June 2016 
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Georgia Recycling Coalition Glass Recycling Summit
Macon, GA
July 28, 2016
Annual NRC Members Meeting in Conjunction with Resource Recycling Annual Conference
New Orleans, LA
August 30-September 1, 2016
Georgia Recycling Coalition Annual Conference
Saint Simons Island, GA
September 18 - 21, 2016
Arkansas Recycling Coalition Annual Conference 
Eureka Springs, AK
September 20, 2016
More Information
New Mexico Recycling & Solid Waste Conference
Albuquerque, NM
September 26 - 28, 2016
Iowa Recycling & Solid Waste Management Conference
Davenport, IA
October 3 - 5, 2016
State of Texas Alliance for Recyclers Annual Summit
San Antonio, TX
October 16-18, 2016
More Information
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

2015-2016 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
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eNews Staff
NRC eNews Editor

NRC eNews Editor

President's Report
Greetings to the members of the NRC, 
 
I appreciate your dedication to recycling. Your collective effo rts do make a difference in the promotion and implementation of recycling c ol lection and processing throughout North America and Puerto Rico.
 
The NRC Board held an in-per son meeting on May 9th to engage in Strategic Planning. The topics discussed identified Short-Term Tactics that include forming a small communications task force of board members responsible for quickly responding to "anti-recycling" negative press, exploring potential additional member benefits, and enhancement of member recruitment. In addition, an executive director exploratory committee has been established. 

Identified Mid- to Long-Term Tactics include developing and expanding diverse sources of revenue, review and amend NRC policy positions on current issues of importance to recycling stakeholders, and hiring an Executive Director.  The prioritization of elements discussed are being discussed in the June and July NRC committee meetings to form an NRC Strategic Plan. Member input is welcomed throughout this strategic planning process.

The editors of Resource Recycling Magazine has invited the NRC to participate in a monthly opinion column. The NRC board members has provided a series of monthly opinion articles including the following articles:
The NRC engaged in a Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit last year, in coordination with USEPA and many other host industry representatives. One of the take-a-way's from that summit involves the role of recyclers in the national conversation of the circular economy. A term that is now being widely used to describe our role in this discussion is "Recyclers+", which refers to professionals involved with reuse, recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, and extended producer responsibility.  NRC's continuing role is now focusing on the recycling markets, MRFs contamination concerns, and Recyclers+ role in the highest and best use of material management.

As NRC President, I offer the following opportunities I have been invited to share the NRC vision, and listen to member input. My Speaker Series involves the following:
  • March 21-23, 2016: G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency, Arlington, VA
  • April 4, 2016: Municipal Zero Waste Leaders' Summit, Boston, MA
  • May 9-10, 2016: Virginia Recycling Association, Roanoke, VA
  • June 3, 2016: US Zero Waste Business Council, Austin, TX
  • June 4, 2016: Partnership for a Green City: Reuse Summit, Louisville, KY
  • June 13, 2016: Colorado Association for Recycling: Summit for Recycling, Grand Junction, CO
  • June 14-15, 2016: US Business Council for Sustainable Development, New Haven, CT
  • June 21, 2016: Indianapolis Recycling Coalition Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN
  • Aug 30-Sept 1, 2016: Resource Recycling Annual Conference - Annual NRC Members Meeting, New Orleans, LA
  • Sept 20, 2016: Arkansas Recycling Coalition Annual Conference, Eureka Springs, AK
  • Oct 16-18, 2016: State of Texas Alliance for Recyclers Annual Summit, San Antonio, TX
NRC Board of Directors has a strong commitment toward transparency, with all Board meeting open to NRC member participation. Board agendas and meeting minutes are posted on the  NRC website   as part of board business.
 
Together, We Are Recycling!

Sincerely yours,

Bob Gedert
NRC President
Learn from the best at Resource Recycling Conference!
August 30th - September 1st, 2016
The expertly curated sessions and networking opportu nities a t the Resource Recycling Conference speak directly to the issues and trends affecting the  materials-recovery ecosystem right now.
 
At the 2016 event, expect in-depth analysis of key commodities markets and contamination concerns as well as insight into topics such as resident outreach, organics recovery, hauler contracting and state- and local-level policy creation.
 
The Resource Recycling Conference, now in its seventh year, brings together top corporate executives, well-connected government officials, nonprofit group leaders and other dynamic professionals.
 
Register now at  rrconference.com!  
NRC Awards
Deadline Extended until July 6, 2016
To nominate an outstanding programs and/or individual, write a 150 word summary and 1000 word document on why they should win! Review the criteria that is necessary to include here Submit all documents to this SurveyMonkey form

Your nominees will thank you and winners will be honored at Resource Recycling's Annual Conference in New Orleans from August 30 - September 1, 2016.

Take this extended opportunity to honor a program or individual that deserves this acknowledgement!
2016 Recycling Scholarships Available to New Orleans Area College Students
Since 1994, the National Recycling Coalition has awarded scholarships to students interested in the recycling field. This year, the NRC is awarding scholarships to qualified New Orleans area students in the amount of $1,500 each. Recipients will also receive complementary admission to the Resource Recycling Conference, August 30th through September 1st, and a one-year membership to the NRC.
 
Scholarship applications can be submitted online here. Applications must be received no later than July 22nd.  Winners will be announced by August 5, 2016.

More information is available on the NRC Website.
NRC Board of Directors Meets in Roanoke, VA
The NRC Board of Directors held an in-person Board meeting on May 9, 2016. This meeting was in conjunction with the Virginia Recycling Association Annual Conference. Located at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Roanoke, VA.

At this meeting, NRC Board members engaged in Strategic Planning and identified short, mid, and long-term tactics for NRC. The NRC Board also met with the VRA Board of Directors and had a collaborative round-table discussion regarding the needs of the state recycling association and its relationship with the NRC. Thanks to VRA for hosting the NRC Board! The concerns and suggestions offered in the joint board discussion were taken to heart.
  
   
 
Illinois Training Program Receives NRC Certification
Last month, the Illinois Recycling Coalition's Sustainable Resource Management Professional Certification program was accredited by the NRC's Standards Certification board.  With this distinction, the Illinois Recycling Association joins other states like New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey who value professional certification for people in their state.  As Sustainable Materials Management becomes a higher priority for local governments, businesses and institutions, a well-trained pool of certified professionals becomes even more important. 

According to Marie Kruzan, Chair of the National Standards Certification Board, "the application showed a great deal of work and thought went into creating this program. The program has a nice mix of online and offline work, a good use of interactive discussions, includes progressive demonstrations of competency and has set-up clear processes and procedures." 

Other states and organizations have begun developing convenient, affordable professional training programs that address national standards while also incorporating unique state, regional and provincial concerns and regulations. For more information visit the NRC Website.
Member Spotlight:
Marjie Griek Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Congratulations to Marjie Griek on being the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award granted by the Colorado Association of Recycling!



The Lifetime Achievement Award was rewarded to Griek due to her enormous positive impacts within the industry throughout her career. She has helped elevate awareness of recycling and composting among legislators, economic development representatives, and the sustainability community. Griek has an uncanny knack for bringing together disparate groups to solve problems and to work towards a common goal - her skills are always applied with respect for participants and a playful sense of humor that creates conviviality. Griek has been a extremely important leader for Colorado, the NRC, and an inspiration to many.
 
Learn more about the 2016 CAFR Award Recipients Here.
Member Spotlight:
Sims Municipal Recycling Hosts EarthDay Event
On Thursday, April 21, 2016 Si ms Municipal Recycling [SMR] partnered with John J Pershing IS 220 Middle School to celebrate Earth Day. Students and parents had the opportunity to learn more about h ow SMR sorts NYC's recyclables at the local Sunset Park Material Recovery Fa cility. The school is located within the  same  ne ighborhood as the local Materials Recovery Facility, lending the opportunity for a collaborative and educational experience that will develop into a long lasting partnership to host further events. 

At this event, stude nts had the chance to decorate pots for plants, look at small insects in the microscope, and help Sims sort through their recyclables.

 
Students and young recyclers decide on where to place materials for recycling.
Skepticism of dirty MRFs proving to be well-founded
By John Frederick
Reprinted from NRC's OpEd in Resource Recycling Magazine on 
April 11, 2016
 
In a time of diminishing natural resources and increasing demand for goods, an economy based on repair, reuse and recycling makes sense from both an environmental and economic perspective. Recovery and reuse are much preferable to wanton consumption and subsequent disposal.

The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) has developed a total of 41 policies since its incorporation in 1978, with the ultimate goal of transforming a throw-away society into a circular one. While a handful of those policies have tumbled into obsolescence as the recycling landscape has evolved, many of those "old" positions have remained surprisingly relevant and become the foundation on which recently established policies have been built.

For example, early NRC policies advocated for:
* A national waste reduction goal
* Technical and financial support for local and state governments recycling infrastructure
Yard waste disposal bans
* Uniform labeling guidelines for products
* Standardized measurement criteria for waste production and recovery
Manufacturers evaluating the environmental liabilities or costs of their products
* Cost effective recycling operations and facilities
 
Seeds of the hierarchy
Though all the concepts listed above continue to play important roles in our industry, perhaps the most resonant of NRC's early position statements, at least among recycling and zero waste advocates, is the "Hierarchy of Waste Management Preferences." The policy still serves as a basis for challenging issues confronting the industry here in 2016.

"The National Recycling Coalition endorses and supports a hierarchy of waste management preferences that gives first priority to source reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting to minimize the amount of waste to be otherwise managed," the organization's policy document reads.

It is this relatively simple and straightforward statement that provides the fundamental premise for the group's  recently adopted positions on waste-to-energy (WTE) and so-called "dirty MRFs," materials recovery facilities that aim to separate recyclable materials from household trash.

In the midst of attacks and challenges from several fronts, NRC's policies on mixed-waste processing systems and WTE have reinforced and substantiated the fundamental principles of recycling so eloquently described a number of years ago.
Recycling success comes down to quality and value. Be it PET plastic bottles, newspaper or leaves, processors need uncontaminated materials that can be transformed into affordable, high quality packaging or products that do the things they are expected to do. When it comes to recycling, as the old saying goes, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken manure (though both might make good compost).

As new technologies emerge, we sometimes forget (or at least underestimate) that quality and value are also closely tied to process. When that process is complicated, made more expensive in the long run or results in inferior products, recycling fails and disposal suddenly seems like a good idea again. And while convenience is certainly an important factor in any recycling equation, it should not be the only one.

Aiming at weak systems
It is noteworthy that mixed-waste advocates picked their battles carefully, looking for the Achilles' heel of recycling - communities that had struggled to implement successful recycling programs. Such systems were not proposed for Boulder, Colo. or Seattle. Instead, they came before decision-makers in places that had dreadful participation rates and systemic fatal flaws in their existing recycling programs.

Mixed-waste processing and waste-to-energy technologies initially fell into disfavor in some circles because of environmental concerns. Yet it has been the economic struggles of these technologies that have helped push recycling back to its rightful place as the most environmentally and economically sustainable way to handle our discards.

NRC ultimately came to support the Recycling Industries Coalition's (RIC) stance on mixed-waste processing late last year. "Instead of relying on dirty MRFs, NRC urges communities to implement best practices for the separate collection of recyclables," the organization wrote in an official statement. Firm stances by NRC, RIC, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the Glass Packaging Institute and the American Forest & Paper Association lent additional credibility to the outcries of protest from affected state recycling associations and other recycling advocates.

The closure of a dirty MRF in Montgomery, Ala. and the  recent rejections of dirty MRFs in Indianapolis and Houston would seem to reinforce the contention that such facilities remain questionable investments and ineffective material recovery systems.

The irony of it all has to make you smile: Traditional recycling, framed as something that makes environmental sense, ends up making just as much sense economically.
National Recycling Coalition | 1220 L St NW | Suite 100-155 | Washington, DC 20005 | nrcrecycles.org