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NRRA receives photos of material from our recycling facility operators every week. We share the photos with vendors who want to buy the material in the marketplace. Vendors have specific things they are looking for: weight and size of a bale, percent amount of allowable contamination, whether it has been stored inside, and how it has been contained (wires, gaylords, etc.) Sometimes we gasp in awe of a spectacular bale or a super clean gaylord of material. NRRA decided to share some of the photos we have on file to show everyone both exemplars of beautiful recyclables. We also have photos of original art that are on display at our unique municipal-member recycling facilities. Get inspired to collect a gorgeous gaylord or a beautiful bale in your town! Contact NRRA if you would like us to help you move your art.

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You have likely heard about the supposed death of recycling in recent years. But have you heard that recycling is actually thriving again? If this comes as a surprise to you, you’re not alone. I recently read a local article with outdated and inaccurate information about recycling markets. So I thought I’d set the record straight. As a bonus, I’ll tell you the single most valuable item in your recycling bin today. The answer may surprise you.

It’s true that China used to be a major global purchaser of recyclables until it implemented a ban in 2018 that led to a dramatic disruption and decrease in pricing worldwide for many recyclable materials. As a result, some communities across the United States stopped recycling due to increased costs, including in New Hampshire. This bad news traveled fast. However, the less exciting truth is that the vast majority of New Hampshire...Read more


You may be asking what can one person do about waste, recycling, and your town’s decisions? How can one person make a difference? The City of Keene approached the Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) because the City is interested in decreasing tonnage sent to the landfill and educating the public on the value of composting food scraps. NRRA partnered with the City of Keene to conduct a season-long pilot program to test two methods to divert food scraps from twelve resident households. Keene’s goal is to keep as much food scraps weight out of their municipal solid waste because tipping fees for solid waste disposal are increasing. By composting the weight of their food waste, which was estimated nationally by the Environmental Protection Agency to be 24.1% of municipal solid waste in 2018, residents can point to visible change in their environment and save the City money. Volunteers were asked...Read more


On August 10, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed HB 413 into law. The law (1) establishes a solid waste working group on solid waste management planning; (2) requires the NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) to make certain rules regarding composting meat and dairy products; and (3) establishes a statewide solid waste disposal reduction goal. This bill was developed from the findings of the HB 617 Recycling & Solid Waste Study Committee led by Rep. Karen Ebel, which held hearings and produced an extensive report in the fall of 2019. NRRA was actively involved with the Committee's work and will have a representative on the solid waste working group.

In addition, the NH Municipal Association is seeking two municipal volunteers to serve on the solid waste working group: one representing communities with single stream recycling and one representing rural communities using...Read more


One common question NRRA staff get asked is “does my thermostat contain mercury?” Mercury thermostats are considered Universal Waste, meaning they contain a material that is hazardous. Universal wastes must be managed in a way that prevents chemical release into the environment, resulting in more strict regulation of these items. However digital thermostats, and many manual thermostats produced today do not contain mercury. These newer thermostats fall under the category of electronic waste and are subject to different regulations and are recycled using a different process. Many thermostats in homes built prior to 2002 will contain mercury. These thermostats are typically operated by dials or switches, as well as other models of non-programable thermostats. The best way to identify mercury in a thermostat is by removing the front plate or cover and locating the small glass tube inside. If the tube contains a silver liquid with a bubble on top,...Read more


Let's have a round of applause for Andover, NH, who recently earned a Grade A from our NRRA vendor for their last load of cardboard! Grade A is usually reserved for the cardboard that comes from grocery stores because it contains little contamination (it is pure unboxed material for groceries and is kept dry under shelter). Congratulations to the staff at Andover for their quality material.

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The nonprofit Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) seeks a self-motivated individual for the position of Communications Manager. The successful candidate will have a desire to learn and excel in a fast-paced environment, possess a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of communications experience, and support NRRA’s mission to partner with communities to make recycling and waste reduction strong through economic and environmentally sound solutions. This is a full-time, grant-funded position with benefits for one year, starting October 2021, with the possibility of extending the position longer.

NRRA is one of only a handful of nonprofits in the country that connects municipalities selling recyclable commodities with buyers of those recyclables. The Communications Manager will manage all communications for NRRA’s Recycling with Results grant activities, as well as build external relationships with the organization's constituencies, including members, funders, and the media. Experience with communications design and execution, excellent writing, editing,...Read more


Member Services Manager Bonnie Bethune was invited to speak about NRRA’s marketing model at the July 13, 2021 NERC Regional Recycling Markets Committee. “Being able to home in one subject and share this information with colleagues in the field was a pleasure” said Bonnie. Bonnie addressed the following three key questions in her presentation:

How does NRRA obtain materials to market? What mechanisms are in place to market these materials? How does NRRA keep up with market changes?

Between NRRA members, vendors and staff, the above is accomplished with amazing success as nearly 50,000 tons of material and $1.8 million to our members in 2020 demonstrates.

How does NRRA obtain materials to market?

Orders to move material are communicated via:

Phone Email Text Load request form (via computer or smart phone)

What mechanisms are in place to market these materials?

NRRA...Read more

Ira Gross from Schnitzer Steel was NRRA’s guest speaker for the MOM meeting held virtually on July 14 th . Schnitzer is one of the country’s largest recyclers of scrap metal and a long-term vendor of NRRA. They collect, broker, process, and recycle ferrous and non-ferrous metal.

Schnitzer Steel has two facilities in NH – one in Concord and one in Manchester. Ira encouraged members to visit their Manchester facility to get a sense of how a metal yard operates. Members can tour the non-ferrous sorting tables and see how they might set up a similar layout in their town. In 2020, Schnitzer installed a wire granulations system to process and segregate wire. They make “chops” and use a spectrometer to analyze the makeup of the material to make sure it meets specs. Ira shared with NRRA members how to sort metals for a non-ferrous program at their municipal...Read more


NRRA was recently awarded a Solid Waste Management Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Utilities Services. Through the grant, which will start in October 2021, NRRA will direct technical assistance to the smallest and lowest-income communities in New Hampshire, namely, those with a population under 5,500 and with a median household income less than the state non-metropolitan median household income. The grant will have two key components: a Solid Waste Advisory Team (SWAT) program and a campaign to help residents “recycle right.”

Grant Components - SWAT & Recycle Right

The SWAT program will involve teams of experienced solid waste operators who will volunteer their time to work with at least five select communities and NRRA staff to evaluate current solid waste operations and provide recommendations for reducing the solid waste stream through improved recycling operations and other practices. NRRA will also help at...Read more