INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- From the Director’s Chair-Farewell to Bev. Pfeifer & Earth Day 2016
- 35th Annual NRRA Conference-Early Bird Special/Special Value Pricing Ending Soon!!
- NRRA April Pricing Guide
- Free PaintCare Webinar
- School News You Can Use-NH and VT Schools in the news!
- NH the Beautiful-Get your FREE Litter Free NH Blue Bags today
- NH DES News-Solid Waste Operator Training Updates & News
- NH News-Recycled material is worth a lot less than it used to be, which is bad for recycling
- Massachusetts News
- Vermont News
- National News
- NRRA Calendar
~Recycling Fact of the Day~
The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Retirement fever, like spring fever, says goodbye to the challenge of winter and hello to spring and sunny travels. Beverly Pfeifer has served NRRA members dutifully for over 10 years. She has waded through the recycling minutia of weights (or no weights), fuel surcharges, hauling fees, adjustments etc with the most calm and affable demeanor possible. Thanks to her attitude, the corner office has always been a refuge from the rest of the chaos that is the daily norm at NRRA. From all of her fellow recyclers we wish her safe journey and happy days ahead.
Earth Day 2016
On April 22 we celebrate a home that nurtures us all and provides our air and water and food and shelter. Seems like it is pretty simple. Take good care of the earth and she will take good care of you!
It’s Not Easy Being Green
Never was there a more fitting slogan for this last 12 months. The good news is we have no where to go but up. Recent minor upticks in the marketplace and encouraging stories of students restoring recycling programs speak volumes for a potentially brighter future. We certainly hope so. The 35th Annual Conference and Expo will certainly be full of positive comments and tricks of the trade to help everyone recover from the rocky road of recycling these last several months. I guarantee your attendance at the conference will put you on the track to better recycling. I look forward to seeing you all in Nashua May 16 and 17.
2016 Annual Conference: Lock in the best rate for NRRA’s Annual Conference before its too late!
April 22 is the deadline for getting not only the best rate, but for being able to select the Special Value Package, which includes the conference fee for both Monday and Tuesday and 1 night at the hotel. Register Online Today
NRRA’s 35th Anniversary Annual Conference, It’s Not Easy Being Green will be held May 16-17 at The Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH. The 7th Annual School Recycling Conference is May 17, 2016.
Download the PDF Conference Brochure & Register Today
Get expert insights on key questions facing the industry:
- Is single stream working?
- Industry says thermostat recovery is adequate, but is it?
- Are waste composition studies accurate?
- Is Pay-As-You-Throw a viable option?
- Can my facility handle a composting section?
- What is full cost accounting?
And so much more!
Remember: Register by April 22, 2016 to take advantage of the early bird discount rate:
Be sure to visit NRRA’s conference website regularly as new details will be added about conference. In addition, learn about new conference updates as well as new exhibit hall events, exhibitors, interesting articles and more on our social media groups. Take a minute to “like” our Facebook page and School Club Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on LinkedIn.
We look forward to seeing you in May! The PDF registration form is writable so you can fill online, save and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can register online. Any questions, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
NRRA April 2016 Pricing Guide
The NRRA Pricing Guide for April 2016 is now available! To Access it, please click HERE. Please note that the pricing guide is password protected for Members Only. If you need assistance accessing the guide or need the password, please contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members Helping Members
I recently received a note from Dennis Patnoe, Transfer Station Manager in Lancaster, NH (and NRRA Board Member). Dennis would like his fellow NRRA Members to know that if they currently have or are considering purchasing a 50 yard open top container that is more than 22′ long, you may want to have a discussion with your hauler because it is not legal to haul a trailer that long unless you have a DOT (Department of Transportation) approved bumper extension because the trailer sticks out too far in the back.
FREE PaintCare Stewardship Webinar
We wanted to bring to your attention this free webinar on the Nuts & Bolts of Paint Stewardship, occurring next Wednesday, April 20th. This webinar is a great way to introduce new colleagues to the paint stewardship program, learn more about what the program involves, and find out what the paint industry is envisioning for the future.
Register for free online here. Please feel free to forward to others who may be interested!
Outreach and Communications Coordinator
Product Stewardship Institute, Inc.
From Bonnie’s Desk: Recycling In Italy
During a recent vacation to the Tuscany region of Italy, I was pleasantly pleased by the recycling opportunities available.
There were bins for Alluminio (aluminum), Plastica (plastic), Vetro (glass), Carto (paper), Cartone (cardboard) & Rifiuto Indifferenziato (Dry Waste).
No one traveled with a “to-go” cup, you stood at a “coffee bar” and leisurely sipped your café macchiato from a very small cup.
Oftentimes, there was also a receptacle for organics (see brown bin).
At an organic farm in San Gimignano (call me and I will help with the pronunciation of this one!), instead of using plastic ties for the grapevines, they used willow branches.
The most quaint recycling set- up was in Siena.
And the narrow streets of Siena explain why the trucks are so small to pick up recyclables!
But the best part of Italy (besides the gelato) was “Good Friends, Good Wine & Good Times”!
Thanks for the break & keep on Recycling no matter where the road leads you!
SCHOOL NEWS YOU CAN USE
SCHOOL CLUB CONFERENCE
The School CLUB will host our 7th Annual Conference on Tuesday, May 17. By offering this annual event in May, we hope more students and teachers will be able to attend. We already have several fantastic workshops lined up including a couple of schools that will share information on their successful recycling programs. As always, we also have a number of activities, games, scavenger hunt and surprises to make this a memorable event. Mark your calendars and watch our website for new details as they become available! View our Conference Brochure to see the outstanding lineup of workshops! Be sure to register NOW!
Conference Registration Grants Available for NH Schools
NH schools may apply for financial assistance for the Conference through NH the Beautiful. Here is their Grant Application Form.
Allenstown Wins NH Recycle-Bowl
We hope to share a picture of their award in the next issue!
A full list of winners by category and region is available on the Recycle-Bowl website, or you can click this link: http://recycle-bowl.org/2015-recycle-bowl-winners/
NJ-Egg Harbor City Community School, Egg Harbor City, NJ (State and National Champion!)
NH-Allenstown Elementary, Allenstown, NH
VT-Thaddeus Stevens School, Lyndon Center, VT
MA-Capt. Samuel Brown School, Peabody, MA
CT-King Low Heywood Thomas, Stamford, CT
Burke Town School Provides Recycling Training to Students & Staff
West Burke, VT –Burke Town School hosted Educators from Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) who presented a Garbage Guerillas Workshop to 24 sixth-graders on March 30. In addition, staff and teachers of Burke Town School were the first to view updated recycling curriculum made possible through a grant from USDA Rural Development to NRRA.
Garbage Guerillas is a workshop designed to raise awareness of recycling possibilities by examining the current waste stream. NRRA’s School CLUB Educator Charen Fegard, coached the students on the importance of recycling, reviewed Act 148-Universal Recycling requirements and offered ideas on how they can each help protect their environment at school and at home. She reviewed the types of recycling and how to properly and safely sort through a sample of school trash. Ms. Fegard then labeled student volunteers by recycling categories, such as metal, paper, compost, etc. Armed with gloves, the remaining students sorted several bags of typical school waste. At the end of the presentation, the students had a visual record of how much material could have been recycled and diverted from the landfill.
In addition to the workshop, a STAR Assessment was done of the entire school. Facilities Manager, Marc Brown guided the NRRA team on a school-wide tour. The STAR is NRRA’s proprietary school recycling inventory and review which identifies the five key areas of recycling. The report produced from this data offers clear, unbiased suggestions for future improvements as well as a baseline for examination of the positive effects of change. Overall, the school scored high marks for their functional, sustainable and green policies.
A second presentation was made by NRRA Educator and USDA Grant Manager Cindy Sterling to BTS staffers. They provided valuable feedback and insights on how best to conduct outreach to other schools. The USDA grant funded a complete overhaul of the recycling curriculum, bringing it up-to-date and in line with Common Core Standards. USDA’s goal is to make recycling education accessible to schools in areas that might not otherwise have access. The BTS staffers were offered the new curriculum and encouraged to train their peers as well as staff from area schools, thereby bringing recycling education to a wider audience.
Special thanks to the Burke Town School staff and especially Facilities Manager, Marc Brown, for making this event a success.
The United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development has generously provided grant money to support the revision and presentation of recycling curriculum to divert materials away from landfills and reduce water contamination through leachate. Their goal is to make these educational materials available to schools in rural areas of NH & VT who have limited access to this programming.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination write, USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
South Royalton Students Learn About Clean Water and Recycling
South Royalton, VT – As part of their Solid Waste Implementation Plan (SWIP), White River Solid Waste Alliance funded four NRRA (Northeast Resource Recovery Association) workshops and two technical assistance trainings for South Royalton School. The Alliance’s goal is to assist schools in their region to become compliant with Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, Act 148.
NRRA’s School CLUB Educator, Charen Fegard, presented workshops on: Healthy Home/Clean Waters, Waste=Global Climate Change, Back to the Earth (Composting), and Recycling & Composting in Your Town. Third-graders attended the workshops, held on February 16, 18 and March 15.
Ms. Fegard conducted a training on Indoor Air Quality and Green Cleaning for the custodial staff on February 16, consisting of a comprehensive inventory and analysis of cleaning products used in the school. In addition, a STAR Assessment was done on the entire school. The STAR is NRRA’s proprietary school recycling inventory and review which identifies the five key areas of recycling. The report produced from this data offers clear, unbiased suggestions for future improvements as well as a baseline for examination of the positive effects of change.
Special thanks to the South Royalton School teachers and staff, and especially Facilities Manager Lori Eggum and Principal Dean Stearns, for making this event successful.
The White River Solid Waste Alliance represents the towns of Barnard, Bethel, Granville, Hancock, Pittsfield, Rochester, Royalton & Stockbridge, VT. As a Member of NRRA, all schools within the Alliance are eligible for free membership in NRRA’s School Recycling.
NH THE BEAUTIFUL
NH the Beautiful ‘Ups the Ante” for Floor Scale Grants
(And an NRRA Vendor will offer incentive discounts too!)
Since NRRA highly recommends our members acquire floor scales to tally and track weights of their material, NH the Beautiful is generously offering grants for up to 50% of the cost of the scale. Typically, NHtB offers up to 20% of purchase cost on most recycling equipment grants so this is a very special, limited time offer!
Floor scales can range in price from $1500 – $2000 depending on type and style. NRRA has an approved vendor who will offer a 20% discount to NRRA Members….it is feasible you could have floor scales at your facility for approximately $750!!
To obtain a quote and receive your 20% discount or to apply for a grant, contact your NRRA Member Services Representative for more information!
Grants Program for NH Municipalities
Do you need equipment for your facility? A Floor Scale? Storage Containers?
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 next NH the Beautiful Board Meeting will be on February 18th, 2o16. Please submit your grant applications by February 1st to have them considered at this next meeting!
NH the Beautiful Litter Free/Blue Bag Program – Order Your Bags Now!
NH the Beautiful is once again providing blue bags for litter clean up. Bags are available to communities in NH. Nonprofit and other community groups are asked to coordinate your efforts with your town, and the town must submit the order forms.
All orders should be submitted to NRRA via fax or email (see info below). Bags will still be picked up at the NRRA office at 2101 Dover Road in Epsom. Bags are available for pick up NOW (contrary to the form which states pick up is not available until 4/30).
If you are interested in ordering blue bags, please fill out an order form and mail, email or fax it directly to NRRA. A participation packet can be found at the following link: https://www.nrra.net/wp-content/uploads/2016-Litter-Free-NH-Packet.pdf
If you have questions about the program, you may call NRRA at 603-736-4401 x. 10.
Email completed forms to email@example.com or Fax to 603-736-4402
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.20. 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.
NH DES NEWS
NHDES Solid Waste Operator Training and Certification (SWOT) Program Announcements
The NHDES SWOT Program announces that they have hired Tara Mae Albert as the new Training & Certification Program Coordinator. In her new role, Tara will have the responsibility to train and certify about 1,300 solid waste operators annually. You can reach Tara at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 271-3713.
The SWOT Program is hosting four Basic Training Classes in May 2016. Information on when and where these classes are can be found at http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/waste/swrtas/opcert.htm#newoperators. Classes are filling up quickly, please submit complete applications as soon as possible.
There are scheduled Continuing Professional Development Workshops as follows.
- Friday, April 22: Textiles Management (presented by Northeast Recycling Council)
- Thursday, May 5: Food Scrap Management (presented by the Northeast Recycling Council)
- Tuesday, June 14: Bulky Waste Management (presented by the Northeast Waste Mgt. Officials’ Ass’n.)
- Wednesday, July 13: Things that Go Bang! REPEAT (presented by NH DOS)
- Thursday, September 22: Asbestos REPEAT (presented by NHDES Staff)
For more information on dates and topics, please go to http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/waste/swrtas/workshop.htm. Stay tuned for additional topics.
For general information on the SWOT Program, please visit http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/waste/swrtas/index.htm.
NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS
Recycled material is worth a lot less than it used to be, which is bad for recycling
By David Brooks, Concord Monitor April 5, 2016
The world of recycling is struggling through a collapse in prices that shows no sign of ending any time soon, adding unexpected strain to budgets in many towns and cities – although less so in Concord, thanks to some fortuitous timing fueled by a little risk aversion.
“We decided we didn’t want to be in the commodities market,” said Chip Chesley, director of Concord General Services, which includes the solid waste department. “The attractiveness – ‘we can make a lot of money on it’ – may have sucked some people into it, but we decided against it.”
That doesn’t mean recycling in the city is cheap, of course, as is most visible in questions about how much to charge for the purple bags used in pay-as-you-throw. This year it will pay $1.08 million to cover the cost of the trucks and staffing to make curbside pick-up runs.
But it doesn’t have to worry about the numbers changing as the world’s markets for waste paper, glass, tin, plastics and metals plunge.
In the past, such caution could be misguided because it was possible to make money selling material collected from recycling runs, due in large part by the economic boom in China, which bought huge amounts of recycled material to make new products. No longer.
In 2011, the average price for a ton of single-stream recycled material was about $150, said Michael Durfor, head of the Northeast Resource Recovery Association, a nonprofit that helps communities with recycling. In 2015, that was down to about $39 a ton, due to a decline in prices for almost all material because of a perfect storm of problems, including developing-world slowdowns, the fall in the price of oil and the decline in newsprint.
“No one was ready for this to be such an across-the-board down market,” Durfor said. “Typically, if fiber was down, plastic would be up, or if tires were down, scrap metal would be up – there was enough to cover the changes.”
For the effect of this, consider Hopkinton, which recycles the old-fashioned way. People bring their stuff to the dump – which is actually a transfer station, although the old name sticks – and manually sort out different types of paper, glass, metal and plastic. It’s then bundled and sold through Northeast Resource Recovery Association, and since it’s pre-sorted, it gets top prices.
In 2013, Assistant Superintendent of Public Works Steve Clough said, Hopkinton sold various recycled material for $67,000. In 2014, the material brought in $65,000. But last year, the haul was just $30,000, a decline of more than 50 percent, and it’s not because people recycled less.
“We have a good following, a pretty committed town,” he said.
Clough said this revenue decline is less shocking than it seems because recycling reduces the amount of stuff that the town has to pay to take to a landfill. Even if you’re getting much less for each ton of crushed milk jugs or baled cardboard, that’s better than paying money to have it buried somewhere.
“Recycling was always about cost avoidance,” Clough said.
That’s also true in Concord, where Casella Waste Systems has a contract to pick up recycled material along with trash.
This year, Concord will pay Casella $58.36 for each ton for trash that it disposes, and nothing per ton for recyclables. That’s above and beyond the million-dollar cost of pick-up.
In 2015, the city paid to dispose of 8,667 tons of trash and 5,087 tons of recyclables. This means that if it could persuade people to shift 5 percent of their trash over to the recycled category, it would save about $25,000 in disposal costs.
Why isn’t Concord also getting paid for the recycled material? It’s by choice.
Rather than guess how much recycled material is going to be worth in the future, the city signed a 10-year contract with Casella last year that sets costs in stone, with a 2.4 percent annual increase in trash disposal cost. If PTE (plastic that has a 1 inside its recycling symbol) or cardboard or tin cans soar in value next year, the city will miss out on a resale bonanza.
The risk is worth it, Chesley said. He said the city’s “trash geeks,” using former experience in the regional solid waste cooperative as well as recent analysis, decided not to try to second-guess year-to-year market prices. That’s looking pretty good at the moment.
“I don’t know that anybody expected such a long drawn-out decline in the market,” said Adam Clark, solid waste manager for Concord. “When the going was good, maybe the blinders were on for people making a decision. (The market for recyclables) was hot for a long time.”
It’s not hot now, for lots of reasons, none of which show any sign of changing soon.
Problems include the economic slowdown in China, India and other developing nations, which once bought recycled material to reuse; the fall in oil prices that makes it cheaper to create plastic from petroleum rather than from recycled plastic; a strong dollar that makes it expensive to sell recycled material overseas; and even the decline in newspaper circulation and other printed material, which has clobbered the New England paper mills that once bought what is known as recycled fiber.
“In 2009, we lost 11 or 13 mills in New England. We lost another six in the last six months,” said Michael Durfor of the New England Resource Recovery Association.
Asked to describe the economic situation of recycling, he half-joked: “If you can envision the Titanic about halfway down.”
Even technology plays against the finances: Plastic soda bottles weigh less than they used to, so the same amount of recycled bottles will produce less material to be sold.
Then there’s the issue of single-stream recycling, which came to Concord five years ago and is much debated in the industry.
An op-ed piece in the March 20 Sunday Monitor, titled “The story behind the death of recycling,” achieved the solid-waste-industry version of going viral online, drawing more than 70,000 page views and comments from people as far away as the West Coast, many of them identifying themselves as working in the business.
Written by Carl Hultburg of Danbury, who works at the Danbury Transfer Station, it argued that the cost issues have been worsened by companies making big, expensive machinery designed to automatically separate all of the various material that is tossed into the same recycling bin as part of single-stream.
“The brand-new, automated, single-stream plants that hardly had to hire anyone were suddenly clogged up with the refuse in the recyclables stream: car parts . . . plastic shrink wrap . . . dead animals, you name it. Suddenly these high-profit trash handling facilities started breaking down,” he wrote in his piece. “The towns that were expecting to make a huge profit were faced with big bills for extra processing.”
That claim is part of a debate going on in the industry right now. Going to single-stream, which means that people don’t have to keep separate piles of material waiting for the weekly recycling run, greatly improves participation, as Concord found when it adopted single-stream five years ago.
“Everybody said solid waste volume should drop by about 40 percent. We thought it would take maybe two years to accomplish,” Chesley said. “We did it in about two weeks. People’s habits, as soon as they were aware there is a cost to solid waste, they changed.”
But single-stream is expensive, because the separating of different material that was previously done for free by people at home or at the town transfer station is now done at cost by companies.
Casella operates a huge “zero-sort” facility in Charleston, Mass., that takes recycling material from Concord and elsewhere. It is a technical marvel using a variety of technologies to separate material, although it still requires teams of people to help hand sort. Glass, for example, is shattered by “disk breakers” so that pieces fall through a grid, which several types of plastic are separated via optical sensors and air jets, and aluminum cans, which can’t be picked up by magnets like tin cans, are moved via “reverse magnetic polarity.”
There is considerable debate within the industry about costs. Durfor, of the Resource Recovery Association, thinks that the cost of processing single-stream is about $75 a ton. Remember, he estimated that the current average value of all recycled material is $39 a ton, barely half his estimated cost of processing.
That difference puts financial pressure on processors like Casella – which is likely to show up in future contracts, where the base rate for picking up material will rise – to compensate for a decline in resale value of the final product.
Of course, regardless of finances, the environmental benefits of recycling remain, keeping trash out of landfills or blowing around the countryside, and reducing the amount of raw material that must be pulled from the ground to make new products. The push for recycling is unlikely to change even as the financial pressures alter.
Deposit Law Under Fire by Massachusetts Beverage Association
Robert Carr, Waste 360
Correction: The story incorrectly stated that the study prepared by the Container Recycling Institute was sponsored by the Glass Packaging Institute. The GPI is not a member of the CRI and provided no funding for the report.
Buoyed by victory two years ago in Massachusetts in defeating the expansion of the state’s bottle bill, the state’s beverage association is championing a new law, recently brought out of committee, to dismantle the deposit system altogether.
The state currently places a 5-cent deposit on all carbonated soft drink, beer, malt beverage and sparkling water containers sold there. A proposal to expand the deposit to other containers failed by nearly a three-to-one margin in 2014. Just recently, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy voted to bring House Bill 646 out for discussion, a bill that would repeal the 5-cent deposit and instead charge beverage producers and distributors a 1-cent fee, per container used, for three years.
Nicole Giambusso, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Beverage Association, says the new 1-cent payment would generate about $135 million total. About 80 percent of the funds would go to help municipalities upgrade their recycling systems, such as retrofitting trucks, providing large recycling carts and increasing public space recycling efforts. The other 20 percent would be used for recycling education programs for the consumer. The plan is, she says, to get enough people to switch to curbside container recycling to end the container fee program altogether after the three years.
“Collecting a deposit is an idea that hasn’t changed much since the 1980s, but we recycle a lot different today,” Giambusso says. “There’s much more municipality participation in single-stream recycling, and people are using it for containers – which means they’re being unfairly charged twice.”
Ten states use deposits for the collection of bottles, ranging from 5 cents per container in Maine, New York and Iowa, to 10 cents per container in Michigan and California. All 10 states typically report high numbers of redemption and significantly lower bottle litter numbers since before their deposit laws. However, beverage industries don’t like the extra work or higher price they must charge for each container in these states, and material recovery facilities would prefer to gather the containers as part of their weight-calculated fee.
The opponents of bottle bills have a valid point – recycling is different than it was years ago. Sorting technology has improved, and throwing items into a home recycling bin is far more common. Even attitudes have changed, with “green” systems” adopted, and touted, by most major companies.
Glass recyclers disagree with the beverage industry, saying that studies have shown that states without deposit laws are less than 50 percent effective at keeping containers out of the streets, and eventually landfills. Lynn Bragg, president of the Glass Packaging Institute, says bottle bills work. A 2013 study prepared by the Container Recycling Institute claims that deposit states have bottle returns in the 70 percent to 85 percent range. States that instead rely on single stream for recycling end up with unusable glass and contaminated waste streams, according to the study.
“We’re very supportive of container deposits, because that’s where our industry receives the cleanest glass, from the deposit-collecting states,” Bragg says. “What’s the point of recycling glass if it is broken at the MRF and contaminated, and instead just sent to a landfill?”
Kelly Smith, director of government affairs and sustainability for the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, says her firm is opposed to bottle deposit laws. She says deposit laws are an expensive, inefficient approach to bottle recycling that don’t address the entire waste stream issue.
“Single-stream recycling, where consumers put everything in a bin at the end of the driveway, that’s easier for consumers to manage their bottles,” She says. “They don’t have to separate out everything, or haul dirty bottles to the store. Anything that makes it easier the consumer, for the local municipality, that’s where efforts should be focused.”
STATE CAPITOL BRIEFS – AFTERNOON EDITION – THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2016
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE-Submitted By Gordon Martin (NRRA Board Member)
PACHECO TO BE DECORATED BY AUSTRIAN GOVERNMENT
Sen. Marc Pacheco will next week be awarded the fourth highest award of honor by the Austrian government for “bilateral relations and services to the Republic of Austria,” the senator’s office announced Thursday. Austrian President Heinz Fischer conferred the honor upon Pacheco, who will formally receive the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star on March 23 at the New York City residence of Austrian Consul General Dr. Georg Heindl. “It’s an immense honor to receive this award from Austria and President Fischer,” Pacheco said in a statement. “Collaboration with Austria has always made sense. They have been interested in Massachusetts’ leadership and innovation on the national and global stage for a very long time, just as we have been interested in their own successes.” Since 2007, Pacheco has participated in the international Sustainable Future Campaign initiative with the Austrian University League for the United Nations, his office said. In 2013, he contributed a chapter to the Austrian book “Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Business Success through Sustainability,” and last year was the keynote speaker at the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Awards in Vienna. Pacheco is chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. Others who have received the Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star from the Austrian government include United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Toyota Motor Company Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda, former British Ambassador to the Soviet Union Sir William Goodenough Hayter and former German President Horst Khler. The award is the second such award for Pacheco, his office said. In 2000, the senator received the honor of Commander of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator, the highest award bestowed upon a civilian by the Portuguese government. – Colin A. Young/SHNS
SINGLE-STREAM RECYCLING BILL GETS COMMITTEE BACKING AT DEADLINE
Massachusetts food and beverage groups on Thursday celebrated that a bill to eliminate the 5-cent deposit on most carbonated beverages and replace it with a 1-cent fee on almost all beverages as a means to promote universal recycling was reported favorably out of committee before Wednesday’s deadline. The bill (H 646) would establish the Municipal Recycling Enhancement Fund, which would make money available for cities and towns to upgrade their recycling infrastructure with an emphasis on single-stream recycling — a system in which all recyclable materials can be placed in the same cart or bin for pickup — and for litter prevention and removal efforts. “Not only do Massachusetts residents prefer approaches like curbside and single stream recycling, but these modern recycling programs are proven to work better,” Massachusetts Beverage Association spokeswoman Nicole Giambusso said in a statement. “With a stagnant 38 percent recycling rate, Massachusetts is long overdue for an upgrade.” That fund would get an initial infusion of about $21 million from unclaimed bottle deposits and then would be built up through the collection of a new, non-refundable 1-cent levy on every beverage container sold by a distributor or wholesaler in Massachusetts for a period of three years. Milk, other dairy-derived products, infant formula and medical food products would be exempt from the assessment. After three years, the 1-cent levy would go away. Bill supporters estimate that the fee would generate about $114 million over the three-year period, bringing the fund’s estimated total balance to $135 million, which municipalities could use to build up their own recycling programs. Supporters of the bill filed by Sen. Michael Moore and Rep. Mark Cusack say it could increase recycling by more than 30 percent, slow the rate at which landfills approach capacity, create more than 3,000 new jobs and reduce carbon emissions. – Colin A. Young/SHNS
BAKER CALLS TRIP TO SECRETIVE GEORGIA CONFERENCE “NO BIG DEAL”
[Story Developing] Downplaying the appearance that he and his staff sought to hide his participation in a secretive summit of conservative leaders in Georgia earlier this month, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday said he did not engage in reported discussions about how to stop the rise of Donald Trump. Baker traveled to Sea Island, a posh resort off the coast of Georgia, on the first weekend in March for the World Forum, a conference hosted by the Washington-based think-tank American Enterprise Institute. The gathering featured panels and interviews with conservative political and thought leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and commentator Bill Kristol, as well as business leaders like Apple’s Tim Cook. The governor’s attendance, first reported on Wednesday night by the Boston Globe, was not previously disclosed by the governor’s staff. The News Service directly asked the governor’s communication team on March 4, the day the governor left for Georgia, whether Baker had plans to travel that weekend or during the upcoming week, but was told to wait for his public schedule. The Georgia trip never appeared on Baker’s public schedule, but his staff did disclose the following Tuesday that Baker planned to visit Utah for a vacation with his family. “There was no big deal on it to be honest with you, and that won’t happen again. Any time I travel outside Massachusetts, we’ll make sure everybody knows that I’ve traveled outside Massachusetts,” Baker said on Thursday during his monthly “Ask the Governor” interview on Boston Public Radio. The Huffington Post, citing Kristol and conservative pundit Pat Buchanan, reported last week that the topic of conversation among attendees of the off-the-record summit eventually turned to Trump and ideas to slow the momentum of the GOP’s presidential front runner. Despite repeatedly expressing his own reservations about Trump, Baker said he was not privy to those exchanges. “If there were conversations going on about Donald Trump, I wasn’t in them,” Baker said. – Matt Murphy/SHNS
CAMBRIDGE COUNCILOR RUNNING FOR SENATE
[Coverage Developing] Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung plans in the next few weeks to formally launch a campaign for the Second Middlesex seat currently held by Sen. Patricia Jehlen of Somerville. Cheung announced his intentions Thursday, citing the Green Line extension, affordable housing, early education, the environment and access to the innovation economy as among his general priorities. Cheung was a candidate for lieutenant governor in the 2014 elections. – Michael Norton/SHNS
Food waste gets second life as renewable energy on dairy farm
Laura Hardie, Country Folks March 2016
Recycling is at the heart of dairy farming. Water is recycled to use on crops or to clean the milking parlor. Manure is recycled as fertilizer for the fields or converted into electricity on farms with cow power technology. Now, a Vermont farm has found a way to help their community recycle inedible food waste.
Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, VT has a farm waste digester, which converts manure, food waste and farm by-products into natural fertilizer and energy to power 400 to 500 homes. They will soon be piloting a new project with Casella Organics to help communities understand the importance of properly separating food waste so that it can be collected and turned into a mixture that can be fed into the farm digester.
“Our community benefits from the local source of renewable electricity generated right on our farm,” said Marie Audet of Blue Spruce Farm. “Additionally, the natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer enhances our soil health allowing us to grow more hay and corn so we can continue to feed our cows and produce high-quality milk.”
Audet recently took part in a panel at South by Southwest (SXSW) — the popular music, film and technology festival — called ‘What a Waste: 40 percent of Food Discarded, 49M Go Hungry’.
The discussion encouraged diverse organizations to work together to reduce waste, divert food from landfills and route reclaimed food to those who need it most. Currently, food waste is the second highest component of landfills and the largest source of methane emissions, Audet said.
“Dairy farms are well equipped to not only feed you, but recycle what you waste,” Audet said at the panel discussion in Austin, TX, “that happens with innovative, sustainable and creative ideas and technology – on the farm, in our homes and at every stage in between.”
The need for a solution becomes more urgent with the passage of the Universal Recycling Law in Vermont that bans all food waste from landfills by 2020.
“Food scraps from both residential homes and commercial locations will need to be recycled,” said Tony Barbagallo, Director of Business Development at Casella Organics. “By diverting food scraps to the farm instead of the landfill, we’ve found one way to put the waste to better use.”
Casella has also partnered with several farms in New England and New York to process food waste including Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley, MA where 14,000 tons of food waste is processed annually.
Blue Spruce Farm has been recycling food waste for years in other ways. The farm supplies Cabot Creamery with milk to make cheese, and Cabot returns the organic by-products from the cheese production to the farm. Some of the by-product is fed to the cows; the rest is fed into the farm waste digester and converted into renewable energy.
“We aim to keep resources in a continuous cycle of re-use for as long as possible toward a goal of zero-waste-to-landfill,” said Ann Hoogenboom, Sustainability Coordinator at Cabot Creamery Cooperative.
Laura Hardie is a 7th generation Vermonter from Waterbury, VT and works as a Public Relations & Communications Specialist for New England Dairy Promotion Board.
CONSUMERS OVERWHELMINGLY BELIEVE RECYCLING IS IMPORTANT
New research reveals that Americans continue to think recycling helps the environment and should be made a priority
DENTON, Texas—Good news! Americans still believe recycling is important and positively impacts the environment. These were the findings of a national survey that included nearly 2,500 U.S. adults, conducted for the Carton Council of North America. It showed that 90 percent of respondents believe recycling is important and people should do what they can to try and recycle.
To break it down further, more than 6 in 10 (61 percent) believe people should make recycling a priority. Twenty-nine percent believe people should do what they can to try to recycle.
“The survey results reiterate what we in the industry have known all along, that recycling is important and remains a vital part of ensuring our planet is in the best shape for future generations,” said Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America and vice president, environment, Tetra Pak Americas. “Despite some media coverage last year that questioned the importance of recycling, American consumers care about recycling and the environment. It’s within our power as an industry to unite for the common goal of ensuring every American has access to recycling and is recycling all that they can.”
Further reinforcing the widespread support for recycling, the survey also found that 95 percent of consumers believe that if more people recycled their household containers, it would help the environment. Additionally, the survey revealed that recycling is very much a cultural norm in the U.S. Eighty-two percent of respondents said that all or some of the houses in their neighborhood set out recycling on collection day.
“With the price of oil so low, there has been a lot of discussion about the short-term economic feasibility of recycling,” said Pelz. “However, recycling is important not just for the economic benefits but also because it tackles the issue of resource scarcity that will eventually impact us all. Additionally, in some communities, recycling addresses concerns over the lack of landfill space. Recycling is not going away in this country.”
Results from the survey also reinforced that recycling is seen as a local issue and using a variety of local communications is most effective. When asked where they turn for information about their community, respondents said they would first turn to local media for information (43 percent), followed closely by friends and family at 36 percent, bill stuffers and newsletters at 29 percent, social media at 21 percent, and events at 20 percent.
“Recycling is about creating good solutions for long-term economic and environmental health. Knowledge is power, and this research reinforces that there is demand for recycling,” said Keefe Harrison, executive director of The Recycling Partnership. “We share a joint mission with the Carton Council in working to create solutions that engage members all along the recycling supply chain to increase recycling nationwide. We also recognize that our job isn’t done, but together with the Carton Council and our many other partners, we are taking action to deliver bold results.”
The Carton Council is a sponsor and member of The Recycling Partnership board of directors, a national recycling nonprofit focused on improving recycling in the U.S. The Carton Council was formed with the goal to increase carton recycling in the U.S. In 2009, just 18 percent of U.S. households could recycle the cartons they consumed through their local recycling programs. Since then, efforts have focused on building the infrastructure for aseptic and gable-top carton recycling, and now 58 percent of U.S. households have access to carton recycling, a 222 percent increase.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
Findings from the research are based on a survey of 2,495 adults conducted by Research+Data Insights. The survey included a nationally representative sample of Americans who reported having access to curbside recycling programs in their communities, and the results were weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. Responses were collected online between Dec. 2 and Dec. 13, 2015.
For more information on the research findings, visit CartonOpportunities.org/survey.
ABOUT THE CARTON COUNCIL
The Carton Council is composed of four leading carton manufacturers, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Evergreen Packaging and Tetra Pak, as well as an associate member, Weyerhaeuser. Formed in 2009, the Carton Council works to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill. Through a united effort, the Carton Council is committed to building a sustainable infrastructure for carton recycling nationwide and works toward their continual goal of adding access to carton recycling throughout the U.S. For more information, visit CartonOpportunities.org.
Amazing Pencil Turns Into A Plant When You Bury It
By Alex Kaufman, Huffington Post
Old wooden pencils can now turn back into plants, thanks to the startup Sprout World.
Based outside Copenhagen, the company makes writing implements and business cards that, when planted in soil, grow into herbs, vegetables or flowers. The idea is to inspire people to think more about where products come from and what happens when they’re no longer useful.
So far, people seem to be digging Sprout’s sustainable pencils. The company, which launched in 2014, says that sales are increasing.
“We as individuals know we cannot save the planet, but we can do things little by little, we can take small steps in our everyday life,” Michael Stausholm, Sprout’s chief executive, told The Huffington Post by phone in a recent interview from Taastrup, the Danish suburb where the company is based.
“That’s what people have in mind when they buy a Sprout pencil — you can feel you can make a difference by buying something you don’t have to throw out afterward, but plant it instead to give it a new life,” Stausholm added.
It’s a simple concept. Instead of an eraser, each pencil has a seed capsule on one end. The capsule contains one of several varieties of plants — herbs like basil or rosemary, flowers like marigolds, vegetables like green peppers, and so on. (New options, such as rose, are coming soon.) Once the writing end of the pencil is all used up, you just stick the capsule end in some soil and water regularly. The seed should germinate within 1 to 3 weeks, the company said.
The concept of a plantable pencil was developed in 2012 by three students at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. Sprout purchased the idea two years later.
The young company says its sales hit $2 million last year. It expects that figure to double by the end of this year. Disney, Ikea, Marriott and Bank of America are all clients, buying the pencils in bulk as a gift-bag novelty.
Individuals can also buy the pencils on Sprout’s site, in Whole Foods Supermarkets and on Amazon, where customers have given the pencils a near-perfect rating.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, computers haven’t rendered pencils completely obsolete. Sales of the writing implement were on pace to increase about 4 percent last year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The roughly 15 billion wooden pencils produced worldwide each year use about 60,000 trees — which, as logs laid end to end, would stretch from Cancun to New Orleans, according to the sustainable goods site Pristine Planet. By contrast, about 4 billion of the 15 billion trees felled each year are used to produce paper.
Sprout, at least for now, doesn’t include seeds for the sort of cedar trees used to make most of the 3 billion pencils produced in the U.S. each year. So using a Sprout pencil doesn’t quite serve as a model for addressing deforestation.
The wood used to make Sprout pencils in Europe comes from tree farms certified by the nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council. In the U.S., whereStausholm said it’s harder to find FSC-certified forests, the company buys wood from farms verified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, a Swiss nonprofit that functions similarly to the FSC but carries less prestige.
Stausholm said the company aims to use 100 percent FSC-certified wood in the future.
“We are not perfect, nobody’s perfect,”Stausholm said. “But because of the nature of our business, we put a lot of effort and resources into tracing materials and making sure everything is certified and is coming from the right sources.”
The same goes for the seeds included in its pencils. The company currently sources seeds from three different organic farmers, but it plans to pare that down to just one supplier.
“We are moving toward only one seed supplier to be able to even more tightly control the supply,”Stausholm said. “For each batch of pencils that we make, we make sure to trace the seed lot to match the pencil batch so we can always go back and see where the seeds have come from.”
Language has been added to indicate that rose seeds are not yet available in Sprout World pencils.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said pencil wood in the U.S. mainly comes from cedar pines. In fact, it comes from the California incense cedar.
SOLID WASTE MANAGER
The Town of Swanzey (pop. 7,230) located in southwestern New Hampshire seeks a knowledgeable and experienced Solid Waste Manager to manage and coordinate all aspects of the community’s Recycling Center/Transfer Station as well as its operations processing recyclables and accepting other solid waste. Working under the supervision of a three-member Board of Selectmen, the Manager supervises one full-time Assistant Manager and 6 part-time employees.
Desired skills and experience include knowledge of municipal solid waste and recycling management issues, mechanical aptitude and “trouble shooting” skills, some experience operating mechanical / motorized equipment used in solid waste operations. Experience with computers and Microsoft Office application is desired. 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’s (the center’s busiest day) is required.
Salary for this full-time position is dependent upon qualifications and experience, and includes a competitive benefit package. Submit a Town application, cover letter, resume, with salary history and (3) references, to Michael Branley. Town Administrator, PO Box 10009, Swanzey, NH 03446, or email@example.com. Interested candidates should review the full job description on the Town’s website www.town.swanzey.nh.us or upon request. The Town is looking to fill the positions as soon as possible and applications will be reviewed upon receipt.
The Town of Swanzey is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Diesel Hyster Forklift & Two Balers for Sale
The Town of Canaan, NH has the following items for sale, Please contact Mike Samson (603-523-4501 x 5) if interested or if you have any questions.
1) 1986 Diesel Hyster H40 XL forklift, Load capacity 4,000 lbs.
2) TWO , Advance Lifts Downstroke Balers BR9000 SN 18004 997A and BR9000 SN 18004 997B. Looks like it’s rated for 15 HP but I haven’t climbed up to look.
Both in excellent condition. Acquired from NETC.
At Spector Manufacturing Inc. providing the highest level of customer satisfaction is our top priority. Founded in 1994, we have quickly grown to become an industry leader for all your demolition, construction, and waste management needs. We offer a wide variety of steel and aluminum moving floor, rear ejector, and dump trailers that can be custom tailored to meet your specifications. In addition, we also carry an extensive parts inventory to meet all your repair needs. Our on- site repair facility is open to all makes and models and our repair crew has a combined experience of over 40 years in the industry! In short, whatever your needs are, Spectec is here to help you take care of them.
Contact: Faller Enterprises LLC (603) 455-6336
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.
- April 15th-ALL REQUESTS FOR CONFERENCE REFUNDS MUST BE RECEIVED IN WRITING BY THIS DATE
- April 22nd-Deadline for NRRA Conference Special Value Package and Early Bird Pricing
- No MOM Meeting This Month
- May 16-May 17th-35th Annual NRRA Conference at the Nashua Radisson-NRRA OFFICES CLOSED
- May 16th-NHtB Board Meeting at NRRA Conference
- May 30th-Memorial Day-NRRA Offices Closed