National Recycling Coalition Awards Murray J. Fox Scholarships to Four Indianapolis Area Students

The National Recycling Coalition awarded four students with Murray J. Fox Scholarships on September 30, 2015, at the Murray J. Fox Scholarship and NRC Annual Awards Presentation Lunch. The Murray J. Fox Scholarship Fund was created in 1994, when Murray Fox, a long-time supporter and member of the NRC, started a fund to provide scholarships to college students interested in recycling. Since then, the trust fund has endowed over $96,000 in scholarships to more than 54 college students.

Three Indianapolis area colleges’ faculty and financial aid offices referred this year’s scholars. This year’s scholarship recipients are:

  • Ryan Hackbarth a senior at Hanover College studying Geophysics,
  • Leah Lahue a senior at Hanover College studying Environmental Biology and Secondary Education,
  • Gabrielle Vinyard a junior in the Honors Program at Butler University studying Biology, and
  • Spencer Wesche a junior at Franklin College studying Ecology and Conservation.

“The students selected this year have the aptitude and commitment to make a difference with their degrees,” according to Jack DeBell, NRC Board member from the University of Colorado, who manages the scholarship program. “ Ryan, Leah, Gabby, and Spenser represent the future of our industry and join fellow scholars in the NRC’s Alumni Network, to realize the benefits the Murray Fox endowment continues to provide.”

Each student was awarded $1,500 scholarships to assist with their education, complementary admission to the 2015 Resource Recycling Conference in Indianapolis, IN, and a one-year membership to the National Recycling Coalition.

For more information contact Laura Flagg at Laura@NRCrecycles.org or Jack DeBell at debell@colorado.edu.

National Recycling Coalition Announces 2015-2016 Board of Directors

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) has voted 9 members on to the NRC Board.

Elections for the board were held during the 2015 Resource Recycling Conference in Indianapolis, IN. The new and re-elected members, listed below, will each serve 3-year terms:

  • Stephen Bantillo, Executive Director, Recycling Certification Institute
  • Robert J. Bylone, Jr., Executive Director and President, Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center
  • George Dreckmann, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, City of Madison, WI Streets Division
  • MaryEllen Etienne, CEO, Reuse Institute
  • Bob Gedert, Department Director, Austin Resource Recovery, City of Austin
  • Brent Hildebrand, VP Operations, Alpine Recycling and Waste
  • Maite Quinn, Business Development and Marketing Manager, Sims Municipal Recycling
  • Lisa A. Skumatz, Principal Consultant/Research, Skumatz Economic Research Associates, and non-profit Econservation Institute
  • Melissa Young, Assistant Director, Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions

The recently voted-in individuals join the following active members:

  • Gary Bilbro, President, SMART Recycling of SC
  • Jeffrey Cooper, Business Development Manager, AECC Group
  • Jack DeBell, Development Director, University of Colorado Recycling
  • John Frederick, Executive Director, Intermunicipal Relations Committee
  • David Juri Freeman, Recycling Program Manager, City and County of Denver
  • Marjorie Griek, Executive Director, Colorado Association for Recycling
  • Doug Hill, President, EcoVision Environmental
  • Mark Lichtenstein, Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Sustainability, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Gary Liss, Zero-Waste Consultant, Gary Liss & Associates
  • Fran McPoland, Vice President, Paper Recycling Coalition & 100 Percent Recycled Paper Alliance
  • Michelle Minstrell
  • Antonio Rios, President, Puerto Rico Recycling Coalition
  • Julie L. Rhodes, President, Julie L. Rhodes Consulting
  • Will Sagar, Executive Director, Southeast Recycling Development Center
  • Michael Van Brunt, Director of Sustainability, Covanta
  • Robin Wiener, President, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

Ex-officio members include Michele Nestor, ROC-chair, and honorary lifetime members Cliff Case of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, LLC and Murray Fox with i-ROC.

Officers will be elected at the next in-person Board meeting.

“We are thrilled with the renewed interest in participation on the Board of the NRC, as well as welcoming back some returning members. We look forward to working with our newest members” said Vice President Fran McPoland.

For more information contact Laura Flagg at Laura@NRCrecycles.org

NRC Applauds Senator Stabenow’s Comments on the Importance of Recycling

The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) would like to applaud Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for the following comments on the importance of recycling and the critical nature of maintaining a clean source of recoverable materials.

Senator Stabenow Oral Comments before the Finance Committee Extenders Markup
July 21, 2015

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I will be brief. In the interest of talking about jobs, there are over 30,000 jobs in the recycled paper manufacturing industry and I want to briefly speak about an amendment. I won’t ask for a vote, but Senators Isakson, Carper, Brown and I are offering an amendment to basically update current law, which was originally championed by myself and Senators Isakson, Boozman and Carper in Section 45 of the code which limits the tax credits for the burning of municipal solid waste to prevent Waste-to-Energy facilities from receiving the production tax credit (in fact this saves money) for burning commonly recyclable paper. We want people and businesses incentivized to recycle paper not burn recyclable paper. What we are finding now is that some municipal waste facilities are collecting it in one system and, basically, it gets ruined. The recyclable paper gets ruined. But there is some way they are still collecting this tax credit. So, this would actually save some money, if you are looking for some ‘pay fors’, Mr. Chairman. Our amendment would clarify that we do not want recycled paper burned and do not want to incentivize those in the municipal waste industry to do that. I hope we can work together, Mr. Chairman. This is something that really needs to get fixed and affects tens of thousands of jobs and more actually, on this committee. I hope we can work together to get this fixed and I ask the Chairman and Ranking Member for your support to do that.

Chairman Hatch and Senator Wyden agreed to work together to resolve issues. 

The NRC appreciates the efforts of Senator Stabenow to help American recycling industries maintain the clean supply of the raw materials necessary to produce recycled content products.

Next NRC Board Meeting

The NRC Board will be holding their next meeting Friday, July 17, 2015 from 1-3:00pm EST.

REGISTER HERE

First Ever SMM Policy Summit Draws More Than 130 Experts

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) last week concluded the first-ever Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit where sustainability leaders from across the country convened, determined to elevate the issues around discards management back to the forefront of national policy dialogue.

“The NRC is pleased that the Summit created this opportunity to discuss the vast challenges and opportunities that face the broad spectrum of sustainable material management professionals,” said Mark Lichtenstein, NRC President and CEO. “The Summit is intended to be the starting point for development of a National SMM Action Plan that will catapult recycling and other SMM issues to the next level of support and success at every level.”

Nearly 140 individuals representing government, businesses and organizations gathered at the University of Maryland, College Park, on May 12 and 13 – a broad and diverse set of stakeholders representing many of the greatest minds in recycling, reuse, discard prevention, product stewardship and other diversion methods. Key presentations were made by Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and Judith Enck, Region 2 Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as:

  • Ruth Abbe, Abbe & Associates and President, Zero Waste USA
  • English Bird, Executive Director, New Mexico Recycling Coalition
  • Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner, New York City Department of Sanitation
  • Bob Gedert, Director, Austin Resource Recovery
  • Nina Goodrich, Executive Director GreenBlue and Sustainable Packaging Coalition
  • David Levine, Executive Director, American Sustainable Business Council
  • Ryan McMullan, Manager of Environmental & Safety, Toyota
  • Scott Mouw, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Joe Pickard, Chief Economist, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
  • Al Rattie, Director of Market Development, U.S. Composting Council

There were dozens of creative concepts that emerged that will become the basis for the National SMM Action Plan. Some initial consensus ideas included the need for:

  • Making the business and jobs case for SMM;
  • Model policies, programs and laws for communities to further SMM;
  • Matching programs with performance metrics;
  • Connecting SMM strategies and professionals with businesses and product designers, and local and state policy makers for improved consideration of full life cycle impacts and opportunities;
  • Incorporation of SMM into climate action plans;
  • Training and certifications of SMM professionals, recognizing that there are multiple options;
  • Evaluation and verification of product certifications to provide clear information for consumer choice and clear direction for businesses to comply with FTC Green Marketing Guidelines (e.g., strong support for the How2Recycle label);
  • Best practices information and resources, including model ordinances and contracts; and
  • Education on downstream impacts on end-user markets and opportunities for investment in markets in the U.S.

“The future of SMM is critical for the thousands of NRC members and others across the country working each and every day to manage discards through source reduction, reuse recycling, composting, product stewardship and other diversion methods” said Gary Liss, Summit Co-Chair. “These SMM professionals could benefit from being more a part of overall sustainability, triple bottom line and climate change initiatives. This will help solve other critical problems for communities and businesses at the same time and brings more allies to help on gaining approval for new policies, programs, facilities and funding.”

“This dialog and subsequent Action Plan will breathe new life into SMM programs and particularly ‘upstream’ efforts that need greater political support,” said Julie Rhodes, Summit Co-Chair. “More attention to SMM could result in other help for SMM professionals such as:

  • More focus on redesign,
  • Better solutions for problems,
  • More collaboration, and
  • New rules and incentives.”

The SMM Summit was led by the NRC in partnership with the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solution and University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, and supported by ISRI, Starbucks, Steel Recycling Institute, ReTRAC, SCS Engineers, SMART Recycling South Carolina LLC, Paper Recycling Coalition and Sims Recycling Solutions

About the National Recycling Coalition

The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing SMM in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across waste 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 http://nrcrecycles.org/, and the SMM Summit at http://nrcrecycles.org/sustainable-materials-management-summit/.

About Sustainable Materials Management

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.

EPA’s Stanislaus to Keynote NRC’s Summit – May 12

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) announced this week that US Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus will keynote the first-ever Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit to be held May 12 – 13, 2015, at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. Stanislaus will join EPA Region 2 Administrator, Judith Enck and a diverse set of stakeholders representing the greatest minds in sustainable materials management, determined to elevate the issues around discards management back to the forefront of national policy.

Stanislaus heads EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, leading the agency’s land cleanup, solid waste and emergency response programs. As EPA’s primary person in charge of SMM nationally and internationally, he will anchor the event by defining SMM and providing a foundation for the national policy discussions of the Summit.

“We are pleased to have EPA’s leadership open and jumpstart the SMM Summit dialog,” said Gary Liss, SMM Summit co-chair. “The future of SMM is critical for the thousands of NRC members and others across the country working each and every day to manage discards through waste reduction, reuse recycling, composting, product stewardship and other diversion methods.”

Delegates and attendees from a broad spectrum of interests and expertise will contribute to the creation of a new, forward-thinking, strategic National SMM Action. In addition to EPA, the Summit will highlight efforts of some of the most innovative companies, programs and SMM efforts across the U.S., including experts from the Toyota, US Composting Council, the Cities of New York and Austin, and the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

“The Summit is the launch pad for what NRC and the 200 organizations and businesses participating in the event see as the first of an on-going effort,” said Julie L. Rhodes, SMM Summit co-chair. “The recommendations that come out of this first Summit and compiled and prioritized in the National SMM Action Plan become the roadmap for NRC’s advocacy and work for the coming years.”

NRC also announces two new webinars as part of its Recyclers Guide to Understanding SMM series to prepare attendees for the Summit and to help SMM practitioners better grasp the broad concepts of the issues, including:

  • Aprl 23 – Life Cycle Analyses and Redesign for SMM
  • April 29 – How NRC Policies and Principles Support SMM

Register for these webinars and view the two previous webinars at: http://nrcrecycles.org/smm-webinars/

Those interested in attending are encouraged to review the Summit Program, check out all the organizations joining the effort and register today! Those who register by April 15 can still submit White Papers to contribute to the National SMM Action Plan in advance of the Summit.

The SMM Summit is led by the NRC in partnership with the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solution and University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, and supported by ISRI, Starbucks, Steel Recycling Institute, ReTRAC, SCS Engineers, and SMART Recycling South Carolina LLC.

About the National Recycling Coalition

The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing SMM in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across waste 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 www.nrcrecycles.org, and the SMM Summit at http://nrcrecycles.org/get-involved/2015smmsummit/.

About Sustainable Materials Management

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.

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

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) announced the first-ever Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit to be held May 12 – 13, 2015, at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. 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, and local communities across 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 ‘unconference’ 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 non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing SMM in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across waste 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 www.nrcrecycles.org, and the SMM Summit at http://nrcrecycles.org/get-involved/2015smmsummit/.
 
About Sustainable Materials Management
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.

 

NRC supports the Recycling Industry Coalition policy opposing Dirty MRFs

After spirited and thoughtful debate at the Board of Directors meeting on November 21, 2014, the Board voted to support the Recycling Industry Coalition policy opposing Dirty MRFs. The motion the Board voted on was:

The National Recycling Coalition supports the policy adopted by the Recycling Industry Coalition (RIC) in highlighting concerns with the implementation of Dirty MRFs. The NRC agrees with concerns with Dirty MRFs that RIC highlighted and other concerns. Instead of relying on Dirty MRFs, NRC urges communities to implement best practices for the separate collection of recyclables. Recycling programs must be designed to minimize contamination in consideration of the needs of upstream users. 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 RIC policy statement in it’s entirety is as follows:

The Recycling Industries Coalition represents industries and companies that are concerned about the potential degradation of recyclable materials when they are mixed with solid waste. Our experience, along with that of thousands of American communities and businesses, shows that separate collection of recyclables continues to be the most effective and cost-efficient method of maximizing the collection of clean recyclable raw materials. Simply put, collecting recyclable materials in the same bin as garbage basically just creates more garbage — good for nothing much more than being disposed of in landfills or incinerators.

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.

The private and public sectors have invested billions of dollars in infrastructure enabling citizens and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle efficiently. The $90 billion dollar recycling industry supports hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Maintaining the current large job base in the overall recycling network as well as the creation of new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States is critically important. Recycling conserves non-renewable natural resources, helps numerous industries reduce their energy use and significantly reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators. Products made from recyclable materials can be recycled many times, whereas recyclables converted to energy, burned or landfilled are lost forever. Finally, recycling is sustainable and results in avoided greenhouse gas emissions.

Members of the Coalition include: American Forest & Paper Association, Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Knauf Insulation, National Recycling Coalition (NRC), Newark Group, O-I, Paper Recycling Coalition (PRC), the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI) and Waste Management (WM),

Recyclables aren’t waste, let’s keep it that way.

NRC Board Meeting

The NRC Board will be holding their next meeting November 21, 2014 from 1-2:30pm EST. On the agenda will be:

1. Update on board vacancy process

2. Policy from Recycling Industries Coalition, and

3. SMM Summit update

REGISTER HERE

 

 

Next NRC Board Meeting

The NRC Board will be meeting October 29th in New York City to welcome the new Board and elect new officers. Additionally, working from the approved updated definition of recycling (see story below), the Board will review the recommendations of the Policy Committee to expand on that definition to cover the following areas:

1. Policies on processing activities,
2. Degree of flexibility in meeting needs to produce recycled commodities,
3. New technologies,
4. Exclusions, and
5. The benefits of recycling.

Where: Syracuse University Fisher Center, 19 East 31st St. between 31st and 32nd.
When: 12-5pm