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Where is the next generation of recyclers? In our schools!

From packing peanuts to disposable coffee cups, each year the US alone produces some two billion pounds of Styrofoam -- none of which can be recycled. Frustrated by this waste of resources and landfill space, ninth grader Ashton Cofer and his science fair teammates developed a heating treatment to break down used Styrofoam into something useful.

Just because you can count it, does it count?

We’ve all probably heard the business maxim, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Well there’s a corollary to that idea – “You tend to manage what you measure” – but what if you’re measuring the wrong things? This year’s conference will take a look at what we’re measuring and ask panelists and the audience to weigh in on the validity of those metrics and their impact on our environmental mission.

Westlake High School in Waldorf Crowned 2017 Maryland State Recycle-Bowl Champion

Keep America Beautiful announced the Recycle-Bowl winners for 2016 annual competition and the top prize goes to Bon Air Elementary School (Kokomo, IN). This year’s competition included 1,291 schools in 47 states and the District of Columbia with 2.2 million pounds of recycling collected.

Tools & Tips from EPA

US EPA shared some important tools and tips for businesses and organizations in the areas of contracting services and demolition/deconstruction projects. Included is a tip sheet created by RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts on best management practices for businesses seeking to contract trash, recycling and food waste services. US EPA Region 5 also shared several tools for demolition and deconstruction projects.

Reduce, reuse, recycle, re…direct???

The Maryland Food Bank re-directs (diverts) enough food from the landfills every year to produce 41 million meals annually for our state’s embarrassingly large food insecure population (760,300 food insecure citizens in Maryland - 12.7% of population). Last Friday, a handful of volunteers from the MRN board contributed a morning’s worth of hours to the roughly 35,000 volunteer hours the MD Food Bank depends upon each year to help move its mission “to lead the movement and nurture the belief that together we can improve the lives of Marylanders by ending hunger.”