About the Task Force
The Recycling Jobs Task force was formed to more effectively articulate the positive impact recycling has on the economy, to better characterize the number of jobs in the industry, and more importantly, to develop strategies meant to accelerate sustainable economic development in the US through generation of more jobs in the recycling industry.
Task Force Mission
The mission of the NRC’s Recycling Jobs Task Force is to make the case to a broad audience that waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting are strong job creators in the United States. The ultimate goal of this is to gain recognition and support among policy-makers, green jobs experts, environmental advocates, investors, workforce development entities, economic development professionals, entrepreneurs, and others for these activities in order to move the country closer to sustainable materials management and reap the associated environmental and economic benefits.
Task Force Chair:
Melinda Uerling, Principal, Greenbriar Consulting, LLC
Task Force Members:
Stephen Bantillo, Executive Director, California Resource Recovery Association
Susan Collins, President, Container Recycling Institute
Pete Grogan, Development Manager, International Paper
Bob Hollis, Principal, The Mobius Network, RecyclingJobs.com
Chaz Miller, State Programs, National Solid Wastes Management Association
Amy Perlmutter, Principal, Perlmutter Associates
Amanda Nicholson, Business Manager, Product Stewardship Institute
President Lichtenstein was inspired to create the task force in response to the report released in the summer of 2011 by the Brookings Institute on Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment. While the report explored the role of recycling, and Lichtenstein applauds the report's recommendations, according to him, "Brookings' reporting about the impact of recycling on the job market looks to be underemphasized." He pointed to one statement in the report that he argues the US recycling industry needs to "address head-on":
The clean economy also includes barely visible "green" variants of existing industries like recycling whose environmental activities are so mundane as to be barely noticeable.
"The recycling industry's sizable contributions to job creation and the economy aren't understood by the general public or policy makers", said Melinda Uerling. "The task force seeks to change that." Under Uerling's guidance the task force is working to assess existing studies by organizations – Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries, BlueGreen Alliance, Tellus Institute, and others – and better disseminate the important findings across the NRC network. By effectively leveraging the reports to enhance the industry greater recycling and diversion rates can be achieved.