STATE OF TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR RECYCLING

ADVANCING RECYCLING IN TEXAS

STAR NEWS

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  • Thu, May 06, 2021 12:33 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)

    Texas Recycling Summit 2021
    Call for Proposals

    STAR'S ANNUAL TEXAS RECYCLING SUMMIT WILL BE A MULTI-DAY CONFERENCE EVENT FROM OCT 5–8, 2021.

    Submit Your Speaker Proposals Here


    STAR is excited to announce that we will be hosting the 2021 Texas Recycling Summit on October 5th–8th! The majority of Summit 2021 will be virtual, with a limited number of in-person events (more details TBA).

    We are seeking speakers, presenters, panelists, and workshop leaders for new topic proposals, as well as experts on the topics listed below. We invite you to submit a proposal through the link above if you are:

    1. Interested in speaking, presenting, or being on a panel; or 
    2. If you are a STAR member, affiliate, stakeholder, or former Summit attendee and would like to submit a session topic request.

    Summit has been Texas's premier recycling conference for more than 20 years and we're excited to once again feature engaging sessions on relevant and timely topics. We anticipate this year's Texas Recycling Summit to attract more than 300 recycling professionals from municipalities, local and state government, private industry, higher education, and NGOs/trade associations.

    We are seeking experts on the following topics:

    • Recycling Market Development
    • Recycling and Solid Waste Legislation
    • Entrepreneurship, Technology & Innovation
    • Regional Economic Development, Circular Economy Development, & Job Creation
    • Public & Private Partnership Success Stories
    • Industrial Recycling, Reuse, and Redevelopment (ex: Rockets, Anaerobic Digestion, Brownfields, etc.)
    • Byproducts as Feedstocks
    • New or Niche Material Markets (ex: Fiberglass, Fabrics, Batteries, etc.)
    • Public Education Success Stories
    • How to start a ....Program (workshops)
    • COVID-19 and Pandemic-related Updates
    Please contact us at info@recyclingstar.org with any questions.

    Thank you for your proposals. We look forward to making this the best Summit yet!

    DEADLINE FOR PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS IS JULY 2, 2021

  • Thu, April 22, 2021 1:25 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)


    On April 13th, the STAR Business Council advanced letters to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and each member of the 87th Texas Legislature expressing continued support for the creation of the Recycling Market Development Plan (RMDP). The letter addresses the importance of recycling to the Texas economy and encourages support and action on the Plan’s recommendations when released in September 2021. (See more about the RMDP on our website here.)

    The letter also points to the recycling industry's more than $3 billion dollars in economic impact for Texas and the potential for exponential growth under the Plan. A one-pager attached to the letter shared some important industry facts and figures, and the benefits and opportunities provided by the RMDP (accessible here). The letter's intention was to remind the Governor and legislators that the RMDP will be released in September and to look forward to those results.

    The goal of the RMDP is to examine the current recycling economy in Texas, discover opportunities for growth, and draft a proposal for action. It also includes the creation of a comprehensive educational campaign to cover the economics of recycling in Texas, highlight businesses that are involved in recycling in Texas, and to reduce contamination. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) retained Burns & McDonnell to complete the project, and STAR is working with them to complete these goals. 

    See the full letter to the Governor below or as pdf here.

    Dear Governor Abbott:

    RE: Recycling Market Development Plan

    The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) thanks you for your continued support of the creation of the Recycling Market Development Plan, which passed in the 86th Legislative Session, and which is due for release in Q3 of 2021.

    STAR members and stakeholders look forward to continued collaboration with the State and are optimistic that the upcoming recycling plan will identify growth opportunities for both business and industry that could result in more jobs, new technology, infrastructure, manufacturing, and investment for Texas.

    Some of these opportunities will require future legislative action and STAR hopes we can count on your support of those efforts in the 88th Legislative Session, for an industry that has demonstrated over $3 billion dollars in economic impact for Texas.

    Please see the attached brief which demonstrates enthusiastic participation from both the private and public sectors and offers valuable insight into the solutions for the challenges facing the recycling industry of Texas.

    We look forward to working with you, if we may be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Respectfully,

    Gigi Gephardt
    Chair | STAR Business Council

    Brittany Rosenberg
    Executive Director | STAR

  • Wed, April 14, 2021 2:10 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)

    Customers can donate to EarthShare of Texas in-store and online in honor of Earth Month starting April 14th!

    EarthShare of Texas Press Release:

    Austin, TX – Texans can participate in Earth Month by donating to EarthShare of Texas when they shop at H-E-B and Central Market April 14 through May 25. Donations will support EarthShare of Texas’ network of 38 Texas-based environmental and conservation charities.

    H-E-B and Central Market stores across the state of Texas will participate in the campaign for the environment in honor of Earth Month. Shoppers will have the opportunity to add $1, $3, and $5 donations to their order at checkout when they shop in stores. The option is also available online and in the H-E-B app when using H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery.

    H-E-B has been a consistent partner of EarthShare of Texas since 2007. The annual fundraising campaign has contributed nearly $1.5 million dollars directly to Texas-based environmental and conservation charities. H-E-B proved their commitment to a greener Texas last year when during the early months of the pandemic, they suspended the campaign and instead donated $190,000.

    Francoise Van Keuren, Executive Director of EarthShare of Texas commented, “We are so proud to be a partner of Texas’ favorite grocery store. This campaign represents Texans taking care of Texas and that’s truly in the spirit of Earth Month and H-E-B’s corporate values.

    Richard McDonald, Director of H-E-B Environmental Affairs added “At H-E-B, we love Texas – and we feel it’s our responsibility to take good care of the state we proudly call home.  It’s the neighborly and right thing to do!

    While Earth Month is celebrated throughout the entirety of April, the campaign will begin in time for Earth Day, April 22. Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 as the beginning of the modern environmental movement in response to the public consciousness of air and water pollution and continues to grow as a world-wide day of commemoration for environmental causes.

    See the full press release on ESTX's website

  • Mon, April 05, 2021 3:15 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)


    Winners of Austin's 2021 [Re]Verse Pitch Competition Announced

    (City of Austin press release)

    Austin, TX – The City of Austin, in partnership with Austin Young Chamber and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, announced the winners of the annual [RE]verse Pitch Competition, a program aimed at reducing waste in Austin through innovation and design. This year’s winners, known as Innovation Fellows, developed business ideas using another businesses’ ‘waste’. The Innovation Fellows will receive prizes valued up to $8,500, and participate in a four-month accelerator program to develop their ideas.

    This year’s Innovation Fellows are:

    Plant Baxter by Jordan Smith, Coleman Counihan and Daniel Barrios
    Plant Baxter plans to create container gardens using unwanted large plastic sacks from Austin Eastciders and reclaimed wood from the construction industry.

    DV Designs by Vincent Marsella and Deepak Chandra
    DV Designs plans to create beverage coasters using spent grain from Fierce Whiskers Distillery.

    Biochar Filter Socks by Petey Peterson and Seth Nyer
    Locoal, an existing Austin-area company, plans to create ‘wattle socks,’ which help prevent soil erosion and capture toxins from storm-water runoff, using spent grain from Fierce Whiskers Distillery and used wooden pallets.

    Lolas Classic Babies by Lolita Rodriguez and Lucero Valle Archuleta
    Lolas Classic Babies, a woman-owned baby brand in Austin, plans to create bow ties using unwanted fabric decorator samples from Austin Creative Reuse.

    During the virtual accelerator program, each team will receive mentorship, training, and community support while they further develop their circular business idea. The accelerator will culminate in the teams presenting these ideas to a cohort of investors as part of the City’s inaugural Circular Austin showcase on July 28, 2021.

    This year’s [RE]verse Pitch Competition started on Feb. 2 at the virtual opening pitch event. Over the course of several weeks, competitors attended virtual workshops and worked with program mentors before submitting their business ideas to the competition. All submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges and selected based on equal scoring criteria.

    The [RE]verse Pitch Competition is a collaboration between the City of Austin, Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development with additional support from a wide variety of community partners. Learn more at ReversePitch.org.

    See this press release on City of Austin website.

  • Thu, March 18, 2021 3:21 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)


    Recycling Partnership Launches Communities for Recycling Pilot Program in Fort Worth

    In honor of Global Recycling Day (March 18th), The Recycling Partnership launched Communities for Recycling — an initiative to provide real-time recycling information through Facebook Messenger Pilot — starting with pilot programs in Fort Worth & Atlanta.

    Robert Smouse, of STAR Mission Partners Fort Worth City Hall (City of Fort Worth), explained: "Communities like Fort Worth realize that social media is a progressively important communication tool to connect with new audiences for specific programs such as recycling... Fort Worth is proud to be one of the pilot cities chosen to share this personalized, hyperlocal recycling information to our residents. Recycling and waste minimization are important issues in our city. In order to reach the largest audience possible, who better to do that with than Facebook.”

    The initiative is the result of a collaboration between the City of Fort Worth, the Recycling Partnership, Facebook and consumer packaged goods brands like PepsiCo.

    Read more about the project on the City of Fort Worth's website.

  • Thu, March 11, 2021 2:37 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)


    NERC is convening a Work Group to develop model legislation for minimum post-consumer recycled content requirements for glass beverage and food containers, and fiberglass insulation. The goals for developing the model legislation are to:

    • Develop markets for post-consumer glass containers.
    • Increase the use of post-consumer glass containers in the manufacture of new beverage and food containers and fiberglass insulation.
    * The first Work Group meeting is scheduled for April 8 at 1:30 p.m. EST. If you would like to join the Work Group to develop the model legislation, contact Mary Ann Remolador, NERC’s Assistant Director, prior to April 8.

    “Glass is a highly recyclable material, and states consistently hear from stakeholders that markets for post-consumer glass must be strengthened to help develop more demand for this feedstock,” said Chris Nelson, Supervising Environmental Analyst of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.  “Post-consumer recycled content standards for new glass products will help to create more robust markets for glass recovered through recycling programs.”

    NERC’s intent for the Work Group is to bring together (virtually) a broad group of impacted stakeholders from industry and public sectors to achieve a positive outcome.  The Work Group co-chairs are Chris Nelson, Supervising Environmental Analyst of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection; and Stephen Burm, Director of Industry and Government Affairs, Anheuser-Busch with technical assistance from Ed Ferguson, Director of Sustainability, Anheuser-Busch.

    “At Anheuser-Busch, we have a longstanding history of environmental stewardship and have committed to 100% of our packaging being made from majority recycled content or be returnable by 2025,” said Ed Ferguson, Director of Sustainability at Anheuser-Busch. “Through this work group, we look forward to working alongside all parties within the packaging and recycling supply chain to identify and build scalable solutions to help achieve this goal and set a model for others within the industry.”

    The following are the identified stakeholders for the Work Group:

    • Brands
    • Glass Container Manufacturers
    • Fiberglass Insulation Manufacturers
    • Glass Recyclers/Beneficiators
    • Industry Associations
    • Distributors/Retailers
    • Haulers/Material Recycling Facility Operators
    • State Environmental Agencies
    • State Recycling Organizations
    • Environmental Advocacy Groups
    For more information, visit www.nerc.org.


  • Mon, March 08, 2021 1:06 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)


    See Locator Map Here

    Know Where it Goes Before You Dispose

    Looking for a place to take recyclables, dispose of items that can’t go in your curbside trash, or even where to take storm damage debris and waste materials?

    Use this tool to find the most convenient place to drop-off items for recycling or proper disposal. Be sure to call in advance to verify the information provided and ask about hours of operation, costs, and any other requirements to drop-off.

    Remember that reuse is better than disposal. If your items can be reused, please visit the Austin Reuse Directory first. Common reusable items include clothes, furniture, toys, and other household items.

  • Tue, February 16, 2021 5:41 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)

    EPA National Recycling Goal: Recycling Rate Measurement Comment Period

    See more information on EPA's website


    At the 2020 America Recycles Summit on November 17, 2020, EPA announced the overall national recycling goal of increasing the U.S. recycling rate to 50% by 2030.  This national goal will provide the benchmark to evaluate the success of the collective efforts to improve the nation’s recycling system. EPA is now soliciting comments on the recycling rate measurement methodology. 

    Comments will be accepted until 11:59 PM ET on March 8, 2021

    The purpose of this comment period is to inform the methodology and identify key data points that EPA may include when calculating the national recycling rate. For the purposes of this comment period, EPA is soliciting comments on the recycling rate measurement methodology only. The questions below are grouped into five key measurement categories related to the recycling rate: Sources of Recyclable Material, Material Streams, Material Management Pathways, Material Destination and Other Considerations.

    Please submit the comments to the following docket: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2020-0443 at ORCRMeasurement@epa.gov.


  • Wed, February 03, 2021 4:21 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)


    The STAR Reuse Council is proud to announce the winners of the Third Annual Texas Reuse Contest

    Congratulations to all of this year's winners and thank you to all who submitted their reuse projects! This year's contest sought the best reuse projects done in 2020. There were two categories open to individuals and businesses:

    • Best Construction and Remodeling Project of 2020
    • Best Art, Fashion and Furniture Project of 2020

    The First Place winner for each category will receive 2 free passes to the 2021 Texas Reuse Tour (dates and locations TBD), a Certificate of Achievement, and, of course, bragging rights!

    Second Place winners receive Certificates of Achievement (and also bragging rights!).

    And the winners are:

    Best Art, Fashion and Furniture Project

    First Place: re:3D, Reclaimed Materials & 3D Printing from Trash

        

    "For this particular project, we wanted to take excess materials and combine them with 3D prints made from trash to create new objects. We joined forces with a local reuse store to create chairs, benches, tables, and vases. The reuse store provided reclaimed 2 x 2 lumber, reclaimed wood slabs, and reclaimed glass which we designed around. All of the objects in the images were either printed with reclaimed water bottles, or scrap prints, and the wood and glass are all reclaimed materials provided by the reuse store. All of the pieces were then sold at a silent auction for 1 month at the reuse store.

    "We are currently designing objects for round 2 of this successful model. With 3D printing we can quickly adapt to whatever excess material we have and design new objects to print from trash."

    Second Place (tie): 

    Calder Kamin, Marigold Mongrel & Ultra Violet Vixen

    – Foam, cardboard, plastic caps, koozies, plastic bags and rubbish (See more of her works at www.calderkamin.com)

       

    "Nature never wastes. That's why I reuse! I am a creative reuse artist in Austin, TX and a board member at Austin Creative Reuse."

    Nicole Wayman, From a Tree House to Furniture

        

    "Ten years ago, my father, partner and I build a treehouse in our backyard for our then 6- and 4-year olds. After many years of use (hiding, reading, spying) we decided it was time to take it down (we have a small 50x130' lot). Covid hit and we were spending a lot more time at home. We needed some better furniture in our backyard. My now 14 year old and I had the idea to transform the treehouse into outdoor furniture! (It sounded so easy in our heads :) We found a design online and solicited help from my partner. We disassembled the treehouse into raw material (2x2s, 2x4s, 1x6s, 2x6s) and inventoried the wood. We quickly learned that we had to modify the design to suit the materials we salvaged. That took some creativity! After 8 days (2 weekends for full time working parents and online schooling teenagers), we finished two chairs and a table. We were able to reuse the wood screws that we saved during disassembly and found the left over seal and stain from the original project. We were so pleased with the project, I convinced the family to make two more chairs and another table! We slightly modified the design again to remove a little weight on the second set of chairs. Our only investment was our time, hard work and new cushions. Our neighbors were so inspired by our project, they took the leftovers from the treehouse-turned-furniture and made a workbench with custom horizontal storage for stained glass art projects. The very few leftovers from all of this were quickly scooped up by neighbors in response to a Next Door post (free)! Today, we use the chairs and tables every weekend. We enjoy breakfast, backyard movies and backyard social distancing in our new furniture! In addition to having unique furniture we can be proud of, we've taught our kids the value of hard work and importance of creativity!"

    Best Construction and Remodeling Project

    First Place: Martha Stockton, A Backyard Screen Room

          

    "I built an 8'x8'x8' screen shelter in my backyard using:

    • wood salvaged from my old cedar fence
    • a metal frame salvaged from a broken tent
    • a painter's canvas tarp (new)
    • 4x4 posts and 2x4 bracing
    • screening

    "I've been wanting a screen porch for years, but didn't want to pay for an expensive addition. My fence was old and falling down, so I removed the fence material, cut off the rotten ends, and used the roughly 4' pieces to construct a series of screened frames. I then mounted these frames to a structure of pressure-treated wood. For the roof, I repurposed the roof frame from a broken tent structure, strapped it to the frame, then attached a painter's canvas drop cloth. The door is two screen curtains I once ordered for a pair of French doors onto my patio. Because I designed it in small pieces, I was able to construct it myself (I did get some help from a friend who cut about half of the wood). I'm really pleased with the result—a small screen room in the shade of several trees in my backyard. I enjoy reading and eating out there, a pleasant retreat!

    See all of the winning entries' photos in our Facebook photo album.

  • Tue, January 19, 2021 1:47 PM | Tamara Kowalski (Administrator)

    Read Full Article Here


    EarthShare of Texas — of which STAR is a proud member organization — was named one of the Top 5 Environmental Organizations in Texas!

    STAR is highlighted by ElectricityRates.com as one of the nearly 40 Texas-based environmental organizations that comprise ESTX. Several of the other organizations named in the Top 5 are ESTX members, as well. Thank you EarthShare of Texas! (See the listing for EarthShare below.)

     

    EarthShare of Texas Primary Work: Supporting Texas environmental organizations

    EarthShare Texas works to provide funds to a variety of Texas environmental organizations that are considered its “member charities.” These member charities are vetted by EarthShare Texas, which ensures the funds are put to good use.

    Every organization on this list is either a member charity or connected to a member charity of EarthShare Texas. But there are many more than those listed here:

    EarthShare Texas is extremely efficient with the money it receives, with 93 percent of its total expenditures going to its programs. Most organizations don’t come close to this.

    So if you want to support a broad selection of amazing environmental organizations in Texas, donating money to EarthShare Texas could be perfect for you. To learn more, head over to EarthShare Texas’s website.

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