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September 2022

NERC’s Advisory Members

Distinguished Benefactors

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Benefactors

Coca-Cola

Panasonic

Samsung

Waste Management

Sustaining Members

  • American Beverage Association

  • American Iron & Steel Institute

  • AMP Robotics

  • Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)

  • Blount Fine Foods

  • BlueTriton Brands

  • Casella Resource Solutions

  • Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, Inc.

  • Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference

  • CURC

  • Dart Container

  • Eco-Products

  • Fire Rover, LLC

  • GDB International

  • Good Point Recycling

  • Henkel

  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)

  • International Bottled Water Association

  • Keep America Beautiful

  • Keurig Dr. Pepper

  • Mattress Recycling Council

  • MRM

  • National Waste & Recycling Association

  • Nestle USA

  • NEWMOA

  • PaintCare

  • Plastics Industry Association

  • Re-TRAC

  • Recycling Partnership

  • Republic Services

  • Reverse Logistics Group

  • Revolution

  • Sims Municipal Recycling

  • Sonoco

  • SSI SCHAEFER

  • Strategic Materials

  • Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC)

  • TOMRA

  • US Composting Council (USCC)

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

Renewing Benefactor

Renewing Sustaining Members

Renewing Supporting Members

Member Spotlight - Nestlé USA

NERC News

Newly Posted

State Updates

MASSACHUSETTS

Advisory Member News

New & Renewing Memberships

Membership is key to NERC's regional and national commitment to circularity and sustainable materials management. We thank our renewing Benefactor, Samsung, as well as out renewing Sustaining Members:  

Many Supporting Members also renewed:

Thank you to everyone for supporting NERC and its mission. 

For information about Advisory Member opportunities, visit the NERC website.

Member Spotlight - Nestlé USA

With more than 30,000 employees across 31 states, Nestlé in the U.S. offers a Nestlé USA logowide portfolio of food and beverage products for people and their pets. Nestlé in the U.S. consists of six main businesses in the United States, including new NERC Advisory Member Nestlé USA.

Nestlé is committed to using its global reach and scale to have a positive impact—the company is reimaging all aspects of its business to help create a more sustainable future, from the ingredients it uses, to the packaging that keeps food safe, to how it makes and transports products.

For NERC’s community of solid waste management professionals, packaging is particularly top of mind. Nestlé is helping create a waste-free future by designing its packaging to be as sustainable as possible, and the company is constantly innovating to find ways to extend the use of packaging materials as a resource. As Nestlé works toward its ambition of making 100% of its packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025, the company is taking a multi-faceted approach, including:

  • Designing innovative packaging;
  • Helping improve the U.S. recycling infrastructure; and
  • Partnering and advocating for a circular economy.

In a recent blog post, Nestlé’s National Recycling Manager John Caturano describes several initiatives that the company is involved in to help drive a circular economy, including:

  • Nestlé’s $30 million investment in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund to help upgrade recycling infrastructure, bolster packaging materials collection, and secure access to food-grade recycled plastics.
  • Working with The Recycling Partnership, an organization that helps communities gain access to quality recycling equipment and information, to help scale up the recycling infrastructure for recycling flexible plastic.
  • Working closely with organizations and participating in innovative collaborations that are charting a path to a circular economy, including The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the U.S. Plastics Pact, The Association of Plastic Recyclers and many others.

“Ultimately, you should feel comfortable buying products and knowing that you can recycle packaging without worrying about sending materials to landfill,” Caturano writes. “Our mission is to leave the world better than we found it. Closing the loop on packaging is a big part of doing just that.”

In addition to the above packaging sustainability efforts, Nestlé USA has achieved zero waste for disposal at all of its manufacturing facilities and distribution centers. All of its facilities across the U.S. will be using 100% renewable electricity within the next five years.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with NERC and its Advisory members to help progress grassroots solutions to global sustainability challenges, such as packaging and waste reduction,” said Stephanie Potter, Head of Sustainability, Corporate and Government Affairs, Nestlé USA. “Knowledge and resource sharing with like-minded partners and organizations is crucial to realizing the long-term, sustainable impact we are all working towards.”

NERC is excited to welcome such a major force as Nestlé USA to its group of Advisory Members. We look forward to working with the company to continue charting a path toward a more sustainable future.

NERC News

Source Reduction, Reuse, Repurposing & Recycling Market Development on Agenda for NERC’s Fall Conference

NERC Fall Conference logo

We have a stellar line up of presenters and sessions planned for NERC’s Fall Conference and we’ll be in person!  The Conference will be November 2 – 3 at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel, Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

The speakers to be featured are:

  • Jon Smieja, VP of Circularity & Senior Analyst, GreenBiz (Keynote)
  • Katy Hart, Operations Director, ReFED
  • Alissa Westervelt, Senior Manager of donateNYC, New York Department of Sanitation
  • Adoma Addo, Associate, Center for Biological Diversity
  • Krishana Abrahim-Petrie, Project Staff, NEWMOA & Lisa Piering, Recycling Specialist, Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency
  • Karen Hagerman, Director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Green Blue
  • Brooke Nash, Branch Chief for Municipal Waste Reduction, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Damon Carson, Owner & Founder, repurposedMaterials
  • Pamela Howland, Board Member, Build Reuse
  • Kellie Driscoll, Recycling Development Representative, Trex
  • Susan Bush, Principal, Circular Matters
  • Resa Dimino, Managing Principal, RRS and SignalFire Group
  • Marie Anne Champoux-Guimond, Manager of Sustainability, Keurig Dr. Pepper Canada
  • Adam Peer, Senior Director of Packaging & Consumer Products Markets, American Chemistry Council

Go to the Conference Agenda for more details.

The Conference is eligible for NHDES, PROP & Rutgers NJ CEUs.

Early Registration Rate Until October 3

Registration Button

Individual Day Registration Available

(Note: There is no virtual option for the Conference.)

Silver Sponsor

APR Logo

BRONZE SPONSORS

PaintCare logo Resource Recycling Logo
Waste Advantage Logo

 

Conference Contact: Mary Ann Remolador

Material Reuse Deep Dive Forum Series begins September 7

NERC, with the assistance of a Planning Committee of reuse practitioners from around the country, is in the process of planning a series quarterly Deep Dive Forums on reuse.  These virtual discussions will focus on the role of material reuse organizations in working with and building the resiliency of local communities. The presenters will provide in-depth information about the programs they’ve developed and provide resources that serve the needs of residents, work toward policy solutions, and create economically viable systems. 

By material reuse, we are referring to the reuse of durable goods, including: construction materials, consumer and household items, electronics, books, textiles, and fixtures and furnishings.

Planning Committee

  • Pam Howland, Build Reuse, Massachusetts
  • Nancy Meyer, Community Forklift, Maryland
  • Diane Cohen, Finger Lakes Reuse, New York
  • Brooke Nash, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Emily Barker, Minnesota Reuse
  • Heather Trim, Zero Waste Washington

Deep Dive Forum 1 - Reuse Centers: Creating Local Community Connections & Benefits

September 7 (11:30 – 1:00 eastern) Register Here

This first Forum will focus on the power of reuse to create collaboration and bring together multiple sectors to build synergies. Three organizations will showcase the impacts of their creative initiatives in Arizona, Maryland, and Oregon.

Presenters

Terry McDonald is the Executive Director of St. Vincent De Paul Society of Lane County, a nonprofit in Eugene, Oregon that provides an array of social services to 80,000 people annually. Under his leadership for 38 years, “St. Vinnie’s” has developed multiple reuse and recycling businesses, generating $53 million in gross revenue for the organization. With more than 50 years of experience in waste-to-cash enterprises, McDonald also oversees St. Vincent’s mentoring arm, Cascade Alliance, which helps other nonprofits develop successful waste-based business.

Nancy J Meyer is the CEO and Executive Director of Community Forklift, a successful grassroots reuse enterprise in the Port Towns Community of Prince George's County, MD (just minutes from the DC line). She researches and writes on reuse as a platform for local social and environmental justice. 

Karen Jayne is the CEO of Stardust.  While at Stardust, she has increased the diversion rates of usable building materials and launched the Gifts In Kind program, which has distributed more than $85 million worth of reusable household items to fellow nonprofit organizations.  She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Regis University in Denver, Colorado and serves as a board member to the Arizona Recycling Coalition.

Forum contact: Mary Ann Remolador, Assistant Director.

Solar Panel Recycling & EPR – Webinar, September 20, 1 eastern

Hear from the leading experts about the Washington State solar panel EPR law,solar panel installation how the panels are recycled, and recycler certification.  Presenters will be:

  • Al Salvi, Supervisor, Solid Waste Technical Services Unit, Washington Department of Ecology
  • Parikhit (Ricky) Sinha, Sr. Scientist, Sustainability Research, First Solar
  • Kelley Keough, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Greeneye Partners 

Register Here

joint logos.jpg

Executive Director, Lynn Rubinstein, Retires

Lynn Rubinstein, who served as NERC's Executive Director for 23 years has retired.  NERC hopes to announce the new Director in the near future.

photo of Lynn Rubinstein“Few have served NERC with more commitment or dedication than Lynn . She has been at the forefront of so many connections, projects, and initiatives that have not only raised the profile and reputation of NERC, but have supported and furthered recycling, reuse, organics recovery, product stewardship, safer solid waste management, and diversity/equity/inclusion for the mutual benefit of the public, business, and state and local governments in the Northeast region and beyond. We are all-at-once so sad to see Lynn go, and yet so appreciative of Lynn’s leadership,” commented Josh Kelly, NERC Board Vice President.

Megan Mansfield Pryor, President of the Board noted that “We are incredibly grateful to Lynn for all that she has done for NERC, and for her relentless dedication to making sure that NERC continues to thrive.”

Newly Posted

Minimum Postconsumer Recycled Content Model Legislation for Plastics Published

NERC and NEWMOA are pleased to announce the publication of Model Minimum Postconsumer Recycled Content Requirements for Plastic Products and Packaging Legislation. This Model is the result of two years’ worth of work by a group of state recycling officials from the northeast and incorporates many of the suggestions received from 36 organizations and individuals during a public comment period in early 2022. 

The working committee that drafted the Model was made of up state agency representatives and jointly facilitated by the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA). The views expressed in this Model do not necessarily reflect those of each of the NEWMOA-member states or NERC’s members.  Rather, it reflects a best effort based on current circumstances to provide a potential basis for state legislative action to further the use of postconsumer resin in plastic products and packaging.

This Model bill would require producers of covered plastic products and packaging to use a specified amount of minimum postconsumer recycled content, phased in over time. The covered plastic packaging and products include film bags, single-use containers used for food, beverages, household cleaning, and personal care products, and rigid plastic containers. This Model does not address all types of plastic products and packaging.

The Model legislative strategy encourages a circular economy in plastics. The other benefits of mandating minimum postconsumer recycled content in plastic products and packaging include conservation of resources, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts from producing plastics products from petroleum, strengthened domestic markets for products made with postconsumer plastics, and increased stability in the plastic scrap markets.

As 501(c)(3) organizations, neither NERC nor NEWMOA will lobby for this Model legislation. Rather, it is intended as a tool for interested organizations and legislators to consider when examining opportunities for the use of minimum postconsumer recycled content legislation and implementation for plastics.

For more information contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC Executive Director; or Terri Goldberg, NEWMOA Executive Director .

Sharp Upward Trend in Material Values for Quarter Ending June 30

The NERC quarterly MRF Values Survey for the period April - June 2022, showed a sharp upward trend in values. This is the 13th in NERC’s series of quarterly reports on the market value of commodities from MRFs in the Northeast. This report includes information from nine states: Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia.   

July 2022 Recycling Markets Chart

All Reporting MRFs (13 in 9 states)

Blended Value

April – June 2022

Percentage Change from Previous Quarter

Without residuals

$180.73

23%

With residuals

$169.75

22%

These survey results reflect the differing laws and collection options in the participating states.  Four of the states have beverage container deposit laws.  As a result, fewer glass bottles, PET bottles and aluminum cans are processed in MRFs in those states. Those MRFs are also likely to have less revenue from those recyclables.  In addition, the report reflects a mix of single stream, dual stream and source separation to collect recyclables with single stream being the most common approach.  The type of collection used will have an impact on MRF design and operation. Thus, the data from this report reflects the unique blend of facilities and statewide laws in the reporting states.

Current report: NERC Northeast Recycling Market Report July 2022

Previous reports:

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein.

NERC State Program Contacts Resource Updated

One of the resources that NERC maintains is program contact information for its member states.  This is an easy-to-use resource for finding the right person to speak with on a specific topic.  The links are found on the state pages from the NERC home page. 

NERC-NEWMOA Joint Strategic Action Plan Annual Report FY22

In June 2017, the NERC and NEWMOA Boards of Directors entered into a Joint Strategic Action Plan, which was updated in 2019, to further action on matters of mutual concern. The Annual Report for fiscal year 2022 chronicles the remarkable results that continue to be made with this joint initiative.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein, NERC.

NextCycle - A Model for Recycling Market Development Recording & Presentations

NERC, in partnership with RRS and NextCycle, hosted a webinar about the NextCycle model for recycling market development. The webinar will focus on Michigan and include presenters from the public and private sectors. 

Presentations included:

  • Identifying the Circular Economy Gap – Matt Flechter, Recycling Market Development Specialist, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) 
  • Utilizing Co-Design to Ensure Equity & Inclusion – Kamal Patel, Co-Founder + Designer, Traversal 
  • NextCycle Approach to Building Circular Economies – Elisa Seltzer, Senior Consultant, RRS 
  • Team Perspective (Private Sector) – Rebecca Hu, Co-founder, Glacier 
  • Perspective (Public Sector) – Brad Austin, Director of Operations, Marquette Solid Waste Authority
  • Project Partner Perspective – Paulina Leung, Chief Sustainability Officer, Emterra 

The recording and PowerPoint presentations are now available:

Webinar recording

Presentations

State Updates

MASSACHUSETTS

Technology Solutions Supporting Food Waste Prevention in MA

Decreasing the volume of wasted food from foodservice operations reduces the overall cost of operations and increases efficiency. Since 2018, RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) has interviewed food waste prevention technology companies annually to quantify their collective impact in Massachusetts. In the spring of 2022, RecyclingWorks interviewed five companies about activity during 2021. Based on self-reported data, collectively these companies:

  • Worked with nearly 450 commercial customers in Massachusetts
  • Prevented an additional 437 tons of food waste in 2021
  • Contributed to preventing more than 6,000 tons of food waste since 2018

Contact RecyclingWorks to learn more.

Date Reported

Total MA Commercial Customers

New Annual Food Waste Prevented

Total Annual Food Waste Prevented (Cumulative Since 2018)

Number of Companies Reflected in Data

2018 (all time)

145 customers

1,025

1,025

3

2019 (1 year)

154 customers

448

1,473

3

2020 (1 year)

296 customers

169

1,642

4

2021 (1 year)

447 customers

437

2,079

5

Total Food Waste Prevented (All Time):

6,219 tons to date

 

New Statewide Bulky Waste Characterization Report

MassDEP is pleased to report that the “Statewide Bulky Waste Characterization Report”, dated June 30, 2022, has been posted on its webpage.  The report was prepared for MassDEP jointly by two well-respected organizations that specialize in Solid Waste Management and Recycling, the Center for EcoTechnology and MSW Consultants.  It can be found at the following link:  https://www.mass.gov/doc/statewide-bulky-waste-characterization-study-june-2022/download.  The study provides empirical data defining the composition of bulky waste loads by material category including what percentage of these loads consists of either waste ban materials or other recoverable materials.  The study was conducted over 10 days during the month of May 2022 at five Massachusetts C&D handling facilities across the State that receive large amounts of bulky waste.  An essential finding of this study is that there is a significant percentage of Waste Ban materials contained within the Bulky Waste Stream.  At just over 37 percent, Waste Ban materials made up the largest fraction of Bulky Waste.

Advisory Member News

The “Perfect Recycling Bin” Contest

The Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority (CCRRA) celebrated our 50th anniversary this past May.  To commemorate this historic milestone, we rewarded $50 gift cards to 50 residents who put out perfect curbside recycling bins on their recycling day in May. 

Throughout the month of May, the CCRRA curbside recycling crew collected addresses of residents who put out perfect curbside recycling bins.  Once all addresses were collected, staff randomly picked 50 winners from the “May Perfect Recycling Bin List.”  We then mailed those 50 winners a post card detailing how they can claim their prize; a $50 gift card!  Many very happy residents come in to claim their gift card.  Check our social media pages to see pictures of some of our winners.

This contest could not have happened without the generous support of our sponsors. Gift cards for this contest were donated by the Centre Region Council of Governments’ Refuse and Recycling Program, Fred Carson Disposal Service, Inc., WM, Inc., Clean Energy and the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority.

For additional information about this program, please contact Amy Schirf.

Vanguard Renewables Under New Ownership

Vanguard Renewables has announced its sale BlackRock Real Assets.

This is the beginning of a transformative next chapter for Vanguard Renewables as we seek to scale our Farm Powered® movement to decarbonize and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions across the nation. 

Since its founding in 2014, it has been changing the perception of U.S. food waste and how that waste can be recycled into renewable energy to benefit the planet.  

Vanguard’s corporate structure will remain the same, and there will be no restructuring and no changes to staffing - with the exception of adding more employees to help us continue to grow our business across the country.

Vermont Creamery Joins National Movement to Turn Food Waste into Renewable Energy

Vanguard Renewables is excited to announce that Vermont Creamery is the latest food company to join the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance. The Alliance was launched in 2020 by Unilever, Starbucks, Dairy Farmers of America, and Vanguard Renewables and has now grown to include 14 U.S. food industry leaders. The Alliance is a collaborative movement to boost food waste reduction and recycling, and expand renewable energy production across America.

“Vermont Creamery’s commitment to decarbonization and recycling food waste into renewable energy will serve as inspiration to others in the food and beverage industry to join us in this important movement in the fight to stem climate change,” stated Neil H. Smith, chief executive officer at Vanguard Renewables. “Vanguard Renewables is excited to welcome Vermont Creamery into the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance.”

New Center to Improve Recycling Behavior 

The Recycling Partnership has launched The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact, which is designed to drive measurable improvement in residential recycling behavior and mobilize household participation in the circular economy.   

With human behavior at the heart of any successful recycling program, we’re taking the lead in helping people to overcome  barriers to participation, pairing behavioral science with programs aimed at growing access. 

Each year, 15 million tons of valuable household recyclables are lost to landfills because Americans are confused about what and how to recycle – capturing that 15 million tons would support more than 17,500 new jobs, $834 million in landfills savings, and an estimated avoidance of 63 million metric tons of greenhouse gases. 

We know that solving this challenge together requires an evidence-based approach, rigorously evaluating and disseminating our findings while scaling needed solutions. That’s why we’re making The Center the go-to hub for innovative, people-focused solutions that substantially improve recycling at every step of the process.  

Just as we’ve continued to do for nearly a decade, our goal is to empower recycling leaders like you to optimize your program and advance a more circular economy.  

Our new Center will initially focus on three areas: 

  1. Deepening understanding of barriers and sentiments toward recycling, including the launch of our inaugural Recycling Confidence Index, which leverages behavioral science to gauge consumer confidence in recycling programs and identify the drivers of these beliefs.
  2. Scientifically testing different types of solutions to determine the most effective and scalable tactics that improve recycling behavior with different populations in the U.S. 
  3. Creating a playbook and accompanying online tool to make best practices and key insights available to recycling leaders like you. 

To learn more about the new Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact, visit recyclingpartnership.org/behavior. For communities interested in partnering with us on behavior change pilots and building better material data, we invite you to complete the expression of interest form

We look forward to our continued partnership in transforming the U.S. recycling system for good.   

New Association of Plastic Recyclers State-of-the-Industry Report Shows Strength of US Plastic Recycling

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), The Voice of Plastic Recycling®, issued a report that provides a data-driven update on the progress of plastic  recycling in the United States showing that it is a viable, accessible and scalable solution for reducing plastic waste.

The report compiles research and analysis from across the $236 billion recycling industry which includes over 9,000 community recycling programs across the country and more than 100 post-consumer recyclers. The report finds that plastic recycling alone is responsible for over 200,000 U.S. jobs.

“APR’s state-of-the-industry report tells the true story of plastic recycling in the United States,” said Steve Alexander, President and CEO of the Association of Plastic Recyclers. “This is an industry that processed almost five billion pounds of post-consumer plastic material in 2020 despite a pandemic and related lockdown, and we have every expectation that number will continue to grow.”

The report presents an important clarification on data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the discussion on US recycling rates. The report explains that 80% of rigid plastic packaging is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP). These are the types of plastic packaging (such as soda bottles, laundry detergent jugs, and yogurt tubs) that are most used by businesses and available to consumers to put in their blue bins. The report found that 21% of these types of plastic, the type that U.S. consumers touch every day, are recycled based on EPA data.

The report also includes the latest data for PET and HDPE bottles alone - a current recycling rate of 28%. With more supply of recyclable plastic material from consumers, U.S. plastic recyclers could boost PET and HDPE bottle recycling rate – raising the rate to over 40% – with minimal additional investment and using existing processing infrastructure in the U.S.

“Increasing the recycling rate is important because demand for recycled material, a key driver of the recycling chain, is stronger than ever, spurred by a variety of factors including brand sustainability commitments and legislative activity,” added Alexander.

The report concludes that meeting that high demand and continuing to sustain and grow recycling will require three steps: (1) companies to manufacture plastic products and packaging that are compatible with recycling, (2) consumers to put recyclable material in the bin and (3) a robust recycling infrastructure to collect, sort and process that material.

To achieve these ends, the report provides policy recommendations including: ensure that all new products and packaging are made to be compatible with recycling; increase and strengthen community recycling programs and create harmonization among the types of plastic that are collected in those programs; and encourage the consideration of the true cost of disposal and the low costs to landfill.

“This report shows that, while there is still work to be done, plastic recycling can succeed,” Alexander added. “Consumers want recycling to work, and recyclers are ready to process more material. Our industry is innovative and resilient. It is time to recommit to plastic recycling for our communities, for our environment, and for our future.”

Two New England States Launch the First of its kind Municipal Foam Recycling Programs

Over the few months, two new municipal foam (aka Styrofoam) recycling programs have been launched in New England, one in New Hampshire and the other in Vermont.

In Vermont, the Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District, which serves 49 member-towns throughout Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans, and Washington Counties, is now offering foam packaging recycling to their residents. This is the first municipal foam collection, densifying and repurposing recycling program in Vermont and in a state that already has a food service foam ban in place. These folks know that food service foam bans don’t address the larger and more environmentally impactful foam packaging waste from entering our landfills like foam coolers, TV, electronic and furniture foam packaging. Check out this local TV stations coverage on the program.

In New Hampshire, the folks running the Gilford recycling center decided it was time to think outside the box when it comes to foam recycling so that’s exactly what they did. They placed what in fact looks like a box (in reality it’s a patented Foam Cycle container system) at their recycling drop off center. Gilford has now become the first municipal recycling drop off center to collect, densify and repurpose foam waste ( both food service foam and packaging foam) in the state of New Hampshire! Gilford’s foam recycling program was established in part with a grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC) and support from area Rotary Clubs that all came together to support a true "Hub and Spoke" recycling program. Read more about their program in the newspaper article.