July 2019
E-newsletter highlighting grant deadlines, upcoming workshops and available resources for municipal recycling and solid waste leaders.
Municipal Measurement Program

The Municipal Measurement Program (MMP) is a powerful platform to track key municipal recycling program metrics, run insightful analytics, and link directly to tools that improve program performance. The MMP was created by The Recycling Partnership in partnership with RE-TRAC.

At the June 2019 SWAC meeting, Rick Penner of RE-TRAC shared that the main goals of this national initiative are to:

  • standardize recycling measurement across the country
  • turn data into knowledge
  • transform recycling systems to be more effective

Sample MMP surveys:

CT DEEP received grant to use MMP for one year
Although MMP is free for municipalities to use and tracks municipality information, there is a fee for state agencies to use. In late May 2019, DEEP learned they are one of three states to receive grant funds to begin using MMP. Connecticut is one of the earliest states to adopt this program.

DEEP looking for municipalities interested in using MMP
While this won't be replacing DEEP's current municipal reporting requirements at this time, DEEP is piloting this system to see if it might eventually replace some sections of the reporting requirements. Is your municipality interested in piloting the MMP with DEEP? Please reach out to Chris Nelson .

Want to learn a bit more?

Link to Rick Penner's presentation at the June 2019 SWAC meeting on the Municipal Measurement Program. 

School Resources
Wilton School District Examines Food Scraps and Wasted Food

In 2016, a class project at Middlebrook Middle School inspired their cafeteria’s food waste diversion program and transformed the Wilton School District. Assisted by the Center for EcoTechnology, Middlebrook now collects food scraps for composting and also have a 'sharing'. Check out the video of their program.
CT Green LEAF Schools

The CT Green LEAF Schools is now an initiative of COEEA (CT Outdoor & Environmental Education Association). 

COEEA is a network of classroom educators, naturalists, environmental educators, youth leaders, administrators, professors, and students committed to helping other better understand the natural and built environments. COEEA is a great fit for the expanding and diverse Green LEAF Schools program developed by Laurel Kohl, who retired last year.

Connecticut Green LEAF Schools is a free statewide initiative to help K-12 schools grow “greener.” Any public or private school in Connecticut is welcome  to join.

Connecticut Green LEAF Schools are schools:
  • Provide effective environmental and sustainability education
  • Improve the health and wellness of students and staff
  • Reduce environmental impact and cost of the resources used in the school

The program is a partnership of state organizations, environmental and educational groups who have interests in sharing resources to help schools grow “greener.”

Schools can  join   at any time. Check out  our member schools ! From “planting seeds”—Level 1 schools just starting on a green path with their initial self-assessment, to Level 2–schools that are “growing green”, there is support for all, with resources and lessons, and professional development.

Green LEAF Schools have access to professional development. Learn more about upcoming Green LEAF School workshops.

Exemplary schools may go on to be recognized by US Department of Education as  Green Ribbon Schools .

Please encourage schools in your community to become a CT Green leaf School!
School Recycling Workshop

CT Green LEAF, COEEA and Zero Waste Schools will be hosting a statewide " School Recycling Workshop " on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 9:00am-3:00pm at CCSU, New Britain, CT. More information coming soon.
Are You On The Map?

The Institute of Local Self-Reliance has a new Composting for Community Map. It's an interactive tool for identifying community composters and supportive policies. 

This includes schools, municipalities, community gardens and farms that engage in on-site composting, and micro-haulers! It also includes policies such as the Home Composting Incentives Act D.C. passed, or NYC's supporting commercial waste zones that allow micro hauling and food rescue.

Help populate the Composting for Community Map and show off the good work you're doing in Connecticut!
Single-Use Plastic Bags

Lee Sawyer provided a legislative update at the June 2019 SWAC meeting which included an update on plastic bags.

The Two-Year State Budget was passed and included an amendment about single use plastic bags. It imposes a 10-cent tax on single-use plastic bags provided at the point of sale August 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021 and bans them beginning July 1, 2021.

You can find the State budget here , see information about plastic bags starting on page 175.

The Department of Revenue Services will be informing retailers of this new tax.
Compostable Shopping Bag Trial
BioCycle 5/9/19 update

In Winter 2018-2019, New England Compost in Danbury, Connecticut was invited to participate in a trial of compostable shopping bags from a number of retail sources.

New England Compost (NEC) is a medium-scale aerated static pile facility that composts yard trimmings and source separated food scraps.

The test protocol involved putting the shopping bags into nondegradable mesh bags along with some food scraps and yard trimmings. The mesh bags were then buried in the active windrow so that the shopping bags would be exposed to the microbial action of the composting process.

Jeff Demers, NEC's CEO, reports that after 65 days of active composting and maturation, "there was nothing noticeable" of the compostable shopping bags during the screening process.

Data from the trial includes: Phase I (30 days at >165°F for 16 days); Phase II (20 days at >156°F for 15 days), and maturation period of 15 days.

Link to powerpoint presentation Jeff Demers of New England Compost presented at SWAC meeting in March 2019 .
New Fact Sheet from NERC/NEWMOA

What Can We Do as Consumers About Climate Change?

The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) have published a Fact Sheet to help consumers understand the impact they can make on climate change.

The goal of this initiative is to build public awareness about what individual actions consumers can take to have a positive impact on climate change.

The Fact Sheet emphasizes that a significant percentage of greenhouse gases are associate with the production, transportation, and disposal of materials and products. In fact, one recent study has found that greenhouse gas releases from consumption are increasing even as those from direct use of energy by consumers in their homes and for transportation are decreasing. The Fact Sheet includes ten steps that consumers can take to make a difference.
New Report: EPR for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Could Save Vermont Governments Millions
Last year, an EPR bill for HHW ( H.560 ) passed the Vermont House but failed to pass the Senate. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation hired PSI to answer key stakeholder questions arising from the legislative process. PSI's report analyzes the potential impacts of the program described in the bill and provides recommendations for effective implementation.

A similar bill ( H 75 ) is in play this year. PSI and the Vermont Product Stewardship Council are working together to improve the bill and support its passage.
Source: Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)
Summary of Announced Increased Capacity to Use Recycled Paper – Updated April 2019

Last fall, NERC published a document chronicling national investment in paper recycling infrastructure. The list was produced by the NERC-NEWMOA Regional Recycling Markets Committee. The Committee’s goal is to identify and implement strategies to promote and enhance recycling markets in the region.

With a new facility announcement, this resource has now been updated.

For further information, contact Lynn Rubinstein , NERC Executive Director or Chaz Miller , Chair of the NERC-NEWMOA Regional Recycling Markets Committee.

Source: Northeast Recycling Council (NERC)
Mattress Recycling Council News

Dan McGowan is the new Northeast Program Coordinator for the Mattress Recycling Council. The Mattress Recycling Council is the non-profit organization dedicated to the development and implementation of the statewide mattress recycling program in Connecticut.

As the Northeast Program Coordinator, he will be your main MRC contact and will oversee the mattress recycling programs in Connecticut.

If you currently participate in the program, you can contact Dan McGowan with questions about acceptable mattresses, hauling and container issues, data inquiries, new signage, or any other question that arise. Dan will be visiting CT sites over the next number of months so please be on the lookout for him. 

If you are not participating in the program, please go to our website www.byebyemattress.com or contact Dan for more information about coming on board.
Certification and Training for Solid Waste Facility Operators

These classes are for operators of Connecticut  transfer stations , volume reduction facilities, recycling facilities (MRFs/IPCs) and facilities authorized under a general permit.  Please find an upcoming training classes  at a time and place that works for you and your staff. 

Note: Operators who are currently certified no longer need to re-attend the certification class for a renewal Certificate. For renewals, simply submit an application form  within 6 months of your expiration date on your Certificate. New operators who have never been certified must submit an application, attend one of the listed certification classes and pass either a written or verbal examination. 

Operators must pre-register to attend any currently scheduled training classes. Please contact Carey L. Hurlburt  at (860) 424-3248 to either schedule a specific class or to register. 
What's IN? What's OUT?
Recent Questions from CT residents & Added to RecycleCT Wizard
Reviewing Padded Envelopes, Bubble Mailers

Everyday there are new products on retailer shelves and it is definitely a challenge to stay on top of them all. A few new items came in under the 'padded envelope' category and thought we should return to the topic, even though some of this products were added to Wizard and in newsletter in December 2018.

In general, all bubble mailers are OUT of the mixed recycling program.
Poly Bubble Mailers, padded envelopes that are lined with plastic, can be reused and are acceptable in the WRAP plastic film recycling program. Look for participating retailers who will accept your plastic bags, and other film such as poly bubble mailers.

Metallic Plastic Bubble Mailers are also padded envelopes, but due to the shiny/metallic covering, this is OUT of the WRAP plastic film recycling in addition to not being acceptable in the mixed recycling (aka single stream).
Amazon Prime recently unveiled they switched to poly bubble mailers and are acceptable in the WRAP plastic film recycling program. Amazon is also using the how2recycle label!

Note: Film recyclers (end-markets) are asking residents to remove the entire paper label on all poly bubble mailers.
Kraft Lined Bubble Mailers, or lined with any type of paper can be reused many times and after its useful life should be put in the trash.
CT In the News
Wilton merchants are ready for plastic bag fee (The Wilton Bulletin, June 27)
Orange Clarifies Recycling Rules for Residents (Milford-Orange Times, June 20)
Plastic Pollution and You (Hartford Courant, June 4)
“Bottle bill” drastically scaled back (The Middletown press, June 3)
Editorial: Making sense of recycling (My Record Journal, June 2)
Connecticut plastic bag ban pushed back to 2021 (The Middletown Press, May 29)
 Upcoming Events: 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm -  Bottle Bills - Benefits and Challenges webinar. For more information. Hosted by NERC.

Tuesday, July 22, 2019 - 1:00pm - What's Working, What's Not: Recycling Education, Promotion and Enforcement webinar. For more information. Hosted by CT DEEP.

Thursday, July 24, 2019 - 12:00pm - Education and Outreach Tools for Your Recycling Program, featuring Film and Flexible Packaging webinar. For more information. Hosted by The Recycling Partnership.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 9:00am - 12noon -  Engaging Residents in Better Recycling: Promotion, Outreach, Education and Enforcement.  Killingly Town Hall, Danielson. For more information . Hosted by Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm - U.S. Regulatory Approaches for Packaging webinar. For more information . Hosted by NERC.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 9:00am - 3:00pm -  School Recycling workshop. CCSU, New Britain. Additional information TBA. Hosted by CT Green LEAF, COEEA and Zero Waste Schools.
Have an idea or topic for future municipal recycling webinar? Let us know what you and your colleagues would like to learn more about. Contact Sherill Baldwin.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request an accommodation contact us at (860) 418-5910 or deep.accommodations@ct.gov.
CT DEEP | Source Reduction & Recycling Group | 860-424-4193 | www.ct.gov/deep/recycle