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Montana Recycler A Publication from Recycle Montana

Summer 2015

Could You Recycle More? A Waste Audit Will Tell!

Above: Compostable food waste is separated from trash during a waste audit with the City of Missoula.

In This Issue... Missoula Audits Waste p.1 Legislative Update p.2 MT No Kid Hungry p.2 Community Events p.3 Glass Recycling in the Flathead p.5 Compost Operators Meet in Missoula p.6 Community Profile - ExplorationWorks! p.6 SMART Schools Challenge Update p.7 Commodities Update p.8 Gallatin Microplastics Project p.9 School Presentations p.10 Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Recycle Montana.

Missoula’s Municipal Operations Move Toward Zero Waste By Caroline Lauer, Energy Conservation and Sustainability Educator City of Missoula

In January of 2013, the City of Missoula unanimously adopted its Conservation and Climate Action Plan (CCAP). The Plan is specific to municipal operations and states the goal of carbon neutrality by 2025 with interim baseline reduction goals along the way (10% reduction by 2015, 30% reduction by 2017, and 50% reduction by 2020). Responding to the tremendous emissions reduction potential in over 500 City employees and the way they go about their work every day, the CCAP dedicated the Internal Policies and Procedures chapter to strategies that foster a sustainable workplace. Key to Internal Policies and Procedures is the manner in which City employees dispose of their waste and recycle appropriate materials. In order to get a bet

PO Box 1360 Helena, MT 59624

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Letter from the President We at Recycle Montana hope you enjoy the newsletter articles about businesses and activities around the state, and that you find information here and on our website that is useful and pertinent to your recycling efforts. We especially encourage and invite everyone to share your own experiences with us; what works, what doesn’t in building recycling programs, businesses, and recycling events. We also ask for your support by becoming a member. It is your membership that builds our educational programs, including school programs that teach Montana children about the benefits and methods of reusing, recycling, and reducing waste. In 2015, over 1900 kids in schools across the state took part in these programs presented by the Recycle Montana education coordinator. We need your help to continue these worthwhile efforts to positively influence children about the importance of reducing waste and keeping Montana beautiful. Please join now!

Candi Zion, President Board of Directors

Recycle Montana is the leading source for recycling education and resources in the state of Montana. Recycle Montana works to increase recycling through education and building coalitions between communities, schools, and recyclers.

RM Board of Directors

Board President: Candi Zion, Havre Board Vice President: Kirk Treece, Missoula Board Secretary: Jessie Luther, Helena Board Treasurer: John Hilton, Helena Board Members: Mark Nelson, Ronan Elaine Taylor, Helena Scott Berens, Billings Sherrel Rhys, Helena Janelle Grant, Miles City Recycling Educator: Rob Pudner (Energy Corps)


Legislative Update

By Mark Nelson, President Montana Recycling Association

During the recent Legislature, Montana Recycling Association worked to monitor and protect incentives that are vital to Montana recyclers. We are proud to announce that these incentives, including a permit credit for the use of post-consumer glass in cement/concrete production, a tax credit for the purchase of equipment or property used to collect recyclables, and a deduction based on the use of recycled materials in the manufacturing process, remain intact. More details are at Montana Recycling Association is a nonprofit that focuses on representing recyclers and promoting recycling through policy.

Collaboration With ‘No Kid Hungry’ By Rob Pudner, Recycling Educator Recycle Montana

This summer Recycle Montana has been participating in Montana No Kid Hungry’s Summer Meals program by providing recycling-themed arts and crafts activities at East Helena’s Radley Elementary School.

Sign at East Helena’s Radley Elementary School

We have made recycled paper, repurposed milk cartons into sailboats, and plan to make solar cookers from empty Pringles canisters later this summer. The program provides free meals to children under the age of 18 and aims to prevent a summer “slump” through events such ours. Find out more about Montana’s 190+ Summer Meals sites at or visit for full



August 11

FREE WEBINAR: What Really Goes in that Bale? An overview of the 2015 National Mixed Rigid Bale Composition Study

11 AM - Noon August 13

FREE WEBINAR: Learning From Failure

August 13

Energy Day @ The Montana Fair (Billings)

August 17-20

Waste Conversion Technology Conference and Trade Show (San Diego, CA)

August 19-22

Agricultural Plastics Recycling Conference and Trade Show (San Diego, CA)

August 24-27


September 8

Green Drinks Billings @ Earth First Aid recycling (Billings)

September 1-3

E-Scrap 2015 (Orlando, FL)

September 12

Recycle Hi-Line Recycling & E-Waste Drive @ Pacific Steel & Recycling (Havre)

Sept 19 9:00 AM

Home ReSource Spontaneous Construction X (Missoula)

September 22-25

Green Electronics Council Emerging Green Conference (Portland, OR)

September 28 - October 1

Resource Recycling Conference 2015 (Indianapolis, IN)

October 5 - 7

SXSW ECO (Austin, TX)

October 6 - 9

Sustainable Packaging Coalition Advance (Charlotte, NC)

October 9 - 10

Students For Zero Waste (Durham, NH)

October 14 - 17

Paper & Plastic Recycling Conference (Chicago, IL)

11 AM - 12:30 PM

Noon to 9PM Sandstone Building

8:30 - 11:30 AM

Check periodically for new events as they are announced The

Montana Recycler

Recycle Montana members advertise events for FREE!

AUDIT Continued from page 

ter sense of how much waste the City was producing and what the best next steps were, the City invited Recycle Montana’s Rob Pudner to help us conduct our first ever waste audit. Knowing that the journey to zero waste begins with a single step, the waste audit scaled down its scope from all municipal operations to City Hall, the Missoula Redevelopment Authority, and the adjacent police offices. We found that 36% of our waste stream was recyclable materials and could have been diverted from the landfill, and we vowed to do better. We took this information to appropriate staff and delved deeper into the story around waste, with the intention of using all of this knowledge to improve existing conditions. Responding to the direction of the Conservation and Climate Action Plan, results from the May 2015 waste audit, and conversations with various staff, the Energy Conservation department created the following 1-year, 4phase proposal to move the City of Missoula towards zero waste. Phase 1 (July 2015)

Activity -Explore the best single stream recycling service for City Hall, MRA, and adjacent police offices -Develop new language for custodial service contracts to correspond with the new services

Phase 2 (September 2015)

-Republic Services begins measuring waste to facilitate tracking of waste for municipal carbon footprint - New single stream recycling service implemented at City Hall, MRA, and adjacent police offices - Comprehensive educational events for all employees to learn more about the new recycling program

Phase 3 (January 2016)

-Individual employee trash cans replaced with recycling bins and a smaller attached “landfill” bin -Development of a n ew plan to scale up zero waste proposal for all City facilities -Exploration of composting options and feasibility -Creation of a green purchasing policy targeted at reducing “upstream waste”

Phase 4 (July 2016)

-Implementation of scaled up proposal for all City facilities -Evaluation of pilot program and improvements proposed/designed

We are currently standing on the brink of Phase 1, with a lot of exciting development to look forward to in the future. Republic Services has officially agreed to begin recording materials sent to the landfill and will implement a system to record and track the estimated percentage of recyclable content, in essence conducting a waste audit every time our dumpster is collected. We are also in the midst of finalizing a single stream recycling contract with Republic Services, which will include signage, educational training, and adoption initiatives. City Hall is only one piece of Missoula’s municipal waste puzzle, but utilizing City Hall as a pilot program for revamping internal recycling and waste services is an important step forward in moving Missoula towards zero waste. Throughout all of this work, Recycle Montana and Rob Pudner have been tremendous resources – from designing the waste audit, answering our many questions, and actually digging through the trash with us, we are very thankful to have such a fruitful partnership with Recycle Montana moving forward.

Glass Recycling in the Flathead Valley By Teri Schneider, Owner New World Recycling

Glass pulverizers can be used to reduce the volume of glass waste and prepare it for recycling or allow it to be used as-is. Pulverizers are not common in Montana due to their high cost and we feel fortunate that a pulverizer was included when we purchased New World Recycling five years ago. We are definitely benefiting from the high demand and low availability of this product. We’re located in Columbia Falls, MT but we’re responding to customer requests from as far away as Nevada and Canada.

PULVERIZED vs CRUSHED •Glass is broken into smaller pieces •Edges are rounded (safer)

•Product has more uses •Equipment is costly

•Glass is broken into smaller pieces •Edges remain sharp •Fewer uses for final product •Equipment is moderately priced

Uses for Pulverized Glass

Uses include, but are not limited to: • Decorative landscaping accent • Driveway and walkway de-icer • Concrete or asphalt aggregate (exposed or not) • Gravel alternative • Concrete counter tops or flooring with an exposed aggregate effect • Ground cover in the raw Your imagination is the only limitation to uses for pulverized glass. The glass is environmentally safe and beautiful in any project. We are able to sell it in any amount needed and have 50lb bags prepackaged for convenience. Specialty colors such as cobalt blue are the most popular, and we also offer brown, amber, gold, and green.

Who’s Using It?

Glass processed by New World Recycling is used throughout the United States. As people visit the beautiful Flathead Valley they take it home with them, packaged in 50 lb sandbags. NWR was recently able to assist a bottle broker with recycling 22500 brown bottles which were unable to be used due to the packaging breaking open. The bottles were no longer able to be used for beverages,

but the broker did not want to send them to a landfill (or pay the landfill fee for 22,500 heavy glass bottles). They were very happy to find a business that could create a valuable product while diverting so much waste from the landfill. NWR offers curbside Cobalt blue glass used to accent a customer’s fire pit pickup of all recyclables, including glass. In fact, that is the source of most of their glass. We also offer a free glass dropoff location at our facility off of Rt 2 and have another free drop site in Columbia Falls offered by Xanterra. Recently Xanterra Pulverized glass has rounded edges that purchased make it safe and comfortable for playful cats 70,000 pounds of cleaned and washed glass to place in the concrete of their new warehouse. The structure will be used to house Xanterra buses traveling in Glacier National Park. For more information about pulverized glass products, contact New World Recycling LLC at (406)257-5899

The thermal properties of glass discourage icy buildup in driveways

DEQ Hosts Compost Operator Course By Fred Collins, Environmental Science Specialist Montana Department of Environmental Quality The course was held in Missoula, MT at the Best Western – Grant Creek Inn. 19 people attended the training. Refreshments for morning and afternoon were provided by DEQ, though lunch was not. On June 16, a tour of EKO Compost was scheduled; on June 17, a tour of the De Smet Roadkill Composting facility was scheduled. Both tours were well-received by the attendees.

A bighorn sheep skull found at the MDT roadkill composting facility.

Jean Bonhotal, the instructor, had delays, so we toured EKO Compost before any class time took place. This was an unexpected benefit, as many attendees felt that the tour gave them a basis for asking questions once we were in class. On the evening of the 16th, Phil Oakenshield invited attendees to his facility for a barbecue. A “backyard composting session” was scheduled for the night of the 17th; however, due to events happening in Missoula on that evening, only 10 that attended the two day training stayed for that session. One manufactured bin was lent to us to display at the training. DEQ purchased some wire fencing to build home bins to give to those that attended the session.

Don’t Waste Montana Community Profile A new community profile has been added to the Don’t Waste Montana website! During a tour of ExplorationWorks! in Helena, we discovered many unique and creative methods being used to reduce landfill waste. Examples of what we found: • In-line skate wheels repurposed as mallets in the sound garden •Old doors and windows used as garden fencing •Concrete pipe repurposed as raised beds for garden •Compost bins idoors and outdoors •Recycled fly ash in concrete flooring • Recycled steel roofing •”Wheatboard” in the walls uses agricultural waste •Repurposed old pegboard in “Gears” exhibit •Repurposed bicycle gears

Read more about recycling and sustainability initiatives at ExplorationWorks! by visiting their online profile at To recommend a person, business, or organization for a future profile email

Next Steps for the SMART Schools Challenge By Bill Pedersen, SMART Schools Coordinator Montana Department of Environmental Quality Next Steps for the SMART Schools Challenge In the fall of 2014, Lieutenant Governor Angela McLean challenged schools across Montana to Save Money and Resources Today by enrolling in the SMART Schools Challenge. The response was astounding as 46 schools from across Montana joined a friendly competition to save money by mitigating their environmental footprints. Schools from Glendive to West Yellowstone demonstrated sustainability goals. This summer, the SMART Schools team incredible ingenuity and commitment as they will build discussion forums to let teachers, administrators, implemented projects ranging from industrial composting facility directors, and student environmental groups learn using an earth tub, to building an aquaponics system, to from their peers’ experiences and share best practices. recycling more than 100 pounds per student. During the Additionally, dozens of educational videos will be uploaded Challenge’s pilot year, Montana’s SMART Schools recycled to the SMART Schools website to explain the basics of more than 62,000 pounds of waste, saved over $100,000 recycling, demonstrate how to conduct waste audits, through energy conservation, and offset 123 metric tons of articulate why composting is important, and much more. CO2 equivalent through recycling efforts alone. If you know of a school interested in joining a network of On Earth Day 2015, Lieutenant Governor Angela McLean Montana schools working to reduce their environmental announced 13 champion SMART Schools. These leaders footprints, encourage them to join the SMART Schools in Montana resource conservation were selected as Challenge. SMART Schools applications will be released on champions in SMART recycling, SMART Energy, or by the end of the summer, and the SMART Green schools, according to student body size. A 2015-2016 Challenge will begin November 1, 2015. selection committee comprised of representatives from the Governor’s Office, the Department of Environmental SMART Schools Challenge would like to thank Recycle Quality, and the Montana chapter of the U.S. Green Montana for its assistance throughout the SMART Schools Building Council was charged with identifying the Challenge. Recycle Montana helped deliver educational champion schools listed below. presentations, connected schools with recycling resources, answered recycling questions, conducted waste audits, Next year, SMART Schools Challenge anticipates and more. SMART Schools looks forward to continuing to working with even more schools and organizers hope to work with Recycle Montana to expand recycling in schools provide these schools with better resources to achieve across Montana.

SMART Recycling Champions

SMART Green Schools Champions

SMART Energy Champions

SMART Leader in Renewable Energy

• • • •

• • • •

Billings Career Center Jefferson School-Glendive Central School-Roundup Sand Springs School

Castle Rock Middle School-Billings Broadwater Elementary-Billings Sweet Grass County High School Seeley-Swan High School

• • • •

Hellgate High School-Missoula Sleeping Giant Middle School-Livingston Red Lodge High School Seeley Lake Elementary

Capital High School-Helena

Commodities Update 7/7/15 By Brian Heuer, SAGE Recycling

Prices held for July for the most part. The PNW saw a $5 bump in OCC and the SW got a slight $5 increase for ONP. Please see below: July PPI OCC SW: $80-$85 (0) OCC PNW: $80-$85 (+5) ONP SW: $60-$65 (+5) ONP PNW: $55-$60 (0) SOP SW: $135-$145 (0) SOP PNW: $150-$160 (0) Here are some other recent prices as quoted to Sage: Mixed Paper delivered into LA $115/ton. Mixed Plastics 1-7 have become very hard to move. China is not taking any Mixed Plastics at the current time so the only options are domestic mills. The most recent price I have been quoted was $120/ton delivered but allocations are very limited. Keep in mind these mills are high grading the 1’s and 2’s out of the mix and disposing of the rest. 1’s and 2’s baled together are somewhat easier to move. Most recently I have gotten $220/ton delivered for them. HDPE pricing has begun to fall recently. The most recent delivered pricing I have received is HDPE Nat - $600/ton, HDPE Color - $480/ton. PET - seems to have stabilized somewhat at around $200/ton. Please let me know when you have a load ready to ship. Your specific pricing could be higher or lower depending on bale size, location, make up etc. Aluminum Cans (UBC) remain very soft. Last week I was quoted .50/lb for truck loads delivered to SLC. Tin is also very low. Our recommendation is still a hold for this material. Last month we were able to send 3 trial loads of Single Stream to a new facility on the West Coast. The good news is they were willing to cover freight from MT, WY and CO for this material. The bad news is they weren’t willing to pay for the material. Most facilities are

charging to take Single Stream now so this was still a better option. We are waiting for feedback on the loads and hope to have a standing order for more material in the near future. Trucks remain plentiful in the west and freight rates continue to be in the $1.20 - $1.30/mile for backhauls. Please let me know if you need any other pricing or if you have other questions. As always, thank you for your continued business. Brian Heuer Sage Recycling & Waste Solutions Cell: (406) 546-4581 Efax: 1-(720) 302 - 1455

Show Your Support with a Recycle Montana License Plate! Support Recycle Montana’s work to increase recycling, while proudly displaying your values with the Recycle Montana License Plate! This sponsored plate is available at all Montana county motor vehicle offices. The first-time cost of the plate is $50, which includes a manufacturing fee paid to the state, as well as a donation to Recycle Montana. After that the annual renewal cost is $30, all of which goes directly to Recycle Montana. Because we are not able to track license plate sales, we cannot offer a membership for your purchase of a plate.

Microplastics are a growing environmental issue, and also a potential threat to human health. These tiny plastic particles have been shown to attract toxins including DDT and BPA. Once ingested by small aquatic life, the toxins biomagnify as they move up the food chain. Adventurers and Scientists for Cconservation (ASC) is looking for skilled outdoorsmen and women who want to protect Montana rivers and help reduce pollution downstream. Volunteer teams will be assigned a site in the Gallatin Watershed and commit to sample this site four times in a year.

Follow Recycle Montana on facebook

Education Tour Finishes Strong By Rob Pudner, Recycling Educator Recycle Montana As the first Energy Corps member to serve with Recycle Montana, I feel that this has been a very successful year (and it isn’t over yet!). I’ve met so many great students, teachers, principals, and other staff that I’ve got the summertime blues now. In just about four months, I delivered 45 presentations at 17 schools in 14 towns. Altogether I was able to reach roughly 1,988 K-12 students. There is a lot of work to be done, but we need to remember to celebrate the progress we make every day. We’ve made great strides in bringing recycling education to schools that would not otherwise have the time to discuss it. I’ve learned a great deal through my travels as well there are many schools that do not have recycling included in their budget for the year, yet passionate faculty and staff ensure that paper, bottles, and cans are not abandoned in a landfill. Perhaps it’s because these educators see incredible potential in their community’s youth that they can also see the potential for recyclable materials. Perhaps it’s because they want their students to grow up in a clean, healthy environment with a sufficient supply of natural resources. Or perhaps they know the economic value of keeping resources in circulation. Whatever reasons they may have, I hope these recycling heroes know they are not alone. Building or expanding a school recycling program is not easy but it is certainly possible. Keep up the good work! I am thankful for the support Recycle Montana has received from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, without which we could not have had such a great impact on our state’s young recyclers. By meeting students in their schools I was able to share consistent, accurate information about recycling in Montana. I believe this is critical in promoting proper recycling methods and reducing contamination. None of the schools I visited were involved in the Lieutenant Governor’s SMART Schools Challenge this year, but each was given information about the challenge and opportunities for mini grants. To register your school for the upcoming 2015-16 SMART Recycling Challenge, contact the SMART Schools Coordinator Bill Pedersen at


Speaking at a school assembly at Swan River School in Bigfork, MT.

While my term of service as Recycling Educator ends at the end of August, Recycle Montana is considering hosting another Energy Corps member for the upcoming year. Keep an eye on our website and the bi-weekly emails updates for more information.


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Montana Recycler

Recycle Montana wants to help you spread the word about all recycling matters in your area. • • • • •

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JOIN Recycle Montana TODAY Your membership is a tax-deductible donation to a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. • Full listing of membership benefits • Recycler resources & profiles • Easy & secure membership registration

NETWORKING Recycle Montana provides a connection to your peers, local and statewide recycling trends, trucking opportunities, and state policy to keep you up-to-date and in the recycling loop.


Members enjoy networking opportunities, annual updates of programs and services, and voting privileges on matters brought to the meeting by the Recycle Montana Board including voting on Directors.

Industrial shears take a break from cutting scrap metal at Steel Etc. in Great Falls, MT.

EDUCATION & OUTREACH Recycle Montana promotes the activities and accomplishments of the organization and its members and offers information and educational opportunities to benefit your local schools.

PUBLICATIONS Recycle Montana shares local and state news in recycling, noteworthy items, and association and member accomplishments by radio, blog posts, email and Facebook updates, and in the quarterly newsletter, “The Montana Recycler”.

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DEQ Recycling Bin Loan Program Want to recycle and go green at your next event? Recycling bins are available FOR FREE! to various organizations and event holders across the state. The DEQ loan program can help your organization promote recycling at events such as school activities, community gatherings, holiday celebrations, business conferences, fairs, and more. • There is no cost to rent the bins (unless damage or theft occurs). • Transportation must be arranged from Helena (we can often help). More details at:


Profile for Recycle Montana

The Montana Recycler - Summer 2015  

Summer 2015 edition of Recycle Montana's quarterly newsletter, The Montana Recycler.

The Montana Recycler - Summer 2015  

Summer 2015 edition of Recycle Montana's quarterly newsletter, The Montana Recycler.


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