INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- From the Director’s Chair: Save the Date & Come to the Castle
- NRRA Pricing Guide
- Caution About Metal Container Placement
- NHDES NEWS
- NH the Beautiful News
- Massachusetts News: SSRC Updates
- Vermont News: Vt. Compost Law Seen Helping Poor
- Connecticut News: DEEP Announces $45,000 in Grants for Municipal Recycling In Seven Communities Across the State
- National News: Recycling News from around the Nation
- NRRA Calendar
~Recycling Fact of the Day~
PET plastic can be recycled into: clothing, fiberfill for sleeping bags, toys, stuffed animals, rulers and more.
FROM THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
May 16 and 17, 2016! NRRA announces it 35th Anniversary Emerald Jubilee Conference …..“It’s Not Easy Being GREEN!!”. We are moving south from Manchester to Nashua, NH. The Castle is rolling out the emerald carpet for this very special, first in the nation conference and exposition. Stay tuned, as we ramp up even earlier than usual with workshop proposals and exhibit opportunities that cannot be missed. Once we go live for registration I encourage all to sign up early to take advantage of the Early …Early Bird Discounts and the Special Value Package. The line-up for next spring will include Nationally Recognized Experts in this ever changing field and as usual, NRRA will be leading the way with the most up to date and cutting edge information you can use. You won’t want to miss this historic event.
Speaking of Conferences…..
2016 Local Solutions Travel Grants
We are gearing up, in partnership with U.S. EPA and the City of Baltimore for convening in Baltimore April 4-6, 2016. With an amazing Steering Committee of municipal and other climate preparedness leaders, we are mobilizing resources to support travel grants for Local Solutions participants who are active and engaged, at the local level (e.g., municipal, county, regional planning, watershed, community-engaged NGO, school, small business, National Guard).
We and our funders want to know more about who is interested in travel grant funding and what your climate preparedness challenges and opportunities are. Please take a moment to provide your input here.
NHDES is not able to offer any further training sessions in 2015 for operator certification, either initial training, refresher training, or the 2.5 required credits for maintaining certifications. NRRA will be offering at least one special training workshop in late October in place of the Fall Bus Tour this year to help operators maintain their certifications. Space will be limited, so if you know you need the hours before December 31, 2015 sign up with the NRRA office at email@example.com ASAP! There will be a $50 fee for lunch and materials, and it is expected to run 3-4hrs total.
USDA Grant Update
In 2016 NRRA will be offering several training workshops and Webinars as part of its USDA Grant work, and those will count for the 2.5 hrs as well to maintain your current operator certification. The schedule for those will be posted in January.
MOM Meetings Count: For those of you that cannot attend the special training session in October, the Members Operations Marketing Meeting held on October 14 will count for 1.5hrs of certification training. NRRA will hold a special MOM meeting on December 9 first come first serve for any operators needing hours before the end of the calendar year. NRRA encourages facility managers to check the expiration dates on staff to make sure they don’t miss out on needed training.
This past year has seen a “new normal” of depressed commodity markets and increasingly more realistic rates for services, as companies struggle to make bottom line numbers work. NRRA continues to work diligently to help its vendors provide sustainable operational capacity to service the needs of the NRRA Membership at as reasonable a cost as possible. All NRRA approved vendors are asked to give as much warning as possible before any major rate increases are effective, but that is not always possible. To the extent that they are able to dos so NRRA asks for a 90 day window for increases. Reductions in costs, when they rarely occur, are accepted immediately! J For your municipal budgets please be cautious as ever on the revenue side and as realistic as possible on the expense side. This will give you the best chance of making budget.
MSW & C&D Contract Extensions
Before you enter into any new extension for these extensions of existing contracts, be sure to check in with NRRA to see if the numbers are reflective of the current markets conditions. Too often what may look like a good deal in comparison to your expiring contract may be able to look even better if NRRA can assist your Town in its negotiations. Likewise if you are going out to bid or for an RFP don’t hesitate to contact NRRA to help with the review and negotiations to complete the process. For those of you who already have updated contracts, be sure to send the results to NRRA so they can be shared with fellow members and assist in leveling the playing field for contracts.
NRRA September Pricing Guide is Now Available
The NRRA Monthly Pricing Guide for September is now available! Click HERE to view the password version OR if you’ve got a username and password for our Member’s Only Section of the Website, you can view it without the need for a password (Click on the “Members Only” tab at the top of the page). If you’re having trouble viewing the guide, please contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org
September’s here and the new month has brought no changes for fiber pricing. We remain cautiously optimistic that fibers will remain fairly stable going forward, but China’s recent economic downturn has us wondering if we may see reverberations down the line. Plastics are down again, which is not surprising given low fuel prices of late. And, unfortunately, scrap metal continues to slide downward. Several metals vendors have indicated that further drops may be possible, so please stay tuned and keep in touch with your NRRA members services rep for the most up-to-date info.
CAUTION regarding containers too close to concrete block walls
Recently there have been a few incidents at facilities where containers were pushed too close to concrete block walls and damage occurred to the wall and containers when being pulled out for swapping. If you have to push a container close to walls for safety reasons, as well as, to prevent material from falling outside the container, please be sure to pull the container back out from the wall before the truck arrives to swap.
NRRA Needs Your Help! Plastic Gaylords For Sale!
NRRA has already received orders for 28 of these gaylords, but we need reach a minimum of 40. Any takers? Cost $116/ea without lid, $134/ea with lid (as pictured above). Facilities that utilize these gaylords have not been disappointed & neither will you!
We are taking orders for these 43”W x 36”H x 32”D gaylords. They are very durable and great for storage of aluminum cans, steel cans, plastics, or paper.
Filled with cans or plastic, they are light enough to move by hand or can be stacked two high! And, although they are lightweight, they are extremely strong and have a top that can also act as a bottom to add strength and extend life expectancy. Please us today to place an order to help us reach our minimum goal of 40 units!
Scott Bradford of the Peterborough, NH Transfer Station has been using these plastic type gaylords to replace his older cardboard ones. He has received a grant approval from NH the Beautiful to help him purchase more but he can’t do so until we reach our minimum order requirement! This is what Scott had to say about these durable storage containers:
“We use these gaylords for containing and storing our aluminum cans until they are ready to be baled in a horizontal baler. They sit on pallets that we have affixed dolly wheels to for easy mobility around the facility. Due to the fact that the gaylords are holding beverage cans they do get wet from residual liquids in the cans and tend to rot on the bottoms and fall apart while we are baling, spilling out the cans all over the floor; thus making quite a mess. We do reinforce the bottoms of the gaylord boxes with pieces of recycled 1/4in plywood or recycled luan but they still tend to deteriorate rather quickly. The plastic ones would last much longer and be able to withstand the residual moisture from the cans, as well as cut down our labor of trying to repair the standard corrugated ones, and putting those ones to other longer lasting uses. No other optional equipment is needed as we would be using our existing pallets with wheels for these gaylords. It takes 9 gaylords of UBC to make one bale. “
NH DES NEWS
National Drug Take Back Day, September 26
A National Drug Take Back Day will occur on September 26, 2015 from 1000AM-200PM. Instructions for law enforcement officials on establishing a collection location that day as well as a list of locations already registered to participate can be found at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html A list of permanent drug collection drop boxes in local police stations can be found at http://doj.nh.gov/criminal/documents/prescription-drug-drop-box.pdf
Please Share with School Administrators
Free EPA Webinar: Changing How We Think About Our Resources for a Better Tomorrow: How to Donate Surplus Food from K-12 Schools – September 17 @ 1:00 – 2:30pm.
Click on this link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/9090418359952984578 This U.S. EPA-hosted webinar will show K-12 schools how to improve their bottom line, feed hungry people, and reduce wasted food by learning from schools engaged in surplus food donation from school cafeterias. Also, the USDA will clarify its food donation policy and the legal implications of surplus food donation.
SCHOOL NEWS YOU CAN USE
Back To School Eco-Friendly Shopping Ideas
It’s once again time to get kids ready for the upcoming school year. The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2006 Back-to-School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIG research found that families with school-aged children will spend an average of $527.08, up from $433.77 in 2005, on back-to-school items. When choosing products this year remember to help your kids and our environment by making eco-friendly choices in your back to school purchases.
Here is a list of Eco-friendly shopping ideas:
Backpacks – Reuse your backpack! If you absolutely need a new pack then look for backpacks that have a lifetime warranty or can easily be washed and reused by other family members. Local retailers such as REI or the Redwood Trading Post have lots of canvas packs. If you have already bought a new bag and your old backpack is still in good condition, donate it.
If every student in the County bought a new backpack this year, all the old backpacks laid end to end would stretch down 101 from San Francisco to the Palo Alto border!
Lunchboxes – Purchase a lunchbox and then fill it with reusable containers. It will save you money over the school year by decreasing your use of disposable plastic and paper bags, as well as reduce your school’s garbage. Learn how to pack a No Waste Lunch. Also a great source for lunchboxes is Laptop Lunch Boxes or your local container source such as Tupperware.
Refillable pens and pencils – When you use refillable pens or pencils you are saving natural resources as well as the need for your student to carry a pencil sharpener or worry about breaking their pencil in the middle of a test. Most stationary stores offer a wide selection of refillable pens and pencils.
Folders, Notebooks and Paper – If you are shopping for pocket folders, notebooks, and paper look for the made from recycled paper symbol . This symbol identifies products made from recycled material, and by purchasing these products you help to close the loop on recycling. Some stores carry 100% postconsumer recycled content notebooks. Remember to always look for the symbol on the package. Find out where you can buy recycled.
Calculators – Have you ever considered a solar calculator for your student? Solar calculators are a great way to reduce the need of disposable batteries and to reduce stress because you’ll never have to check the batteries before an exam again. You can find solar calculators at most retail stores that carry specialty calculators.
For more information on Back-to-School products and the natural resources they are made from, visit New American Dream.
Chemistry researcher develops ‘drinkable book’ using filter paper to clean dirty drinking water [From the web]
MONTREAL, Aug 19, 2015 (Local News) – When looking for a solution to providing developing countries with clean drinking water, Teri Dankovich may have found the answer in a book.
The American chemistry researcher has helped develop a book whose pages can be torn out to be used as water filters. She calls it The Drinkable Book.
Dankovich says she came up with the idea while doing graduate work in Montreal.
(For the full story, go to: CTV News – ‘Drinkable Book’ aims to turn the page on dirty drinking water )
RISI is not responsible for the reliability or availability of content on external websites.
We have so many talented students in The CLUB that we thought it was time to add a Career Exploration resource for those that are considering environmental science or recycling as their future career goal. If you have any other resources, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list! Call or email Gwen Erley at email@example.com or 736-4401 ex 19.
NH THE BEAUTIFUL
Grants Program for NH Municipalities
Do you need equipment for your facility? All New Hampshire municipalities are eligible to apply for grants toward the purchase price of recycling equipment. For more information or to apply for a grant, go to http://www.nhthebeautiful.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/equipment_grant_app_710.pdf, print & fill out the form and fax it to 603-736-4402. If you do not have access to the internet, please give us a call, and we can fax or mail a form to you.
NH the Beautiful Provides FREE Facility Signs
All NH municipalities are eligible to apply for FREE facility signs. NHtB has been providing professional looking signs for NH municipalities since 1983. Under the NHtB Sign Program, New Hampshire Municipalities are all eligible to apply for signs (60 points each fiscal year or until funds run out). The NHtB fiscal year runs November 1-October 31. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Stacey at 603-736-4401 x.10. To maximize your points, you can also order “recycled” signs or overlays for existing signs!
For a complete list of sign options and to order signs, click here Complete Sign Packet. Simply print the forms you need, mail or fax them to 603-736-4402.
Please NOTE!!! You can only use points to order signs that are on the list. Words can be removed, but nothing can be added. Custom signs are available for purchase. Contact the NRRA for details.
NHtB Also has Clear Stream Containers and 14-Gallon Recycling Bins for Sale at Discounted Prices
Click the links below to find out how you can get yours! Please note that effective July 1, 2015 the cost of the 14 gallon Curbside Recycling Bins have increased by .50 cents a bin. We regret this unavoidable increase but assure you that these bins are still being offered at a great discounted rate to all Towns, Schools, Businesses and non-profit organization who apply.
Visit NH the Beautiful on Facebook and Twitter
To see all the latest that NH the Beautiful is doing for NH check out their Facebook Page! Click the following link – https://www.facebook.com/pages/NH-The-Beautiful/253682871403932
NH the Beautiful, Inc. (NHtB) is a private non-profit charitable trust founded in 1983 and supported by the soft drink, malt beverage, and grocery industries of New Hampshire. By offering municipal recycling grants (over $2.5 million) and signs, anti-litter programs, and technical assistance to recycling programs, NHtB is a unique organization that represents a voluntarily-funded alternative to expensive legislation intended to achieve the same end results. NHtB supports the NRRA School Education Program (the Club). The Northeast Resource Recovery Association (www.nrra.net) administers the New Hampshire the Beautiful programs.
SSRC Updates September 2015
July Board Meeting notes
Duxbury, Hanson endorses Paint Stewardship Bill
Hanson doubles recycling rate with ‘pay-as-you-throw’
Kingston recycling antifreeze, large rigid plastics
Containers available for event recycling
Muni Organics Programs to be featured at SE MRC
State promotes mattress recycling
Recycling Workers Face Hazards, High Injury Rates
ERI, iFixit work together to recover, sell parts
Boost Plastic Film Recycling in Your Community
KAB “I want to be recycled” video contest winners
American recycling biz woes
Tips for Tackling Contamination in Recycling Streams
Click on any of the above links to see the full article.
Textile recycling provides budget boost for Norwood schools
Since partnering with Bay State Textiles last September, Norwood Public Schools raised more than $3,100 through a textile recycling program. Leading the way is the Cleveland Elementary School, which has raised $654.
“It’s been very successful,” Superintendent James Hayden said. “Every school has these bins. The Cleveland School recycles so much, they have two bins.”
The schools have raised between $227 and $654 through this program, collecting nearly 63,000 pounds of textiles. Bay State Textiles reimburses the schools $100 per ton collected, and the funds are placed in an account for each school.
“The principals have access to that to help students who can’t afford to go on a field trip or need to purchase something vital, like clothing,” Hayden said, adding that the funds collected at the Savage Center are used for a similar purpose.
In addition to the $3,148 raised thus far, the schools also received $700 from Bay State Textiles for collecting more than 25,000 pounds between February and June.
“The collected over 33,000 pounds,” said Kathryn Larsen, recycling development coordinator with Bay State Textiles. “They’ve done really well. The Norwood Public Schools have been great to work with.”
Hayden hopes residents don’t forget about this program now that the school year is over.
“We’re hoping people continue to do this. It is very convenient to go to your local school, and the collection box is right there on the grounds,” Hayden said.
The schools aren’t the only town department to partner with Bay State Textiles. The Department of Public Works has a bin for textile donations at the Winter Street Composting Facility. The DPW raised $221 in the past year through this program.
“It’s been a great partnership,” Director of Public Works Mark Ryan said. “It takes textiles out of the solid waste we pay for every year. We’re not paying for it to be thrown in a landfill; we’re receiving some funds for it to be used for another purpose.”
A permit is required to use the textile recycling box at the Winter Street Composting Facility. Permits are available at the DPW Administration Office at the Norwood Civic Center, 165 Nahatan St. The composting facility is open every Saturday from noon to 3:30 p.m.
Approximately 95 percent of clothing, shoes and linens donated finds new life somewhere else. Approximately 45 percent can be reused as they are, 30 percent are turned into wiping cloths and 20 percent are recycled into new products, such as stuffing for car seat cushions, Larsen said.
“There is a healthy demand in the used clothing market globally and there is a problem with excess textiles in the United States,” Larsen said. “These could end up hanging in a thrift store rack or with a father in a developing country who makes a living selling used clothing.”
The program comes at no cost to the town, Larsen said.
Vt. Compost Law Seen Helping Poor
By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling
Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, August 9, 2015
(Published in print: Sunday, August 9, 2015)
Could Vermont’s new recycling law help feed the poor?
All signs point to yes, according to charitable organizations that work to channel large amounts of food from producers and retailers into the homes of those in need.
“For 2016, we are predicting that our food will increase by 60 percent over 2015, in large part due to Act 48,” Vermont’s universal recycling law, according to Alex Bornstein, the chief operations officer of the Vermont Foodbank.
Bornstein projected that the food bank will see an additional 1.5 million pounds of food donated by Vermont’s largest retailers in 2016, bringing the annual total up to 4 million pounds.
Under the law, compostable materials, including food, are being phased out of the waste stream in an effort to conserve landfill space and help the environment by reducing the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere. On July 1, some grocery retailers, large restaurants and other companies that produce more than a ton of compostable waste a week faced a new requirement to take that material to a composting facility, as long as one exists within 20 miles. A state list includes only one such facility in the Upper Valley, a small operation in Corinth called Cookeville Compost.
Since that deadline passed, Bornstein said, the food bank has seen an immediate surge in donations — 24 percent more food was donated from retailers last month than in July 2014.
Successfully diverting organic materials from the waste stream is one of the biggest challenges the new law poses.
According to a 2013 Waste Composition Study paid for by the state, 28 percent of residential waste, and 18 percent of industrial, commercial and institutional waste, is made up of organic materials, even after recycling and composting diversions were factored in.
Because of this, the state-commissioned Vermont Materials Management Plan charges the Agency of Natural Resources with spreading awareness about food rescue options.
Bryn Oakleaf, an environmental analyst with the Agency of Natural Resources, said staffers tasked with overseeing the implementation of the law are busy educating the larger companies along the food chain about how to best manage organic waste according to a hierarchy of best use.
“Not wasting it at all is best,” Oakleaf said. “Secondary is feeding food to people that need it and that can use it.”
Food unfit for human consumption is directed for use as animal feed, composting and energy production through the use of anaerobic digesters.
“There’s a significant portion of food that gets to our retailers and distributors that doesn’t end up getting purchased by their sell-by dates,” she said. “We’re seeing more and more of those items going to donation.”
Over the next few years, Act 148 imposes increasingly severe restrictions on food waste, culminating with a complete landfill ban in 2020.
Oakleaf said distinguishing the impact of the law from factors affecting donated food can be tricky, but she anticipates the law will also help by building up a better infrastructure of charitable organizations that can handle perishable food, and a greater awareness of their services.
And gleaning organizations such as Lebanon’s Willing Hands are scrambling to create an infrastructure that can safely and quickly get food from producers to clients, according to Gabe Zoerheide, executive director.
Managing a food rescue operation is a question of logistics, Zoerheide said.
The organization owns a refrigeration truck that is on the road 360 days of the year, visiting farms, local co-ops and Upper Valley Produce two or three times a day and dropping off vegetables, dairy products, meat and other food items to 54 locations, such as food pantries and senior centers, each week.
The schedule can be manic, and the law could make it more so, Zoerheide said.
“Do we need to add a second truck? Do we need to add more distribution routes? How do we store it? These are questions the board is asking,” Zoerheide said.
Bornstein said the Vermont Foodbank, which works with 225 partner groups statewide, is seeing similar questions on a broader scale. New relationships are being forged between food producers and food pantries, and the food rescue chain is getting more sophisticated in handling product, from ensuring food safety to branching into new types of food. The Vermont Foodbank recently became certified to handle seafood, Bornstein said.
Some retailers are already well-positioned under the law.
Hannaford operates 17 grocery stores in the state of Vermont. Eric Blom, a company spokesman, said five or six stores were already composting a decade ago. Today, almost without exception, the stores have well-established relationships with partners like the Vermont Foodbank.
“Last year, we donated more than 14 million pounds of food to food banks,” Blom said. “We’re pretty proud of our efforts.”
Finding reliable partners is part of the challenge, Blom said.
“In just three of our stores, there is a small amount of food waste that does go into the compactor because we’re having trouble getting reliable pickups,” he said. “Other than that, there’s nothing.”
The large majority of the consumable food makes its way into the food rescue chain, while most of the material that can’t be eaten by people winds up supplying pig farmers.
Across the entire chain of 187 stores, 80 percent of Hannaford’s waste is diverted from the landfills, and composting increased by 130 percent last year, according to Blom.
Getting on board with recycling has paid environmental and social dividends, Blom said, but it’s also helped with profits.
“Landfills cost money,” Blom said. “Last year, our sustainability practices saved our company $15 million.”
Other groups are benefiting from a new enthusiasm among retailers to stay ahead of the law by ramping up their food donations.
At the Upper Valley Haven, Executive Director Sara Kobylenski said that, after the July 1 deadline in the law, the group’s director of community services, Jennifer Fontaine, received a call from a Price Chopper in Windsor.
“It’s a new commercial resource and we’re looking forward to seeing how the relationship develops,” Kobylenski said. “We’re excited to see what this will mean for them and for us.”
Kobylenski said the ultimate beneficiaries of the boost in local food rescue efforts are the people served by food banks and pantries.
“We have been providing food to more than 1,300 households per month and we only give them enough food for one week for a family of their size.”
The demand for that food is great, she said, and could grow even more quickly than donations under the law.
“In the month of July, there were 72 new households who had never come to us before for help,” she said, “With more food, we’ll be able to be assured of always having food here to serve people who come through the door.”
Kobylenski said the Haven’s workers have an unusual vantage point from which they can see a supply and a demand that don’t always match up.
“There’s nothing more awful than seeing food waste in the community, either at grocery stores or restaurants or anywhere else, and seeing people be hungry,” she said.
“When we have partners who bring food to us, whether it’s prepared food left at the end of the night, or stock being rotated out of the vegetable coolers or meat cases, we are so grateful to see them being willing to help others.”
DEEP Announces $45,000 in Grants for Municipal Recycling In Seven Communities Across the State
Funds will help enhance local waste reduction, reuse and recycling programs
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced that seven communities are being awarded a total of $45,000 in grants to enhance local waste reduction, reuse, and recycling programs.
“These seven communities have already demonstrated a real commitment to a 21st century materials management strategy,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “With the support of this new grant funding, these cities and towns can move forward to further reduce the volume of trash we dispose of and put to productive use more of the discarded materials found in our waste stream.”
Grants are being awarded to the following communities: Town of Mansfield – $14,490
Mansfield operates a very successful curbside and transfer station unit-based pricing program, which manages solid waste like a utility where users pay for trash based on how much they dispose. Mansfield also requires its recycling coordinator to sign-off on all commercial building permits to ensure that proper recycling plans are in place. The town also established one of the most innovative new programs in the state – a “repair café”, to promote repair and reuse of unwanted materials and items.
Town of Bridgewater – $3,060
Bridgewater established the very first municipal curbside organics collection program in the state. This pilot has been running for 16 months.
City of Bristol – $6,863
Bristol operates an active curbside recycling enforcement program as well as school recycling programs. Bristol also collects hard to handle materials at their transfer station.
Town of Hamden – $6,750
Hamden facilitates effective school recycling through ‘green teams.’ The town also has an active recycling coordinator who advocates for waste reduction and recycling initiatives and promotes backyard composting and grasscycling.
Town of Orange – $6,840
Orange promotes recycling and composting throughout the town at community events and runs educational programs at the schools.
Towns of Salisbury and Sharon – $6,953 total
Salisbury and Sharon operate effective school recycling and composting programs. The recycling coordinator for the towns actively enforces recycling and looks for new opportunities to collect and recycle hard to handle materials.
DEEP is focused on a 21st century materials management strategy that transforms the way Connecticut manages trash and recycling. The goals are to reduce the volume of trash that must be disposed of by doubling the state’s recycling rate to 60% by 2024, and reclaiming more materials of value from the waste stream. Through this approach we can reduce the environmental impacts and costs associated with waste disposal, conserve resources, and create new “green” jobs in our state.
To learn more about these municipal waste reduction and recycling programs, please contact the recycling coordinator by visiting the municipality’s website.
The Resource Recycling Conference: Where the Industry Evolves
September 28-30, 2015 l Indianapolis Marriott Downtown l Indianapolis, IN
The Resource Recycling Conference is the must-attend conference for the recycling industry’s most influential policy leaders, CEOs and government officials. The conference, now entering its sixth year, is your opportunity to network with clients, prospective partners, vendors and top materials management decision-makers all in one location, saving you precious time and travel expenses. The conference’s lineup of education sessions will offer attendees the latest on materials processing trends, tactics to boost diversion rates, legislative talking points, market analysis and much more.
Boaters Mapping Garbage Patch in Pacific Ocean Return to San Francisco
By OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Far away from California’s coast, where the Pacific Ocean currents swirl, the blue of the sea was replaced by fishing nets, buckets, buoys, laundry baskets and unidentifiable pieces of plastic that floated past the Ocean Starr, a ship carrying a team of scientists and volunteers gathering data on plastic garbage.
“We were surrounded by an endless layer of garbage,” sad Serena Cunsolo, an Italian marine biologist who works for The Ocean Cleanup. “It was devastating to see.”
Cunsolo, 28, was one of a team of 15 researchers and volunteers aboard the Ocean Starr who a month ago set out from San Francisco to study the plastic waste as part of the “Mega Expedition,” a major step in the organization’s effort to eventually clean up what’s known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The 171-foot mother ship, carrying massive white bags filled with plastic garbage, returned on Sunday to San Francisco along with two sailing boats with volunteers who helped collect the garbage samples.
Most of the trash they found, including a 1-ton fishing net, is medium to large-sized pieces, as opposed to confetti-like plastic shards that can easily enter the food chain after being eaten by small fish and birds and are extremely difficult to clean up, said Boyan Slat, who founded The Ocean Cleanup and has developed a technology that he says can start removing the garbage by 2020.
“It was a good illustration of why it is such an urgent thing to clean up because if we don’t clean it up soon then we’ll give the big plastic time to break into smaller and smaller pieces,” Slat said.
Volunteer crews on 30 boats have been measuring the size and mapping the location of tons of plastic waste floating between the West Coast and Hawaii that according to some estimates covers an area twice the size of Texas.
Slat said the group will publish a report of its findings by mid-2016 and after that they hope to test out a 1-mile barrier to collect garbage near Japan. The ultimate goal is the construction of a 60-mile barrier in the middle of the Pacific.
The expedition was sponsored by The Ocean Cleanup, an organization founded by Slat, a 21-year-old innovator from the Netherlands who has envisioned using long-distance floating barriers that will attach to the seabed with an anchoring system used by oil-drilling rigs. The devices will target ocean currents full of waste and skim garbage from the surface while aquatic life and the currents themselves pass underneath.
He first became passionate about cleaning the oceans of plastic while diving in the Mediterranean Sea five years ago. “I was diving in Greece and realized that there were more plastic bags than fish, and I wondered why can’t we clean this up,” Slat said.
After dropping out of university after his first six months, Slat dedicated his life to developing the technology the group will start testing next year.
He decided to launch a kickstarter campaign and raised 2 million euros (about $ 2.27 million) that helped to launch his organization thanks to the success of a 2012 Ted Talk he gave about his idea that was viewed more than 2 million times. Soon, his innovative solution got the attention of major philanthropists in Europe and Silicon Valley, including Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, who are helping pay for the data-gathering efforts and the technology’s development.
The Pacific expedition, which will end in mid-September, will gather data that will be more extensive than what has been collected in the past 40 years. It also will give a better estimate of the how much plastic waste is in the Pacific Ocean, Slat said.
The boaters are using GPS and a smartphone app to search for and record the plastic. They take samples and ship them to the Netherlands, where the plastics are counted and recorded.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch was discovered by Charles J. Moore in 1997 as he returned home from the Transpacific Yacht Race, which starts in Los Angeles and ends in Honolulu.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Celebrities Pitching In on Recycling Labeling Awareness Campaign
By Chrissy Kadleck, Waste 360
New 30-second and 60-second commercials will start airing this month–along with new billboards– urging consumers, businesses and organizations to embrace standardized labeling and adopt consistent messaging to eliminate confusion at the bin and decrease contamination rates, especially in public recycling streams.
Mitch Hedlund, founder and executive director of Recycle Across America (RAA), says the organization first piloted the “let’s recycle right!” celebrity campaign in the first quarter of 2014.
“We started with billboards and print campaign with some of the celebrities, and it was a chance for us to put the ads out there and measure impact and response and do our due diligence before we invested in creating a TV commercial,” says Hedlund. “We had amazing results.”
In fact, Bank of America learned about RAA’s standardized labeling campaign after seeing an advertisement in a Boston magazine.
“Next thing you know, they’re piloting the label in their corporate offices and that was a success. Next thing you know, they’re rolling out the standardized labels throughout all of their locations and then next thing you know, they’re donating 26,000 standardized labels to all the K-12 schools in Orlando,” she says. “This is the way this whole journey has been–just this amazing viral experience where it just keeps mushrooming.”
Standardized labels are increasing recycling levels between 50 to 100 percent and significantly diminishing the amount of trash historically thrown in recycling bins, Hedlund says. Companies such as NBCUniversal, Disney, Hallmark, Kohler, American Girl and 3,500 schools and universities across the U.S. have adopted standardized labels on their recycling bins.
“If we do it right, recycling truly has the ability to be one of the most impactful things we can do for the environment and the economy. It would increase jobs by the millions in the U.S. – long-term domestic jobs,” she says. “It relies on society, you and me and 300 million people to do it, and we have to do it right because if we don’t do it, manufacturers don’t want to buy it.”
She says the only reason recycling is not profitable is because it so confusing and fragmented that the general public makes tremendous amounts of mistakes or they become apathetic and skeptical.
“That is why we do what we do and it is working,” she says.
Sharon Kneiss, president and CEO of National Waste & Recycling Association, says her organization “applauds” the work of RAA.
“One of the biggest challenges for the recycling industry today is avoiding contamination of the recycling stream and making recycling more productive, so we are excited to see the recycle right campaign emerge,” Kneiss says.
In terms of consistent messaging, the key is to make it as simple as you can for consumers, Kneiss says.
“People want to recycle. What we have to do is to make sure they understand how to recycle properly,” she says. “Recycling is an innovators game. People who are recycling are always going to be looking for markets for new materials, which is great that we are looking to recycle more, (but) it puts more into the stream and more for people to understand, so it’s a balance.”
Every 60 days, RAA will roll out a new ad with a new celebrity. In addition to the 50 celebrities already signed onto the campaign, Hedlund says she’s hoping to attract two high-level political figures from both sides of the aisles.
“This effort is definitely about creating jobs and improving manufacturing but it’s also about keeping waste out of the oceans and improving the environments and CO2 levels,” she says.
Hedlund says people ask her all the time how she convinced celebrities and such a well-known photographer (Timothy White) to donate their talents and famous faces to RAA’s campaign.
“I say, ‘Because I ask them the same question I ask everybody else. Have you ever been confused at the bin when you’re at the airport or out in public? They go: Oh my God! Yes. Everywhere.’ Instantly, they understand how ridiculously confusing such an important thing such as recycling has become.”
RECYCLING/SOLID WASTE MANAGER
The Town of Plymouth is currently accepting applications for the full-time position of Recycling/ Solid Waste Manager. Applicants must have the ability to coordinate and manage various functions and operations of the Town’s Transfer Station/ Recycling Center. Applicants must have Class IV operator certification, and recycling management background. For a full job description see the town’s website at www.plymouth-nh.org.
If you are looking for a drug free, appreciative working environment that offers a competitive wage and benefit package including: Vacation, Sick Leave, Personnel Days, Educational Training, Health Insurance (Employee pays 15% of premium), Dental Insurance (Employee pays 100% of premium), Group Disability and Life Insurance, and retirement through NH Retirement System, you may be the person we are looking for. The Town of Plymouth is an equal opportunity employer.
Resumes with cover letter may be submitted to: Paul Freitas, Town Administrator
Town of Plymouth 6 Post Office Square Plymouth, NH 03264
(603) 536-1731 office
(603) 536-0036 fax
electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org
Transfer Station Supervisor
Town of Chesterfield is seeking a motivated team player to serve as Supervisor for the town’s Transfer Station. Saturdays required. Responsible for planning, directing, conducting and administering all functions of the Transfer Station. Must be responsible, hard working, dependable and work well with the public. Some mechanical skills a plus. Applications may be obtained at the Chesterfield Selectmen’s Office or Transfer Station. (603) 363-4624 ext 10. Applications should be submitted to the Selectmen’s Office by noon on August 31st.
Rick Carrier, Chesterfield Town Administrator
(603) 363-4624 x13
SOLID WASTE MANAGER
The Town of Marlborough (pop. 2,000) seeks a knowledgeable and experienced, part-time (approx. 20 hours/week) Solid Waste Manager to manage and coordinate all aspects of the community’s Recycling Center/Transfer Station. Working under the supervision of a three-member Board of Selectmen, the Manager supervises three part-time employees.
Desired skills and experience include knowledge of municipal solid waste and recycling management issues, mechanical aptitude and “trouble shooting” skills and experience operating mechanical/motorized equipment used in solid waste operations. The candidate must have or be eligible to obtain State certification. Must be able to perform physical tasks including lifting, turning, reaching and squatting. Candidates should possess proven interpersonal, written and oral communication skills, with the ability to maintain positive working relationships with elected officials, department heads, employees and the public. In addition, working Saturday (the center’s busiest day) is required.
Salary for this part-time position is dependent upon qualifications and experience. Submit cover letter, resume and references to Sandra LaPlante, Administrative Assistant, PO Box 487, Marlborough, NH 03455 or email to Selectmen@marlboroughnh.org by noon on August 11, 2015. The Town of Marlborough is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Part Time Transfer Station Attendant
The Town of Greenfield, NH is looking for a part time transfer station attendant. 10+ hours per week. Must work Saturdays. Background check required. For questions/inquiries please call 547-8617 or email resume to email@example.com
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
Selco Vertical Baler
Weathersfield, VT DPW has a used Selco Vertical Baler for sale. Model# V5-HD. Good working condition. $5000.00 or Best Offer. Contact Wesley Hazeltine at 802-291-3219 for more information.
IPS Model AT965HS100 Auto Tie Baler
One (1) IPS Model AT965HS100 Auto Tie Baler, 100 HP power unit, built in January 2001. The baler will need to be removed from the facility. Asking Price is $65,000.00. More Pictures are available upon request. Contact NRRA if interested or if you would like more information. (email@example.com)
October 12: Columbus Day, NRRA Offices WILL BE Closed
October 14: M.O.M Meeting- 9:00 a.m. at NRRA Offices
Late October: NRRA Workshop, To Be Announced