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September 2005

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)



Sustaining Members

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • 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


  • 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)


  • US Composting Council (USCC)

  • Waste Management

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

New Sustaining Member:
  • Electronic Industries Alliance
Renewing Supporting Members:
    • Award Honors State's Climate Change Leadership
    • Honey, I Shrunk (wrapped) the Boat!
    • Recycling on the Right Track
    • New Commercial Waste Reduction Branch Chief
    • Schuylkill County to Hold First Ever Ecycling Events
    • Perry County to Hold First Ever Ecycling Event September 10
    • September Electronics Event in Pittsburgh
    • Making Recycling Bins Accessible
    • Resource Recovery Donates $25,000 to Town
    • RI Launches Nation's First Statewide Plastic Bags Recycling Program
    • Expanding the Used Building Materials Industry in Vermont

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.

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MEMBERSHIP ElectroniCycle

We are delighted to welcome EIA as a new Sustaining Member - having upgraded its membership from the Supporting level. In addition, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and Maine Resource Recovery Association have renewed as Supporting Members.

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's Fall '05 Conference will be held on October 25 -26 at the Hotel Northamptonto discuss some of recycling's most challenging issues while enjoying New England's foliage season. Topics to be featured are:
  • 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.

The complete agenda is posted on the NERC website.

Conference sponsors include the Public Service Enterprise Group, American Forest & Paper Association, and the American Plastics Council.

Make your hotel room reservations prior to October 1 to get a discounted room rate (mention Booking Number 3571). Do not miss this opportunity!

Vendor Tables Available at NERC's Fall Conference
Looking for an opportunity to introduce your company's products and services to recycling professionals in the Northeast region? If so, exhibit at NERC's Fall '05 Conference and seize an opportunity to meet with state recycling officials, recycling trade associations, private businesses, consultants, and recycling non-profits from CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI and VT. 

Draft Model Regional Electronics Legislation Update
The dream of a regionally consistent end-of-life management system for electronics moved a step closer to being fulfilled last month with the publication of draft model legislation and the convening of a stakeholder dialogue. The draft legislation was the resulted of a several month collaborative effort between legislators and their staff from the 10 Northeast States, as well as Quebec and the Virgin Islands, NERC and the Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference.

Written comments about the draft legislation were received from:
  • Apple Computer
  • Branford, CT
  • Clean Water Action
  • Connecticut Recyclers Coalition
  • Consumer Electronics Association
  • Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition
  • Earth Protection Services
  • Electronics Industries Alliance
  • Equipment Leasing Association
  • GAMA
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • IBM
  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
  • Lennox International
  • MaSeR Corporation
  • Middletown, Connecticut
  • National Center for Electronic Recycling
  • Panasonic
  • Philips Electronics
  • Product Stewardship Institute
  • Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation
  • Sharp Electronics

These comments are posted on the NERC website.

The comments heard, as well as received in written format, are being considered. A REVISED DRAFT OF THE MODEL IS POSTED HERE.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

NERC Attends EPA's Beverage Container Stakeholders Meeting
On August 5, EPA Headquarters held a Beverage Container Stakeholders Meeting in Washington, DC. This meeting with non-profit organizations was part of a series of stakeholders' meetings that EPA held to solicit ideas on potential projects to focus on and the possible direction that EPA should take to increase the recycling of beverage containers nationwide. For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador of NERC.

Advisory Membership Lunch Planned at Fall Conference
For the past year, NERC Advisory Members have enjoyed a dedicated breakfast meeting with the NERC Executive Committee at the NERC Conferences. The breakfast meeting is a dedicated opportunity to discuss their needs and concerns and how NERC can most effectively address these. One of the recommendations that we received was to change the time of the meeting - not following the very popular NERC Conference Social Hour. As such, the Advisory Membership "breakfast" will be a LUNCH this fall. It will take place on Tuesday October 25th - the first day of the conference. We hope that all Advisory Members will join us for this inaugural lunch. For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.


Peer-to-Peer EPP Website Launched!
With USDA funding, NERC has been working on an EPP Peer-to-Peer Business Training project. In addition to the peer-to-peer mentoring aspect, this project involves the development of a Green Purchasing Resources for Business website . This website is a quick reference to web-based information on purchasing green products and services. By using the site, businesses will be able to identify vendors that sell green products and services throughout the Northeast region, steps to developing a green purchasing program, as well as purchasing self-assessment tools, tools for quantifying the impact of a green purchasing program and other related resources.

What's in this new website?
Steps to Develop a Green Purchasing Program
This webpage has a quick list of suggested steps and includes a directory of web-based documents that explain these steps.

Green Purchasing Self Assessment Tools
These tools may also be used to monitor the progress of the green purchasing program by comparing annual results with the baseline results. As a result, these tools assist businesses with understanding and communicating the effectiveness of their green purchasing strategy in a quantifiable manner.

For more information, contact Mary Ann Remolador of NERC.

Northeast States Recycling Business Assistance Guide Updated
The Business Assistance Guide is a comprehensive compendium of business resources available to start up and expanding recycling businesses in the Northeast states. It saves businesses from the often confusing task of trying to identify what resources are available to them and how to contact those programs.

The Guide provides state specific contact and program information about grant and loan fund programs, tax incentive programs, sources of technical support, and other resources for assisting recycling businesses in getting established or expanding. Each listing includes a contact name, address, phone, fax, email, and web link, as available.


NERC Receives EPA Grant to Test Toxics in Packaging
This Fall the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse, a program administered by NERC, will embark on the first large-scale effort to assess compliance with state toxics in packaging laws with the generous support of the US EPA Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program.

Nineteen US states have toxics in packaging laws that prohibit the intentional introduction of four (4) heavy metals -- mercury, lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium -- into packaging and packaging components sold or distributed in the state. While the laws have been in force in most of the 19 states for 10 years or more, there is increasing evidence of non-compliance.

This EPA-funded project will test packaging from the retail market in member states for the total concentration of the four restricted heavy metals using NITON Portable X-Ray Florescence (XRF) Analyzer. Companies selling products in non-compliant packaging will be notified of the test results and requirements of the toxics in packaging laws. The legal requirements will be the "stick" to get the companies to reduce or eliminate the toxic heavy metals from their packaging and remove any non-compliant packaging from retail shelves, or face state enforcement action.

The project will also develop a more general education and outreach campaign to raise awareness of the legal requirements of the toxics in packaging laws. The goal of this campaign will be to get the supply chain, including customers, to incorporate the requirements of the toxics in packaging laws into their purchasing specifications.

TPCH member states and industry will serve as the Advisory Committee for this project, which runs from August 1, 2005 to July 31, 2006. 



Award Honors State's Climate Change Leadership

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), along with several other Connecticut state agencies, is showing leadership when it comes to dealing with climate change, and its hard work is not going unrecognized. The U.S. EPA presented the State of Connecticut's Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change (GSC) with one of its prestigious Annual Climate Protection Awards at a national event held in Washington, DC in May. In addition, at a ceremony held at DEP headquarters, EPA New England Regional Administrator Robert Varney gave recognition and presented plaques to the six state agencies that make up the GSC (DEP, Administrative Services, Transportation, Public Utility Control and Office of Policy and Management and Clean Energy Fund). The GSC was selected for the award because of its groundbreaking work in developing a plan for reducing Connecticut's emission of greenhouse gases, pollutants that contribute to climate change. Their worked resulted in the Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan 2005.

"The award is a testament to Connecticut's leadership and commitment in efforts to reduce harmful pollution, improve energy efficiency and reliability, strengthen our economy and improve the overall quality of life," said DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy, Chair of the GSC.

United Technologies Corporation (UTC) also received the 2005 Climate Protection Award from the U.S. EPA. UTC pledged to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 16% per dollar of revenue from 2001 to 2006. UTC's energy use (normalized for revenue) dropped 9% in 2004 for a cumulative reduction of 40% since 1997, meeting their 2006 energy efficiency goal. Normalized water use decreased 19%in 2004, with cumulative reductions of 53%. Air emissions dropped 27% in 2004, with cumulative reductions since 1999 of 58%. UTC has also earned the EPA Climate Wise Partner Achievement Award and the EPA National Clean Water Act Recognition Award for outstanding storm water management.

Honey, I Shrunk (wrapped) the Boat!
For boaters, peeling back their boat covers after a long, snowy winter is an annual rite of spring. The problem is what to do with the cover once it is off the boat. The lightweight plastic used to shrink-wrap boats is not biodegradable and takes up a lot of space in dumpsters and at landfills. Considering that about half of the vessels in Connecticut are shrink-wrapped over the winter, that's a lot of plastic.

The good news is that boat shrink-wrap, made of low-density polyethylene, is a recyclable material that can be remanufactured into composite lumber, agricultural sheeting, and even the spacers on highway guardrails. The not-so-good news is that more than half of the shrink-wrap used on Connecticut boats is not recycled, but sent to landfills or trash-to-energy plants. However, those low recycling rates reflect more a lack of a universally convenient solution than a lack of good intentions among the boating public. Many boaters and marinas purchase "mail back bags" large enough to hold the wrap of a 26' vessel and send the plastic directly to a recycler, but many facilities claim that using such a recycling option is not practical.

In order to increase the boat wrap recycling options for marinas, the DEP established a pilot recycling program for boat wrap involving the Trex Company, manufacturers of composite lumber. This spring, participating marina operators collected boat wrap at their facilities for their waste hauler to transport to one of two facilities in Connecticut where it was baled and stored before being hauled to Trex in Virginia. In all, nine marinas participated in this pilot project, and over 30,000 pounds of shrink-wrap was sold to Trex. The company will test the use of the boat shrink-wrap in their manufacturing process to determine whether they can continue to use it to make their recycled boards in the future.

While the DEP continues to encourage boaters to cover their vessels with reusable canvas covers or plastic tarps, recycling boat wrap is an important step in reducing solid waste produced by Connecticut boaters. For more information, contact the DEP Recycling Office at (860) 424-3237.

Recycling on the Right Track
DEP employees brought in over 100 pair of sneakers for recycling at its second annual collection in June at its headquarters in Hartford. The collection was part of a statewide effort coordinated by the Connecticut Recyclers Coalition for the Nike Re-Use a Shoe program.

So what becomes of all these shoes? Nike grinds them up and they are then made into sport surfaces such as running tracks, basketball courts, and artificial field turf. The Nike program not only eliminates waste, but also is an important part of the "NikeGO" initiative, which encourages youth to exercise and enjoy sports.


New Commercial Waste Reduction Branch Chief
Peggy Harlow has been promoted to the position of Commercial Waste Reduction Branch Chief within the Bureau of Waste Prevention. As many of you know, Peggy has worked in the Municipal Waste Reduction Branch the past seven years effectively administering the Municipal Grant Program. In her new position, Peggy will be leading the Department's efforts to reduce commercially generated waste. Please contact Peggy if you are in need of assistance or would like to share your ideas on how to advance commercial waste reduction. DEP is in the process of hiring a new grant manager ( ( Brooke Nash will be acting grant manager until a replacement is hired.


Schuylkill County to Hold First Ever Ecycling Eventsa
Schuylkill County will hold its first ever eCycling electronics recycling collection events in September. The collection events will be at the Wayne Twp Building Rt 183 on 9/15/05 and 9/17/05; CES Landfill from 9/12/05 through 9/17/05; Pottsville City Garage from 9/12/05 through 9/17/05; Girardville behind "A" St. School from 9/15/05 through 9/17/05; Minersville North Delaware Ave compost site from 9/19/05 through 9/24/05; Tamaqua Transfer Station on Sewage Plant Toad from 9/19/05 through 9/24/05; Pine Grove Township Building on Oak Grove Road from 9/22/05 through 9/24/05 and Ringtown Borough on Apple St. behind Valley Beverage from 9/22/05 through 9/24/05. 

Perry County to Hold First Ever Ecycling Event September 10
Perry County will hold its first ever eCycling event for unwanted electronic equipment. The event will be held September 10, 2005 at Wright's Food Market in New Bloomfield. 

September Electronics Event in Pittsburgh
Unwanted electronics can be recycled in Pittsburgh on September 17 at Construction Junction 64 S.14th Street in Pittsburgh. Contact Ginette Walker 412-431-4449 ext 243 for more information.


Making Recycling Bins Accessible
In an effort to increase the amount of collected recycled materials from Rhode Island households, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation donated $16,000 to the Arthritis Foundation, Southern New England Chapter, to purchase and distribute specially designed recycling bins. For the debut of the "EZ Recycler Program," the Arthritis Foundation distributed 500 sets of blue and green residential recycling bins with wheels and handles for ease-of-use to their members. The bins were distributed free of charge to members of the Arthritis Foundation.

In addition to offering the EZ Recycler bins to aid recycling among those suffering from arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation also distributed information about recycling to its members."The physical task of recycling requires both strength and flexibility," said Stephen Evangelista, president and CEO of the Southern New England Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. "Those with arthritis have activity limitations, which may otherwise prohibit them from using traditional recycling bins. The EZ Recycler program, however, will make recycling far easier for our constituents."

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in Rhode Island and the nation. About 30 percent of those with arthritis or chronic joint pain report they are limited in their daily activities. While the prevalence of people with arthritis increases over the age of 45, more than half those affected with arthritis are under the age of 65. Even daily activities may become difficult, such as walking, buttoning a shirt, or recycling.

Resource Recovery Donates $25,000 to Town
In 1998, the town of Central Falls had a recycling rate of just eight percent. A tiny community in northeast Rhode Island, it's a town with an abundance of apartments and plenty of renters, many of whom don't speak English as their primary language. These factors were seen as minuses when town officials began to evaluate how they could improve their recycling rates and reduce the amount of fees paid for disposing trash. It wasn't an easy task but their hard work paid dividends - literally.

This week, Resource Recovery will present a grant of $25,000 to Central Falls city officials for boosting their recycling rate to 14 percent, or double what it was producing just five years ago. The funds will be earmarked for additional recycling projects within the town. To help increase their diversion, the city initiated a city-wide recycling program for its schools, and stopped collecting waste from apartments and condos of 6 units or more. They instituted a recycling program at municipal offices and began enforcing recycling compliance with homeowners. Offenders were given one warning and then received fines. The city also improved its metals and bulky waste collections to ensure that the material would be recycled instead of paying tipping fees.

RI Launches Nation's First Statewide Plastic Bags Recycling Program
On Labor Day, Rhode Island will launch the nation's first-ever statewide plastic bags recycling program. ReStore is a program offered by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) in partnership with the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association (RIFDA).

At the forefront of ReStore is a universal collection system for all plastic bags. These collection bins will be located in the vestibules of grocery stores statewide-from the largest chains to the smallest corner markets. All HDPE film bags are eligible for recycling and shoppers may deposit their bags at any store. Colorful displays were created to advertise the program. In addition, many stores are running ads in their weekly circulars and educating their shoppers with promotional materials and announcements over the loudspeaker.

The goal is to educate shoppers and encourage them to recycle not only their plastic grocery bags but all HDPE film bags -- newspaper sleeves, produce baggies and bags from the dry cleaners, pharmacies, and department stores.

The state's overwhelming and costly litter problem led to the creation of ReStore. Surveys demonstrated that shoppers will continue to use plastic bags and fill the landfill with them. The decision was made to revamp an unused paper baler at the MRF to bale plastic bags. One of RIFDA's members supplies inventory to grocers and will underwrite the cost of hauling the bags from the stores to his warehouse and then subsequently onto the MRF.

Nearly all the markets -from large chain stores to local corner shops-are part of the RIFDA and are participating in the first-ever statewide program. Resource Recovery is underwriting the cost of the promotional materials and collection barrels. They are also handling all of the marketing efforts for the ReStore program.

A recent Resource Recovery survey concluded that 95% of R.I. households use plastic bags. Each month, 16 million bags are used for groceries in R.I. alone. Virtually all of them end up at the landfill.


Expanding the Used Building Materials Industry in Vermont
November 3, 2005
Vermont Historical Society, Barre, Vermont
9:30a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

A.M. Session
  • Current state of deconstruction and used building material stores including the economic impacts of this industry -- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Barriers
  • Construction industry perspective - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Barriers
  • How salvage stores and used building materials stores collaborate on reuse
  • Reuse at waste facilities - promoting separation of reusable construction materials at landfills and transfer stations - issues and challenges
  • Marketing strategies for used building materials - what works?

P.M. Working Session -- Increasing opportunities for collaboration

Final agenda, including speakers to come. In the meantime, please mark the dates on your calendar