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It’s a new year, and the Northeast Resource Recovery Association’s (NRRA) annual recycling conference will be held virtually over two mornings: Monday, May 10th and Tuesday, May 11th from 8:00 AM to noon EST. We are inviting solid waste and recycling operators and supervisors, department of public works staff, town administrators, select board members, recycling committee members, government officials, state legislators, school teachers, administrators and students, and residents interested in recycling and waste reduction to join us.

The conference agenda features engaging speakers who will discuss six key topics currently faced by the solid waste and recycling industry. On Monday, attendees will learn about Engaging Residents with Municipal Recycling , Waste Reduction Strategies – Reduce, Reuse, Rot , and Recycling Safely During COVID-19 . On Tuesday, our presenters will discuss National & Local Recycling Markets and Market Specifications , Plastics...Read more


You may be wondering why you’ve heard so much from us lately about Bills of Lading, (aka BOL’s). Recently, a situation arose that further demonstrates why they are so important, so we are sharing this as an example. We were contacted by a member town telling us that their invoice did not match what they sent. We looked for a Bill of Lading, but we did not have one on file because the town had not sent one. We contacted the vendor who, in turn, sent us a copy of their slip that was signed by the town. That slip had a detailed list of items that was being loaded. Without the Bill of Lading, we have nothing to compare to. Because the slip was signed by the town, and because we had no BOL on file, we had no way of disputing this on behalf of the...Read more

Patrick Pinkson-Burke

It is with heartfelt sorrow that I share the news of the passing of Patrick (Pat) Pinkson-Burke. Patrick died unexpectedly on February 22, 2021 at the young age of 71. As many of you may recall, Pat was an integral part of the NRRA for nine years having served a Member Services Representative in 1998 and 1999 and subsequently on NRRA’s Board of Trustees from 2004-2011. I will always remember Pat’s dedication, compassion, and kindness.

NRRA Trustee and former Board President Duncan Watson shared his memories of Pat. “Patrick and I were classmates in graduate school in the early 90’s. We both found a passion in the world of recycling and solid waste management. A forever hippie who kept his eye on the precious earth we all share, Patrick made a difference and he will be sorely missed.”

Former NRRA Staffer Susy Mansfield...Read more


Marc Morgan, Solid Waste Manager at Lebanon, NH Recycling Center, led a conversation about municipal composting as the guest speaker for NRRA’s March 10 Member Operations and Marketing (MOM) meeting. Thirty-six members gathered online to hear how Lebanon has been accepting food scraps from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth College for the last ten years.

When planning to compost food scraps, NH communities, please remember to contact Mike Nork at NHDES to discuss your plans. Composting meat and dairy products with food scraps will likely require requesting a waiver of the current NHDES regulations or a permit modification, depending on your situation. It is recommended to tour a nearby municipality that is already composting to see it in action.

First, start small with a pilot study when composting. That way, if there are problems with contamination, you will know who to talk with to explain what is...Read more


What is "two-stage separation"? Some of our experienced municipal members have learned that the best way to keep contamination out of their recyclables is to have residents drop off the material in either a designated bin or on a table. Many recycling centers do not have full-time staff available to watch everyone drop-off their recyclables, so this process allows residents a place to leave items to be sorted daily or hourly. Good signage helps residents know what to do, and then the recycling facility staff can have the confidence that, when they sell their material to market through NRRA, it is clean and will receive the highest value.

Littleton, NH has a separate bin for residents to drop off cardboard, and Sunapee, NH has a table set up for glass jars and bottles assuring material is inspected prior to going in the baler or in a roll-off container....Read more


Member Services Representatives noticed that trucking prices have recently increased, so we reached out to Mike Schafer, Sales Team Leader at Total Quality Logistics (TQL) to ask why. Basically, there are a lot more full tractor trailer loads of recyclables available right now than there are trucks. Once COVID-19 started and businesses shut down, there were many more trucks than there were loads due to all of the closings and businesses not shipping material. Those factors drove the cost of trucking March-June of 2020 way down to where drivers weren’t making a whole lot of money and it put about 80,000 of them out of business. That’s why the hauling market started to tighten up in the second half of last year.

After the unusual frozen temperatures in Texas, there were a large number of trucks stuck down there unable to get loads off of their trucks due to...Read more


In October 2020, NRRA Executive Director Reagan Bissonnette recorded a MassRecycle Podcast episode with Gretchen Carey and Waneta Trabert, President and Vice President of MassRecycle. They discussed NRRA's glass recycling programs, including NRRA's new glass recycling StoryMap , which shows how over 100 municipalities in NH, VT and MA are successfully recycling glass for over 500,000 residents. They also talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted municipal solid waste and recycling facility operations, as well as recycling markets. The 35-minute episode was recently published and is available for anyone to listen.

Reagan also took the opportunity to share NRRA's appreciation for the work of solid waste operators during the pandemic. Thank you to our solid waste operators! We appreciate the essential work you do.

"One thing I really would like to stress is just how incredibly grateful I am to all the solid waste operators and...Read more
Celebrating 40 Years of Making Recycling Strong

Did you know that 2021 marks NRRA's 40th anniversary? In 1981, four New Hampshire municipalities founded the Northeast Resource Recovery Association, then called the New Hampshire Resource Recovery Association, to provide a clearinghouse for current, up-to-date information and a source of technical and marketing assistance in the general areas of waste reduction and recycling. Since then, membership in NRRA has grown to include over 400 municipalities, individuals, and businesses in New England. We're asking our members to help us celebrate our 40th anniversary by sharing how NRRA has benefited your community. We'll then share some of these stories on our website, in future Full of Scrap newsletters, and other communications throughout 2021.

How to Participate

Using the below form, please describe in one to three sentences the value of your experience with NRRA. Consider answering one of the following questions:

...Read more

NRRA Annual Compost Bin Sale is Back for 2021!

Individuals are more likely to compost their food scraps if they have the tools/equipment readily accessible at their home. Help offset the amount of food scraps ending up in your town's MSW by offering Compost Bin Sale items for sale to your residents!

Items Available to Order (MUST ORDER in full pallets):

Compost Bins

Compost Turners

Rain Barrels

Kitchen Pails

Get All the Information & Sign Up for the Sale!

Why should NRRA municipal members consider participating in this compost bin sale?

Food scraps are heavy, and therefore expensive to dispose of as municipal solid waste. Nationwide, food scraps comprise 24% by weight of the material going into our landfills, which makes food scraps the largest single...Read more


Marc Morgan, Solid Waste Manager for the City of Lebanon and Member of NRRA, is helping to demystify recycling as part of the Beyond the Curb: Recycling 101 course at the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute at Dartmouth. Virtual classes included talking about the global impacts of recycling, contamination, emerging technologies and more. Classes were taught by NRRA's Executive Director, Reagan Bissonnette, on recycling markets, and by Member Services Representative, Heather Herring, on behavior change and recycling. This engaged group of NH and VT residents had thoughtful questions for the presenters with a lively dialogue that they can bring to their towns and on their recycling journeys.

For example, in the class on behavior change, Heather asked why some recycling facilities are welcoming, engaged social places with signs and gardens and informed residents while other facilities are less welcoming where both staff and residents are defensive, tense, and frustrated. We...Read more