Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Resource Recycling Conference will not be happening as a live event in 2020. But you can still get critical municipal recycling insight from a range of leaders through "The New Normal," a series of Resource Recycling webinars set to take place throughout July and August. There is no fee to attend, but registration is required.
This year's keynote speaker will be Kate Bailey. Kate is the Policy and Research Director for Eco-Cycle, based in Boulder, Colorado. Eco-Cycle is one of the oldest and largest non-profit recycling organizations in the world and has 44 years of hands-on experience with nearly every aspect of the recycling stream, including hauling materials, MRF operations, education and outreach programs, local and state legislation, advocacy, and hard-to-recycle material collections. Kate is a national expert in creating community infrastructure, policies and programs to reduce waste and increase recycling, and has experience working with a wide range of stakeholders all along the supply chain to advance a circular economy.
The Nebraska Recycling Council has grant funds of up to $20,000 for the purchase of recycling equipment. Funding for these grants is provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. Any Nebraska organization including schools, municipalities and other government entities, nonprofit organizations and recycling companies are eligible.
One of our favorite things to do each year is recognize the recycling champions among us. All NRC members are eligible to win awards, which will be presented at our (now virtual!) 2020 Fall Conference "Building Resilience | Strengthening Recycling Systems" in October. If you are an NRC member and are proud of the work you have done, apply! If you are excited about the work one of our member organizations has done, nominate them! You can see a list of NRC members HERE. The deadline for applications is July 31st!
Founded in 2009, Ripple Glass is a glass processor located in Kansas City, MO. Ripple accepts recycled glass from a nine-state region across the Midwest and brings it back to their facility for sorting and processing. The recycled glass is sent to Owens Corning in Kansas City, MO to be made into fiberglass insulation as well as Ardagh in Tulsa, OK to be made into glass bottles. We spoke with Josh Boyer, Regional Program Manager at Ripple Glass, to get an inside look at how Ripple Glass operates.
As Nebraska municipalities are navigating their own “new normal” with recycling in a pandemic, we here at NRC believe this moment can be one of our greatest opportunities for strengthening programs and building more resilient systems for the long-term. Solutions such as contracting, measurement, and education will result in collecting the quality and quantity of recyclable materials necessary for manufacturing and to close the loop for resource recovery. The Recycling Partnership has released a new Guide to Community Material Recovery Facility Contracts as well as a webinar on How to Build a Better MRF Contract. TRP continues to educate on the topics of keeping materials moving and municipal measurement for recycling in their New Normal Webinar Series this summer.
The City of Lincoln is consolidating its recycling sites from 19 to four or five trailers by the year’s end, in response to city budget constraints. The remaining sites will be upgraded to hold more material and the reduced number will ease contamination issues, which can raise recycling costs and lessen the value of the materials.
The Nebraska Recycling Council attended the July 22nd David City City Council Meeting to answer questions on contracted curbside garbage collection and recycling services, which can lower costs for communities while increasing recycling rates. Leah Meyer, NRC Program Manager, shared data on average regional costs and haulers operating within Butler and the contiguous counties.