INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- Director’s Chair: “Humans Have Used Up a Year’s Worth Of the Earth’s Resources: In 8 Months We’re Going Into Ecological Debt” and More
- NRRA News: Solid Waste / Recycling Committee (SWRC) Input to Selectmen, The August Pricing Guide and other news
- NHDES NEWS: NHDES Solid Waste Facility Operator Training Update
- School News You Can Use: Sports Teams Build Food Recovery Awareness
- NH the Beautiful News: NHtB Board Meeting next Thursday!
- NH News: Citizen Service Skills Workshop
- Vermont News: Good Point Recycling to Host E-Cycles Training
- Massachusetts News: The Argument: Should Massachusetts adopt legislation making recycling mandatory for all residents?
- National News: Interesting Recycling Stories from around the Country!
- NRRA Calendar: NRRA Office Closing at Noon on Friday, August 21st
~Recycling Fact of the Day~
The first modern use of composting dates back to organic farmers in 1920s Europe.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Every once in a while an article catches my eye and I pass it on for those of our readers who may find it interesting, disturbing, challenging, or all of the above. This one I saw shortly after hearing on the radio that the country of Niger in Western Africa has 18 million people today and is importing food supplies bought from the UN as it cannot produce enough in its own country to feed its current population. It is projected to have 58 billion by 2015 and even more basic food supplies will be needed to avert a humanitarian disaster.
“Humans Have Used Up a Year’s Worth Of the Earth’s Resources: In 8 Months We’re Going Into Ecological Debt”
Less than eight months into 2015, humans have already consumed a year’s worth of the Earth’s resources.
Ecological Debt Day, or Earth Overshoot Day, falls on Thursday and marks the point in the year when “humanity’s annual demand for the goods and services that our land and seas can provide — fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, wood, cotton for clothing, and carbon dioxide absorption — exceeds what Earth’s ecosystems can renew in a year,” …
This means that for the rest of 2015, we will be “living on resources borrowed from future generations,” the World Wildlife Fund said. It’s like overdrawing a bank account.
The earth is going into ecological debt earlier each year, The Guardian notes. This year’s Earth Overshoot Day is six days ahead of last year’s, and months earlier than in 2000, when it arrived in October.
Global Footprint Network and other experts say addressing the growing problem of overpopulation is a cornerstone of reducing ecological debt. John R. Wilmoth, director of the United Nations Population Division, announced Monday that the world population of 7.3 billion people is predicted to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and up to 13.3 billion by 2100. He said there’s only a 23 percent chance that the world’s population will stop growing before the end of the century.
“The magnitude of this type challenge is beyond the capacity of any one individual. Hopefully by all of us recognizing issues like this before they become disasters, we can act as a united global community and address the issues and find solutions.”~ Mike Durfor
Back at NRRA
This quiet summer has been abuzz with activity since the annual conference wrapped up in June. It has been so busy that we have struggled to find time for some of us to take any time off. Even the Board of Trustees is working next week on the annual budget adoption and charting the course for the next fiscal year. Three major developments on the home front are of note.
DUAL STREAM CHALLENGES:
The market for dual stream material, especially using the tandem delivery system has rapidly diminished over the last nine months to the point that the remaining facilities handling this material have been maxed out and have to insist on uncontaminated material deliveries or they cannot accept it. This transition over time has quickened in recent weeks and the Member Services Group has worked tirelessly to address each location and source new solutions. These solutions may come with a cost that is well in excess of the previous operation but that only indicates most clearly why the old program is no longer sustainable. The market fluctuations that NRRA has been tracking, reporting, and dealing with for all the NRRA Members has certainly doubled in not tripled the workload for moving materials. NRRA appreciates your patience as we continue to try and find the optimum market solutions for your materials, and guarantee both movement and payment for all commodities shipped through NRRA.
GOOD GRANT NEWS:
Given the State of NH Budget logjam, NHDES has had to cancel most of its planned training for the rest of this year and possibly into next year. As previously reported the USDA Grant Award will allow NRRA to provide both Operator Trainings, both in workshop form and live and recorded webinars, in NH and VT as well as comparable school teacher trainings in both states. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the October 1 kickoff date.
35th ANNUAL CONFERENCE ALREADY????
The review of the 34th conference is not even dry and we are now turning our attention to what will be a banner 35th Emerald Jubilee! Look for more details in the next full of scrap as the “Times they are-a-Changing!”
PLEASE NOTE THE NRRA OFFICES WILL BE CLOSING AT NOON ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 21st, PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY! Thank You!
Eliot Solid Waste / Recycling Committee (SWRC) Report to Residents
*Note* The following was submitted by former NRRA Board Member, Jim Tessier. For emphasis, Mike Durfor has underlined and put in bold print some key points.
At this year’s Town Meeting, some questions were asked about operations at the Transfer Station that may not have been answered in sufficient detail. In an effort to correct this oversight the SWRC wants to inform the Eliot residents of what has been accomplished.
In 2012, Eliot disposed of 1089 tons of general trash (municipal solid waste (MSW)) and at Town Meeting held in March 2013, the town appropriated a total of $410,108 for operation of the Transfer Station. That included $104,800 of service fees or trash disposal fees. The SWRC and Public Works Dir. felt that the cost of operation of the Transfer Station needed to be reduced in order to reduce the tax burden for Eliot residents. The committee volunteered many Tuesday evenings working on potential program changes while formulating a comprehensive plan that could produce the desired long term benefit for the town.
In 2013 the committee proposed three new programs that were approved by the Selectmen and implemented – a kitchen food waste collection program, Pay-to-throw, and collection of miscellaneous plastic. These three new programs supplement the existing recycling program, creating a significantly more comprehensive approach to waste management in the town. (The town was already recycling cardboard, misc. paper, tin and aluminum cans, #1 and #2 plastic bottles, glass bottles, scrap metal, yard waste, motor oil, used books, and clothes for Salvation Army.) The committee looks at these new programs as integral components of an overall comprehensive program – Pay-to-throw provides incentive to use the food waste and misc. plastics programs and the food waste and misc. plastics programs help to reduce the volume of material that the town needs to pay for in disposal fees.
These programs also create a system that is fair for all residents. The good recyclers no longer subsidize those who choose not to recycle. Residents that are good at recycling and composting pay very little for their trash disposal. Those who don’t choose to do as good a job of sorting their trash pay their fair share.
Other municipal governments are recognizing the need for the types of programs that Eliot already has in place. Massachusetts recently made separation of organic waste mandatory for businesses and institutions that generate 1 ton per week or more. Vermont has implemented mandatory state wide Pay-to-throw and will start food waste collection by 2020.
Implementation of these programs put Eliot out in front of most other local communities when dealing with MSW. We were one of the first two communities in Maine to implement a municipal food waste collection program and combined with Pay-to-throw and other improvements implemented bt the Public Works Department will result in substantial long term benefit.
As a result of this comprehensive program, the volume of MSW collected at the Transfer Station in 2014 was 329 tons, a reduction of 760 tons (70%) from 2012.
The amount appropriated this year for operation of the Transfer Station was $270,631, a reduction of $139,477/year from the $410,108 two years ago. With estimated revenue from recycling of $76,000 and estimated Pay-to-throw bag revenue of $62,000 (both from current 18th Warrant Art.), the net cost for operation of the Transfer Station is $132,631.
This comprehensive solid waste program in Eliot allows our tax dollars to be used for more constructive purposes than filling a hole in the ground.
James Tessier, Chairman
Joel Moulton, Public Works Dir.
NRRA August Pricing Guide is Now Available
The NRRA Monthly Pricing Guide for August is now available! Click HERE to view the password version OR if you’ve got a username and password for our Member’s Only Section of the Website, you can view it without the need for a password (Click on the “Members Only” tab at the top of the page). If you’re having trouble viewing the guide, please contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org
The market in a nutshell: At the beginning of August the fibers markets saw little change. Despite minor upticks in paper and OCC pricing for July, pricing stagnation seems to be remain the overall trend. With China’s economy continuing to weaken, it’s hard to be optimistic that fiber pricing will be positively affected in coming months, but only time will tell. As for plastics, declining oil & gas prices seem to be putting downward pressure on HDPE (although PET has been slowly creeping up over the last few months). Scrap metal and other metals like copper and aluminum remain weak with no immediate changes expected. Low demand combined with an abundance of cheap new material from China seem to be the main culprits.
NRRA Needs Your Help! Plastic Gaylords For Sale!
NRRA has already received orders for 28 of these gaylords, but we need reach a minimum of 40. Any takers? Cost $116/ea without lid, $134/ea with lid (as pictured above). Facilities that utilize these gaylords have not been disappointed & neither will you!
We are taking orders for these 43”W x 36”H x 32”D gaylords. They are very durable and great for storage of aluminum cans, steel cans, plastics, or paper.
Filled with cans or plastic, they are light enough to move by hand or can be stacked two high! And, although they are lightweight, they are extremely strong and have a top that can also act as a bottom to add strength and extend life expectancy. Please us today to place an order to help us reach our minimum goal of 40 units!
Scott Bradford of the Peterborough, NH Transfer Station has been using these plastic type gaylords to replace his older cardboard ones. He has received a grant approval from NH the Beautiful to help him purchase more but he can’t do so until we reach our minimum order requirement! This is what Scott had to say about these durable storage containers:
“We use these gaylords for containing and storing our aluminum cans until they are ready to be baled in a horizontal baler. They sit on pallets that we have affixed dolly wheels to for easy mobility around the facility. Due to the fact that the gaylords are holding beverage cans they do get wet from residual liquids in the cans and tend to rot on the bottoms and fall apart while we are baling, spilling out the cans all over the floor; thus making quite a mess. We do reinforce the bottoms of the gaylord boxes with pieces of recycled 1/4in plywood or recycled luan but they still tend to deteriorate rather quickly. The plastic ones would last much longer and be able to withstand the residual moisture from the cans, as well as cut down our labor of trying to repair the standard corrugated ones, and putting those ones to other longer lasting uses. No other optional equipment is needed as we would be using our existing pallets with wheels for these gaylords. It takes 9 gaylords of UBC to make one bale. “
NH DES NEWS
News about Solid Waste Facility Annual Reports
NHDES has filed a final proposed rule regarding the signature requirement for annual facility reports for active solid waste facilities. The rule will replace a change made in the 2014 readoption with a cross-reference to the existing signature requirements. Review by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules is expected at the meeting scheduled for August 20, 2015. More information can be found at http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/legal/rulemaking/index.htm#psolidw. NHDES is continuing to explore ways to facilitate improved communications between certified operators and local officials who have authority to implement needed changes at a permitted facility.
NHDES Solid Waste Facility Operator Training Update
Due to a number of factors, the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) is postponing the Basic Training class that was scheduled for August 14, 2015. DES will notify all operators that have submitted an initial application when the next Basic Training is scheduled and will automatically register them to attend. New operators should continue to submit initial applications in order to obtain Processed Applicant status and be eligible to work at solid waste facilities.
Any operator who currently has Processed Applicant status will remain eligible to work at solid waste facilities in New Hampshire as long as they do so under the supervision of a Principal Operator. Please contact DES if this requirement presents a hardship.
In addition, DES is not able to present all of the Solid Waste Facility Operator workshops originally scheduled through the end of 2015. However, DES will hold two workshops entitled “Afternoon at the Movies” on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 and Thursday, September 10, 2015 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. DES will show documentaries about waste management and discuss their relevance here in New Hampshire. Please contact DES to reserve a seat at one of these workshops. If there is a high demand on either day, DES will add a morning session.
These two workshops are reserved for solid waste operators who:
• Have certification expiration dates on or before December 31, 2015; and
• Haven’t already taken 2.5 hours of continuing professional development.
PLEASE NOTE: These will be the only workshops DES will offer for the rest of 2015.
If an operator’s certification expires before September 10, and they haven’t yet taken 2.5 hours of continuing professional development, they should sign up for the August date to avoid having to pay the $25 late fee.
IMPORTANT: Certified Operators will still need to submit documentation of continuing professional development with their annual renewal applications and may continue to use third-party training provided it qualifies as continuing professional development as defined in the Solid Waste Rules. When DES is aware of qualifying third-party workshops, they will be posted on our website.
DES regrets any inconvenience this causes and is available during regular business hours to answer questions and provide technical assistance as needed. Please visit the DES Solid Waste Facility Operator Training & Certification Program’s website at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/waste/swrtas/index.htm for more information about the Program or e-mail your questions to email@example.com. If you do not have access to the Internet, please call (603) 271-2925 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday – Friday.
SCHOOL NEWS YOU CAN USE
TEAM EARTH RELAUNCH!
The NRRA School Recycling CLUB is pleased to announce the relaunch of our “Team Earth” Awards program – a program developed to recognize CLUB members (and provide potential for prizes!) for the great work they are doing in the world of school recycling!!
The Activity Manual is a great way to get started and ease into recycling at your school. It lists out a number of activities and their point values. Teachers and students can select the activities they want to accomplish.
“Team Earth” has three levels of recognition: “Bronze,” “Silver” and “Gold.” The level of award is directly dependent on how proactive a school recycling CLUB is, i.e., how many items it recycles, how actively it promotes its program, educating people on the importance of recycling, etc. For each recycling activity a CLUB undertakes it receives “TEAM EARTH” points. It is through these points that a school can reach for the “Gold” and receive the highest level of school recycling recognition awarded.
How does a school earn points?
Complete an activity listed in the “TEAM EARTH” Activity Guide or contact The CLUB with your own activity ideas to determine their point value. Activities can be completed by individuals or by groups (students, teachers, staff, volunteers, parents, etc…..)
Fill out a TEAM EARTH Activity Application and send it to the CLUB. You can fill out the application form at any time – some schools may fill one out every time they complete an activity or wait until they have completed an entire awards level of activities. We are finalizing the awards which will be posted very soon!
BRONZE – Beginning the Awards program!
30 “TEAM EARTH” points.
Recycle 2 items.
Reward – Bronze Award Sticker; CLUB Press Release to local paper.
SILVER – Going beyond basics!
60 “TEAM EARTH” points.
Recycle 3 items.
Reward – Silver Award Sticker; CLUB Press Release to local paper; automatic entry in the Conference drawing for $200 CLUB programming credit.
GOLD – Reaching for the highest level of recognition!
100 “TEAM EARTH” points.
Recycle 4 items.
All 3 levels must be reached within 4 years in order to achieve a “Gold Award.”
Reward – Gold Award Sticker; CLUB Press Release to local paper; automatic entry in the Conference drawing for $200 CLUB programming credit; Best of the Best Award presented at Annual Conference; Free Conference Registration for winner and one guest; Free Tree* (up to $250) and planting ceremony at your school.
*Limited to 1 tree every 4 years.
DEADLINE: Email a picture of your entry to theCLUB@nrra.net by Friday, April 15, 2016 to be eligible!
Exerpted from: Sports Teams Build Food Recovery Awareness
Marsha W. Johnston, BioCycle June 2015, Vol. 56, No. 5, p. 34
Growing numbers of professional sports teams and organizations are capturing edible food in their venues for donation, while continuing to divert food scraps to composting programs.
A Farm Grows On Fenway
Green City Growers in Somerville, Massachusetts started out in 2008 installing raised bed gardens for residences in Boston and surrounding communities. It branched out into employee wellness gardens after receiving a request for an installation from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “Then we were contacted by b. good, a healthy fast food restaurant company in the Boston area,” recalls Jessie Banhazl, founder of Green City Growers. “The company had three restaurant locations and wanted to install gardens at all of them. Today, b.good has 14 locations and we’ve put in gardens at 12 of them. What started out as a residential focus has evolved to servicing the commercial and institutional sectors, including grocery stores, hospitals, schools, senior centers, camps and more.”
One of its most recent installations is a 5,000 sq ft rooftop organic farm at the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park baseball stadium. Located on the roof of the Front Office on the third base side on the EMC Level, fans can view Fenway Farms from within the park. “Fenway Farms was meant to be,” explains Banhazl. “Linda Henry, who manages the John Henry Foundation [Red Sox owner John Henry’s wife], has always had a very strong focus on youth education and sustainability. There was a large, unused roof top area at Fenway Park, on the same level as the EMC Club, and Linda, along with others in the Red Sox organization, came to the conclusion that having a rooftop farm would be the way to fill it.”
Recover Green Roofs did the installation of the rooftop farm, working with structural engineers to design a system within the structural load constraints of the building while resisting environmental pressures such as wind uplift. Additional design features ensure waterproof protection and drainage. Recover Green Roofs put in a 1,750 sq ft planting area in Spring 2015, using milk crates filled with Vermont Compost Company’s Fort Light Blend that was developed for growers who want a compost-based soil mix with the handling and watering characteristics of a peat-perlite mix. “It is great soil,” exclaims Banhazl. “We have been having incredible production. It’s only the beginning of June and we’ve already harvested over 1,100 lbs this season.” A smart irrigation system minimizes water use. Urban farmers from Green City Growers maintain Fenway Farms, often during Red Sox games. The produce is used in the EMC Club and in a cafeteria for the media and employees. Fenway Park chefs work with Banhazl on what is planted. “Everything we pick, we pick in conjunction with the chefs,” she says.
Compost has always been a staple in the soil media used by Green City Growers. The company typically custom blends an organic soil mix comprised of 25% compost (from Brick Ends Farm in South Hamilton, MA); 25% topsoil; 25% peat and 25% vermiculite. At Fenway Park, Green City Growers is paid a service fee to provide materials, maintenance, harvesting and upkeep of the farm. Banhazl estimates that about 4,000 lbs of produce will be grown in 2015. “The spring and summer growing season lines up perfectly with the baseball season,” she notes. The spring plant included herbs, various salad greens, snap peas, spinach and carrots. The summer plant includes broccoli, cucumbers, eggplant, and a variety of hot and sweet peppers and greens. — Nora Goldstein
NH THE BEAUTIFUL
Grants Program for NH Municipalities
Do you need equipment for your facility? All New Hampshire municipalities are eligible to apply for grants toward the purchase price of recycling equipment. For more information or to apply for a grant, go to http://www.nhthebeautiful.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/equipment_grant_app_710.pdf, print & fill out the form and fax it to 603-736-4402. If you do not have access to the internet, please give us a call, and we can fax or mail a form to you. The NH the Beautiful Board will be meeting on August 20th to review all new equipment grant applications. Please submit your grant application to Stacey Morrison at NRRA (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than August 7th if you wish to have it considered at this meeting.
NH the Beautiful Provides FREE Facility Signs
All NH municipalities are eligible to apply for FREE facility signs. NHtB has been providing professional looking signs for NH municipalities since 1983. Under the NHtB Sign Program, New Hampshire Municipalities are all eligible to apply for signs (60 points each fiscal year or until funds run out). The NHtB fiscal year runs November 1-October 31. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Stacey at 603-736-4401 x.10. To maximize your points, you can also order “recycled” signs or overlays for existing signs!
For a complete list of sign options and to order signs, click here Complete Sign Packet. Simply print the forms you need, mail or fax them to 603-736-4402.
Please NOTE!!! You can only use points to order signs that are on the list. Words can be removed, but nothing can be added. Custom signs are available for purchase. Contact the NRRA for details.
NHtB Also has Clear Stream Containers and 14-Gallon Recycling Bins for Sale at Discounted Prices
Click the links below to find out how you can get yours! Please note that effective July 1, 2015 the cost of the 14 gallon Curbside Recycling Bins have increased by .50 cents a bin. We regret this unavoidable increase but assure you that these bins are still being offered at a great discounted rate to all Towns, Schools, Businesses and non-profit organization who apply.
Visit NH the Beautiful on Facebook and Twitter
To see all the latest that NH the Beautiful is doing for NH check out their Facebook Page! Click the following link – https://www.facebook.com/pages/NH-The-Beautiful/253682871403932
NH the Beautiful, Inc. (NHtB) is a private non-profit charitable trust founded in 1983 and supported by the soft drink, malt beverage, and grocery industries of New Hampshire. By offering municipal recycling grants (over $2.5 million) and signs, anti-litter programs, and technical assistance to recycling programs, NHtB is a unique organization that represents a voluntarily-funded alternative to expensive legislation intended to achieve the same end results. NHtB supports the NRRA School Education Program (the Club). The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (www.nrra.net) administers the New Hampshire the Beautiful programs.
NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS
Citizen Service Skills Workshop
Have you noticed that citizens are less patient and more demanding than in the past? Serving the public is a challenging job that requires effective listening, problem solving, conflict resolution, communication, and interpersonal skills. This workshop will review the basics and some of the newest concepts and tools.
This workshop is for all municipal staff to learn new techniques in assisting the public in an effective and positive way. There will be break-out sessions, and transfer station attendants will be in separate sessions.
• Learn compelling reasons for citizens to provide positive behavior such as recycling
• Techniques for introducing environmental and other important topics to citizens
• How to deal with difficult or angry citizens
• Discussion and sharing of best practices
• How to partner with local schools to share information
Training provided by the New Hampshire Bureau of Education and Training.
TRANSFER STATION ATTENDANTS CAN RECEIVE 2-1/2 HOURS CREDIT FROM NH DES FOR ATTENDANCE.
When & Where:
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Grantham Town Offices (Park in Back) 300 NH Route 10
Grantham, NH 03753
Provided by the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission with funding from USDA.
Good Point Recycling to Host E-Cycles Training
Good Point Recycling will host a training webinar on August 26th at 10 AM. All operators involved in any aspect of the Vermont E-Cycles program are invited and encouraged to attend, particularly recent hires or anyone new to the program. Discussion topics will cover proper handling, labeling, storage and identification of covered and banned electronic devices as well as other pertinent information to the program. To register, please respond to Nathan Hill at email@example.com.
Can a commercial transporter bring “Electronic Waste” to a collection location for free?
A transporter who collects electronic waste can bring up to seven electronic waste devices to a collection location and it will be presume to be from a covered entity; however, the program will not pay transportation costs from the covered entity to the collection location. Transporters who only collect electronic waste from covered entities are not considered a “collector” under the e-waste law, nor do they have to register as a transporter unless they transport computers, monitors, printers, televisions or peripherals for collectors or recyclers. Further details can be found at the following link and please direct any questions or concerns to Nathan Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~Nathan Hill, Good Point Recycling
The Argument: Should Massachusetts adopt legislation making recycling mandatory for all residents?
An Argument for each side of this issue:
*As Printed in the Boston Globe, August 6, 2015
Hingham resident and member of the town’s Long Range Waste Planning and Recycling Committee
Massachusetts has a waste problem. We are generating more trash than we have capacity to handle. Only a handful of landfills remain open. Waste incinerators — a once promising technology for our small state with limited open land — have been proven to contribute to carbon dioxide emissions and other air-quality problems. And we are already shipping 1.1 million tons of waste out of state for disposal yearly, according to state figures for 2009.
Mandatory recycling for all residents is an important step toward reducing waste and achieving sustainability. All residents should know the part they need to play to reduce waste. Processing recyclables is much cheaper than trash disposal, so recycling reduces waste costs for your town and thus the taxes you pay. Recycling has other important benefits: Recycling operations create new local jobs, and recycled materials become the feedstock for manufacturing that reuses materials and requires less water and energy — thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Massachusetts regulations require waste haulers, both private and municipal, to ensure that recyclables are kept out of the trash and brought to the few remaining landfills and to waste incinerators. Recyclable paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal as well as yard waste and wood are no longer permitted. However, haulers have not adequately enlisted the help of the towns and customers they serve in meeting these requirements. This year, the state has a team of inspectors examining trash loads brought to these facilities, and haulers and the towns served may be required to perform corrective actions if recyclables are not kept out of the trash stream.
Currently, 144 Massachusetts cities and towns have adopted “pay as you throw” programs that require residents to purchase bags or stickers for disposing of their trash while offering recycling for free. This approach has proved to be the most effective way of reducing waste and increasing recycling. Yet we can do more. Ninety-five cities and towns now require their residents to recycle, and the state can extend that to all Massachusetts residents.
It is time for all residents to understand that they have a vital part to play in helping us reach sustainability and keep waste disposal costs down.
The question posed is not whether or not to recycle, or even whether a municipality should have mandatory recycling. Instead, the question posed is, “Should the state adopt legislation making recycling mandatory for all residents?”
To that question, the answer is no. Put aside for the moment that this decision should rest with the individual municipalities. After all, they would need to do the cost-benefit analysis of taking on the additional expense. There would be startup costs that less-affluent cities and towns with already-stressed budgets might not be able to accommodate on their own. While recycling programs can be revenue-generating, the income may not always exceed the expense, resulting in a net cost.
If the Commonwealth were to mandate recycling by every resident, what form would enforcement take? Citations for failure to comply? Fines? Who would administer that and what would that cost? Could an individual citizen be in violation if designated recyclable items properly placed out were later replaced improperly by a local salvager who had gone through the items? Would an undue burden fall on citizens in less-affluent communities that had to struggle to provide an expanded recycling program to support the mandate?
No, at present, any and all legislative action at the state level around recycling should avoid mandating individual behavior and take the form of incentives and assistance to help municipalities instrument the most effective recycling program for that city or town. The state does not have unlimited resources either, so the extent of the assistance needs to be carefully considered and balanced with other commitments.
In my town, we have moved to single-stream recycling with each family being allocated one large receptacle for weekly garbage pickup and another for bi-weekly recycling. My family of five has adapted to this and except for the occasional need for a special drop-off, we live within these parameters.
While I’m certain a bill that evokes the ideals of mandating 100 percent recycling by 100 percent of the citizenry would be well-intentioned and could pass, it would waste time, energy, and money on an unmanageable mandate.
Mixed Waste Processing Sparks Passionate Opinions
By Chrissy Kadleck, Waste 360 August 2015
Mixed waste processing is getting increasing attention as another means of recycling and increasing diversion rates.
It involves no generator separation of waste, with all waste processed at what’s been called a “dirty” material recovery facility (MRF). Recyclables are then pulled out at the MRF.
The process will be the subject of a vigorous discussion/debate between the three speakers headlining the Waste360 Recycling Summit’s Mixed Waste Processing Panel.
The impressive lineup includes: Eric Herbert, CEO of Zero Waste Energy LLC, JD Lindeberg, president of Resource Recycling Systems, and Kyle Mowitz, CEO and co-founder of Infinitus Energy.
Yep, sparks may fly.
Waste360 talked with each presenter to get a sneak peek on what topics they plan to cover during their minutes at the mic.
Waste360: You spoke on mixed waste processing at Waste Expo, what can we expect to hear from you during this session at the Summit?
Eric Herbert: I take a much more pragmatic, engineer-operator perspective on the mixed waste processing. It’s an approach. It has applications and it has its advantages. It’s really just a question of what are the objectives from a community standpoint and from a waste stream standpoint. Each community can kind of look at it on its own merits.
Waste360: Do you believe in an all-or-nothing approach to mixed waste processing?
Eric Herbert: Not at all. It’s definitely a case-by-case basis. In communities with very high demand for recycling, zero waste goals and high diversion levels – it’s just not possible to get there with customer-separated recycling programs, especially when you talk about multi-family and commercial waste streams. It’s never happened yet. You have to then talk about mixed waste and processing all or at least the vast majority of waste in order to get to those levels.
If the objective truly is to recover useful commodities and energy components, then you really are going to be doing mixed waste processing and that can go hand-in-hand and operate very effectively with single stream recycling at the residential and commercial establishments. It doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario.
It’s a good debate because at the end of the day, the system that produces the best results against all of the objectives and aligns with how the rate payer want his/her waste handled will win out.
Waste360: You say things might get a bit heated on stage, why?
JD Lindeberg: We all believe there is a problem and the problem is we’re not recycling enough. I think every person on that stage is going to stand up and say our recycling rates suck. We’re all looking for different way to improve that and we all have different ideas of how to go about it. Those differences will be explored, and they will be explored by real people in the field, wrestling with real problems.
They are going to be the ones who say “We’re modern. We’re cool. We’re hip.” I’m going to be the conservative stick in the mud.
Waste360: So you’re skeptical about the promise of mixed waste processing?
JD Lindeberg: Technologically speaking, mixed waste processing can work in specific circumstances. In my view, you could use it in say California, after single stream recycling has been done and you take all of the waste that hasn’t gone through single-stream recycling that you have in the trash can and you try to get another 5 percent of recovery out of that. In order for us to actually accomplish 70 percent recovery, which I would say is technically infeasible without really impressive injection of money and effort, the way to do that would be to implement mixed waste processing after you’ve got all the recyclables and organics out. What that allows you to do is to take the high-quality recyclables out without contaminating them with organic materials.
Waste360: As a venture capitalist investing in mixed waste facilities, you have a financial stake this technology taking off. What is the capability right now and what problems can it solve in the waste stream?
Kyle Mowitz: Mixed waste processing is really providing the consumer with an easier way to recycle and drive up recovery rates and recycling rates in the overall waste stream.
Our concept is really a three-pronged approach so what I really see right now and in the next five years, is handling the mechanical separation of the high value materials – paper, cardboard, metals and plastics – and creating compressed natural gas for the heavy fleets like the waste vehicles or semitrailer trucks from the organic waste and the anaerobic digestion.
And we also see taking the low value polymers and fibers out of the waste stream and creating a high value fuel, not a refuse fuel but an engineered fuel and we think it is really going to drive value, recovery rates and it’s going to drive acceptance in the market.
Waste360: How do you answer skeptics who say this type of processing is never going to work?
Kyle Mowitz: Until you put your money in, like I have, and until you operate a facility for well over a year, what this comes down to is that you really don’t know what you’re talking about.
When I started this people told me that I would never sell my materials from a “dirty MRF” because it was too contaminated. The very successful part of this is I sell every single one of our products at the top of the market if not with quality bonuses.
I learned to invest when I very young guy, the way I was taught to invest is exactly where we’re at are today. We’re in the pessimistic stage right now and there are a lot of people like JD who say it won’t work. I think we’re about to turn into the skeptical stage in the next two years as we build a couple more of these facilities – which we will do – and then I think you get into the optimistic stage when it works. That’s when all the big guys come in and when people start getting euphoric which means they are building these all over the place. That’s when I’ll sell and get out. I see it that way. Am I right? Time will tell that.
Six Things Solid Waste Employees Can Do To Beat the Heat
By Cheryl McMullen, Waste 360 August 2015
Summer months have brought the heat in places like Washington, Oregon, Ohio and Kentucky. In Portland last week, excessive heat warnings were in effect as temperatures hit triple digits and were expected to continue into this week.
Recently, temperatures in parts of southern central Kentucky, forced Warren County to change the collection schedule for its haulers, who requested the schedule change due to heat. The county agreed to the extended hours to protect workers, said Stan Reagan, coordinator for the county’s Division of Environmental Planning and Assistance.
With many more areas across the country experiencing elevated temperatures, those working in the heat may be susceptible to heatstroke and other heat-related afflictions.
Working outdoors in times of extreme heat can bring on heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash. The most dangerous of these, heat stroke, is a medical emergency and can be life-threatening. In fact, in 2011, 587 people died in the U.S. from exposure to excessive heat, according to the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2015, the annual statistical report on unintentional injuries produced by the National Safety Council.
Heat-related illnesses can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death.
It is essential to take safety precautions against heat stroke and sun exposure. Here are tips gathered from the CDC, OSHA and the National Waste & Recycling Association.
1) Stay Hydrated. Drivers should be drinking 5 to 7 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes to stay hydrated. The CDC says when workers refrain from drinking until they “feel thirsty,” it is often too late. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, may also help by replacing salt and electrolytes lost by the body on hot days. Sugary drinks and sodas should be avoided.
2) Dress for Success. Wearing light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing helps keep the body cooler. A hat and sunscreen will help, too, as protection against a sunburn, which could interrupt the body’s attempts to cool down on hot days.
3) Keep Cool. It is important to stop all activity when feeling faint or weak. Use a fan and take occasional breaks, preferably in the shade. Rest in the shade or in an air-conditioned building to cool down.
4) Know the Signs. Indications of heat-related fatigue include confusion, loss of consciousness and seizures. Among other signs of heat stress are cramping, dizziness, hot dry skin and rapid, shallow breathing.
5) Teamwork. Keep an eye on coworkers, especially those new to the work or new to working in high temperatures. Again, know the signs of heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke.
6) Easy Does It. Pace yourself and gradually increase activity on your first days of work in the heat. Get your body used to working in high temperatures.
For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit OSHA or the CDC
Tips for Tackling Contamination in Recycling Streams
By Chrissy Kadleck, Waste 360
These are all examples of items that get tossed into recycling streams that are the bane of solid waste authorities across the country.
Contamination is a problem in that it clogs recycling systems or ruins what were otherwise salvageable materials. That cuts into the commodity stream at the back end of recycling systems, which ultimately impacts revenues and profitability.
Curbing wishful, careless or uninformed tosses into the residential recycling bin is at the heart of the Waste360 Recycling Summit’s Managing Contamination session.
The session will showcase the following experts in the field and how they are fighting back against this pervasive problem at the curbside: Karen Bandhauer, project director at The Recycling Partnership; Julie Colehour, principal and social marketing connoisseur at C+C Public Relations & Social Marketing; and Greg Superneau, education and outreach coordinator for the city of Springfield, Mass.
We caught up with Superneau to get the 411 on the key points he plans to highlight during the session, which is scheduled from 9:20-10:30 a.m. on Thurs., Sept. 10.
Waste360: Can you give us a teaser about what you’re going to talk about?
Greg Superneau: Sure. My presentation is called “Cleaning Up Your Single Stream” and I’m going to be talking about how to effectively address contamination issues when they do arise.
In Springfield, we have 150,000 residents and we’re the third largest city in Massachusetts. We’re an urban, economically challenged city and we face a lot of language barriers with our residents.
When we rolled out our single-stream recycling program in 2008-2009, we had huge success. We increased our diversion and more than doubled our recycling rate. We went from 4,000 tons to 8,000 tons in a year.
We eventually developed a contamination problem. There is some question to how much contamination since the metrics for measuring contamination are subjective, but it was to the point where we were being told by the processor that they weren’t comfortable with the amount of contamination we were giving them.
So in May, we launched a program and I’m going to focus on the steps we took to address our contamination problem.
Waste360: Wow, May 2015?
Greg Superneau: Yes, it’s hot off the presses. I just had a meeting with some officials from DEP and Waste Management today and they haven’t seen any contamination issues in the last six to eight weeks; like zero.
We went from nine trucks in a few weeks being flagged for contamination to no trucks. Now that I’ve said that we’ll have a truck.
It’s a marked measurable decrease in the amount of contamination. They are actually looking and saying, “Wow guys, how did you get it down so quickly?”
Waste360: How did you make such an impact so fast?
Greg Superneau: We left the barrels behind. That’s it.
We wanted to take proactive steps to make sure that we were not one of the communities that were bringing contaminated recycling to the MRF. The markets have sort of stagnated because of the drop in oil prices, having less paper, the Chinese green fence – all those factors have contributed to the drop in revenue which makes the processors more carefully scrutinize loads.
We run a cart system. Obviously the mechanism of the truck tips the cart but that doesn’t mean that the driver can’t flip the lid and look inside the barrel. Now we don’t want our drivers digging through it but they were checking every barrel.
It sounds like it would take a lot of time but it was necessary in order to measure the problem. We did devote a lot of resources to bring the contamination rate down and measuring it.
We’ve been tagging and leaving barrels since the beginning of May. We started seeing some good results after a few weeks of that being put into action.
Waste360: So you tag the bags and let residents know why their recyclables were not accepted?
Greg Superneau: Exactly. Education and effectively communication with residents are critical components of managing contamination.
Leaving the barrels behind is key but when you leave a barrel behind you have to leave a tag on the barrel that’s explains why you are not picking it up.
We’ve put out thousands of flyers to neighborhood groups and senior centers. You really have to reach out to the residents, and educate them but you can’t overcomplicate it. Keep it simple with lots of pictures, especially if you have a lot of people who speak English as a second language.
If you engage them in a respectful way by saying you appreciate all the work that they are doing to recycle, they are generally receptive to the information. We tell our residents that when they come across an item that they’re not sure about, it’s almost better to throw it out because you don’t want to contaminate a whole barrel with an item that isn’t recyclable.
RECYCLING/SOLID WASTE MANAGER
The Town of Plymouth is currently accepting applications for the full-time position of Recycling/ Solid Waste Manager. Applicants must have the ability to coordinate and manage various functions and operations of the Town’s Transfer Station/ Recycling Center. Applicants must have Class IV operator certification, and recycling management background. For a full job description see the town’s website at www.plymouth-nh.org.
If you are looking for a drug free, appreciative working environment that offers a competitive wage and benefit package including: Vacation, Sick Leave, Personnel Days, Educational Training, Health Insurance (Employee pays 15% of premium), Dental Insurance (Employee pays 100% of premium), Group Disability and Life Insurance, and retirement through NH Retirement System, you may be the person we are looking for. The Town of Plymouth is an equal opportunity employer.
Resumes with cover letter may be submitted to: Paul Freitas, Town Administrator
Town of Plymouth 6 Post Office Square Plymouth, NH 03264
(603) 536-1731 office
(603) 536-0036 fax
electronically at email@example.com
Transfer Station Supervisor
Town of Chesterfield is seeking a motivated team player to serve as Supervisor for the town’s Transfer Station. Saturdays required. Responsible for planning, directing, conducting and administering all functions of the Transfer Station. Must be responsible, hard working, dependable and work well with the public. Some mechanical skills a plus. Applications may be obtained at the Chesterfield Selectmen’s Office or Transfer Station. (603) 363-4624 ext 10. Applications should be submitted to the Selectmen’s Office by noon on August 31st.
Rick Carrier, Chesterfield Town Administrator
(603) 363-4624 x13
SOLID WASTE MANAGER
The Town of Marlborough (pop. 2,000) seeks a knowledgeable and experienced, part-time (approx. 20 hours/week) Solid Waste Manager to manage and coordinate all aspects of the community’s Recycling Center/Transfer Station. Working under the supervision of a three-member Board of Selectmen, the Manager supervises three part-time employees.
Desired skills and experience include knowledge of municipal solid waste and recycling management issues, mechanical aptitude and “trouble shooting” skills and experience operating mechanical/motorized equipment used in solid waste operations. The candidate must have or be eligible to obtain State certification. Must be able to perform physical tasks including lifting, turning, reaching and squatting. Candidates should possess proven interpersonal, written and oral communication skills, with the ability to maintain positive working relationships with elected officials, department heads, employees and the public. In addition, working Saturday (the center’s busiest day) is required.
Salary for this part-time position is dependent upon qualifications and experience. Submit cover letter, resume and references to Sandra LaPlante, Administrative Assistant, PO Box 487, Marlborough, NH 03455 or email to Selectmen@marlboroughnh.org by noon on August 11, 2015. The Town of Marlborough is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Part Time Transfer Station Attendant
The Town of Greenfield, NH is looking for a part time transfer station attendant. 10+ hours per week. Must work Saturdays. Background check required. For questions/inquiries please call 547-8617 or email resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Compliance Officer – ecomaine
ecomaine, a leader is sustainable waste management strategies, is currently looking for a Compliance Officer to add to their team. This position will be responsible for developing, implementing, and executing the Regional Hauler Permitting & Compliance Program. Other responsibilities include the following:
• Review applications, issuing permits and collecting permit fees.
• Investigating and ensuring compliance with the Regional Hauler Permitting & Compliance Program, providing appropriate documentation and background to owner communities to address compliance issues.
• Track tonnage and waste flows to properly manage the program. Stays abreast of latest developments and trends in the industry to provide community members with up to date information.
• Provide education and outreach materials associated with this program, as well as the outreach and educational programs that the organization offers.
• Perform other work-related duties as assigned.
• Bachelors’ or Associates Degree related to environmental and/or enforcement issues or an equivalent amount of education and experience providing the desired skills, knowledge and ability to perform the function.
• At least three years of experience and be comfortable with compliance and enforcement issues.
• Creative, outgoing, multi-tasker, self-starter, very well organized, able to make well-reasoned decisions, a problem solver, and is independent while still being a team player.
• Able to work effectively with all levels within ecomaine
• Valid State of Maine driver’s license and insurable under ecomaine policies.
• Must have strong writing and computer skills specifically with the Microsoft Office Suite of Programs.
ecomaine is a equal opportunity employer. Interested candidates should send cover letter, resume, and salary history to email@example.com. Candidates can also apply online at jobsinme.com.
Wanted to Buy
Town of Gilmanton needs 10 Wheeler
10 Wheeler w/hoist for roll-offs, does not need to be road worthy. Need to move containers on site.
Contact: Board of Selectmen or Town Administrator,Gilmanton, New Hampshire 03237 (603)267-6700
Selco Vertical Baler
Weathersfield, VT DPW has a used Selco Vertical Baler for sale. Model# V5-HD. Good working condition. $5000.00 or Best Offer. Contact Wesley Hazeltine at 802-291-3219 for more information.
IPS Model AT965HS100 Auto Tie Baler
One (1) IPS Model AT965HS100 Auto Tie Baler, 100 HP power unit, built in January 2001. The baler will need to be removed from the facility. Asking Price is $65,000.00. More Pictures are available upon request. Contact NRRA if interested or if you would like more information. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NO MOM Meeting This Month
August 19: NRRA Board Meeting 9:00 a.m.-Local Government Center (NHMA), Triangle Dr., Concord, NH
August 20: NH the Beautiful Board Meeting-NRRA Offices
August 21: PLEASE NOTE THE NRRA OFFICES WILL BE CLOSING AT NOON, PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY
September 7: Labor Day
September 9: M.O.M Meeting-NRRA Offices