News & Updates

Utilizing Vermicomposting Systems

PA Recycling Markets Center
Organics Business Growth Seminar
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

For more information, see the seminar agenda.

To register, please click here.

The Economic Contributions of Recycling to the Pennsylvania Economy

 

The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center and IHS Markit are pleased to provide an extensive and in-depth study on the direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts from Pennsylvania’s recycling industry, coined as the “Pennsylvania Recycling Marketplace”.

DOWNLOAD the Report:
Pennsylvania Recycling Marketplace

NLCA Honored with 2016 Heenan Award

 
rmc_recognition-1

(left to right) Robert Bylone, Executive Director, President RMC
Matt Cougle, COO, Cougle’s Recycling, Inc.
Jason Coyle, Superintendent, Northern Lancaster County Authority
Donald Kellenberger, Owner, Kellenberger Excavating LLC
Wayne Bowen, Recycling Program Manager, RMC

 

The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc. (RMC) recently honored the Northern Lancaster County Authority (NLCA) of Denver, PA with the 2016 William M. Heenan, Jr. Recycling Markets Development Award for its commitment to creation of new markets for recycled color-mixed glass.

RMC recognized the use of recycled glass as a growing medium for the reed bed filtration system at the Authority’s Beam Road Wastewater Treatment Plant. To RMC’s knowledge, the plant is the first location to use sharp-free, manufactured recycled glass aggregate for this purpose in the United States.

A reed bed or constructed wetland is essentially a type of water filtration system that mirrors the way natural wetlands break down waste in water and filter out impurities. Wetland reeds, specifically Phragmites austalis,are cultivated in a recycled glass aggregate filter bed where the plant roots and natural microbial processes turn wastewater solids into treated water and benign solids. Free of chemicals and odors, these beds have been proven to be both cost-effective and energy-efficient, and significantly reduce or even eliminate the need for disposal of the solids. Reed bed systems have been shown to reduce the volume of solids by as much as 90%.

7-11-16-bed-3-loading“Typically, the growing media for reed bed wastewater filtration is a very porous, fine aggregate, such as sand,” explains Jason Coyle, Plant Superintendent for NLCA. “Our sand was 20 years old and had broken down over time. As a planting bed, recycled glass aggregate that is manufactured to a uniform, sharp-free specification, has been demonstrated in other countries. With technical input from the RMC, we were interested in bringing it to Pennsylvania.”

Originally developed by the Max-Planck Institute of West Germany and the Netherlands approximately 30 years ago, the recycled glass process has been approved by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection, and has been used in on-lot sand mound septic systems for about a decade. NLCA is currently using 800 tons of processed, crushed, size-graded and color-mixed container glass, obtained from Cougle’s Recycling, Inc. of Hamburg, PA – an amount roughly equivalent to what a rural Pennsylvania county may collect in 2.5 years. “No one has put this into an application of this size,” adds Coyle.

The NLCA wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1979 and upgraded in 2013 in compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy.   In order to be in compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy, the plant diverts significantly more solids to the reed beds than in previous years.  This, along with competitive pricing for the sharp-free, recycled glass aggregate, made the decision to use it realistic.

“Proper processing of solids is a major issue faced by wastewater treatment plants such as NLCA’s plant, especially those who require compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy” said Robert Bylone, RMC President & Executive Director. “What they’ve been able to do is take an existing treatment method and build on its sustainability by using a recycled-content product. For these reasons, and for the courage of the Northern Lancaster County Authority to pioneer recycled glass aggregate for this use, we are proud to recognize them with the William M. Heenan, Jr. Recycling Markets Development Award.”

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The 2016 Reed Bed Upgrade was a win-win for all parties involved. Fred Ebert, President, Ebert Engineering, Inc., NLCA’s consulting engineer; Jason Coyle, NLCA Superintendent; Scott Davis, President, Constructed Wetlands Group; and Wayne Bowen, Recycling Program Manager, Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center combined technical knowledge and research to bring the successful project together. Using Cougle’s Recycling Inc.’s manufactured recycled glass aggregate saved thousands of dollars of freight expense compared to hauling the nearest available sand from Delaware or Maryland. Donald Kellenberger, of Kellenberger Excavating in Spring Township, said final grading of the recycled glass aggregate was easier than sand.  Don observed that the manufactured recycled glass aggregate held its shape and position better than the sand. This ease of installation resulted in significantly less time to complete installation, reducing total install time to less than two (2) weeks.

The Northern Lancaster County Authority was the first Reed Bed Biosolids Treatment System in Pennsylvania. With over 80 Reed Bed Systems treating biosolids in Pennsylvania, the Authority has opened a door for using recycled glass both here and across the nation. “The RMC will continue to expand this use across Pennsylvania and potentially the nation,” added Bylone. “A win for the environment, while simultaneously reducing construction costs for the residents of Brecknock Township and excelling treatment output made receiving the 2016 Heenan Award very rewarding,” said Jason Coyle.

The William M. Heenan, Jr. Recycling Markets Development Award is the only award of its type given annually in Pennsylvania, and is named in memory of William M. “Bill” Heenan, Jr. Heenan, a lifelong international ambassador of the recycling industry who was instrumental in supporting the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to initially vision and fund inception of the RMC.

NRC/PennRMC Sustainable Materials Management Webinar Series

NATIONAL RECYCLING COALITION

PENNSYLVANIA RECYCLING MARKETS CENTER

PARTNERSHIP

 

A partnership between the RMC and NRC in delivering innovative programming to those who are seeking integrated opportunities for materials management.

 

From the comfort of your own location, join us for this webinar series

Third Tuesday each month – July 2016 – June 2017

Topic matter and webinar schedules are subject to change

Stay in contact for programming announcements

 

At a Glance…

 

2016

 

July                 The Perfect Storm – Economic Impact of Changes in the Recycling Industry

August            Recycled Metals Commodities Markets Update

September    The Impact of Glass Recycling in the Glass Container Industry

October          Battery Recycling 101

November      How to Sell your Organization to Foundations, Corporations, and Other Non-recycling Funding Sources

December      Environmental Justice Issues for Recycling Facility Development Projects

                                           

Coming Soon!!! – SMM Webinar Schedule for 2017

 

Topics will include:

PET Container Recycling Markets Trends and Challenges

Commercial Recycling: Drivers, Problems and Solutions

The Closed Loop Fund Update

Zero Waste in New York City – A Case Study

 

July 2016

The Perfect Storm – Economic Impact of Changes in the Recycling Industry

An industry expert will discuss the challenges recycling is facing, including changes in stream composition, rising labor costs, increasing maintenance and processing costs, and depressed commodity prices. Adapting to these challenges will require public and private sectors working together. Individuals must also understand and take on the costs of recycling as well as the negative impacts placing undesirable materials in the bin.

Tuesday July 19, 2016/1:30 – 2:45PM EDT

Presenter – Robert Anderson, Mid Atlantic Regional Business Development Manager, ReCommunity Recycling

Topic Subject Matter – Recycling Commodity Markets

Technical Complexity – Moderate

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7953074743351874050

 

August 2016

Recycled Metals Commodities Markets Update

An industry expert will provide an update of the recent turmoil in the metal commodities markets with a focus on recycled scrap metal.

Tuesday August 23, 2016/1:30 – 2:45PM EDT

Presenter – Joseph Pickard, Chief Economist and Director of Communications, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)

Topic Subject Matter – Recovered Metals Commodities Markets

Technical Complexity – Moderate/High

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2194360602919440899

 

September 2016

The Impact of Glass Recycling in the Glass Container Industry

An expert in glass cullet purchasing and customer relations will explain the benefits of using recycled glass when making new glass containers, including, reduced energy consumption resulting in lower emissions, and 100% recyclability of the feedstock with no waste material in the forming process. In addition, several obstacles with using recycled cullet will be detailed, including, contamination that causes imperfections in the containers, which results in lost production efficiency, increased accident potential from glass related injury.

Tuesday September 20, 2016/ 1:30 – 2:45PM EDT

Presenter: Pam Baylor, Director of Purchasing and Customer Service, Anchor Glass

Topic Subject Matter – Recycled Glass Cullet

Technical Complexity – Moderate

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8303427526752346881

 

October 2016

Battery Recycling 101

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that Americans purchase and use nearly 3 billion dry cell batteries every year to power our electronic devices. The improper handling and disposal of batteries can create serious safety concerns and contaminate the environment. A professional battery recycler will provide an overview of make-up and characteristics of batteries that we use every day, the laws that regulate the handling transportation, recycling and disposal, and how batteries are processed and recycled.

Tuesday October 18, 2016/1:30 – 2:45PM EDT

Presenter: John Kincaide, President, E-Waste Brokerage Inc.

Topic Subject Matter – Battery Recycling

Technical Complexity – Moderate/ High

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7408915443950468611

 

November 2016

How to Sell your Organization to Foundations, Corporations, and Other Non-recycling Funding Sources

Marketing and promoting a nonprofit organization is a complex and ongoing task. Learn how to be successful at acquiring and sustaining funding for your NPO.

Tuesday November 15, 2016/1:30 – 2:45PM EST

Presenter: John O’Malley, Principal, O’Malley International Associates

Topic Subject Matter – Non-Profit Organization Funding

Technical Complexity – Moderate

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6704286820220531203

 

December 2016

Environmental Justice Issues for Recycling Facility Development Projects

This webinar will discuss the “Science of Inequality” as it relates to environmental justice issues faced by solid waste management and recycling facility projects. The term “Inequality” will be defined and the “Math” that quantifies the factors that influence it will be addressed.

Tuesday December 20, 2016/1:30 – 2:45PM EST

Presenter: John G. Waffenschmidt, Vice President, Environmental Science and Community Affairs, Covanta Energy

Topic Subject Matter – Environmental Justice

Technical Complexity – Moderate/ High

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2255248258355222787

 

About the National Recycling Coalition, Inc.

The National Recycling Coalition is a national non-profit advocacy group; a professional membership organization. The Mission of the National Recycling Coalition is to partner with and facilitate activities between and among non-profit organizations (NGO’s), businesses, trade associations, individuals and government to maintain a prosperous and productive American recycling system that is committed to the conservation of natural resources.  

Nearly 3000 members of the NRC span all aspects of waste reduction, reuse and recycling (local recycling coordinators, state and federal regulators, corporate environmental managers, environmental educators, consumers and waste management professionals) The Coalition represents and advocates for every sector of the recycling industry across the country. (on the local, state and federal levels). The leadership of the NRC strives to develop meaningful partnerships with corporate, government, and non-profit leaders to bring about important changes in the way we use, manage, and recycle natural resources. The Coalition provides its members with the tools and resources they need to convey to their community members, decision makers, and the news media the important benefits that recycling provides to our economy and environment.

 

National Recycling Coalition

1220 L St NW, Suite 100-155, Washington DC 20005

202.618.2107

info@NRCrecycles.org

 

 

About the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc.

Experts helping industry decision makers, entrepreneurs, inventors, and recyclers, the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC) is a non-profit corporation with a mission to expand and develop markets for recycled materials; stimulate demand for products with recycled content; and understand up-to-date market trend data. RMC supports the recycling supply chain – manufacturers, end-users of recycled materials and products, recycling processors, haulers, and ultimately the consumer. Beginning at the demand-side of recycling markets, services include one-on-one materials management technical assistance and business growth consultancy; industry outreach and programming; applied research; and service as an enterprise portal to recycling markets development information. RMC strategically collaborates with many environmental, economic development, and technical assistance organizations – reducing barriers and fast-tracking time to market for processes or products that use Pennsylvania’s recycled materials.

 

Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc.

Penn State Harrisburg, Church Hall 3rd Floor, Middletown, PA 17057

717.798.6660

info@parmc.org

The Association of Plastic Recyclers responds to plastic can recyclability claims

July 5, 2016

The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the international trade organization representing the plastics recycling industry, responded today to claims by plastic can manufacturers that their products are recyclable, pointing out that a PET can with a metal lid contaminates the PET recycling stream. APR urges caution to those companies considering the use of plastic cans.

Read the full article at: The Association of Plastic Recyclers

Image courtesy of Algont CC-SA 3.0

Recycling, Litter, & Waste Organizations Disapprove of Electronics Recycling Legislation and Proposed Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 21, 2016

(Harrisburg, PA) – In an unprecedented alliance of solidarity, five (5) of Pennsylvania’s recycling, litter, and waste management organizations representing key stakeholder factions affected by the Covered Device Recycling Act (CDRA), Act 108 of 2010 have united in disapproval of CDRA and its proposed amendment, (HB1900 Ross). The Electronics Recycling Association of Pennsylvania (ERAP); Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB); the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC); the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP); and the Keystone Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) are in consensus on the steps necessary to revamp and greatly improve access to electronic waste recycling opportunities for Pennsylvania citizens.

“CDRA inadvertently created an environment in which a once growing, Pennsylvania electronics waste recycling industry nearly collapsed,” stated Ned Eldridge, ERAP President. “This forced counties and recyclers across Pennsylvania to reduce or abandon their once productive programs.” According to a recent survey conducted by RMC in conjunction with Penn State, many e-waste collection sites and services are now inadequate to handle all devices as covered by the law and in many counties have ultimately ceased.

“We all concur that HB1900 will not remedy the situation,” said Jennifer Summers, PROP Executive Director. Shannon Reiter, KPB President agrees, “Strong similarities in member and stakeholder feedback independently experienced by each group reinforces that HB1900, like CDRA, fails to incentivize electronics manufacturers to fulfill their obligations and does not ensure a level playing field for collection programs; scrap recyclers; transporters; and most importantly, Pennsylvania consumers.”

The alliance has asked the Pennsylvania Legislature to review and consider their technical concerns, and have offered concepts for a comprehensive sustainable solution. Keystone SWANA President Robert Zorbaugh stressed, “The recommendations were authored by industry and policy experts and supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders that includes county and local governments.”

The full list of concerns and recommendations are available at http://www.ewastepa.org a website developed by KPB to help educate the public about CDRA and related issues.

A sampling of the recommendations include:

Clearly defined Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) responsibilities Including a timeline to ensure reasonable and uninterrupted financial continuity to support the operation along with monetary incentives linked with performance criteria to promote efficiency, and cost reduction;

Comprehensive service coverage through a state organized system of services which assure that collection sites would operate in each county with or without the need for local government resources and responsibility.

Minimum standards for collection sites to help manage and control operational excesses and costs by site operators;

Just compensation and fair pricing by establishing a competitive bidding process for the State Default Plan services. The bill should require Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to cover the cost of all covered materials physically collected, transported, and processed under the system throughout the entire year;

Allowances for new technologies and options for cathode ray tube glass management, i.e., tube televisions and computer monitors;

Shared consumer responsibility for the program through inclusion of a reasonable point-of-purchase fee dedicated to fund administration, enforcement, education, and research/development but not the cost of recovery and processing which would remain the responsibility of the OEMs. Retailers should retain a portion of the fee (suggested $ 0.03) as compensation for their costs.

Each organization welcomes feedback and questions concerning electronics waste recycling issues; questions should be directed through the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center at rbylone@pennrmc.org or 717.948.6660.

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For Organizational Information:

Electronics Recycling Association of Pennsylvania
http://www.ecyclingpa.com/

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
http://www.keeppabeautiful.org/

Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center
http://www.pennrmc.org/

Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania
http://www.proprecycles.org/

Keystone Chapter Solid Waste Association of North America
http://www.keystoneswana.org/

EWaste Legislation Concerns & Recommendations

 

EWaste Legislation Concerns & Recommendations (PDF)

1 Billion Pounds – Recycling Markets Center Releases PA E-Waste Survey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   |   June 10, 2016

(HARRISBURG, PA) – Over the last 5 months the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC) in partnership with the Center for Survey Research at Penn State Harrisburg completed a state-wide survey of Pennsylvanians to understand how much e-waste is likely destined for Pennsylvania recycling programs.

The survey was part of the Spring 2016 Penn State Poll.  Results are summarized as follows:

  • Less than half (44.4%) of Pennsylvanians know where to recycle electronics.
  • 65% of Pennsylvanians are willing to travel 10 miles or less to recycle electronics.
  • 50% of Pennsylvanians reported they do not want to pay anything to recycle their electronics.

With few “no charge” collection sites across the state that accept all electronics specified in Pennsylvania’s recycling law; a local distance a recycler is willing to travel, and half of Pennsylvanians not willing to accept an electronics recycling charge, electronics recycling is challenging at best.

Using the state-wide survey data, the RMC estimates and summarizes as follows:

  • Residentially, there are approximately 6.8 million tube televisions and tube computer monitors (CRTs) combined remaining in Pennsylvania, with an average weight of 58 pounds, down from an estimated 8.2 million units in 2015.
  • Residentially, the combined, estimated weight of tube televisions and CRT tube computer monitors in Pennsylvania is 396 million pounds.
  • The total Pennsylvania residential count of in use and out of use electronics equipment, including tube
    TVs, tube and flat computer monitors, flat screen TVs, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, pads, e-readers, printers, keyboards, mice/trackpads, and wireless routers is approximately:

694 MILLION PENNSYLVANIA ELECTRONIC DEVICES

  • The total Pennsylvania residential weight of in use and out of use electronics equipment, including tube TVs, tube and flat computer monitors, flat screen TVs, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, pads, e-readers, printers, keyboards, mice/trackpads, and wireless routers is approximately:

1 BILLION POUNDS of PENNSYLVANIA ELECTRONIC DEVICES

This is the equivalent weight of approximately 3,473 Statue of Liberty monuments.

It is important to know this survey does not define consumer intent – this does not account for when a Pennsylvanian may choose to recycle their electronic device, it may be this year or any other time in the future…

With limited locations that are reasonably accessible for recovery of lead-glass computer monitors and tube TVs and with significant amounts of these and newer electronics in our recycling, it is easily demonstrated why Pennsylvania needs a consolidated electronics recycling law.

Unfortunately, under Pennsylvania’s Covered Device Recycling Act, Act 108 of 2010, consumer outlets for recycling of waste electronics continues to decline.  According to Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center 2016 findings, only 32 collection sites state-wide accept all covered electronic devices at no charge to the consumer as specified in the Act.

What is needed to find a solution that provides relief to this economy?  We offer a few ideas to consider:

  • A consolidated, specific law, that is not deeply layered, that does not lead to interpretation.
  • Fair, competitive, and balanced criteria for establishing and sustaining collection, transportation, and recovery of electronics.
  • Expanded options for management of tube TV and computer monitor lead-containing glass.
  • Require reporting details that allow for data tracking and trend analysis, such that business forecasting and scientific review can be done.
  • Offer sound, organized, infrastructure such that a disposal ban of electronics waste is not a ban without a plan.

Experts helping industry decision makers, the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center, Inc. (RMC) is a non-profit corporation with mission to expand and develop markets for recycled materials.  Services include one-on-one materials management technical assistance; business growth consultancy; industry outreach and programming; applied research; and service as a portal to recycling markets development information – fast tracking time to market for use of Pennsylvania’s recycled materials.  The Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and is headquartered at Penn State Harrisburg.

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Download: PDF
Contact:  Robert Bylone
Executive Director, Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center

717.948.6660   |   Email