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NERC in the News





  • Waste Managers Seek Ways to Capitalize on Organic Waste. Members of the Northeast Recycling Council met in Maine [in April] to discuss strategies to remove organic waste, such as food scraps and lawn clippings, from the waste stream. "When you look at what's left that we are not recycling, a lot of that is what is called organic waste, and we know of so many places that can use that organic waste," said Patricia Aho, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. See below for a television news feature from WLBZ-TV about organics and the workshop..


  • Area leaders to strategize composting of yard and food waste. By Thom Randall  First Posted: Adirondack Journal, Friday, March 14, 2014 -9:27 a.m. A coalition of community groups and individuals are seeking to encourage municipal composting of yard waste and organic materials, and a workshop and discussion session is planned for April 4 on the initiative. Sponsoring the event are the Northeast Recycling Council based in Vermont, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Tri-County Transition Initiative, Warren County and the towns of Warrensburg, Lake George, Chester, Bolton, Queensbury, Hague, and Lake Luzerne. Athena Bradley of Northeast Recycling Council which conducts educational services in 10 states, said that comprehensive organics composting and recycling was the “wave of the future.” She said that three of these 10 states — Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts — already have instituted laws mandating composting and recycling of organics, and their requirements are now being implemented in phases. In the town of Brattleboro, food scraps are collected curbside alongside other conventional recyclables, and organic materials are composted.


  • Reduced recycling in Berks tied to two factors. Before the recession, the Berks County Recycling Center (Pennsylvania) had extra employees on hand at Christmas to handle the bombardment of cardboard boxes and plastic packaging. Not so much anymore, said Jane Meeks, executive director of the Berks County Solid Waste Authority. "People aren't buying in cardboard, especially the pricey items," she said. "And if they are, the boxes may not be as big because things like big screen TVs are in thin boxes now." Experts said consumer hesitancy to buy combined with a waning interest in recycling likely have contributed to a decrease in Berks County recycling rates. Recyclables collected in the county decreased 15 percent from 2008 to 2012, according to a report by the Berks County Conservancy. Only 41 percent of the county's total waste was recycled in 2012, compared with 56 percent in 2008. Consumer trends often influence recycling rates, said Athena Bradley, projects manager for the Northeast Recycling Council. "Any time there's an economic downturn, recycling goes down at least a few percentages. People are consuming less," she said. "There's less packaging because people aren't buying all the electronics they used to. Trash goes down, too."