Movement Toward NH Solid Waste Goals as NRRA Hosts the NH Solid Waste Working Group

February 26, 2024

NRRA hosted a meeting of the Solid Waste Working Group (SWWG) at our office last week in the newly refreshed Member Operations & Marketing meeting room. We had 17 people attend in person, including several members of the public, with others joining remotely online. NRRA Executive Director, Reagan Bissonnette, had the opportunity to welcome the group to our office, introduce NRRA, and share some resources for municipalities available on the NRRA website. While the group previously learned about the NRRA Recycling 101 presentation, customizable recycling pamphlets (FREE to NRRA Members), and Recycle Right materials, seeing them on the NRRA website generated more interest and led one committee member to compliment the resources and ask how they can be shared more broadly with NH communities. 

The meeting included a presentation by Rob Watson of Upland Road LLC. Rob explained his company's desire to find a suitable location to build its first Sustainable Materials and Advanced Recovery Technologies (SMART) Center. A SMART Center would take mixed waste - both solid waste and recyclable materials. It would use waste sorting infrastructure and material reuse facilities on an integrated campus to reduce waste going to landfills and recover more recyclable and compostable material from the waste stream. The facility would ideally process 2,000 tons of material per day, six days per week on a campus of 70 to 90 acres. 

Mike Wimsatt, Waste Management Division Director at the NH Department of Environmental Services, shared that the state will be working with Mid-Atlantic Solid Waste Consultants (MSW Consultants) to conduct the state's first ever waste characterization study. Work will begin in spring 2024 and a final report will be due by March 2025. The division looks forward to advertising this year a new position for administering the upcoming solid waste management grants, as well as a temporary part-time position. 

SWWG Chair Rep. Ebel provided updates regarding legislative bills the SWWG provided support for, including HB 1371 relative to allowing land use master plans to include a section on waste reduction, HB 1386 relative to prohibiting the disposal of lithium-ion batteries in landfills and incinerators, and HB 1649 relative to prohibiting certain products with intentionally added PFAS. While NRRA does not take a position on bills, we are often used as a source of expert information, and as such, submitted testimony regarding the first two bills. NH House Environment and Agriculture Chair Rep. Aron provided updates regarding landfill and solid waste-related bills heard by her committee.

During the member updates portion of the meeting, Reagan shared that registration is open for NRRA's June 3 & 4 Recycling Conference & Expo. Many working group members complimented NRRA's meeting space, and the group agreed to hold its March 22nd meeting at NRRA's office while NHDES offices continue to be unavailable due to an HVAC project.