April 2016 
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Northeast Recycling Council Conference
Apr 12 - 13
Princeton, NJ
More Info
Agricultural Plastics Recycling Webinar
April 19
1:30-2:45pm EST
Register Here
Michigan Recycling Coalition Conference
May 3 - 5
Plymouth, MI
More Info
Virginia Recycling Association Conference
May 10 - 11
Roanoke, VA
More Info
Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations Conference
May 15 - 18
Bolton Landing, NY
More Info
Recycled Material Commodity Markets Update Webinar
May 17
1:30-2:45pm EST
Register Here
Please Note

All communication, payables and/or receivables should be mailed to the following address ONLY:

 

National Recycling Coalition, Inc.

1220 L Street NW, Suite 100-155

Washington DC 20005

2014-2015 NRC Board
Stephen Bantillo, NRC Vice President and NRC Policy Committee Co-Chair
Recycling Certification Institute
California

Gary Bilbro, NRC Vice President, NRC Fund Development Co-Chair and NRC Recycling Jobs Task Force Co-Chair 
SMART Recycling, Inc.
North Carolina

Robert J. Bylone, Jr., NRC Recycling Markets Council Co-Chair
Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center
Pennsylvania  

Jeffrey Cooper, NRC Fund Development Co-Chair
AECC Group
New York

Jack DeBell, NRC Campus Council Chair
University of Colorado
Colorado

George Dreckmann, NRC At-Large Executive Committee Member
City of Madison
Wisconsin

MaryEllen Etienne
Reuse Institute
Ohio    

John Frederick, NRC Liaison to National Standards Certification Board
Intermunicipal Relations Committee COG
Pennsylvania

David Juri Freeman 
City and County of Denver
Colorado
 

Bob Gedert, NRC President 
City of Austin 
Texas  
 
Marjie Griek, NRC Executive Vice President, NRC Finance Committee Co-Chair, and NRC Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair 
Colorado

Brent Hildebrand, NRC Membership Committee Co-Chair
Alpine Recycling and Waste
Colorado

Doug Hill 
EcoVision Environmental
Ontario

Mark Lichtenstein
State University of New York- College of Environmental Science and Forestry
New York

Gary Liss, NRC Secretary and SMM Summit Co-Chair 
Gary Liss & Associates
California  
 
Fran McPoland,
NRC At-Large Executive Committee Member and NRC Policy Committee Co-Chair
Paper Recycling Coalition & 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance
Washington, D.C.  

Michelle Minstrell, NRC Board Development Chair, and NRC Conference Co-Chair
Virginia  
 
Maite Quinn, NRC Communications Committee Co-Chair
Sims Municipal Recycling/ Sims Metal Management
New Jersey

Julie L Rhodes, Chair of the Board, NRC Treasurer, NRC Finance Co-Chair, NRC Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair, and SMM Summit Co-Chair 
Julie L. Rhodes Consulting
Indiana

Antonio Rios 
Puerto Rico Recycling Coalition
Puerto Rico
 
 
Will Sagar, NRC At-Large Executive Committee Member, NRC Business Development Co-Chair, and NRC Recycling Markets Council Co-Chair
Southeast Recycling Development Council
North Carolina  

Lisa Skumatz, NRC Awards Chair
Skumatz Economic Research Associates & Econservation Institute
Colorado

Michael E. Van Brunt 
Covanta
New Jersey  
 
Robin Wiener, NRC Recycling Jobs Task Force Co-Chair
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
Washington, D.C.

Melissa Young, NRC Communications Committee Co-Chair
Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions
New York
Other NRC Leaders
Cliff Case Ex-officio, Honorary Board Member
Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, LLP
New York 
 
Murray Fox, Ex-officio, Honorary Board Member 
i-ROC
Massachusetts

Terry Guerin, NRC Murray J. Fox Fund Co-Chair 
Guerin & Guerin, Inc.
Indiana

Marie Kruzan, Membership Committee Co-Chair and National Standards Certification Board Chair 
Association of New Jersey Recyclers
New Jersey

Meg Morris, NRC Murray J. Fox Fund Co-Chair 
Covanta
Massachusetts

Michele Nestor, Ex-officio ROC Chair 
Nestor Resources, Inc.
Pennsylvania
Follow Us!
Be sure to follow us on social media! We post recycling articles, tips, infographics and information about upcoming events!

Twitter: @NRCrecycles
Facebook: National Recycling Coalition
LinkedIn: National Recycling Coalition
eNews Staff
NRC eNews Editor

Laura Flagg
President's Report
Dear NRC Members,

I had the great pleasure to actively participate in the recent G7 Alliance on Resource Recovery, held in Washington DC March 22-23, 2016. This invitation only event included representatives from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States. The purpose of the G7 gathering, as a follow-up of the Paris Climate Change Discussions, was to explore key challenges to implementing life cycle concepts and to advance resource efficiency practices.

Resource efficiency, as defined in these international discussions, includes the analysis and reduction of environmental impacts within the life-cycle of product and packaging design, raw material extraction, production, transportation, marketing, consumer use, and end-of-life management through, reuse, recycling, composting or disposal. Other terms used to describe these activities and processes included Sustainable Materials Management, Zero Waste, and the Circular Economy.

Mathy Stanislaus (USEPA Assistant Administrator) and Masahito Fukami (Japan Ministry of the Environment) hosted the two days of active discussions. Delegates from the seven countries discussed best practices in waste reduction through design, and the challenges of establishing reuse and recycling collection.

Recycling markets were the main discussion point in the round-table discussions, with the call for cleaner collection methods, higher quality recyclables marketed, and strong needs to aggregate volumes to support industrial raw material feedstock. Contamination was identified as a major weakness in the industrial settings of material recovery, much as we see in the post-consumer collection programs. In the discussion of best practices, many called for common terminology and collection standardization of the recycling industry.

The German Minister called for international research and education on the development of a global Circular Economy, where "waste" is defined as resources replacing raw material extraction and reducing impacts on Climate Change. The French Minister called for focus on waste reduction and recycling as a Industrial KPI - Key Performance Indicator. Most of the international discussions focused on product manufacturing, regarding smarter design, less material waste, reduced energy consumption, and the development of "remanufacturing" networks to support recycling markets.

End-of-Life challenges discussed included recyclability of composites and mixed materials, regional differences in collection standards, mitigation of supply risk regarding quantity variations, mitigating quality concerns through international standardization, and public education challenges.

A call to action was actively discussed at the end of the gathering, with a written report to be distributed by May to the OCED. Some of the actions discussed included a call for manufacturers to meet with recyclers, regulatory relaxation of recycling activities (stop treating material recovery as waste management), incorporating and encouraging green design standard, and international data collection on life-cycle analysis to support end-of-life material recovery.

The final call was to build partnerships between industry, recyclers, and consumers. Again the need for partnership, collaboration, and action. I was pleased to represent the National Recycling Coalition in these discussions, and I will report back to the membership as more actions unfold in these international discussions.
 
Sincerely yours,

Bob Gedert
NRC President
NRC Plans to Meet in Roanoke, VA
The NRC Board of Directors plans to hold their next in-person Board meeting at the Virginia Recycling Association Annual Conference!

Date: Monday, May 9, 2016
Time: 10am ET - 4:30pm ET
Location: The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Roanoke, VA

NRC President, Bob Gedert, will also be the featured speaker at Tuesday's lunch at the conference. Be sure to join VRA and Bob to hear about the future of NRC and Bob's vision for the organization. 

Interested in attending the Virginia Recycling Association Annual Conference? Register here by April 8 to save $50 and receive the the early-bird rate! 
Communications Committee Update
Melissa Young and Maite Quinn, NRC Board members, are co-chairing the Communications Committee! Get ready to hear more from the NRC. Their goal is to distribute a bi-monthly newsletter so that you can find out what is going on in all the committees. They also plan on sharing more stories from NRC members, so please get in touch with them to tell NRC what your organization or community is doing to keep the 3 Rs going!

                      

Contact Melissa Young at
melissa.young@nrcrecycles.org and Maite Quinn at maite@nrcrecycles.org
Long View of Recycling Will Satisfy All Parties
By Brent Hildebrand and Will Sagar
Reprinted from NRC's OpEd in Resource Recycling Magazine on
March 8, 2016

As we examine the challenges of the nation's recycling landscape, it's good to keep in mind two basic truths: There will always be a huge segment of the population that insists on opportunities to recycle. And recycling is here to stay.

It's easy to let the current depressed market for recycled commodities drag the industry into a sense of despair. Current conditions threaten the profitability of some operations, especially those tied into long-term service contracts that make them dependent upon markets for revenue. But over the last 20 years we've also seen a consistent, growing demand among consumers for more recycling access, especially as they've become increasingly aware of the benefits of recycling.

Even in the worst of times, anyone should be able to see the good financial and environmental sense in investing in a business that has shown such positive growth for such a long period.
Consider, for a moment, that while market prices are currently depressed, there remain viable markets for recovered material. We don't have warehouses of curbside-collected material idly waiting for someone to take. Rather, the recycling infrastructure continues to feed domestic and international manufacturing, providing feedstock for a substantial sector of our economy. While the intermediate processor with an outdated or difficult long-term contract is in a financial squeeze, recycling continues to be a service with a significant impact on our economy.

Ups and downs inevitable
Holding onto this view of things is pivotal for our industry's success. It is a perspective that all parties, both customers and material processors, should adopt in the early stages of their relationships to ensure maximum success in the future. If we can get customers and processors to acknowledge the inevitable ups and downs of commodity prices, we can smooth out the experience and make everybody happy. But this solution requires a long-term strategy, with a willingness by both sides to accept some of the risks and downsides of the business, as customer rebates dwindle or profits diminish on the processing side.

Clean newspaper is becoming harder to find, containers are being lightweighted and paper is generally shrinking in volume. A ton of recyclable material garnered through single-stream collection just isn't what it was five years ago. The equipment installed to process single-stream material 10 years ago is not designed to process today's material mix efficiently. The material stream is changing and so must the industry.

As little as five years ago, processors commonly offered agreements that gave rebates to customers with a floor rate. This rate would ensure the customer a baseline amount of money to expect in return, but a processor also had to be able to recoup the cost of all that fancy new sorting equipment. Unfortunately, the stream changed so fast - thinner, lighter, less material - and the commodities-market fall happened to coincide alongside that change. Eventually, many of those agreements became unprofitable. While one might applaud the customer for negotiating the unbalanced agreement, consider the reality: When that agreement expires, that customer is doomed to experience some serious sticker shock.

When commodities come back (and they will), don't forget where we came from. Both customers and processors need to be realistic. When it comes to any sort of single-stream processing, agreements need to account for the worst-case scenario. Mutual benefit is the goal and processors must recover costs to justify the business.

New reality for customers
This strategic shift might require a re-education of the customer, and the complexity of the new "floating" rebate, as opposed to the floor rate, might be more difficult for the customer to swallow based on revenues gleaned from past contracts. But there needs to be an honest conversation with customers to let them know that previous contract structures were not sustainable, and if they want to continue to offer recycling services to residents (and, we certainly think they do), there might not be the same rebates they once enjoyed.

Given the reduction of recycled commodity values, we have to believe that customers also want to take the long view and will be willing to earn less - or even pay more - to divert more waste to more sustainable uses. The industry needs contracts that steer both customers and processors toward a fair and happy medium, allowing everybody to share in the long-term benefits and long-term success of recycling.
NRC Members in Action!
Member Spotlight: Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center
The second round of the Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center's (SU-EFC) New York State Sustainable Materials Management Stewardship Program is underway with two trainings held in February in Syracuse. The program engages college students in intensive training on the topic of Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)-specifically reuse, reduction, recycling, and composting-and then connects the students (known as "Stewards" in the program) to local organizations working on SMM issues to help implement special projects.

The program builds off a successful first round in the spring 2015 semester, as well as sister programs that have been implemented in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This round, 22 students from Syracuse University (SU) and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) have signed on to participate, and will receive either college credit or pay for their contributions.

Project leads Lisa Ruggero and Laura Flagg from SU-EFC were joined by partners from the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) and SUNY-ESF to deliver the first training on February 11. Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Director of Sustainability at SUNY-ESF and SMM expert provided a high-level overview of the subject, and Theresa Mandery, Recycling Specialist from OCRRA, spoke about specific SMM education efforts taking place in Onondaga County.

A second training was held in Syracuse on February 25. The training included an overview of assigned readings and videos, a presentation on food recovery and organics management from Environmental Program Specialist, Gary Feinland, of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), as well as an introduction to the program's partner organizations. Partners include Syracuse Grows, the NYSDEC, and the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse, and Recycling (NYSAR3).

Students will have the ability to create their own projects, or assist with one of several pre-identified projects, and will report on their work at the end of the semester.



In this new series, NRC member updates will be featured in the eNews. Have a member update of your own to share? Email Laura Flagg at laura@nrcrecycles.org to have it featured in the next NRC eNews!
5th Annual USZWBC National Zero Waste Business Conference
Hoping to tune in and learn what's new with Zero Waste for your business?  Join the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (www.uszwbc.org) and industry leaders from across the globe in Austin, Texas June 1-4, 2016 for the 5th annual National Zero Waste Business Conference "Tuning in to Zero Waste."  The event is conducted by USZWBC and hosted/sponsored by Austin Resource Recovery as a venue for professionals from all sectors (private, public, nonprofit, academia) to expand their Zero Waste knowledge.  The event will provide educational resources, networking opportunities, and professional training for businesses to begin (or fine tune) their efforts to pursue Zero Waste. It will also provide sessions lead by experts on Zero Waste related topics such as operations, economics, policies and more.  Each year, the event grows larger as the value of attending this conference is shared. Stay tuned to the "Zero Waste station" via www.uszwbc.org for more information including early bird registration, sponsorship opportunities, program and much more.
 
Special offer for NRC network: enter the code "nzwbc16nrc" during registration and a set of 20% off discounted rates will appear!!! Register today at www.uszwbc.org!
 Save the Date! Join EPA SMM Web Academy Seminar April 14 at 1:00pm: How Communities can Transform Waste Streams through Policies and Programs
Join EPA to learn about a new EPA tool showcasing ways that local governments can move their communities towards higher levels of waste reduction, materials reuse, recycling, and composting across waste generation sectors.  Also, hear from the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, a community that is charting a path towards zero waste, having successfully implemented several policies and programs featured in the tool.

EPA's Managing and Transforming Waste Streams:  A Tool for Communities enables users to explore 100 policy and program options, including 38 measures addressing organic waste.  The tool illustrates different approaches to materials reuse and recovery objectives, whether in the form of enhancing curbside collection, adopting requirements, conducting community outreach, promoting infrastructure development, or engaging in product stewardship.  It can lend support to local or regional solid waste plan updates or zero waste plans.  The tool contains over 250 implementation examples from communities across the country, with links to city and county ordinances, contract language, and program websites.  

Fort Collins' journey to zero waste began with setting a goal to achieve 50% diversion from landfill and has progressed over time through a series of adopted ordinances.  Learn what motivated the City to action and how it has ratcheted down on waste sent to landfill in an open market served by private haulers.  The City will share information on its current requirements and incentives, outreach activities, and future plans.

Register here today!

Thursday April 14 at 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST
How Communities can Transform Waste Streams through Policies and Programs
National Recycling Coalition | 1220 L St NW | Suite 100-155 | Washington, DC 20005 | nrcrecycles.org