiple livestock mortalities.

The Maine Compost School also offers a traditional composting class that is held twice annually, once during June and once during October. In this five-day program, students learn the art and science of composting from the basics to sophisticated facility management and troubleshooting. A “Certificate of Technical Ability,” which is accepted in all 50 U.S. states allows attendees to become qualified as compost site operators. To date, the school has graduated over 850 participants from all 50 U.S. states and 45 countries around the world. The October 2017 session is already at maximum capacity and registration has been closed. Dates for 2018 will be decided prior to the new year and will be available on the school’s website.

MASSACHUSETTS

MassDEP’s School Green Team Program Kicks Off the 2017-2018 School Year!

In September, MassDEP kicked off its 2017-2018 Green Team program, an interactive recycling and environmental education club for Massachusetts K-12 schools. Public school principals and superintendents were invited to encourage their teachers to participate. Prior year participants were invited via email to join again. Now in its sixteenth year, the program has become a tradition in hundreds of Massachusetts schools. Over 3,000 educators receive the Green Team e-newsletter, and over 300 teachers participate in environmental stewardship activities with their students each year. Green Team participants receive a classroom poster, lesson plans, and suggested activities.  As they complete activities, classes advance through three levels of participation.  Each class that takes the Green Team Pledge receives a Certificate of Recognition and is eligible to win great prizes at the end of the school year. Last year, 62 classes received certificates and awards for their students, and their accomplishments are described in the Green Team News.  Many classes focus on climate change and energy-related activities, in addition to textile recovery, recycling, composting, waste reduction and school gardening projects. The Green Team Photo Gallery provides a fantastic glimpse into the range and creativity of the activities engaged in by the Green Team teachers and their students.

Green Team lessons and activities are aligned with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum for Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Science and Technology/Engineering, with the alignment documents posted on the Green Team Curricula page. This makes it much easier for teachers to use these environmentally focused activities while covering the state mandated learning standards.

Green Team participants may also request free recycling, composting and idling reduction equipment from The Green Team, through which many schools have expanded recycling and composting programs, and established Idle-Free Zones in their driveways. Composting has become a more popular activity at schools as a result of the compost bins and worm vouchers provided by the program. MassDEP looks forward to another exciting year of environmental learning and achievements by Massachusetts students and their teachers.

All Massachusetts teachers or administrators are encouraged to participate by registering online.  Registration is free and only takes a few minutes.  Questions may be directed to Emma Sabella at recycle@thregreenteam.org or by calling 413-586-7350 x225.

NEW  YORK

DEC Announces 25th Anniversary of New York’s Recycling Laws

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that September 1, 2017, marks the 25th anniversary of New York’s statewide adoption of local recycling laws. Since 1992, local source-separation programs have captured and diverted more than 320 million tons of recyclable materials from disposal resulting in an estimated net emission reduction of 1 billion metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of taking 211 million cars off the road for one year.

“Twenty five years of reducing, reusing, and recycling New York’s waste have proven the power of conservation in our fight to protect our natural resources for future generations. Our recycling programs are putting thousands of New Yorkers to work in the state’s booming green economy while cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and preventing pollution from harming our air, waters and lands,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Like his father before him, Governor Cuomo is committed to carrying on the progressive policies that have made New York State the birthplace of some of the world’s most effective recycling programs and facilities.”

The New York State Solid Waste Management Act of 1988, signed into law by Governor Mario M. Cuomo, required municipalities to adopt local laws or ordinances requiring the separation and segregation of recyclable or reusable materials from solid waste by no later than September 1, 1992.

In addition, since its inception in 1994, New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) has invested more than $155 million in funding to municipalities to support recycling infrastructure, recycling coordinators, and household hazardous waste management programs. Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership, the state has increased the EPF to $300 million and partnered with local governments, business, and environmental organizations to maintain, expand, and promote waste reduction, reuse, recycling, organics diversion and product stewardship programs that encourage more sustainable practices and conserve our natural resources.

At the Governor’s direction, State agencies have also achieved significant waste reduction, recycling, and organics diversion efforts through state procurement and sustainability efforts. Agencies have reduced the amount of solid waste generated by more than half (51 percent) over the past seven years and agencies currently report recycling rates of 70 percent.

Each year, the New York State Returnable Container Act, or “Bottle Bill,” recycles more than 4.5 billion plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers, totaling over 300,000 tons of recyclables, and eliminating approximately 200,000 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of taking 9,000 garbage trucks off the road for one year. 

Additionally, DEC is strengthening the state’s solid waste regulations (Part 360). New York has adopted product stewardship laws using an extended producer responsibility model that require the take-back and reuse or recycling of electronic waste, rechargeable batteries, and mercury-containing thermostats.

Innovative initiatives the state has implemented to further reduce waste include:

  • Organics management program with organics recycling facilities to reduce and divert food waste from the waste stream and reduce emissions.
  • New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act of 2010,‎ a comprehensive electronic waste (e-waste) law that requires manufacturers who sell or offer for sale covered electronic equipment such as computers, computer peripherals, televisions, small scale servers, and small electronic equipment, to establish a convenient acceptance program for the collection, handling, and recycling or reuse of e-waste free of charge to most consumers. Since its implementation, more than 520 million pounds of electronic waste from New York consumers has been recycled or reused instead of being sent to landfills, waste combustion facilities, or other improper disposal methods.
  • New York State Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act, requires manufacturers of covered rechargeable batteries to collect and recycle the batteries in a manufacturer-funded program at no cost to consumers. Consumers across the state have safely returned more than one million rechargeable batteries from 2013 - 2016. http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/72065.html
  • The New York State Mercury Thermostat Collection Act,‎requires thermostat manufacturers to establish and maintain a program for the collection, transportation, recycling, and proper management of out-of-service mercury thermostats at no cost to New York State or consumers participating in the program.  A total of 21,099 thermostats were collected from New York State consumers on behalf of manufacturers during calendar years 2013 through 2016.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of New York’s groundbreaking recycling programs, Governor Cuomo issued a proclamation https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/RecyclingLaw_NYS25thAnniversary_2017.pdf.

Senator Tom O'Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "It's a landmark anniversary commemorating an initiative and an action that has made a fundamental difference for the short- and long-term quality of environmental protection in New York State."

Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation said, “Recycling is one of the easiest and most effective ways we can create more sustainable communities.  It is thrilling to celebrate that our local municipalities across the state have been recycling for 25 years.  Over time it has become an engrained behavior and by continuing to keep plastic, glass, and other recyclables out of the waste stream, we are pushing ever toward New York’s overall emissions goals.  I am proud to say that New York has been a leader in this field and I applaud all of our local governments for carrying out these valuable programs.”

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "Twenty-five years ago, Monroe County created the public education campaign "Don't Trash Our Future. Recycle.", which is still widely used across the County to educate our residents on the benefits of recycling. We continue to prioritize recycling education in our community and look forward to many years of sustained growth in our recycling outcomes. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and New York State for their leadership in this important issue."

Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “The City of Buffalo has embraced mandatory recycling from the beginning.  My administration remains committed and has strategically added to the City’s recycling programming to divert waste from the landfill.” 

Commissioner Kathryn Garcia of the New York City Department of Sanitation said, “The City of New York is proud to be a leader in municipal recycling, beginning with the City’s landmark 1989 mandatory recycling law. Today, New York City residents recycle nearly 2,000 tons of paper, metal, glass, and plastic per day, and curbside recycling is a key part of reaching our goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030. We are thrilled to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the New York State Recycling Law and to support ongoing investment and innovation in recycling in New York.”

Kelli Timbrook, President of NYSAR3 said, “New York State Association of Reduction, Reuse and Recycling commends Governor Cuomo for his reaffirmation of the New York Recycling Law. This law has led the way for responsible materials management during its first 25 years and will continue to make New York a greener, more environmentally friendly place for everyone in the years to come!”

Meg Morris, Chair, Federation of NY Solid Waste Associations, said, “Recycling in New York has improved dramatically over these first 25 years through collaboration at all levels of the public and private sectors. From the residents who willingly prepare their recycling, the local and state governments who enact, encourage and enforce regulations, to the haulers who transport the materials, to the solid waste and recycling professionals, to the variety of businesses who utilize the recyclables for new products; everyone in New York plays a valuable role and are to be congratulated on this milestone.”

Cindy G. Livingston, Interim Director, Fulton County Department of Solid Waste, said, “Thank you for the opportunity to highlight some of Fulton County’s accomplishments over the past 25 years since the implementation of the state’s local recycling law.  We are really proud of what we do here, and how much our programs and services have grown through the years.  We look forward to a future with even more successes with our recycling and materials management goals.” 

Dan Lilkas-Rain, Recycling Coordinator, Town of Bethlehem, said, “The Town of Bethlehem joins the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of New York State’s Recycling Law! Thanks in part to the State’s Recycling Law and leadership, the Town of Bethlehem in Albany County, New York is proud to have achieved an estimated 65% recycling/waste diversion rate as of 2016, helping keep tens of millions of pounds of valuable materials out of the landfill over the years. We are honored to have been recognized for our recycling and composting efforts as early as 2003 with the Governor’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Award for achieving a 50% recycling rate, and more recently, the Town of Bethlehem had the privilege of sharing in the recognition along with the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3) and the Re-Clothe NY Coalition for our joint textile recovery efforts with a US EPA Environmental Champion Award, and New York State Senate Legislative Resolution in 2015.”

Advisory Member News

Chittenden County is No. 1 in the Country for Mercury Thermostat Collection

When it comes to collecting mercury thermostats for recycling in the US, Chittenden County, VT is second to none.  According to a recent report from the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), between 2012 and 2016, Chittenden County residents dropped off 2,280 units in the collection program, just ahead of Hennepin County, MN, which collected 2,274 thermostats. The margin grows wider when put in per capita terms: Chittenden County has just over 160,000 residents, while Hennepin County is home to 1.5 million.  

Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD), the municipality that governs solid waste for the 18 towns and cities in the county, collects mercury thermostats at seven Drop-Off Centers and the Environmental Depot, their household hazardous waste collection facility. Customers receive a $5 rebate coupon in exchange for their thermostats.

Jen Holliday, CSWD’s Compliance Program and Product Stewardship Manager, attributes the program’s success to multiple factors. “In addition to a high level of conscientiousness among Vermonters, our success has been the product of quality education and outreach efforts, convenient collection options for residents, and outstanding staff members engaging with the public at our facilities,” Holliday says.

“Chittenden County is an example of what a community can do to recycle mercury thermostats successfully,” said Ryan Kiscaden, Executive Director, TRC. “When you have a committed program, staff that understands the recycling process, and an informed and dedicated public that participates in recycling efforts, it demonstrates why they’re No. 1.”

In 2008, Vermont enacted the country’s second Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law targeting mercury thermostats. EPR legislation extends the manufacturer's responsibility for its product to post-consumer management of that product and its packaging, shifting costs upstream and away from the public sector. 

In the past 10 years, Vermont also passed EPR legislation for mercury automobile switches, electronic waste, mercury-containing lamps, paint, and alkaline/primary batteries.

Fair Trade Recycling to Share "Student Ambassador" Report

Four interns based in Vermont and Tamale, Ghana, worked during the summer to demonstrate Fair Trade Recycling's "Student Ambassador" Program. A new report shows the benefits of cooperative partnerships between USA Recyclers and Africa's Tech Sector.

The interns from Middlebury College, University of Florida, and Wentworth Institute focused primarily on "flat screen" (LCD and LED) television reuse. Two students worked in the USA, dismantling the TVs and testing parts, while designing a new online distribution system. These were tested with USA "DIY" markets and USA based TV repairs, with 98% success. The intern from Wentworth Institute (Morgan Whittemore) continues to do cross-section data analysis on the parts and screens to improve inventory systems and supply chain efficiency.

Meanwhile, in Tamale, Ghana, two interns (Middlebury College and University of Florida) completed a 6 week apprenticeship under African Tech Sector entrepreneurs. The interns were in the role of learning expertise which Africa already has - replacing capacitors, power supplies, and other board level repairs. Because of the high cost of ordering replacement parts from manufacturers, most Tech Sector use "scavenger opportunities" to re-purpose parts from older units, often taking two "broken" sets to make one working set.

One  of  the  aftermarkets  studied  by  the  interns  was  a  repurposing  of  working backlights and lamps. Normally discarded in the USA as "hazardous waste", the interns documented ingenious ways African technicians retain added working value from the lamps, and demonstrated the techniques on their return to the USA. Tool kits were provided to the two USA interns by IFIXIT.org

In autumn, Middlebury College and Post Landfill Action Network will review the findings from report and provide a classroom analysis of how to use "social entrepreneurship"  to increase these fair trade recycling opportunities, and address ways to lower barriers to supplying working parts from flat screen TVs to Africa's Tech  Sector,  and  incorporating  solar  panels  to  power  some  of  the  novel  reuse methods demonstrated by Ghana's "savvy geeks".

At a minimum, the project successfully demonstrates an alternative to "boycotts" and "poverty porn" e-waste directives which have led to impugnment, racial profiling, and even imprisonment of Africa's Tech Sector repairmen.

For more information, contact Robin Ingenthron, Fair Trade Recycling [WR3A] and Good Point Recycling.

Organix Solutions Receives Patent for Organics Co-Collection Method

Organix Solutions, an organics recovery and municipal solid waste company based in Minnesota, proudly announced today it received a full patent for its organics co-collection program on June 6, 2017.  The utility patent US 9,669,431 B2 encompasses the compostable organic waste collection method and materials, establishing its patent portfolio that includes a proprietary product line of compostable bags. The first of its kind program, the patent covers the method of collecting and processing of compostable organic waste material. 

Now a single waste collection vehicle can collect both organic waste and municipal solid waste (MSW) in a single trip. Eliminating the need for multiple trucks, on even a relatively small scale, has a significant environmental impact. 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) evaluated the co-collection method as a separate waste stream and the independent third-party laboratory Aspen Research Corporation conducted its own research on the performance characteristics of the compostable bag as it traveled through the waste stream. Both confirmed that the compostable bags were strong enough to withstand compaction in a waste collection vehicle while preserving the organic waste for further processing.

These traits distinguish Organix Solutions’ Extreme Duty Green Bag Organix™ and Blue Bag Organics® compostable bags from other marketed liners.  “The absence of a compostable bag that could withstand compaction forces in a solid waste truck spurred our efforts to develop our own compostable bags,” said Jim Wollschlager, Organix Solutions’ CEO.  “In 2010 we introduced our co-collection program in Minnesota with our own Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI®) certified bags which have been absolutely integral to the overall success of our organic waste collection and composting program.” 

In 2014 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) reported 258 million tons of MSW were generated in the U.S.  About 37 million tons of that waste stream was organics (food waste) sent to landfill for permanent disposal.

For more information, contact Debra Darby, Program and Marketing Director.