INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- From the Director’s Chair: Transitions & Educators Wanted
- NRRA News: September Pricing, Fall Bus Tour Registration, a FREE Webinar and SO much more!
- School News You Can Use: NRRA Presents Special Recognition Award to Louisiana School
- NH the Beautiful: New RecycleMobiles Have Arrived! Reserve one Today!
- NH News: Zero-landfill mission accomplished
- Massachusetts News: MassDEP Releases Map of Sites Accepting Diverted Food Material
- Maine News: Ecomaine to begin offering food waste recovery to member communities
- National News
- NRRA Calendar
~Recycling Fact of the Day~
According to EarthShare, the average student who brings their lunch to school produces 67 pounds of waste a year. That adds up to 18,000+ pounds of waste produced by an average elementary school in one year.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
From late Summer to early Fall… From leaving the windows open at night to getting the chimney cleaned for the wood stove…….from over-inflated recycling markets to sustained market realities… from a MOM meeting in Epsom to a tour of ecomaine… from throwing paint in the trash to recycling over 90% of it….from paying for electronics to the manufacturers sharing the cost of end of life processing…..from composting barriers to new facilities and reduced MSW tonnage…from wasted plastics to new products. The transitions of the seasons mirror the transitions of the experience of NRRA. After a summer of site visits and in depth reviews, over a dozen workshops and trainings in NH and VT , along with presentations in Colorado, New Orleans, and Tampa we now turn our focus to the challenges ahead. As the industry continues to chart new courses with new materials that require different market delivery, NRRA adapts. A renewed focus on PGA Glass production is front and center for the fall along with the work for the new USDA Grant for 2016 and 2017. We will continue our efforts with the Bennington Solid Waste Alliance and build on our outreach there in 2016. The School Club Program continues to expand and we are looking for additional part time educators to fill out our School Club Team. See below for contact info if you or someone you know would like to help us work in schools throughout NH and VT. The reward for this position is priceless as NRRA Board President, Duncan Watson, experienced with the class in the New Orleans Parrish last month. Whenever you get to see what a difference Recycling Education can make in a young person’s life first hand, that is truly a gift. Every life-long recycler that NRRA encourages and supports is the best hope for our future.
September 2016 Pricing is Now Available-Members only!
The NRRA September Pricing guide is now available! To access the September NRRA Pricing guide CLICK HERE. This document is secured with a password, please contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need the password. NRRA Members who have a username and password for our website can access the pricing guide, as well as past pricing guides, directly through the website simply by signing in to our site!
Speaking of Pricing….
Interstate Refrigerant Recovery is running their “Winter Special”: Freon/Refrigerant Recovery prices will drop from $9.00 per unit to $8.00 per unit effective October 1, 2016 through March 31, 2016
NRRA FALL BUS TOUR IS BACK!!
Space still available!! Join other Operators, Recycling Committee Members, Town Officials and NRRA Staff as we tour Ecomaine in Portland, Maine on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 8am – 5pm (In lieu of October MOM Meeting).
This tour will include tours of Ecomaine’s three facilities:
- Waste-to-Energy Plant
- Recycling Center
- Landfill / Ashfill
Cost: $50.00 per person, includes on site lunch
Space is limited so please register as soon as possible. Stay tuned for further details and complete itinerary. This trip/event is eligible for 5 NH DES Credits! Click HERE For registration form or call 603-736-4401 ext. 10 to register today!
Note to all who are already registered: If you have them, please bring hard hats, orange vests and PLEASE wear proper foot wear (NO OPEN TOED SHOES!!).
FREE TWO PART WEBINAR for Operators
When: Part One: Operator Smack Down-Monday, Sept. 26th 10 am – 11 am
Part Two: Recycling Markets-It’s Not Easy Being Green- Monday, Sept .26th 1 pm – 2 pm
Are you a Transfer Station Operator, Manager or volunteer? Do you want additional training or information on customer relations, materials management, or safety regulations? Or, maybe you need additional credits for your NH DES certification but don’t have time to drive to training?
Thanks to a grant from the USDA, Northeast Resource Recovery Association is offering a FREE TWO part Training Webinar. EACH part is worth 1 NH DES credit. Visit the link in the invitation below to register for Part 1 of this Webinar Series: Operator Smack Down and watch for the link to the second part, Recycling Markets coming in a separate email!
Click the links below to Register Today!! You must register for both parts to receive the full 2 hour credit.
2016 NRRA ANNUAL MEETING
Mark your calendars! The 2016 NRRA Annual Meeting will be held a week sooner this year on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016. We will update you with more details and registration info soon so stay tuned!
NRRA Board Member Collaborates on an Article in BioCycle Magazine
NRRA Board Member, John Halstead recently co-authored this article in BioCycle Magazine with a UNH grad student which addresses the topic of those pesky plastic shopping bags.
John has been a Professor at the University of NH Department of Natural Resources and the Environment since 1998. Prior to that, he served as Associate and Assistant Professor for many years. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy, has a Master’s in Resource Economics, and a Bachelor’s in Economics. Among his accomplishments are two books, 35 referred journal articles, nine book chapters, 39 abstracts, 64 miscellaneous reports, and 119 presented papers. He is also a member of the Exotic Aquatic Weeds & Species Committee (RSA 487:30), NH State Legislature; the SB60 Commission to Study Water Infrastructure Sustainability Funding Research, NH State Legislature; the NH Economic Incentives Task Force (NH HB 140) and has served on the NH Invasive Species Committee, 2003-2004. John has been a member of the NRRA Board of Trustees since 1996.
A GOOD THING!! – while on-site recently at the Littleton Transfer Station, a resident approached me to share the following comment about Brian Patnoe and the team “ they are extremely good at what they do and are a big asset to the Town of Littleton”.
CONGRATULATIONS to Brian and his team…keep up the great work!
SCHOOL NEWS YOU CAN USE
FREE Teacher Training in Manchester, Vermont!
Thanks to a Grant from the USDA, NRRA and the School CLUB is offering FREE Teacher Training for a NEW K – 12 Recycling Curricula. We still have openings for Manchester, VT (See Below) so we hope you can join us!
*Lunch or Dinner is Included! Call 800-223-0150 ext. 19 to Register Today!
*Professional Development Credits where applicable.
Special Recognition Awarded to 7th graders in Belle Chasse, Louisiana
The 7th graders of Our Lady of Perpetual Help fought to get their recycling program reinstated. Here was the headline that started it all in January of 2016:
Parish-wide recycling collection set to end
Tue, 2016/01/19 – 10:07am News Staff
The Plaquemines Parish Solid Waste Department will discontinue the collection of recyclable materials beginning March 1, 2016. Plaquemines Parish is facing a budget crunch, and the price of recyclable trash pick-up has increased drastically. According to the solid waste department, Plaquemines recycled trash was handled by Republic, a subsidiary of BFI. Republic’s processing fee was $20 per ton and at the end of 2015 Plaquemines Parish was notified that the fee would be increased to $40 per ton.
Here was the headline that followed in February of 2016:
OLPH students win campaign to keep recycling in
Tue, 2016/02/02 – 10:32am News Staff
By Kari Dequine Harden
It was a well-organized campaign by the 7th grade religion class at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH), and a positive lesson in the democratic process showing that decisions made by government are not always final. At the Jan. 28 Plaquemines Parish Council meeting, it was announced by Plaquemines Parish President Amos Cormier that the administration would keep the parish’s recycling program, reversing course from the announcement made on Jan. 8 that recycling would end on March 1 due to budget constraints.
At the School CLUB’s Annual Recycling Conference in June, NRRA and the School Club announced an award to be given to these students to commend them for their outstanding efforts. Here is the Press Release:
Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Belle Chasse, Louisiana) Receives Special Recognition Award
EPSOM, NH 6/6/16 – The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA), New Hampshire the Beautiful and NRRA School CLUB announced at 7th Annual School Recycling Conference on May 17, 2016 in Nashua, NH that Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, located in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, was this year’s School CLUB Special Recognition Award recipient.
The award was given as a result of the student’s determination to keep their recycling program.
A decision had been made by the Civil Parish Council to eliminate the Parish-wide recycling program due to the increased cost of recycling pick-ups. The seventh grade students brought their grievance to the Plaquemines Parish Council. The Board was impressed by the community response and reinstated the recycling program.
“I was so happy to hear the outcome of this story,” said Michael Durfor, NRRA Executive Director. “We are grateful for those students, teachers and communities that understand the importance of recycling–no matter what the cost may be.”
The award was presented to the school on August 30 by NRRA’s Board President, Duncan Watson (center back).
For the complete story, go to The Plaquemines Gazette
Free Webinar for Recycling Educators!
Through generous USDA funding, NRRA is offering a FREE WEBINAR that highlights our School CLUB Classroom Workshops and Technical Assistance Trainings designed for use in standard classroom settings and can be tailored to fit the developmental needs of any class, grades K-12.
Participants investigate household toxins, connect waste and global climate change, learn how to make composting work, and explore the wide world of solid waste. The Technical Assistance Trainings focus on the school districts’ big picture problems and solutions pertaining to indoor air quality, waste management budgets, and a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative report on individual school’s recycling and waste reduction efforts.
The USDA funding is helping NRRA implement a Train-the-Teacher model that assists economically challenged schools avail themselves of the quality programming NRRA’s School CLUB offers. Once trained, participants will receive the tools to do their own programming and to integrate students and local facility staff into the overall program. In addition, all educators who take part in NRRA’s Train the Teachers webinar program, will receive the corresponding classroom workshop power points and the revised Teaching Toxics and Teacher’s Resource Guide curricula that has been aligned with the Common Core Standards. Ninety-six (96) positive, fun and hands-on lesson plans/classroom activities about environmental protection, pollution prevention, and stewardship!
By addressing the topic of what is being thrown away with household trash, students in the classroom learn about an integral component of increasing the public’s awareness of hazardous, recyclable, and compostable products. The success in teaching these issues lies in presenting the information in a way that empowers students instead of overwhelms them. The lesson plans in NRRA’s curricula and the classroom workshops do this.
If you are interested in viewing the webinars and/or hosting a teacher training for your school or district, we would be delighted to send you the webinar link. Please contact Cindy Sterling at email@example.com or NRRA’s School CLUB at TheCLUB@nrra.net.
NRRA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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.
NH THE BEAUTIFUL
NHtB Purchases TWO New RecycleMobiles, Will Donate Old Units
Late last Spring, the NHtB Board voted to purchase two new RecycleMobiles to replace two of our older units which have been on the go for well over 5 years and were beginning to look a little, well, faded.
We are pleased to announce the arrival of TWO shiny new RecycleMobiles! Thanks to a little ingenuity and some excellent craftsmanship, three of the NHtB Board Members (Thank you, Larry Melanson, John Dumais and Andy Harris!) affixed the recycling sorters to trailers and added some flag holders for banners and a “Thank You For Recycling” Sign to each trailer.
Many of us are great recyclers at home, school and work, but what about when we’re having fun? The RecycleMobile helps residents continue their great recycling efforts while having FUN!
The RecycleMobile is a unique, mobile recycling trailer created to assist “special event” organizers with collecting recyclables. The RecycleMobile consists of a fiberglass “box” with six collection holes (three per side). The “box” is attached to a 4′ x 6′ trailer and houses six 32 gallon barrels. Collection signs are permanently affixed above the holes to avoid confusion about what goes where!
The RecycleMobile is not only practical, but easy to use, eye catching and educational! Consider using the RecycleMobile at:
* Home Comings * Sporting Events
* Fall Harvest Days * School/Park Clean Ups
* Street Festivals/Fairs * Earth Day Events
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of NRRA and New Hampshire the Beautiful, Inc. The RecycleMobiles are available for loan to NH municipalities, Schools and community groups for FREE!!! It’s not too late, call and reserve one today before they go into hibernation for the Winter!!
The generosity of NHtB does not end with the purchase of these two new RecycleMobiles though! Two of our old “tired looking” Recyclemobiles will be recycled! That’s right. The board has voted to donate the older units to two deserving communities who have most used the RecycleMobiles for various events over the years. Congratulations to the Towns of Milford, NH and Warner, NH who will be receiving the older Green and Blue (respectively) RecycleMobiles! We know you’ll spruce them up and put them to good use!
NH The Beautiful now offers 18 Gallon Curb Side Recycling Bins as well as ClearStream Contains (and replacement bags).
Click the links below to find out how you can get yours!
Click HERE for Curb side Recycling Bin Info-please note bin pricing has increased ONLY MINIMALLY ($0.20) due to the increase in the size of the bins
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 October 27th, 2o16. This will be their final meeting for their current Fiscal Year. Please submit your grant applications by October 19th to have them considered at this next 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.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.
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
Solid Waste Operator Training Program Proposed Rule Ammendments
NHDES is proposing to amend the rules noted below relative to Solid Waste Operator Training and Certification. The Initial Proposal and Rulemaking Notice (including the Fiscal Impact Statement) for the rules are available at http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/legal/rulemaking/index.htm#psolidw.
Env-Sw 407 establishes requirements for certain solid waste facilities that can operate under a permit-by-notification, including collection centers for select recyclables and asbestos waste holding facilities for asbestos abatement contractors. The rules are proposed to be amended to (1) allow the owner/operator of a collection center for select recyclables to train workers in lieu of requiring all workers to obtain certification; and (2) clarify that certification under RSA 141-E and Env-A 1800 is required for workers at an asbestos waste holding facility in lieu of certification under RSA 149-M:6, XIII and Env-Sw 1600.
Env-Sw 1200 establishes requirements for facilities operating under a permit-by-notification. Amendments are proposed to Env-Sw 1202.05 to correct an existing error and to reflect the exceptions to operator certification established in Env-Sw 407.
Env-Sw 1600 establishes the requirements for solid waste operator training/certification. Amendments are proposed to (1) correct the Part heading for Env-Sw 1601; (2) extend the amount of time in which an individual can retake the exam from 6 weeks to 8 weeks of the original test; (3) clarify how steps are assigned originally and establish how steps can be retained even if a certification has expired per RSA 149-M:6, XIII; (4) clarify what certificate number must be submitted with a renewal application; (5) correct the citation in the introductory language of Env-Sw 1611.04(a) and indicate that the fee has not changed from the 2014 readoption of the chapter; and (6) establish that a certification number will expire if not renewed within the statutory 90-day period, and a new certification number will be issued if the individual becomes recertified.
The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM in Room 208C of the DES Offices at 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH. The deadline for submission of written comments is 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28, 2016. You do not have to participate in the hearing to submit written comments.
Comments or questions should be directed to me at the phone or fax number or e-mail address noted below.
Tara Mae Albert, M.S.
Department of Environmental Services
Waste Management Division
29 Hazen Drive, PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
TEL: 603 271.3713
FAX: 603 271.2456
NHDES Steps up Enforcement of Open Burning Rules
To protect public health and the environment from the illegal burning of household trash and construction and demolition debris, NHDES is stepping up enforcement efforts and will issue fines to those burning illegally, in accordance with the NHDES Compliance Assurance Response Policy. NHDES will also continue to educate the public about the open burning rules and proper disposal methods for waste materials.
Controlling sources of air pollution is not just a responsibility delegated to industrial operations; it is also the responsibility of every citizen of New Hampshire. Current law prohibits the open burning of household trash and construction and demolition debris for homeowners and industrial operations. Violations of the ban are subject to a monetary fine. This ban was established by the New Hampshire Legislature in 2001 for household trash and in 2008 for construction and demolition debris. It reflects our evolving understanding of the adverse effects of uncontrolled burning of these materials on human health and the environment.
Household trash and construction and demolition debris often contain materials such as batteries, plastic, polystyrene, painted, glued and pressure-treated wood, asbestos, mercury containing lamps and switches, pesticides, paints, solvents, bleached/colored papers, etc. When burned, these materials release harmful chemicals and known carcinogens, such as arsenic, asbestos fibers, dioxins and heavy metals into the air
we breathe. These pollutants affect your health as wellyour family and your neighbors. Chemicals in the air are deposited on garden vegetables and fruits, exposing people
through ingestion as well. In addition, the ash from burning these materials contains these chemicals, which presents an environmental and health hazard if not managed correctly.
NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS
Zero-landfill mission accomplished
By Edie Allard
As of July 18, Coca Cola of Northern New England officially stopped sending any trash to the landfill at all.
Last year, the bottler’s plant in Londonderry produced about eight dumpsters worth of trash, a drastic reduction from the five dumpsters per month that the facility would have been throwing away without its recycling programs. But, thanks to the company’s new contract with Casella Waste, those remaining dumpsters will go to a waste-to-energy plant in Haverhill, Mass. instead of to the landfill.
“I don’t know any other warehousing facility around here that’s like that,” said Ray Dube, sustainability manager for CCNNE. “I do so much speaking at other companies, this is such a great thing to talk about.”
The new contract is the final step in creating a zero-landfill facility, accompanying other waste-reduction and environmentally friendly policies long used by the bottling plant.
These other policies include attempting to recycle every possible material, sharing ideas with other businesses, installing full LED lighting and altering truck routes to make them more efficient.
Dube said this focus on efficiency has been part of CCNNE’s company culture for 40 years.
“We’ve always been that way,” he said. “What drives us to do this stuff? A lot of it is financial. It has to make financial sense to do this.”
But Dube said the “big picture” also included environmental considerations, adding, “Let’s face it, we all live in the same neighborhood as you guys do.”
Market for recyclables
But waste-to-energy facilities like the one in Haverhill are not without controversy, and New Hampshire has faced enduring debate about the environmental impacts of the waste-to-energy process.
According to Michael Wimsatt, director of the NH Department of Environmental Services’ Waste Management Division, critics are most often concerned about the facilities’ emissions and the higher concentration of metals found in the ash that must be landfilled after burning that trash.
However, that landfill doesn’t create large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, the same way a regular landfill does. Extra precautions like multiple liners are also put in place to prevent an ash-filled landfill from failing, Wimsatt said.
“The [Solid Waste Management Act] says we should have an integrated method of waste management,” said Wimsatt. “All of these technologies have their place.”
Dube also said that given the small amount of trash CCNNE produces, the waste-to-energy plant is the better option.
“If you’re burning recyclables, then no, [waste-to-energy plants] are not environmentally friendly,” he said. “But if your recycling programs are in place, I feel it’s a better way to dispose of that last bit than landfilling it.”
For other businesses that are interested in getting those recycling programs in place, Dube suggested starting with a waste audit, looking around the factory floor and seeing what kind of trash is left over at the end of the day.
He also said there are dozens of recyclable materials that have a market. Plastic bags, shrink wrap, buckets, pails, fabric and even sawdust are recyclable, with companies willing to buy what would have gone in the dumpster.
“Now instead of paying $100 a ton to get rid of [some waste], you’re making $100 to $125 a ton to sell it,” Dube said. “At the end of the day, that’s real money to the bottom line. There’s a financial incentive to do this for [all companies]. Once you show them, they’re hooked.”
The “Just One Thing” Campaign is an effort of New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility. Its purpose is to challenge businesses to consider incorporating a sustainability initiative into their operations. Companies can celebrate their achievements and inspire others by sharing their stories on the campaign’s webpage. To submit your story or read others, visit nhbsr.org/jot.
MassDEP Releases Map of Sites Accepting Diverted Food Material
The MassDEP has updated the map of Sites Accepting Diverted Food Material in Massachusetts. This map includes animal feed operations, anaerobic digestion facilities, and compost sites that process wasted food materials from off-site generators. The document also includes contact information for sites listed on the map. View map: http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/recycle/reduce/06-thru-l/fdcomlst.pdf
Ecomaine to begin offering food waste recovery to member communities
Dealing with the Ups and Downs of OCC Recycling
incoln recently became the first city in Nebraska to push for a landfill ban on wasted cardboard, a move that was shot down by the city council who decided the alternative—recycling it –would be too expensive. Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler called the move, “disappointing, short-sighted and fiscally irresponsible.”
But that story is an extreme example. Recycling of old corrugated cardboard (OCC) remains wildly popular. Recovery rates reached a record high of 92.9 percent in 2015, up from 54.5 percent in 1993, according to the organization Paper Recycles.
Its value is rising too, at least for now. On the West Coast, for example, the price for OCC rose from $120 per ton last spring to about $150 a ton this summer, according to Steve Sutta, CEO of The Sutta Co., a recycling and sustainability firm providing services to corporate clients.
But reclaimers work for their money. For MRFs, particularly, single-stream collection systems often face the problem of elevated contamination rates. Then there are curve balls like last year’s West Coast port strike, where OCC exports took a beating.
Still, there are industry upswings. The material is easily separated and easy to spot, as it’s large and mostly one color. And the end market is large and diverse.
Sutta is making it work; OCC sales comprise close to 75 percent of the company’s business. It sells OCC throughout North America and in all seven continents.
The company does not operate MRFs. Rather than collect and process curbside, Sutta exclusively buys postindustrial OCC. It’s cleaner, and paper mills will pay a premium as they do not have to deal with contaminated glass that plagues residential single streams. Sutta also tries to buy the material segregated, though it purchases some mixed material to pump its volume.
Customer perks to lure the big guys
Sutta offers its customers—large manufacturers and retailers—perks, like setting up compactors and balers on its sites and scheduling pickups to transport the baled recyclables to its facility.
“We are making it. There is cardboard out there. Though there is more money in exports,” says Sutta.
But it’s been a struggle for the industry overall. About 25 percent of the processors nationwide have closed their doors in the past three years, according to Sutta.
“We overcame many of the issues with a narrow focus on cost control and a careful eye on improving productivity,” he says. “But we made hard choices over the past couple of years to stay in business. We consolidated our facilities with competitors to co-share overhead costs. And we eliminated approximately 100 full-time positions.”
Making it cost effective
One way Sutta contains costs is by considering freight and positioning operations near ports to cut shipping costs. But there is no one-size-fits-all plan. For instance processors have to consider where suppliers are located too, says Sutta.
Some of the challenges are harder for MRF operators. For instance as ecommerce booms, more large boxes are showing up at the curb, even refrigerator and furniture boxes. And collection vehicles have a hard time accommodating boxes of those sizes.
MRFs deal with the challenges
MRF operators are doing more hand sorting and investing in screens. Some are starting to look at robotics for many materials to reduce hand sorting and hand picking, says Bill Moore president of Moore & Associates, an Atlanta-based recycling consultant.
It’s been worth MRFs’ while to deal with OCC; the amount of this material that is residentially generated is growing, as is demand. About 13 percent of residential MRF output is OCC today; 15 years ago it was less than 5 percent, Moore says.
Domestic demand is up
The export market is robust, but lately there’s a domestic surge, largely driven by the addition of new recycled fiber-based containerboard capacity, says Hannah Zhao a recovered paper economist at RISI, an organization that provides information about the forest industry.
Though, like all commodities, markets appear to be cyclical.
“Export demand weakened somewhat in 2013-2014 as a result of the drop in Chinese imports. Though in 2015, and this year … exports … picked up when not only China, but other Asian emerging countries increased their purchase from the US,” says Zhao.
Some are thinking as much about sustainability as the bottom line
“The opposition [to Lincoln’s proposed landfill ban] sees how [recovery programs] affect the pocketbook today,” says Frank Uhlarik, Lincoln sustainability and compliance administrator.
“But we see it as we would expand landfill life, add jobs to the recycling sector, and it’s just good for the environment.”
How Much Can We Recycle?
By Chaz Miller, Waste 360
The Olympics recently finished in Rio. It was a showcase of some of the top feats in athletics. And achieving those feats takes a lot of preparation.
When athletes are training, their coaches set goals to measure their progress. These goals challenge the athletes and spur them on to see how much they can achieve. Setting those goals is important. They need to be based on the athlete’s ability and the performance that is needed to win a gold medal.
Athletes with the right mix of skills and training discipline are more likely to succeed if their goals are well defined and achievable. Goals that set too low of a bar will not lead to a gold medal performance, and goals that are set unrealistically high lead to failure or cheating.
Recycling is no different. Goals give recycling programs targets to attain, and they measure progress and define high-performing programs. Athletes have a major advantage over recycling programs when it comes to goals because theirs are set by experienced coaches. Recycling goals are set by politicians based on what is politically palatable.
As a result, recycling goals vary widely among the 50 states. They range from a low of 10 percent to a high of 75 percent. These goals have two things in common: All of them can be divided by five and none of them were set with any thought as to what is realistically achievable.
Clearly, states that set low recycling goals are more likely to have low performing programs. However, while aggressive goals can lead to high performing programs, they can also lead to aggressive reporting by local governments desperate to show to their citizens that they are meeting the challenge.
When politicians set aggressive recycling goals, they forget about the complexity of the waste stream and of waste generators. I suspect most of them are thinking primarily of packaging and paper and don’t give much thought to the rest of the waste stream, yet packaging is only about 30 percent of the waste stream. Printed paper is less than 10 percent, and all the other paper products are less than 5 percent. Even if we could collect and recycle every single package and paper product, we would only be recycling a little more than 40 percent of the waste we make.
What else is left? Aside from food and yard waste, which are a bit less than 30 percent of the waste stream, the other 40 percent of our trash is “durable” and “non-durable” products. Durable products are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as those with a lifetime of three years or more, and non-durables are used up more quickly. Products such as appliances and furniture are durables, while printed paper, plastic and paper utensils and clothing are non-durables. Our ability to recycle this vast array of products varies widely, yet when it comes to recycling goals, those differences don’t matter.
Moreover, we’ve seen tremendous changes in the waste stream over the last 15 years. These changes—less paper, lighter weight packaging, etc.—have a major impact on our ability to meet recycling goals, yet most politicians are blissfully unaware of their impact when they set those goals.
Where these recyclables are generated is another blissfully ignored factor. We have succeeded in creating a social norm for recycling in “detached” single family housing. We do less well in rural and more urban settings, and we have failed to establish a social norm for recycling in multi-family housing. About 17 percent of the population lives in the latter. And don’t forget that a considerable chunk of our recyclables is generated at businesses.
I’m not saying we should do without recycling goals because I understand their value. But I am saying we need a far more sensible approach to those goals and to how we measure progress in achieving them.
Let’s be like those Olympic athletes—or at least the ones that don’t cheat—and strive to be faster, higher and stronger. But let’s also be like them and have smart goals. And if you want to know what I think they are, tune in next month.
Chaz Miller is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the National Waste & Recycling Association headquartered in Washington, D.C. Chaz was the Keynote Speaker at the 2015 NRRA Annual Conference.
A Compost-Collecting Bicycle Is Helping Reduce Food Waste In New York
Job Wanted-Senior Principal Operator
Senior Principal Operator seeking employment at a Transfer Station/Recycling Center in Northern part of state, preferably within 75 miles of Pittsburg. Currently employed as Transfer Station Supervisor in central NH, looking to move further north to help my aging Mom. 15 years experience in the waste management field, loader, backhoe, roll off experience, and forklift experience, have CDL-A. Working weekends not a problem. Please call 603-491-2780
USED 94 GALLON TOTERS FOR SALE
Seller will Deliver.
Vendor’s (Seller’s) Logo on one side
Please call Joe at 1-978-670-7140
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.
- August 18th-NH the Beautiful Board Meeting-Portsmouth Country Club
- September 26th-NRRA FREE TWO PART WEBINAR- Part One: Operator Smack Down-Monday, Sept. 26th 10 am – 11 am
Part Two: Recycling Markets-It’s Not Easy Being Green- Monday, Sept .26th 1 pm – 2 pm
- October 10th-NRRA OFFICES CLOSED FOR COLUMBUS DAY
- October 12th-NRRA Fall Bus Tour 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.