Full of Scrap Newsletter- January 13, 2021
Your source for recycling & waste reduction news in the Northeast (and beyond).
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COVID-19 Vaccine Availability & Disposal
In response to questions from our members, NRRA reviewed the available information about when solid waste operators can expect to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and how to handle disposal of any vaccine waste received at transfer stations. 

Availability of COVID-19 Vaccine for Solid Waste Operators
The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for solid waste operators varies by state. In New Hampshire and Vermont, the vaccine distribution plans do not provide a specific category for solid waste operators. Instead, solid waste operators will have access to the vaccine depending primarily on age and medical vulnerability based on a range of underlying medical conditions. In Massachusetts, sanitation and public works staff are included in Phase 2 of priority (out of 3 phases) and can expect to receive the vaccine in February or March 2021. 

Which Came First: The Chickens or the Food Scraps?
Shannon Choquette, Outreach Coordinator of NRRA municipal member Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District in Vermont, spoke with NRRA recently about their successful food scraps composting program. In addition to managing solid waste and recycling, they assist in collecting totes of food scraps from 23 Vermont communities, and then sending those scraps to farms to be composted. The goal is to reduce tonnage going to Vermont’s landfill. 
Some of these community-to-farm partnerships go back to 2007, when the district started a pilot project to offer food scrap collection at recycling centers, providing an easy drop-off location for residents to voluntarily dispose of food scraps. This program was easy to start, since NEKWMD’s truck drivers visit the recycling centers weekly to collect recyclables. The drivers were trained to safely pick up the totes and pre-screen them for contaminants. 

NRRA Composting Through the Seasons
Composting during the summer months is easy, but what about composting the rest of the year? Join NRRA Education Manager, Heather Herring, as she explores composting through the seasons in your own backyard.

VIDEO: Baling Plastics Without Cardboard Headers

Join NRRA's member, Josh Whipple, Manager of the Swanzey Recycling Center, as he demonstrates baling plastic recycling without cardboard headers during a Members Operations Marketing meeting. Some plastic vendors no longer accept cardboard headers on plastic bales. The automated debaling process is not able to handle cutting off the cardboard for safety reasons, and it slows down the processing of the plastic when it comes off the truck. Recorded on March 6, 2019.

Update to Best Management Practices for Recycling Facilities During COVID-19 - Recording Now Available
On December 18, 2020, Reagan Bissonnette, NRRA Executive Director, met virtually with Dr. Ben Locwin, an expert on infectious disease epidemiology, for a much-anticipated second webinar to discuss COVID-19 best management practices for recycling and solid waste facilities. 

Dr. Locwin presented on issues that are top of mind during the spike in COVID-19 cases, including the status of developing a vaccine, the best types of masks based on scientific studies, what we know about surface transmission, and how to effectively ventilate buildings and vehicles as we approach winter. Following his presentation, Dr. Locwin answered questions from attendees. 

In addition to the webinar recording and presentation slides, a transcript of the webinar with time stamps is provided for reference purposes.

Deductions and Fees: Keep Containers Clean & Accessible!
It's winter in New England and that means snow, freezing rain and ice. As a reminder to all of our marketing members, please remember to keep all of your dumpsters & containers covered and the roofs clear of snow, ice and debris.

Many of our Vendors deduct money from your revenues if there is snow, ice and water in with your recyclable materials. Other vendors charge extra fees for debris weighing down your MSW/Trash containers. Furthermore, due to Jessica's Law, it is illegal for haulers to transport any container with snow/ice on it and it is, in many cases, a liability for our haulers and vendors to attempt to clean off town owned/maintained containers, therefore they arrive to find a container covered in snow/ice or blocked in by it, they will refuse to move it and are within their rights to charge a "truck not used" fee.
NRRA Summer Webinar Recording Spotlight: The Battery of Things-Lithium Battery Safety
The "Internet of Things" will add 40 billion connected devices in the next 5 years, including drones, e-scooters, e-bicycles, and more, many of which will be powered by lithium batteries. These potentially combustible batteries will end up at northeast waste facilities and businesses, and require new training, packaging, and recycling methods. This recorded webinar includes best safety, storage, and transportation practices, featuring new solutions, like CellBlockEX, a recycled glass granule that extinguishes lithium fires. Prepare your facility for the future of batteries.

The January NRRA Pricing Guide is Now Available
Our website has a section that houses the NRRA Monthly Pricing Guide as well as many other pricing lists. These pricing lists are only accessible to NRRA Municipal Voting Members. If you are an NRRA Municipal Voting Member and want access to this part of the website, simply visit the site to create your new username and password.

The Fiber market continues to improve as does Scrap Metal and Aluminum Cans. Read Bonnie Bethune's full market update for January.

Announcements:

  • ANNUAL ACTIVITY REPORTS & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORTS - We are working diligently to get all of the 2020 data added to our system and hope to get the reports out on or around January 19, 2021
  • NRRA CLOSED- MLK Jr. Day; January 18, 2021
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Epsom, NH 03234
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