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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
RLSC Reverse Logistics Conference
Jan. 19-21, 2015
Dallas, TX
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Vermicomposting Webinar
Jan. 20, 2015
1:30-2:45pm EST
USCC Conference and Tradeshow- Organics on the Rise
Jan. 20-23, 2015
Austin, TX
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Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education Conference
Feb. 5-8, 2015
Ocean City, MD
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Pesticide Stewardship Conference
Feb. 10-12
Savannah, GA
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Recycled Paper and Plastics Industry Update Webinar
Feb. 17, 2015
1:30-2:45pm EST
Register Here
Plastics Recycling 2015
Feb. 23-25, 2015
Dallas, TX
More Info
Paper Stock Industries Specifications Summit
Feb. 25-26, 2015
Dallas, TX
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Wisconsin Integrated Resource Management Conference
Feb. 25-27, 2015
Oconomowoc, WI
More Info 
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
Gary Bilbro, NRC Vice President
NewGreen Consulting, LLC
North Carolina

Maggie Clarke
Maggie Clarke Environmental
New York

Susan Collins, At-large Executive Committee
Container Recycling Institute

Jeffrey Cooper, NRC Board Chair
New York

John Frederick
Intermunicipal Relations Committee COG

David Juri Freeman
City and County of Denver

Jack DeBell, NRC Campus Council Chair
University of Colorado Recycling Services

Marjie Griek, NRC Vice President
Colorado Association for Recycling

Doug Hill
EcoVision Environmental

Mark Lichtenstein, NRC President and CEO
Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions
New York

Gary Liss, NRC Secretary
Gary Liss & Associates

Stephen London
North Carolina

Fran McPoland,
NRC Vice President
Paper Recycling Coalition & 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance
Washington, D.C.

Michelle Minstrell, At-large Executive Committee
 Sustainability Services

Maite Quinn
Sims Municipal Recycling/ Sims Metal Management
New Jersey

Julie Rhodes, NRC Treasurer
Julie Rhodes Consulting

Antonio Rios
Puerto Rico Recycling Coalition
Puerto Rico

Will Sagar, At-large Executive Committee
Southeast Recycling Development Council
North Carolina

Lisa Skumatz
Skumatz Economic Research Associates & Econservation Institute

Michael E. Van Brunt
New Jersey 

Robin Wiener
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
Washington, D.C.

Cliff Case, Ex-officio, Honorary Board Member
Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, LLP
New York

Murray Fox, Ex-officio, Honorary Board Member

Michele Nestor, Ex-officio
ROC Chair
Nestor Resources, Inc.
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eNews Staff
NRC Staff Lead
Lisa Ruggero
NRC Staff Assistant and
eNews Editor

Laura Flagg
President's Report:
NRC Redefines Recycling, and
Opposes 'Single-bin' Systems

Mark L Happy holidays everyone!


We near the end of another of NRC's almost 40 years of promoting the sustainable management of materials. The NRC continues to refine and focus. The NRC Board of Directors in 2013 made a bold and unanimous statement, one that acknowledged the need for a critically important shift in our collective thinking about "waste." We identified three very laudable and forward-looking strategic areas:

  • Build the economic case for recycling,
  • Recognize and help shape the sustainable materials management paradigm, and
  • Help lead and expand the product stewardship discussion.

The importance of those has not diminished--they continue to frame our efforts, but with the thoughtful guidance of many of our affiliated state-level recycling organizations, we have defined an clear strategic programmatic focus moving into 2015:

  1. Clarify and promote the economic case for recycling and sustainable materials management,
  2. Host the first-of-its kind National Sustainable Materials Management Summit in 2015 with the goal to develop a succinct action-plan intended to accelerate SMM strategies across the continent,
  3. Expand NRC's National Standards Certification efforts, and associated recycling jobs initiative (promoting the creation of new jobs, as well as the retention of existing jobs), and
  4. Facilitate important policy deliberations and positions, and developing an associated advocacy action plan (this includes issues such as single-bin / mixed-materials processing, the right mix of market-based and policy-based solutions, innovative and new infrastructure financing schemes, and others).

There are other important things we do, but the NRC plans to zero-in on these four areas-aligning most of our resources toward them.


See the important stories below that discuss specific activities the NRC has embarked on related to items one through three. I'm going to focus the rest of my remarks on recent actions related to item four, as they remind me of the NRC of old--one that led vibrant discourse and advocacy around critically important issues. We are increasingly being looked upon to provide a forum for transparent and inclusive dialogue, and ultimately, to bring tough topics into the light.


This year we redefined recycling. The last time the NRC did this, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted our definition. Bill McDonough (author of the popular Cradle2Cradle) participated with our Board for a lively and insightful discussion after his inspiring keynote presentation at the September Resource Recycling conference. The resulting definition:


Recycling is a series of activities by which material that has reached the end of its current use is processed into material utilized in the production of new products.


NRC's previous definition of recycling (the one adopted by the EPA):


The series of activities by which materials that are no longer useful to the generator are collected, sorted, processed, and converted into raw materials and used in the production of new products.


Recently, NRC joined with the Recycling Industries Coalition (RIC) to oppose single-bin systems, mixed waste/materials processing, or "Dirty MRFs," and we also released a statement urging communities to implement best practices for the separate collection of recyclables, and suggested recycling programs must be designed to minimize contamination in consideration of the needs of upstream users. We feel strongly, that in conjunction with source reduction, reuse, and composting, the recycling of valuable materials for their highest and best use is essential to a sustainable environmental, energy, and economic future.


The NRC also formally joined RIC, a committed and cohesive group dedicated to promoting viable recycling. Members of RIC supporting the recent aforementioned statement include:

  • American Forest and Paper Association
  • Glass Packaging Institute
  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
  • Knauf Insulation
  • Newark Group
  • O-I
  • Paper Recycling Coalition
  • Steel Recycling Institute
  • Waste Management

The core of of the aforementioned RIC policy states:


Preserving the quality of recyclable materials, from collection through production into new products, will ultimately expand both the supply and the demand for recyclable feedstock for the world's manufacturing industries. Coalition members know that a facility processing waste and recyclables mixed together, known as a "Dirty MRF," will not improve and may harm recycling. When processing recyclables mixed with solid waste, it can result in the recyclable materials being rendered useless for reprocessing into new products. Mixing these valuable recyclables with food, diapers, and other contaminants will severely degrade them to the point that they will only be usable for incineration, landfilling or energy recovery, which is not recycling.


Our Policy Committee will continue its work to examine issues most germane to moving the needle on SMM. We encourage you to get involved with us on these issues, with our Recycling Jobs Task Force, or with a number of other very important initiatives we've embarked on.


My very best to you this holiday season!


Sincerely yours,

Mark Lichtenstein

President & CEO 

NRC to Spur Action for Sustainable Materials Management in Spring 2015!

National Summit Planned at University of Maryland, May 12 - 13

Washington, DC - The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) announced the first-ever National Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit to be held May 12-13, 2015, at the University of Maryland. The one-and-a-half day Summit will launch a national dialog intended to accelerate sustainable materials management in the United States, and is co-hosted by the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions / Environmental Finance Center, and University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center.


"The Summit aims to enrich the value and role of sustainable materials management initiatives in businesses, states, regions, and local communities in the United States, across North America, and beyond," said NRC Board President and CEO, Mark Lichtenstein. "Ultimately, we want to accelerate SMM as a method of choice for avoiding the generation of discarded material. At this Summit a focus will be on the sustainable management of materials that have been discarded. The Summit's approach will be to generate action-oriented strategies. At the end of the day, this 'un-conference' will have produced the beginnings of a refined SMM strategy-based plan." Lichtenstein continued.


The Summit will bring together 200 of the most innovative thinkers and practitioners working on issues around how natural resources are extracted, used, and then managed after their initial end-of-life. It also includes leaders in source reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling. NRC will develop the start of a SMM National Plan based on a facilitated dialogue among a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The intent is to identify deeper collaborative connections for actions and activities in the future among progressive businesses, federal, regional, state and local governments, reuse and recycling organizations, trade and industry groups, and other nonprofits.


Initial Supporters of the SMM Summit include ReTrac, the Steel Recycling Institute, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Broad and inclusive Advisory and Steering Committees (see below) are also helping to organize this important event, which represent all segments of reuse, recycling, and composting in America.


About the National Recycling Coalition

The National Recycling Coalition is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and enhancing SMM in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across source reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling. For more than 30 years, the NRC has been a leader in driving education and policy around SMM. Learn more about the NRC at, and the SMM Summit at


About Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)

The US EPA defines SMM as "an approach to serving human needs by using/reusing resources most productively and sustainably throughout their life cycles, from the point of resource extraction through material disposal. This approach seeks to minimize the amount of materials involved as well as associated environmental impacts, and account for economic efficiency and social considerations." SMM includes actions across the full life-cycle of materials, including but not limited to managing materials after they have been discarded. SMM is about environmental justice, regional solutions, job training and local job creation, new materials science and design for recycling, innovative financing, product stewardship, sustainable organics management, a nexus of market-based and policy-based solutions, reuse and repurposing, highest-and-best use analysis for local decision-making, new management technology, enhanced recycling, and many more.


If you are receiving this eNews, then in all likelihood, you are involved in SMM in some manner.


SMM Summit Advisory and Steering Committee Members

  • American Sustainable Business Council
  • Association of New Jersey Recyclers
  • Container Recycling Institute
  • Covanta
  • Closed Loop Fund
  • Curbside Value Partnership 
  • Gary Liss and Associates
  • GrassRoots Recycling Network / Zero Waste USA
  • Institute of Local Self Reliance
  • Julie L. Rhodes Consulting
  • Keep America Beautiful
  • Maryland Recyclers Network
  • McDonough Innovation
  • Natural Resource Defense Council
  • National Waste & Recycling Association
  • New Green Consulting
  • Northeast Recycling Council
  • Paper Recycling Coalition
  • Recyclers Global Warming Council of California Resource Recovery Association
  • Recycling Organizations Council
  • Resource Recycling
  • Reuse Alliance and REUSE International
  • Sierra Club Zero Waste Community Responsibility Team
  • Solid Waste Association of North America
  • Southeast Recycling Development Council
  • State of Texas Alliance for Recycling
  • Steel Recycling Institute
  • Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions
  • University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center
  • US Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • US Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • US Composting Council
  • US EPA Region 4
  • US Zero Waste Business Council and SBM Management
  • Virginia Recyclers Association
  • Zero Waste International Alliance and Richard Anthony Associates
NRC's Recycling Jobs Task Force

Gary A. Bilbro and Robin K. Wiener, Co-Chairs

How many jobs in this country are related to recycling? That question needs to be answered, but to answer correctly, we need to identify the various types of job creators related to the recycling industry. Once we know what jobs are related, we can understand how many jobs are actually tied to the industry.

If we could properly calculate the number of jobs related to the recycling industry, we could have a much stronger voice when communicating with the legislatures and policy-makers within this country. As with any other industry, there is strength in numbers and for too many years the recycling industry has been understated as a job creating industry.


Considering the above, the NRCs Recycling Jobs Task Force (RJTF) Goals and Objectives are:

  1. The NRC and RJTF are undertaking the task of properly recognizing the impact of the recycling industry on the economy.
  2. The NRC recently published a new "Definition of Recycling" and the RJTF intends to utilize this to help identify the various jobs related to the industry. The new definition is: "Recycling is a series of activities by which material that has reached the end of its current use is processed into material utilized in the production of new products."
  3. The NRC RJTF also intends to work in conjunction with the National Standards and Certification Board to make sure these industry jobs have certified training programs available to those in or new to the industry
  4. The NRC RJTF will work with the NRC Campus Council to help promote the recycling industry as a sustainable career path for those looking for work and for those entering the job market.
  5. The NRC RJTF will propagate to all policy makers that source reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling jobs are strong and viable in communities across this country.
  6. The NRC RJTF will show that these industry jobs are required to generate the activities that will move this country closer to zero waste.
  7. The NRC RJTF will promote the growth and development of sustainable programs throughout the US while promoting the generation of more recycling jobs.
  8. The NRC RJTF will work with other like-minded agencies, associations, and organizations in order to be inclusive of all industry related jobs. With joined knowledge, the RJTF will have more up-to-date information and a more comprehensive list of industry jobs.

The NRC and RJTF will be actively searching for committee members to help implement these goals and objectives of the task force. To learn how you can help, please contact the NRC.


Gary A. Bilbro - Is a Board Member for the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) and President of SMART Recycling of SC, LLC. Gary can be reached at 


Robin K. Wiener - Is a Board Member for the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) and President of ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.). Robin can be reached at

ROC Update
Starting in January 2015, the ROC's new conference call time will be the second Friday of every other month at 1:00pm EST.

Be sure to check out and join the ROC's Facebook Group for up to date information!
Current NRC Affiliates
Thanks to our affiliated recycling associations for their continued membership and support! We look forward to another successful year of promoting Sustainable Materials Management in North America together!
  • Alabama Recycling Coalition
  • California Resource Recovery Association

  • Carolina Recycling Association
  • Colorado Association for Recycling

  • Georgia Recycling Coalition

  • Illinois Recycling Association

  • Indiana Recycling Coalition
  • Iowa Recycling Association 
  • Maryland Recycling Network

  • Michigan Recycling Coalition 
  • Missouri Recycling Association

  • Recycling Association of Minnesota
  • New Mexico Recycling Coalition

  • New York Association for Reduction, Reuse & Recycling

  • Association of New Jersey Recyclers
  • Oklahoma Recycling Association 
  • Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center
  • Coalicion de Reciclaje De Puerto Rico

  • State of Texas Alliance for Recycling

  • Virginia Recycling Association  

  • Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin   

Benefits of affiliation include automatic membership and voting privileges in NRC elections for all members of the state recycling organization, free webinar hosting, and more!  


Contact for details.   

4th Annual National Zero Waste Business Conference 
On May 5-7, 2015, the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council  will host its 4th annual national conference, "The Stars of Zero Waste," in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. The event will provide educational resources, professional training for businesses to get started (or complete) their efforts to pursue Zero Waste, and presentations by industry leaders on Zero Waste business operations, economics, policies, and more. Professionals from all sectors (private, public, nonprofit, academia) are invited to gain practical knowledge, explore new business opportunities, and learn how to create healthier, more productive and more efficient businesses.

Visit the USZWBC website for
more information including registration, sponsorship opportunities, conference topics and more, and be sure to follow USZWBC on Twitter at  @ZeroWasteBiz and on Facebook for updates.

Reuse: How do they come up with all these great ideas?

Gary A. Bilbro - NRC Vice President, SMART Recycling of SC, and NewGreen Consulting

Do you remember when you would take a bunch of used popsicle sticks and glue them together to make a fort for your GI Joe or as my sister would do, make a house for her Barbie? Ok, I know I am aging myself here, but as kids, a lot of us used to take all kinds of used products and convert them into something new. Today, this same kind of thinking has brought out the best in the thriving industry of Reuse. In today's every increasing world of thinking "Green," there are some great people doing some great things with products that would otherwise land in one of thousands of landfills in this country. I would like to share a couple of these stories with you.


Read More 


Gary A. Bilbro - Is a Board Member for the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) and President of SMART Recycling of SC, LLC.  Gary can be reached at  

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