Inside This Issue
- From the Director’s Chair – Good News In Recycling!
- NRRA News – Fall Bus Tour, Annual Meeting, September Pricing, Fun Facts from Our Finance Department
- School News You Can Use – Discounts on Fall Programming, Healthy Home, Clean Waters Training Workshop
- NH the Beautiful – NHtB in the News: Why Doesn’t NH Have a Bottle Deposit Law?
- NHDES – SWOT Updates
- NH News
- Massachusetts News
- National News
- International News – Norway’s Radical Approach to Plastic Pollution
- NRRA Calendar
~Recycling Fact of the Month~
You can recycle plastic bags at many major grocery store chains. Remember to include your grocery and retail bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags, and wraps from bread, bathroom tissue, paper towels, beverage cases, diapers and baby wipes.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
RECYCLING IS ALIVE AND WELL IN THE NORTHEAST
EPSOM, NH 9/14/18 -The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) recently presented two awards to outstanding municipal recycling programs in New Hampshire. Shown here are NRRA Exec. Director Mike Durfor and Rye, NH Facility Manager Rick Williams. Rye NH uses 17 different NRRA programs and in the first 9 months of 2018 shows net revenues of over $22,000 and cost avoidance of over $42,000 because it recycled the material instead of disposing of it.
Sunapee, N.H. had similar success due to the dedication of the staff and cooperation of residents. Pictured are NRRA Exec. Director Mike Durfor and Sunapee Public Works Director Scott Hazelton. For the first 9 months Sunapee has net revenues of $31,000 and cost avoidance of another $10,000.
Both of these outstanding programs deserve special recognition as they demonstrate the value of recycling, saving their two communities over $100,000 so far! With municipal budgets stretched to the max every year, these savings are a welcome benefit. The challenges being presented by “China Sword” (the recyclable import ban in China) are being met daily by programs like Rye, Sunapee and so many more whose efforts need to be recognized. In spite of the turmoil within the marketplace, “Recycling Rules.”
NRRA continues to support members by sourcing new domestic markets daily, developing outlets for glass, working on e-waste solutions and researching better options for mixed paper, in addition to its ongoing overall marketing of 35 different programs. All Municipalities are encouraged to call 1-800-223-0150 for assistance with options other than disposal.
$Budget Season is Here!$
At your next Select board or City Council meeting be prepared to be grilled on the high cost of recycling programs. At this point anyone not aware of the impact of the China Sword program and the real cost of moving material has been taking a Rip Van Winkle.
The cost of recycling and MSW will continue to rise as international markets adjust and domestic markets struggle to absorb the excess materials and put their own specifications in place.
Any Board or Council that insists on a 0% budget or a flat $ amount budget needs to understand that the days of planning ahead for what the markets will do in the next 6 months are gone.
Aside from the China Sword issue, which started back in 2013, markets are now faced with having to absorb the uncertainty of the tariff disputes. On one two-day period last month, there was a 25% tariff slapped on cardboard (without warning), a more than 25% surcharge on electronics, a $30 drop in scrap metal prices, and rumblings that aluminum markets were freezing up entirely.
The transfer station is seen by the residents as the place to drop things off when they don’t know what else to do with them. Make sure your facility isn’t looked at that way by your Boards. This problem is going to be around for a while and we must work as hard as we can to solve it together. There are several ways the governing bodies can help.
First and foremost, they should be asking their representatives to introduce and or support the E-WASTE take back program that many states around NH benefit from. When the recent surcharge hit NH E-WASTE, it went directly to municipal budgets. In those states nearby, the increase went to the manufacturers and the transfer stations continued to receive the $.05 per pound they get paid to collect E-WASTE. Residents are not charged to drop off E-WASTE, facilities get paid, and manufacturers cover the cost of proper, certified recycling. Rather than charge your residents for part of the cost, let’s encourage them to bring in more material and encourage them to comply with the ban on E-WASTE in landfills.
PaintCare is another program that costs the towns and cities $.00 and fully covers the cost of picking up all paint including latex! In the face of upcoming increases in MSW tip fees, this program would remove all of the dried, kitty littered tons of latex paint cans from the trash budget and at the same time remove all the oil-based paints form the expensive HHW pick up days.
Once again, the Boards can help by asking for relief in the form of recycling programs that are proven to work, work well, and save the residents and the towns excessive and increasing costs.
New NRRA Initiative for Mixed Paper
An avid Horsewoman, Jordan Strater is very familiar with animal bedding of all sorts and, when selected by Prof. Halstead of the UNH Environmental Science Department, was clearly a perfect fit for this project. Given the collapse of the Mixed Paper Markets worldwide, Jordan will be researching a program that might be able to turn Mixed Paper back into a valuable commodity, just for a different market. A year ago, MP was paying $85 per ton and now it is costing about that much depending on locations. During previous economic downturns shredded mixed paper was considered for use as animal bedding providing an outlet for the material at a reduced cost to the farms. Jordan will research the current state of that program and see if it might be viable to help NRRA Members with their now suddenly costly material.
Along with the challenges of Mixed Paper, and E-WASTE, and Paint, NRRA continues to seek out more use for PGA Glass as well as clean cullet. Discussion are underway with NHDOT, NHDES, and members of the aggregate producing industry to secure permanent and expanded locations for increased use of PGA an/or Cullet and increase removal from the waste stream reducing municipal budgets for MSW.
In case you missed it, the theme for this FOS is REDUCE YOUR BUDGET WITH NRRA! Contact us anytime to help educate and reach out to resident sand Boards alike during the upcoming budget season.
Norway Setting an Example in Plastics Recycling
Further down, you’ll find an article from Norway showing that you can have a recycling rate of 97% for all your plastics if you take aggressive action.
“They picked two PET resins and said, ‘These are the ones you can work with.’ Then they lined the whole value chain up behind it, all the municipalities, the recycling machines and processes, and achieved great results.”
By limiting the resins to just two types, it makes it much simpler to recycle the material. NRRA is not supporting a “bottle bill” here but rather it does support, wholeheartedly, innovative methodology to make recycling reach its full potential for success.
The NRRA Office will be closed on Wednesday, September 26th while our staff attends our annual Staff Appreciation Outing. Thank you for your support!
The NRRA September 2018 Pricing Guide is Now Available!
The NRRA September 2018 Pricing guide is now available! To access the newest NRRA Pricing guide CLICK HERE.
IMPORTANT PRICING ALERT: Mixed Paper Pricing (loose, bales, picked-up or delivered) is currently at a COST to Members. There are a number of ways NRRA can help until the fiber market improves, please call us if you have any questions or concerns.
As a reminder, this is simply a guide. For true, up-to-date pricing, please contact your NRRA Member Services representative. This guide is password protected, if you need the password, please contact Stacey at email@example.com.
Sign up Today for the 2018 NRRA Fall Bus Tour- Sign up today! Space is Limited!
When: Wednesday, October 10th, 2018
Cost: $50.00 per person
Where: Leaving the NRRA Parking Lot at 8:30 a.m. sharp!
Traveling to: This year’s bus tour will take you first to E.L. Harvey & Sons Recycling in Westborough, Ma where you will tour their full service waste and recycling facility. Next, you will travel to Wellesley, MA to tour the Wellesley Recycling & Disposal Facility.
Additional Details: your registration fee of $50 includes, coffee, donuts, full boxed lunch w/ bottled water and bus transportation. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited to 45 people so register today!!
Click HERE to download and complete the Registration form. Please email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 603-736-4402. Call Stacey or Lindsay at 736-4401 for more information.
Fun Facts from the (NRRA) Finance Department
By now, most of you have you have noticed the impact that China Sword is having on recycling markets. Budgets are being challenged as many see more charges and less revenues than in the past. In light of this, I thought this might be a good opportunity to explain your accounting options through NRRA. Currently, we offer two options for payments and invoices – “net” or “non-net”.
All customers are set up as net unless they specifically request to be non-net. For those who don’t know what that means, let me explain. Every two weeks, NRRA does an accounting run at which time checks and invoices are created. If you are a “net” customer, this means that everything that is ready to process in the system will be processed. All of the expenses owed will be deducted from any revenues due and the net of those will determine whether or not you receive an invoice or a check. If the net amount equals more expenses than revenues, an invoice will be generated. If revenues exceed expenses, a check will be generated.
If you are a “non-net” customer, nothing will be combined. All expenses will be invoiced to you, and all revenues will be paid to you.
Our accounting system is very complex, so unfortunately, we are not able to mix and match these options. You must choose one option or the other, but we are pleased that we can provide you with the option to choose which scenario works best for you. You may change your net/non-net status at any time by contacting me. If you’d like assistance in determining which option might work best, I’m always available to answer your questions.
As a reminder, NRRA now offers the option of receiving electronic payments and invoices. If you are interested in receiving your invoices via email and/or you would like to receive electronic fund transfers for payments instead of paper checks, please download and complete the ACH Payment/Invoicing form found here and return to me via email, mail or fax.
Last, but certainly not least, NRRA has a new email address that has been set up to receive bills of lading, weights and invoices. In order to streamline getting your paperwork to the right place, we ask that you direct all of your weights, bills of lading and invoices to email@example.com. Please do not send these to the info email or your member services rep. going forward as it just confuses things. Using the new email address will ensure that your documents get to the Finance Department quickly and will reduce the chance of something getting lost if it needs to be forwarded. Thanks for your cooperation with this.
If you have any questions about any of the information above, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-736-4401 x.15. I am more than happy to help. Thank you!
Paula J. Dow – Finance & HR Manager
From Sarah McGraw’s Desk: Recycling Smart in Massachusetts
Monday August 21, 2018 marked the announcement made by the Baker-Polito Administration and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for $2.6
million to be awarded to 247 Massachusetts municipalities to increase the quality of recycling around the state. The program is called Recycle Smart. Sarah McGraw, NRRA School Special Projects Manager was there to represent NRRA and to learn more about MA efforts to combat contamination in their communities. The funding was awarded through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Program, Recycling Dividends Program. A new web portal was also unveiled which includes a Recylopedia, a search engine that provides proper disposal information on almost any material, and other guides for MA residents. The announcement was made at Salem City Hall Annex where representatives
from across the state and waste management sector were present.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito was there to formally present communities with the funding and express how the Administration is dedicated to environmental responsibility through this and other programs. The Recycle Smart program has a simple yet affective mission, to educate people on how to recycle the right materials. Cities and towns across the U.S. are struggling with reducing contamination rates but MA is taking a strong lead on how to tackle these issues head on and that starts with providing the right tools for local municipalities to educate their residents.
Save The Date: NRRA’s Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 12 pm to 2pm
The Puritan Backroom, Manchester, NH
Agenda & Details to follow
SCHOOL NEWS YOU CAN USE
10% Discounts on Fall Programming Until October 1!
Once again, The School Recycling CLUB will offer a 10% discount on school programming ordered by October 1.
Click on any of the programs below for more information. In addition to the 10% discount, 1/2 off Grants are available to NH schools thanks to New Hampshire the Beautiful!
- Trash On the Lawn Day (T.O.L.D.)
- Classroom workshops
- Star Assessment – FREE with any of the above programming.
Contact Gwen Erley or Sarah McGraw TODAY to schedule any of the above items. 603-736-4401 ext. 19 OR email@example.com
Hosting school events or sports? Consider a Can Cage!
The CLUB is offering an opportunity for school recycling clubs to not only preserve the environment by collecting cans, but also to receive revenue on a per pound basis for the cans they collect. The goal of the program is to increase school recycling funds while increasing aluminum can recycling. As part of the program, The CLUB will provide participating schools with a large aluminum collection cage that can be parked out doors for easy access.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship of NRRA, NRRA’s School Recycling CLUB and Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., the Can Cages (2) are available for loan to member schools for FREE!!!
NH THE BEAUTIFUL
NHtB in The News: You Asked, We Answered: Why Doesn’t New Hampshire Have a Bottle Deposit Law?
Hanna McCarthy, NHPR Aug. 2018
For the latest in our Only in New Hampshire series, we’re taking on a question from listener Meg Miles. She asks: Why is New Hampshire the only state in the region without a bottle deposit
Bottle deposit laws are pretty rare in the United States. If you check out that list of state abbreviations on your beer or soda bottle, you’ll notice that only a handful of states have made the cut.
And Meg is right. Most of New England happens to be on the list — only New Hampshire and Rhode Island are left off. But that has less to do with this particular region than it does with a nationwide opposition to these systems.
It’s been four years since the last bottle deposit law was proposed in New Hampshire. Chuck Weed was in his 7th term in the House of Representatives, and he figured he’d give a bottle bill a try.
“Since I’m a supporter of recycling,” Chuck explains, “I certainly believe we don’t need trash on the side of the road and I know that the bottle deposit is something that is happening in many states where it’s working very well, I said, well, let’s do that here in New Hampshire.”
For a long time, our soda and our beer and our milk came in glass bottles that we returned to distributors to be used over and over again. Enter the steel can in the 1930s, and suddenly consumers were free to throw their empties out anywhere! Including the bushes. Or their local lake.
As you can imagine, we very quickly developed a litter problem. The bottle deposit law was introduced to fix that, to make containers valuable to consumers so they’d think twice before throwing them to the side of the road. Chuck saw this as something that could only help recycling rates — and the idea turned out to be an unpopular one.
“Sure enough, the lobbyists turned out in great number […] and with their compelling arguments convinced the — usually it was a Republican majority — […] that we’d do better if we had people pick up on the side of the road their particular mile that they’re assigned to, and that bottle bills didn’t work. And look at what’s happening in other states where they’re getting rid of their bottle bills, and that was pretty much the end of the story.”
Deposit laws may seem insignificant at first glance. The consumer pays five or ten cents extra for certain beverages and can then get that five or ten cents back if they return that container to a redemption center.
Because prices are driven by a number of complicated factors , it’s possible for a bottle of beer to be cheaper in bottle deposit states than in states without. Which means that that extra nickel or dime may go unnoticed by consumers.
But it isn’t typically the consumer who lobbies against deposit laws — it’s the manufacturer.
John Dumais is the President and CEO of the New Hampshire Grocers’ Association. He’s also chairman of the board of New Hampshire the Beautiful, a charitable trust that supports recycling efforts in the state. The non-profit is also funded by New Hampshire’s soft drink, beverage and grocers’ associations — all of which are opposed to bottle bills.
“We saw that having a bottle bill would be detrimental to the industry and all of the industries, anything in the food and beverage industries,” says John, “they’re usually very slim profit margins. For grocery stores, it’s less than 2%, usually 1% to 1.5%, so that means a penny on every dollar is all we get for net profit. And the same happens for the soft drink and beer distributors as well. It’s labor-intensive and there’s a lot of inventory needed with that, and so adding something more to that, an expense to that, would be detrimental.”
Each time a bottle bill has been proposed in New Hampshire, the Beverage and Grocers’ Associations lobby against it, just as Chuck Weed experienced when he proposed that bill in 2014. And this same scene plays out across the country — big beverage against bottle bills.
NHtB Litter Free NH Blue Bags: They’re not just for Spring Clean-ups! Fall Clean ups are Awesome too!
Is your City/Town, Class, or organization planning a “Green Up” or Road Side Clean Up event in your community? If not, It’s never too late to plan one and NH the Beautiful makes it easy by offering road side clean up litter bags (up to 10 cases per municipality!) for FREE!
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.
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 HERE.
Once your order form is received, NRRA will confirm receipt and let you know when the bags will be available for pick up. If you have questions about the program, you may call NRRA at 603-736-4401 x. 10.
Email completed forms to firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax to 603-736-4402.
Is your Town, Organization, School or Group planning a Fall Festival or Event?
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 attached by two pieces of VelcroTM above the holes and can be changed depending on which materials are being collected!
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 New Hampshire the Beautiful, Inc. and NRRA, The RecycleMobiles are available for loan to NH municipalities, Schools and community groups for FREE!!!
Visit www.nrra.net or call us at 1-800-223-0150 for more information
NH The Beautiful now offers 18 Gallon Curb Side Recycling Bins as well as ClearStream Containers (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 NHtB Board Meeting will take place on Thursday, October 18th, 2018. If your municipality wishes to apply for an equipment grant, please submit your application to Stacey Morrison at email@example.com no later than October 12th.
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
An Update from Tara Mae Albert, NH DES SWOT Coordinator
Good afternoon! I wanted to update you on the SWOT Calendar and remind you all that regardless of whether there are seats available in the next Basic Training class or not, employees must submit an Initial Application and Fee within 30 days of hire per RSA 149-M. This allows the operator to work at the facility under Processed Applicant Status until they can attend their scheduled Basic Training Class.
Also, NHDES has stepped into the 21st Century and… We’re now on Facebook! In an effort to update our stakeholders and communities on new information and the work we are doing, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has launched an official Facebook Page. The page will be used to post information about NHDES events, trainings, workshops, publications, and more. Please take the time to check out the new page and “Like” us to stay updated. You can also find us on Twitter (@NHDES) and YouTube. If you have any questions or suggestions for content, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NHDES 2018 Solid Waste Operator Training Workshop Calendar
|Workshop||Date (Time)||Location||Seats Available
(as of 9/4/2018)
|Biosolids, Yellow Grease & Waste Water||Sept 6 (9:00 – Noon)||Concord||40|
|Sept 6 (1:00 – 4:00)||Concord||CANCELLED|
|Mock Inspection||Oct 4 (10:00 – ?)||Peterborough||8|
|Basic Training – Refresher||Oct 12 (9:00 – 2:00)||Concord||22|
|Basic Training||November 7||Portsmouth||4|
|Managing Waste Pharmaceuticals & Sharps||Nov 27 (9:00 – Noon)||Concord||17|
|Facility Managers, Part I||Dec 6 (9:00 – Noon)||Concord||42|
|Operating Plans||Dec 6 (1:00 – 4:00)||Concord||22|
U.S. EPA Webinar on the Newly Released Municipal Solid Waste Data
Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET
To register for this free webinar visit, https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3519169876089088003
This webinar will present the latest information about trends in U.S. materials generation, recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery, and landfilling as described in EPA?s newly released Advancing Sustainable Materials Management (SMM): Facts and Figures 2015 report: https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling. The report also includes data on construction and demolition debris generation as well as an economic indicators and trend data such as jobs, recycling and commodity values and tipping fees. In addition to highlighting the latest information contained in the report, this webinar also will describe EPA?s transition to presenting the data in a new web-based format.
Preventing Food Waste Upstream – A Source Reduction Approach Part II
Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 1:00 – 2:30 pm ET
To register for this free webinar visit, https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8734852816051966722
The top tier of EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy is source reduction, which is reducing the volume of surplus food generated before it becomes a waste to manage. Businesses and organizations can learn to effectively prevent wasted food by taking source reduction steps, such as inventorying supplies, changing processes and buying less. Looking through a Sustainable Materials Management lens, preventing wasted food provides the greatest potential for cost savings and resource conservation relative to the other Food Recovery Hierarchy activities, as demonstrated by the U.S. EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM). Because source reduction can be challenging to understand, quantify and implement, in this webinar, you will learn about the definition of source reduction, and examples of successful cases of a supermarket, college and elementary school that prevent wasted food at the source. You can find Part 1 of this series here: https://www.epa.gov/smm/sustainable-materials-management-smm-web-academy-webinar-preventing-food-waste-upstream-source
NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS
Plymouth Plans State’s Second Grease Recycling Plant
Annie Ropeik, NHPR
A sewage facility in the works in the town of Plymouth will give the state a new market for recycled cooking oils, fats and grease.
There’s only one plant in New Hampshire that currently processes what’s known as FOG, which comes from places like commercial kitchens. FOG can cause costly, unsanitary sewer overflows and gum up standard wastewater treatment systems.
The state’s existing FOG disposal facility is in Allenstown.
So Plymouth Village Water & Sewer District superintendent Jason Randall says communities farther north – in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine – badly need a closer place to take their fats and oils.
He says the new Plymouth plant’s design will hinge on finding an end user for the grease – such as a biodiesel producer, or a cosmetics company that needs glycerin.
“Does this product need to be disposed of in a way that’s going to cost the district money, or can we provide a product of quality enough that we can actually earn revenue from it?” Randall says.
He also hopes the plant will encourage commercial and residential water users to install grease traps or be more careful in preventing costly clogs.
“It’s really an incentive for [towns] to do a good job at removing fats, oils and grease from their waste stream and separating it out,” Randall says.
Haverhill, MA to Launch Recycling Education Campaign
Waste Advantage, Sept 2018
As part of a new initiative to educate residents about proper recycling, Haverhill, MA recycling inspectors will be examining the contents of curbside recycling bins across the city to ensure residents are complying with recycling regulations. Those with improper materials in them will be tagged with a notice that they will not be picked up in the future if they contain improper items.
Mayor James Fiorentini said the city has received $42,000 from the state’s “Recycle Smart” initiative to educate residents about proper recycling practices – a campaign that will stress the importance of putting only materials in recycling bins that processing plants are equipped to handle.
“Recycling efforts have saved the city more than $2 million in reduced trash disposal costs since we began citywide curbside recycling in 2010,” Fiorentini said. “We want recycling in the city to continue and to get even better, so we are always looking at how we can improve how we do it.”
“Recycling is good for the environment and it saves the city money – that’s why it’s always been a priority for me and will continue to be a priority,” City Councilor Colin LePage said. LePage said Haverhill was one of the first communities in the state to launch single stream recycling.
How these scrap yards found themselves on front lines of the US-China trade war
Susan Tompor, USA Today/Detroit Free Press
DETROIT – It’s hard to imagine how a trade war could turn into a scrap yard fight here.
Yet China is the largest consumer of scrap commodities. And Michigan is a major exporter, generating multimillions of dollars in business when it comes to recycling metals.
So when China slapped retaliatory tariffs on aluminum waste and scrap, recycling operations found themselves on the front lines of the trade war.
Consumers who haul stuff out of basements, backyards and garages hoping to make a few bucks by scrapping already are seeing far less money in return for junk.
It doesn’t get more basic than this: The single most recycled consumer product in the United States is the aluminum can.
China went a step farther Thursday, placing 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion of U.S. products – including all scrap commodities, such as copper, nickel and stainless steel.
Michigan has about $1 billion in total exports for products to China at risk because of new tariffs, according to the latest data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The total includes some agriculture products, such as some vegetables, dairy items, tomatoes and beans.
And at least $24.3 million in aluminum waste and scrap exports to China from Michigan are also at risk.
In Response: The Conflict of Interest That Is Killing Recycling
Scott Cassel and Megan Byers, PSI
The Product Stewardship Institute’s Scott Cassel and Megan Byers respond to the New York Times’ August 15th Opinion piece, The Conflict of Interest That Is Killing Recycling.
A crisis can be painful. It can also be an opportunity for much-needed change.
Recent trade restrictions by China have troubled many U.S. industries, as well as municipal recycling programs that rely on Chinese markets. Shrinking markets for recovered material have raised municipal recycling costs. As a result, some recycling programs have closed, while others have stockpiled or disposed of recyclables the public expects to be turned into new products.
The fluctuation of recycling markets is nothing new. But for 50 years, we have failed to recognize that recycling is stifled by an uneven playing field.
It is time to disrupt the current recycling economic model, which relies on taxpayers and municipal governments to pick up the cost of managing waste products and packaging from which companies reap the profits. To date, U.S. corporations have dodged their responsibility to manage their products after consumers use them.
On the surface, it is often cheaper to dispose of used products and packaging than to recycle them (though landfill tipping fees are rising). However, in doing so, we fail to account for the much costlier externalities. In reality, brand owners and consumers are not paying the full cost of production and consumption, which includes environmental and social damages such as the need to continually mine virgin resources for the manufacture of new products. Instead, we experience these costs in the form of water, air, and land pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions leading to climate change. The cost to clean the water, air, and land is much greater than that to prevent contamination in the first place.
Governments often establish recycling programs to reduce litter and waste to improve quality of life for their citizens. Unfortunately, communities are at a huge disadvantage compared to brand owners that benefit from the throw-away economy while paying none of the waste management costs. Furthermore, most waste management companies like things just the way they are now. The status quo allows them to protect their investments in disposal technologies, and they enjoy powerful contractual leverage against municipalities and individual residents.
The real recycling tragedy is not just that municipalities use different bins and labels. It is that every community collects different materials, educates their residents in different ways, and has separate contracts with garbage and recycling haulers that provide different services and incentives. This inefficiency and lack of municipal cohesion is the basis for the recycling and garbage disposal crisis in the U.S.
There is hope. Countries across the world require brand owners – such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, General Mills, Pepsi, Amazon, and Walmart – to fund and manage the recycling of materials they put on the market. These companies, which are the same ones fighting change in the U.S., hire a non-profit to operate a network of collection and processing facilities with lean government oversight. This network leverages existing infrastructure and provides options for municipalities. These “producer responsibility” systems collect the same set of materials in every jurisdiction. They provide the same educational materials and symbols, with appropriate regional nuance. They have the same instructions and standards for municipalities and other collectors to keep contamination low.
A growing threat in the e-scrap sector received national analysis this week, when The Washington Post visited a processing facility and explored the danger of lithium-ion battery fires.
The newspaper visited ITAD company Cascade Asset Management in Wisconsin, where employees demonstrated device dismantling and showed how lithium-ion battery fires can occur. The column featured interviews with Cascade CEO Neil Peters-Michaud and HOBI International President Craig Boswell.
It published a day before Apple’s annual product launch event, during which three new iPhone models were announced. The column was picked up by media outlets all over the country.
Besides battery fires, the piece touched on right-to-repair issues, product design, material sourcing commitments and more. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and iFixit.org both praised the write-up for highlighting right-to-repair issues.
Earlier this year, E-Scrap News wrote about the battery fire problem in e-scrap facilities. Peters-Michaud and Boswell described their company procedures for dealing with batteries that ignite, otherwise known as “thermal events.”
Where did the trash in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch come from? How do we stop it?
Doyle Rice, USA Today
The water bottle could be from Los Angeles, the food container from Manila, the plastic bag from Shanghai.
But whatever its source, almost all of the trash in the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch comes from countries around the Pacific Rim.
Concerned about the millions of tons of garbage in the patch – a floating blob halfway between California and Hawaii that’s twice the size of Texas – the Ocean Cleanup project is sending out a giant floating trash collector to try to scoop it up. The first of its cleanup systems launches Saturday near San Francisco.
It’s a daunting task: The patch includes about 1.8 trillion pieces of trash and weighs 88,000 tons – the equivalent of 500 jumbo jets.
And while many scientists say it’s great that people are trying to clean up the patch, others say most of the efforts should instead go toward stopping the out-of-control flow of plastic garbage into the ocean.
How much more? Try putting 95 percent of the efforts on stopping plastic from entering the ocean and only 5 percent on cleanup, says Richard Thompson, head of the International Marine Litter Research Unit at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom.
Thompson said a global-scale effort is needed to combat the problem, one that includes contributions from individuals, policymakers and industry. “The way we use plastics – from design to use to disposal – must be done more efficiently and in a more environmentally friendly manner.”
Go deeper: See how the Great Pacific Garbage Patch feeds off our throw-away culture
Where does it come from?
First discovered in the early 1990s, the garbage patch’s trash comes from countries around the Pacific Rim, including nations in Asia and North and South America, said Laurent Lebreton of the Ocean Cleanup Foundation.
But specifically, scientists say, the bulk of the garbage patch trash comes from China and other Asian countries.
This shouldn’t be a surprise: Overall, worldwide, most of the plastic trash in the ocean comes from Asia. In fact, the top six countries for ocean garbage are China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand, according to a 2015 study in the journal Science.
The United States contributes as much as 242 million pounds of plastic trash to the ocean every year, according to that study.
China has begun to take steps to stem the tide of trash floating from its shores. The country recently banned the import of most plastic waste, according to a study published in June in Science Advances.
China has imported about 45 percent of the world’s plastic waste since 1992 for recycling, the study found. In the U.S. alone, nearly 4,000 shipping containers full of plastic recyclables a day had been shipped to Chinese recycling plants.
Norway Has A Radical Approach To Plastic Pollution, And It’s Working
So why isn’t the U.S. following suit?
Lucy Siegle, Huffington Post
While other industrialized nations grapple with dangerously problematic plastic consumption, Norway stands out, recycling up to 97 percent of its plastic bottles thanks to a nationwide bottle deposit scheme.
Ingrained in the Norwegian model is the idea that the container is on loan; it’s not yours. And why would you want it when you can exchange it over the counter ― at stores, gas stations or one of the several thousand reverse vending machines in public places like schools and supermarkets ― in return for cash or store credit?
Plastic producers in Norway are subject to an environmental tax. The more of their plastic they recycle, the lower the tax. Almost all of them are signed up to the bottle deposit scheme and, if they reach a collective recycling target of above 95 percent, they don’t have to pay at all. Producers have collectively met that target for the last seven years.
They ensure they reach that target by attaching a deposit value ― the equivalent of around 15 to 30 cents, depending on size ― to each plastic bottle, to be redeemed when it’s returned. The high-quality plastic waste that’s collected can then be recycled into everything from textiles to packaging, including new plastic bottles.
Mountains of recyclables, including plastics, have been piling up in the months since then. In Oregon, recycling processors are now permitted to send recyclable materials to landfills. Sacramento, California, and Hooksett, New Hampshire, have canceled or significantly curtailed their recycling programs, forcing residents to throw their recyclables in the trash.
So, could the introduction of a national bottle deposit scheme like Norway’s help restore faith and order in American recycling? Would such a scheme even be possible?
Dune Ives thinks so. Ives is the executive director of the Lonely Whale Foundation, which uses smart messaging to change behavior and expectations regarding single-use plastics. Last month, the organization scored big when its Strawless In Seattle campaign helped secure a ban on single-use straws in Seattle.
Although Ives says the U.S. hasn’t had a high-level national discussion on bottle deposit systems, the results of a recent Lonely Whale poll on single-use bottles in the U.S. are good news for fans of deposit return schemes.
“People were really surprised that stuff they thought was being recycled isn’t, but their response was resoundingly ‘OK, so what can I do to help change that?’” Ives said.
The U.S. does have a history with bottle deposit schemes. Enacted in 1972 as an anti-litter law, Vermont’s bottle bill is one of its oldest pieces of environmental legislation. Similarly, California’s is more than 30 years old. However, neither is flourishing. In California, nearly 1,000 centers where you could return bottles for nickels have closed over the past two years ― that’s about 40 percent of them.
Brands have spent decades and millions of dollars lobbying against bottle bills, fearing that even a slight increase in cost with the addition of a deposit might hit sales. As policymakerslook again to deposit schemes, that pushback takes different forms, including talking up the importance of existing municipal recycling.
*If your town/municipality has equipment that you’d like to sell or a job posting you’d like us to include in our publication, please email your posting to Stacey Morrison at email@example.com*
Vertical Baler For Sale
The Town of Colebrook has a vertical baler for sale. Specifically, the baler is a BACE baler Model V63HD Serial Number: V63HD1504912. It was purchased new by the Town in 2014 for $10,445 from Atlantic Recycling Equipment. The baler was used for less than 18 months. The baler is to be sold “where is, as is.” Please call if you wish to view. $7,500 or best offer. Town of Colebrook 603 237-4070.
Free to a Good Home
Plastic Barrels available (must pick up) in Lancaster, NH. First Come, First served.
More NH Municipal Job Postings…
Can be found at: https://www.nhmunicipal.org/Resources/ClassifiedAds
- Wednesday, September 26 –NRRA Staff Appreciation Day – Office Closed All Day
- Monday, October 1, 2018 – Registration Deadline for NRRA Fall Bus Tour- Don’t Miss the Bus!
- Monday, October 8, 2018 – Columbus Day – NRRA Offices will Be Closed
- Wednesday, October 10, 2018 – NRRA Fall Bus Tour – NO M.O.M Meeting!
- Wednesday, November 7, 2018 – M.O.M Meeting @ 9:00 a.m. at NRRA Offices
- Wednesday, November 7, 2018 – NRRA ANNUAL MEETING @ 12:00 – 2:00 pm at the Puritan Backroom Restaurant in Manchester, NH
- Monday, November 12, 2018 – Veteran’s Day, NRRA OFFICE CLOSED. Thank you to all who have Served!
- Wednesday, November 14 & Thursday November 15, 2018 – NH Municipal Association Annual Conference at the Manchester Downtown Hotel
- Thursday, November 22 and Friday November 23, 2018 – Thanksgiving Holiday – NRRA Offices Closed BOTH Days