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Zero Waste Week – Full Schedule and Details!

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

Zero Waste Youth Convergence 5th Annual Conference, Sunday, 3/19/17
This event brings together high school and college students as well as young professionals in a full day dedicated to learning, visioning, organizing for Zero Waste and bringing this back to our schools and communities. Please check their WEBSITE for more details about last year’s event and this year’s details soon to come.

Screening of “A Plastic Ocean” Monday, 3/20/17,6pm, Marin Sanitary Service
Plastic Oceans has assembled a team of the world’s top scientists and leading film-makers to produce a powerful, high-end documentary in high definition ‘A Plastic Ocean’. Accompanied by scientists, conservationists, and engineers, the film follows the journey of two explorers as they travel to some of the most remote parts of the world, documenting the environmental issues associated with plastic pollution and its impact on the environment, ecosystems and human health. Panel discussion to follow (panelists not yet confirmed). Drinks and light food offered. Free for NCRA members, nominal donation for non-members. RSVP here.

22nd Annual Recycling Update – Tuesday, 3/21/17 – 8:30am – 4:30pm, Berkeley
Recycling Update is THE event of the season for Bay Area waste reduction professionals to learn about what’s new and different in discards management. The day features nearly 30 industry experts speaking on the spectrum of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot as well as networking opportunities, a delicious zero waste lunch, and plenty of ideas to bring home to your local municipalities.

Conference Format:

  • Ten-minute presentations
  • Zero Waste continental breakfast, gourmet lunch, and refreshments
  • Meet, discuss and network with folks in the field!
  • Easy BART access

It’s All About the Process(ing) Tour – Wednesday, 3/22/17 – 9am – 3pm
Most of the NCRA community is well-schooled on collection programs and outreach, but what happens next? Come see the next step in closing the loop.  We are lucky to have local Bay Area facilities with updated technologies to process collected materials into usable feedstocks. See here for all the tour info!

Want to know what happens to your glass bottles?  If you recycle a bottle in California, it goes to Strategic Materials – the largest glass recycler in the country.  If anyone toured their old facility in San Leandro, you’ll know that this is a fascinating and instructive tour!  Strategic has a new facility in Fairfield, and on this tour, you’ll see how glass is received, cleaned, and processed into cullet for production into new glass bottles and other products.

And what about food scraps, yard trimmings…and even the digestate we saw at our South San Francisco anaerobic digester tour a few months ago?  The Napa Recycling & Composting Facility has a new organics pre-processing line, receiving building, and all electric equipment to sort and process 80,000+tons/year of organics into feedstock for the onsite composting facility.  Many of us have seen MRF sort lines for recyclables, but you also need to see an organics sort line and processing operation to get insight into how California is going to get to that lofty goal of 75% of organics out of the landfill by 2025!

Tour participants will meet at a location to be determined in Berkeley at 9am, and the group will depart in two vans for a tour start time at 10am at Strategic Materials in Fairfield. No host lunch for the group will happen in the region from 11:45 until 12:45. Tour of the Napa Recycling & Composting Facility will start at 1 and end at 2:30, and the group will arrive back in Oakland/Berkeley by 3pm. Closed-toe shoes are required for the tour.

CRRA GRC Webinar: Next Steps to Zero Wasting in California, Thursday, 3/23/17, 12pm
Help us to plan the strategies and tactics we will need to maximize landfill reduction statewide.  Free workshop sponsored by the Global Recycling Council, a technical council of the California Resource Recovery Association. Sponsored by the National Recycling Coalition. See here for all the info and register here!

Dogtown Redemption, Thursday, 3/23/17, 6pm
Dogtown Redemption is the intimate story of recyclers in West Oakland—a journey through a landscape of love and loss, devotion and addiction, prejudice and poverty. Join us for a free screening, refreshments, and a Q&A session with the directors.  Register here!

Pier 96 New Processing Line Tour, Friday, 3/24/17, 10am – 12 noon
The multi-million upgrade at Pier 96 is impressive and provides an educational and exciting tour!  It is especially noteworthy that the upgrade was fit into, and around, the old system while it was operating. It has resulted in reduced residual, including capturing small pieces of material, such as shredded paper and more glass, and also has the ability to recover more material types like cartons, film plastic and textiles. The upgrade was designed based on the successful secondary MRF R&D efforts in LA that were recovering more than half of the SF residual that was sent to their facility. Register here, free admission, 25 attendees maximum.

West Contra Costa County Organic Materials Processing Facility Tour

The June 15th NCRA Board meeting will be preceded by a tour of Republic Services’ West Contra Costa County Organic Materials Processing Facility. The facility has recently installed a Covered Aerated Static Pile (CASP) composting system, which is becoming the standard in California.  It utilizes forced air instead of mechanical turning to aerate the piles, and the active compost piles are covered with a layer of finished compost to mitigate odors.

Residential and commercial yard trimmings and food scraps from Contra Costa County and beyond are composted at the facility.  The tour will also include the adjacent C&D processing operation, transfer station, landfill gas-to-energy plant, and driver training center.  Republic Services gave a presentation about the facility at the 2017 NCRA Recycling Update.  The slides from the presentation are here and the video here.

We will meet for the tour at 4:00 p.m. on June 15th at the trailer offices by the scale house at  1 Parr Blvd. in Richmond.  Carpools are encouraged! The tour will last until approximately 5:30 p.m.

Following the tour, we will drive separately to Republic Service’s offices – 3260 Blume Drive, Suite 200 – about 4 miles away for dinner (provided!) and the NCRA Board meeting. The meeting will conclude by 8:00 p.m. and is open to anyone who would like to attend. 

To attend, please follow this link and login with the email address you receive NCRA messages at; proceed to events, and then register.

Please reply to your confirmation registration email if you will be attending the dinner and meeting as well.  Thank you!

Recycling Update – Speaker Video Presentations!

We are pleased to share some of the video presentations from our 22nd Annual Recycling Update Conference.  More presentations are being added every day, so check back in, and view and share widely!

Giri Veeramuthu, Director of Quality, American Licorice Company – “Retailers and Manufacturers Striving for Sustainability Goals.”

Jackie Nunez, The Last Plastic Straw – “Speaking Truth to Plastic -The Last Plastic Straw Movement – A tipping point from Awareness to Action.”

Jerry Powell, Founder and Executive Editor, Resource Recycling, Inc. – “Recycling Markets, Real and Alternative Facts.”

Vanessa Pan, GO Box -“Filling in Emerging Needs Around Reuse.”

Komal Ahmad, CEO and Founder, Copia – “Solving the World’s Dumbest Problem: Food Waste.”

Susan Blachman – “Measuring and Recovering Wasted Edible Food in Alameda County.”

Wendi Shafir, EPA Pacific Southwest Region – “How K-12 Schools can improve student nutrition, save money and avoid wasting food.”

Adam Lowy, Move For Hunger -“Donate Your Food When You Move.”

Mark Murray, Executive Director for Californians Against Waste – “Update on the California Buyback Crisis.”

Melissa Romero, Policy Associate for Californians Against Waste – “Legislative Update & What to Expect.”

John Wick, Marin Carbon Project – “Creating Healthy Working Landscapes in California and Beyond.”

Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of the California Product Stewardship Council – “How Stewardship Efforts Are Impacting Operations and Budgets.”

Maria Javier -“Planning for Trash: A Regional Look at Municipal Perceptions of Solid Waste Management in Urban Planning.”

Don Litchfield, Area Post Collections Manager, Republic Services – “Transitioning from Standard Windrow Composting to Covered Aerated Static Pile – Lessons Learned.”

Amy Hammes, Recycling Specialist, City of Burbank – “The City of Burbank’s Master Recycler Program.”

Emily Coven, Recyclist – “A Silicon Valley Executive Walks Into the Solid Waste Industry…”

Dave Lentz, Wastexperts – “Supplemental Services for Commercial and Multifamily Dwellings.”

Lise Gorgone, Administrative Services Manager, City of Albuquerque Solid Waste Management Department – “Processes to Understand and Reduce Contamination in Curbside Recycling.”

Garth Schultz, Principal, R3 Consulting – “Recent Trends in Solid Waste Rate Setting.”

Bob Hollis, The Mobius Network LLC, – “GreenEducation.US Offers National Certification.”

Tim Aagard, Tiny Tots Diaper Service -“The Three R’s and Diapers.”

Shana Levy McCracken – “Innovations in Fashion—Implications for Waste.”

Dan Kurzrock, Co-Founder, ReGrained – “Edible Upcycling: Circular Economy Applications for the Food System.”

Wade Laughter, Cannabis Activist – “The Importance of Compost in the Production of Commercial Medical Cannabis.”

Need A Fun Zero Waste Game?

By Portia Sinnott, NCRA News Editor and founder of Zero Waste Sonoma County, 4/4/17

Need a fun, thought provoking game to play at Earth Day events or County Fair booths? I suggest my version of the old memory game Concentration. I have been using it to teach my cohousing neighbors and many others about recycling since 1999. Cute name suggestions welcome via the NCRA contact page; please select “Newsletter” as the Subject.

Instructions:

1) Place a mix of recyclable and non-recyclable items on a table.

2) Add a few disposables and their reuseable counterparts, as well as some small repairables and their non-repairable cousins.

3) Cover with a cloth which you pull off to start the game.

4) Perhaps use a big timer to add drama.

5) Give participants 10-20 seconds to memorize the contents, replace the cover and then ask them to write down all of the recyclable and reuseable items they remember.

6) The one who remembers the most items is declared the winner.

But wait, the game is not over! Use the uncovered mish-mash to discuss what is recyclable or not – in their community and why. Then introduce Zero Waste and how it is more and different than recycling. This game has proven to be a great way to get people to talk about recycling and Zero Waste in a fun and relaxed manner.

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Monthly Board Meeting – Thursday 4/20 at SF Dept. of Environment

All are welcome to attend the Thursday, April 20 meeting at the San Francisco Department of the Environment.

All are welcome to attend the Thursday, April 20 meeting at the San Francisco Department of the Environment. Dinner- probably pizza, is at 6pm followed by the meeting at 6:30pm. The address 1455 Market Street, near Van Ness, 3 blocks up Market from Civic Center BART Station. Street parking is available on 11th St. All attendees are required to RSVP in advance to ncra@ncrarecycles.org otherwise you won’t make it through Security. Directions

NCRA Meeting Agenda 4/20/17

Hosting Citywide Garage Sales

Both El Cerrito and Albany hold citywide garage sales on subsequent Saturdays in May.  Hosts must register at least a month in advance and pay a fee – El Cerrito – $16 and Albany – $10, to be included in the handouts and on-line map which are distributed the week before the sale.

El Cerrito, which often holds sales in the Spring and Fall, celebrated it’s 25th anniversary sale in 2015. Albany started their sales in 2009 in collaboration with El Cerrito. They now hold separate events. It is possible the collaboration was too big of success, resulting in a very complicated list and map.

Hosting Citywide Garage Sales
By Laurenteen Brazil, City of El Cerrito, CA
Do you host citywide garage sales? If not, why not? They are an excellent opportunity to promote reuse and community pride while reducing clutter. Depending on how an organization is structured, events can be coordinated by the staff that promotes sustainability – like the Public Works Department here in El Cerrito, or by the staff that promote events like the Recreation Department.

 The major elements to a successful citywide event include:

  • Determine administrative fee(s) as necessary
  • Establish an efficient registration process – both online and hardcopy
  • Develop an informative webpage
  • Select a date that doesn’t conflict with major events or activities
  • Conduct outreach to generate hosts and shoppers
  • Circulate press releases to generate event enthusiasm  – radio and newspapers
  • Coordinate newspaper ads listings
  • Design maps for distribution – online and hardcopy
  • Create banner(s) for advertisement purposes
  • Place ads in all in-house newsletters
  • Post flyers at major community-based businesses
  • Utilize social media to build interest – Facebook, Twitter, Next Door…

Partners: It may be useful to partner with a neighboring city or organization to share advertising and to promote community support. Events can be hosted on the same day to create a huge garage sale or successive Saturdays. Allow businesses and bordering cities to participate as partners or sale hosts. Shoppers will appreciate more locations to visit to find great goods at great prices.

Maps: Decide how best to design the map. Do you have a budget to use a designer or do you need to create it in-house? If you choose to use a printer, make sure they use soy-based inks and make sure to select the highest recycled-content paper provided. Limit hosts to a maximum of 20 words for sale descriptions to insure the map is a one page duplexed document.

Food and Drink: Decide whether or not to allow hosts to use food and beverage ads as enticements. Promoting foods prepared in unlicensed kitchens could potentially be problematic for a city. Once decisions are made, make sure to be consistent in providing that information to each host.

Photos: On the day of the event, take photos of different sales to use for upcoming outreach materials.

Post Event: Provide hosts with resource information to ensure unsold items do not end up in the landfill.

Survey: Plan to survey hosts as well as participants soon after the event in order to determine where improvements need to be made. The registration form should also include space for feedback to help generate new ideas and enhancement opportunities.

A well-organized citywide garage sale is fun for those that participate, benefits the environment by promoting reuse, reducing clutter and waste, and helping to foster a more connected community. Read more… El Cerrito and Albany.