Skip to Content


September 2014

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)




Waste Management

Sustaining Members

  • American Chemistry Council

  • American Forest and Paper Association

  • American Iron & Steel Institute

  • 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

  • Mattress Recycling Coalition

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association

  • Nestlé Waters North America


  • Organix Solutions

  • PaintCare

  • Plastics Industry Association

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Schaefer Systems International, Inc.

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)


  • US Composting Council (USCC)

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


New Sustaining Member

Renewing Sustaining Members

Renewing Supporting Members

New Individual Supporter

  • Jo Gallo, of Waste Management's Green Squad

September's Member Spotlight - UNICOR









We are delighted to thank welcome NERC's newest Sustaining Member - the US Composting Council (USCC), as well as renewing Sustaining Members - American Chemistry Council (ACC), UNICOR, and UNTHA Shredding TechnologiesIn addition, several Supporting Members have renewed, and we are grateful for their support: Call2Recycle, the City of Lowell, Massachusetts, Connecticut Recyclers Coalition (CRC), hibu, publisher of Yellowbook, and the Maine Resource Recovery Association (MRRA).

NERC also has a growing base of Individual Supporters - the most recent being Jo Gallo of Waste Management's Green Squad.

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.

September's Member Spotlight - UNICOR

UNICOR is the trade name for Federal Prison Industries, Inc.  A component of the FederalUNICOR logo Bureau of Prisons, UNICOR provides job skills training and work experience to Federal inmates.  Established in 1934, UNICOR is designed so that it does not significantly interfere with private-industry.  Products manufactured by UNICOR may only be sold to Federal Government agencies.  Services provided by UNICOR (such as electronics recycling) may be offered to both Federal and non-Federal customers.

UNICOR’s authorizing statute requires that it operate in a self-sustaining manner, without any appropriated funds from Congress.  This means that no tax dollars are used for the UNICOR program.  Rather, UNICOR’s funding comes from the revenue generated by the products and services offered by UNICOR.

UNICOR operates five separate business groups (Clothing/Textiles, Electronics, Office Furniture, Recycling, and Services) which combine to provide more than 100 different products and services, employing more than 13,000 inmates.  The UNICOR program has a positive impact on recidivism; inmates in UNICOR are 24% less likely to recidivate than similar inmates without UNICOR experience.  Further, UNICOR inmates are 14% more likely to find and maintain employment than non-UNICOR inmates.  Inmates working in UNICOR contribute a portion of their earnings toward meeting their financial obligations (such as court-ordered fines, child support, and/or victim restitution), as well providing earnings toward family support.

UNICOR & the Environment

In 2008, UNICOR embarked on a corporate-wide campaign to become a leader in eco-sensitive practices, and to set the standard for Government. UNICOR adopted Lean Six Sigma (LSS) as its standard methodology for process improvement. Green thinking and practices are ingrained at UNICOR, with its stated goal of respecting the environment in all of its business practices, from suppliers and the raw materials purchased, to production facilities, manufacturing processes, packaging, distribution and its end products.[1]

UNICOR’s Recycling Group offers electronics recycling services. Each of UNICOR’s seven (7) electronics recycling facilities operate in full compliance with all applicable OSHA standards, and each institution is staffed with a full-time Safety Manager.  All seven UNICOR Recycling facilities are certified to the Responsible Recycling Practices for Electronics Recyclers (R2:2013) standard, as well as to the ISO-9001 (Quality); ISO-14001 (Environmental Management), and OHSAS-18001 (Occupational Safety & Health) standards.

UNICOR employee with CRTIn FY 2013, UNICOR recycled more than 39 million pounds of electronic waste.  The UNICOR recycling process for incoming “e-waste” material includes: sorting, testing, reconditioning / refurbishing, component recovery, and residual material recovery. UNICOR accepts all manner of electronics for recycling from any source (public, private, or individual) within the United States.

Involvement with NERC

UNICOR became a NERC Advisory Member in 2006. According to Todd Baldau, Deputy General Manager for UNICOR’s Recycling Business Group, “refurbishment, re-manufacturing, and recycling operations are central to UNICOR’s core production and service provisions, from textile repair to electronics reuse and recycling. UNICOR's unique, full service recycling program is an integrated part of a national e-scrap solution. Our membership in NERC helps us play an important role in advancing sustainable materials management.”


There's So Much to Say About NERC’s Fall 2014 Conference - November 6 - 7

The tone for NERC’s Fall Conference—The New Era of Recycling— will be set with a keynote delivered by two people who are well-known for their in-depth understanding of recycling markets.  This team includes Chaz Miller of the National Waste & Recycling Association  & Dylan de Thomas of Resource Recycling, Inc. Together they will present a detailed overview of the status of markets for traditional recycling industry sectors, the factors that have impacted the changed markets, and forecasts of future prospects for U.S. recycling markets.

The conference will continue with concurrent sessions on the state of markets, the issues affecting them, and future prospects for seven industry sectors—paper, plastics, glass, tires, electronics, steel, and organics.  In addition, there will be a session on new informational recycling resources and another on what states and industry can do to respond to future changes in recycling. NERC would like to thank its Advisory Members for helping us develop the sessions and identifying the appropriate speakers for each session. 

The Conference take place November 6 – 7 at the Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst, Massachusetts.  Be sure to book your room early. There is only a limited number of extremely discounted sleeping rooms available under NERC’s room block until September 20th or until they are sold out.

This year, NERC is offering a discounted early registration rate until September 20th.   

Sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor spaces are available. 

Platinum Sponsor


Silver Sponsors

 recyclingtodaylogo       ResourceRecyclingLogo  

 New West Gypsum logo

Join NERC's Team - Now Hiring a Director of Advisory Member Services & Development

NERC recently completed a strategic planning process and among the decisions for moving the organization forward was to add a position dedicated to expanding NERC's relationship with the business community and NERC's Advisory Members.  We are accepting applications through September 15th.

Organics Management Webinars in September

 Organic Amendments—How to Tell if Compost is Right for Your Needs?

 September 3, 2014, from 1-2:30 pm (EDT)


  • Choosing Organic Amendments
  • Compost Quality
  • Compost Applications


Community Composting—Lessons from New York City & Beyond

September 16, 2014, from 1:30-3 pm (EDT)


Community composting presents a scalable food diversion option that is applicable in virtually any community, whether urban, suburban, or rural. Community compost programs can be established at community (neighborhood, urban, or tribal) gardens, farms, schools, or other locations. They can be operated by not-for-profit organizations, governments, private sector, schools, housing associations, cooperatives, or through other arrangements.

Topics & Presenters

  • Community Composting—a Model for any Community

Brenda Platt, Co-Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Director, Composting Makes $en$e Project, & lead author of the new report Growing Local Fertility: Guide to Community Composting 

  • Growing Organics Collections in NYC: The Evolution of the GrowNYC Food Scrap Collection Program & More

David Hurd, Director, Office of Recycling Outreach & Education, GrowNYC

  • Community Composting in Action

Christine Datz-Romero, Executive Director, Lower East Side Ecology Center

This webinar is sponsored by NERC, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

For more information:   Athena Lee Bradley, NERC.

Save Money?  Save Energy?  Recycle Responsibly?  Learn more - Webinar

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.   

For more information, contact or visit the website at

The State Electronics Challenge is sponsored by Samsung, Panasonic, the Consumer Electronics Association, and R2/RIOS.

NERC Awarded USDA Grant to Promote Reuse

NERC has received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Grant for its project Innovative Strategies & Best Management Practices for Implementing Reuse Programs in Rural Communities in New York State & the St. Regis Mohawk Nation. The project will focus on capacity building in rural communities to decrease their waste stream through creative and sustainable reuse programs. Incorporating reuse in a waste management program assists rural communities to protect the environment while saving money.

Through the project, which will begin in October, NERC will provide trainings as well as technical assistance.  In addition, NERC will develop a guidance document entitled Innovative Strategies & Best Management Practices for Implementing Reuse in Rural Communities.  It will address reuse as a strategy for improved and sustainable waste management practices, reuse event and program ideas and examples, instructions for creating a local reuse guide, tools for measuring the impact of reuse, outreach and promotional resources, case studies, and other relevant materials specifically designed for rural communities. 

Finally, national webinars will be presented on:

  • Designing and implementing reuse programs and events
  • Leveraging and supporting existing reuse opportunities, including partnerships
  • Promoting reuse opportunities in rural communities
  • Reuse in tribal communities: how to design, implement, and succeed with reuse
  • Measuring the impacts of reuse in your community

For more information, contact Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager.

NERC Receives EPA Healthy Communities Grant

NERC has received funding from EPA Region 1 for Creating Healthy Communities through Food Recovery & Composting in Vermont. Through the project, NERC will recruit hospitality businesses (e.g., hotels, resorts, restaurants, conference venues) and sporting venues in Vermont to implement sustainable food reduction, recovery, and composting programs. In addition, NERC will work with at least 15 hospitality and sports venues to join the EPA Food Recovery Challenge.

The project will involve businesses in Burlington, Stowe, and Rutland, Vermont.

For more information, contact Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager.

Reuse Marketplace Promoting Sustainability

Many businesses, universities and colleges, and non-profits are striving to make their operations more sustainable.  These entities are searching for ways to reduce their overall waste, to find reuse outlets for their unwanted items, and recycling waste that can’t be avoided.

Seven Northeast states (Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) are working together to assist businesses, institutions, non-profits, and government with reuse options through the Reuse Marketplace.  The Reuse Marketplace is a free website where entities can post their reusable items so others can find and buy them.  And many times the items are being offered for free.

The site is in its second year of operations.  This year alone the Reuse Marketplace has been responsible for exchanging 688 reusable items.  These exchanges are equivalent to 5.4 tons of materials that have been diverted from landfills.   Some of the exchanges made include:

  • Periodical shelving units
  • Food grade totes, drums, and buckets
  • Wood desks, bed frames and bureaus
  • New corrugated cardboard boxes
  • Food grade super sacks
  • Plastic pallets

The Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC) administers the Reuse Marketplace.  We are always looking for opportunities to spread the word about the website in the participant states.  If you know of different venues or specific entities that would benefit from using the site, please contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director.

TOXICS IN PACKAGING CLEARINGHOUSE NEWsNew Look for the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH)

Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) logoThe Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse unveiled a fresh new logo for the organization this month. In creating the logo, members wanted to emphasize its focus on packaging and global reach of state toxics in packaging laws. TPCH is working to revamp its website next, so stay tuned for more changes.


Workshop Planned at E-Scrap Conference - Ensuring Transparency and Sustainability under State Electronics Recycling Law Programs

This workshop, hosted by the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC), will discuss two key topics regarding the implementation of legislated state electronics recycling programs. First, how can state programs ensure transparency, particularly with recyclers and their downstream vendors?  A panel of experts including a manufacturer, recycler, regulator, auditor, will each provide their perspectives on what transparent recycling means to them and how the material should be tracked downstream to open markets.  For the second half, ERCC will moderate a discussion on program sustainability and ensuring the long term sustainability of programs under state electronics recycling laws. Many state programs are holding stakeholder discussions with common themes that will be addressed in this workshop.  ERCC welcomes all participants to attend in order to bring their observations for this lively discussion.



Updated Composting & Organic Materials Management Webpages

Organics Materials Management - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has recently launched an updated version of its webpages for Composting and Organic Materials Management.  The new webpages provides in depth information and links on a number of topics ranging from types of organic materials, home composting and reducing wasted food to organics recycling facilities, regulations and technologies. More updates to these webpages will follow.

NY Association for Solid Waste Management - Fall Conference

The New York State Association for Solid Waste Management will be holding its 2014 Fall Conference on September 28, 29 & 30 in Lake Placid, NY.  The agenda includes topics on several aspects of materials management. 

NYSDEC Joins EPA Food Recovery Challenge

The NYSDEC has joined the USEPA Food Recovery Challenge as an endorser.  EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge encourages organizations to reduce, donate, and recycle as much of their food waste as possible, which saves money, feeds the needy, and helps protect the environment.  By joining the Food Recovery Challenge as an “Endorser,” the NYSDEC will work with EPA to help promote participation in the Food Recovery Challenge by providing promotional, educational, and technical information to its stakeholders.


Vermont Releases Map of Food Businesses and Food Rescue, Recycling & Composting Sites

The Agency of Natural Resources announces the launch of its web-based “Universal Recycling Materials Management Map” (Materials Management Map). Following the passage of the Universal Recycling law in 2012, ensuring consistent recycling, food scrap, and waste services statewide by 2020, the map connects residents, businesses, and institutions with collection services and food rescue agencies, haulers, and composters with sources of quality food and food scraps. The map will provide the information needed to reduce waste and increase the development of infrastructure and systems to manage food waste for beneficial uses.

“Removing food scraps and other organic material from the waste stream is a high priority for Vermont,” said Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Secretary Deb Markowitz. “These materials account for nearly 30 of what we throw out, wasting limited landfill space; and as the waste breaks down it produces greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change.” Markowitz added that, “in order to make it easier for Vermont businesses and institutions to identify the alternatives that are available to them, the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) is now providing an easy-to-use tool to help connect food producing businesses and institutions with food rescue organizations, solid waste haulers and facility managers.” According to Markowitz, the map is also intended to connect users to recycling options and opportunities statewide as features are added.

Vermont’s Universal Recycling law bans all food scraps from landfills by July 1, 2020. Larger generators of food scraps need to begin diverting these materials sooner if a certified facility—such as a permitted compost facility—is located within 20 miles. Recyclables (such as metal, glass, plastics #1 & #2, and paper/cardboard) are also banned from the landfill beginning July 1, 2015. The Materials Management Map allows users to find facilities that accept various materials for food rescue, recycling, composting, and disposal, such as food shelves, transfer stations and compost facilities. The map also displays businesses and institutions that generate food scraps (supermarkets, restaurants, schools, hospitals) as well as the local governments, known as the Solid Waste Management Entities, who can provide composting and recycling assistance to businesses and institutions at the local level

Follow this link to access the map and this link for a video tutorial of its key functions.

For more information about Universal Recycling, visit or contact a local solid waste management entity for assistance with recycling and composting. Follow ANR’s Solid Waste Program on Twitter, @VTrecycles.


Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) logoElectronic Recyclers International Partners with Recycle Across America to Advance Recycling & Sustainable Manufacturing

Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), one of the nation’s leading recycler of electronics and e-waste, announced that it has established a partnership with Recycle Across America (RAA), a non-profit organization which has launched the society-wide standardized labeling system for recycling bins that has proven to help people recycle more and help people recycle right.

“We are extremely proud to be partnering with our friend, Mitch Hedlund, and her team at Recycle Across America,” said John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of ERI. “Mitch is truly an inspiring recycling visionary who represents the future of where our industry needs to go. The standardized label initiative has made tremendous inroads helping to remove the confusion regarding what items belong in which bins and what can or cannot be recycled. And their celebrity-led ‘Let’s recycle right!’ ads are a much needed campaign to help the public understand the importance of recycling properly. We share a common mission: to provide people with greater accessibility to a greener life and business. By pooling our resources, we will now be able to offer RAA’s audience a tool to keep their unwanted items out of landfills. We are extremely proud of this collaboration and what we will be able to accomplish together!”

“We’re thrilled to work with the ERI team and their affiliates to advance recycling,” said Mitch Hedlund, founder and Executive Director of RAA. “Their searchable database is an outstanding addition to our website to help people and businesses know all the things that are recyclable and where to bring those items in their communities to recycle properly. ERI’s resources are filling a tremendous void to help make recycling all sorts of items easier for all of us.”

“John and his team really understand the critical need to make it easier for the public to recycle and recycle properly,” Hedlund continued. “Recycling has been identified as the #1 action we can do for the environment, the economy and our future on this planet — but only if we recycle right. Unfortunately, historically the thousands of inconsistent and confusing labels on recycling bins throughout society has caused the public to make mistakes at the bin, and worse, become apathetic and skeptical about recycling. This results in tons of garbage being thrown in recycling bins every day, crippling the economics and viability of the recycling system.  In the end, many manufacturers can’t commit to using the recycled materials due to the high cost of removing the contamination and the lack of quality materials available. Subsequently, companies continue to deplete finite natural resources at alarming speeds and materials that should be considered valuable are seen as waste, sadly ending up in oceans, waterways and the bellies of sea life. We’re excited to partner with ERI to change the public’s experience with recycling and to expedite progress!”

Via its mobile app, online resource and phone service, ERI subsidiary provides information about recycling services and facilities to anyone, anywhere by ZIP code. Designed to make the recycling process easy and more accessible,’s nationwide search functionality is now also a clickable icon on the Recycle Across America site. As a result, RAA’s recycling-driven audience can now easily find responsible recycling locations for anything they wish to recycle, and unwanted items will receive a green and responsible end of life.

ERI is also developing consumer information pages to appear on all of its subsidiaries explaining RAA’s standardized labeling system.

Green is Good Radio Show to Partner with Green Festival

America’s top sustainability radio show, “Green is Good,” has announced that it has entered into an agreement to partner with Green Festival, America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event series. 

The partnership will involve a sharing of resources and a multi-disciplinary collaborative rollout of cross-promotional branding opportunities by Green Festival and Green Is Good Radio during the Green Festival events taking place this year in Los Angeles (Sept. 12–14), Chicago (Oct. 24-26), and San Francisco (Nov. 14-16).

Green Festival is a vibrant, dynamic marketplace where sustainable companies and organizations gather to showcase their green products and services, and where people go to learn how to live healthier, more sustainable lives. The events bring together the world’s most trusted companies, innovative brands, national and local businesses, pioneering thinkers, and conscious consumers in one place to promote the best in sustainability and green living.

“We are extremely proud to be partnering with our friends at Green Festival,” said John Shegerian, founder and host of Green is Good and Chairman and CEO of ERI, the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste.  “We’ve long admired Green Festival’s efforts to inspire and empower consumers, communities and businesses to work green, play green and live green. Similarly, on Green is Good, we engage our guests in discussions about the environment and what businesses and individuals can do each day to follow the major tenets of sustainability – people, planet and profits. Our missions are so closely aligned, it was only a matter of time before we teamed to pool our resources.”

Shegerian noted that the Green Festivals will be heavily promoted on his show and several of the events’ key speakers will appear as guests.

Each episode of Green is Good features in-depth and thought-provoking interviews with representatives from many of the world’s best-known brands, businesses and non-profit organizations, focusing on shared information of best green practices and messages about environmental responsibility.  New episodes of Green is Good can be heard every Saturday at 5:00 pm ET at

Guests on Green is Good have included spokespeople from Procter & Gamble, PG&E, UPS, Alcoa, Nestle, Glad Products, AT&T, Dell, Lipton Tea, the US EPA, Ohio State University, the National Wildlife Federation, Ben & Jerry’s, HP/Panasonic, the NRDC, Honeywell, National Geographic, Nascar, General Motors, Best Buy, Maxwell Technologies and FedEx, among many others. 

Upcoming APR Webinar on Recycling Grocery Rigid PlasticsAssociation of Post Consumer Plastics (APR) - logo



Recycling Grocery Rigid Plastics - Continued Progress

September 23, 1:00- 2:15 EDT

North American grocery stores have a great record of recycling cardboard and plastic film. To  further expand sustainability efforts, reduce carbon footprint, and decrease waste disposal costs, some grocery chains have implemented an additional program - rigid plastics recycling. Buckets, pails and containers found behind the counters of the deli, seafood, bakery and pharmacy departments are a high volume disposal item with strong recycling market value. Attend this webinar to learn how a major US  grocery chain is successfully recovering their grocery rigids, hear from the plastic recycling marketplace on rigid plastics value, and learn what resources are available in Canada and the US to help you implement programs. Speakers include Liz Bedard, APR; Ted Brown, Brown Sustainability Solutions; Kim Brunson, Publix; Keith Bechard, Entropex; and Krista Friesen, CPIA. 

Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania Announce the Winning FilmFest Videos

The Monster Trash took First Place at the 7th Annual Recycling FilmFest which was held this past July, in Washington, PA, at the 24th Annual Conference of the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP).

The Monster Trash, shows students disposing of recyclable material only to have them collected by an invisible trash monster to be recycled.  The Monster Trash was submitted by the Bellwood Antis Middle School Tech Club who will receive a $200.00 cash prize for their winning video.  The video may be viewed by clicking here.

Plastic Bag: The Movie, submitted by Amy Schirf, Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority and Mimi Cooper, Centre Region Council of Governments, finished in a close second.  Plastic Bag: The Movie details an 8 week school plastic bag recycling challenge in the State College Area School District.  Schirf & Cooper will receive the Second Place cash prize of $100.00.  Plastic Bag: The Movie can be viewed by clicking here.

The 7th Annual Recycling FilmFest was sponsored by ReCommunity Recycling & Carl Hursh.  The 8th Annual Recycling FilmFest will beheld at the 25th Annual Conference of the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania in July of 2015, in Harrisburg, PA.

One vote separated the First & Second Place videos.