NRRA's C&D Work to Continue with New EPA Grant Award

October 4, 2023

The Northeast Resource Recovery Association is pleased to announce that we have been selected for the EPA Region 1 New England Healthy Communities grant for 2023-2024.

The North Country C&D Diversion 2.0 project will build on the success of NRRA’s recent EPA grant Increasing C&D Diversion in Coös County, NH, while expanding technical assistance to ten additional communities north of the notches in New Hampshire. 

The goal of the project is to enable communities to increase C&D and bulky waste diversion through reuse and recycling instead of landfilling. We anticipate short-term outcomes to include: (1) an increase by weight of C&D being diverted; (2) a reduction in pounds of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; (3) a reduction of C&D management costs; and (4) improved access to information and tools to increase C&D diversion. 

Over the year-long course of the project, NRRA will:

  1. Convene three C&D Summit roundtables for municipal solid waste facility operators from the 30 North Country communities to share best practices related to increasing C&D and bulky waste diversion and reducing costs.

  2. Research and create reuse handouts for public education to increase C&D and bulky waste reuse. 

  3. Research and create two feasibility studies for techniques to increase C&D diversion and reduce costs. 

  4. Introduce North Country communities to deconstruction as a technique to increase C&D recycling and reuse. 

  5. Provide on-site technical assistance for four municipal solid waste facilities in the North Country to increase C&D diversion. 

The EPA’s National Recycling Strategy recognizes that rural communities, like those in the North Country, tend to not generate enough recycled material to make it worthwhile to transport those materials long distances to manufacturers who could use them. While these communities have reasonably accessible options for recycling materials like glass, plastic, metal, cardboard, and paper, NRRA’s work under its recent EPA grant has demonstrated that nearly all the estimated C&D generated by Coös County communities is landfilled.

NRRA similarly anticipates that nearly all the 4,500 tons of C&D generated by the 30 North Country communities in 2021 was landfilled. It is less expensive to dispose of C&D at local landfills in the North Country than to send the material to the nearest known C&D recycling facility located over 125 miles away. Assuming 4,500 tons of C&D are being disposed of at an average cost of $85 per ton, such disposal is costing North Country communities $382,500 annually, not including transportation costs.

The North Country C&D Diversion 2.0 project will build on the success of NRRA’s recent C&D work. Through three completed roundtableson-site technical assistance, and a successful pilot project, NRRA has partnered with Coös County communities to identify challenges and opportunities for increasing C&D diversion in the County. The North Country roundtables will be expanded to include ten additional communities that share similar challenges with managing waste as those communities in Coös County, as well as include bulky waste diversion. Feasibility studies will determine the efficacy of two opportunities to increase C&D diversion. Finally, the lessons learned from Lancaster’s pilot project to encourage certain C&D reuse by residents will be expanded and applied to two additional communities.