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2016 Campus Council Report


2016 Campus Council Report


The NRC has long-supported campus recycling, first hosting caucuses of campus program managers in 1992, then supporting a technical council in 1995. Recently, the NRC re-established the Campus Council to meet the need for stronger linkages between higher ed and the SMM industry. Degree programs, career services, applied research / technology transfer, and relationships with recycling leaders are examples of the opportunities the Campus Council develops between on-campus and off-campus groups. Visit or e-mail [email protected]



SMM Summit Follow-up

The Campus White Paper that was adopted at the May, 2015 national event, continued to guide the Council’s workplan in 2016. Campus organizations support the ten strategies listed, to increase collaboration between higher ed and the SMM industry.



Murray J Fox Scholarships

Four New Orleans area college students were competitively-selected to each receive $1,500 from the Murray Fox endowment. Thanks to Board members who judged Michelle Minstrell, Marjie Griek, and George Dreckman.   2016 scholarship recipients:

  • Sage Leopold Sophomore studying Environmental Studies at Tulane University
  • Kia Barnes, Sophomore studying Environmental Science at Dillard University
  • Jessica Meyer,a sophomore studying Biology at University of New Orleans,
  • Anthony Rizzi, an Environmental Studies sophomore at Loyola University.


As follow-up, the students- now scholarship alumni, were introduced to professionals starting Louisiana’s new RO.



NRC Award Committee Involvement

The Council was very active in the Awards Committee in 2016. There were over 12 excellent applications for the two council-related awards:

  • Bill Heenan Emerging Leader Award – Laurel Stelter, RAGBRAI Recycling Program, Pella Iowa
  • Outstanding Higher Education: Johnson County Community College Center for Sustainability, Overland Park, KS

The Council began featuring these winners in case studies on the Council website.



Campus Council / ROC Collaboration

Campus Council and the ROC began collaborating in 2016. Initial work focused on increasing campus attendance at state conferences. Several ROC members took the Campus Council interest survey and are being confirmed as guest speakers, internship hosts, and in other roles to better connect higher Ed and the SMM industry.



National Standards Certification Board Assistance

The Campus Council helped support the work of the NRC’s National Standards Certification Board (NSCB). In December, the Illinois Recycling Coalition’s Sustainable Resource Management Professional Certification program was accredited by the NRC’s Standards Certification board, joining 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.  The Council will continue to help develop professional training programs that address national standards while also incorporating unique state, regional and provincial concerns and regulations.  For more information, visit



Campus-Industry Incubator Forms

Content continued to be added to the Campus Council’s website which now includes: professional development resources, career information, industry training resources, and more.



R&D Consortium Advancing

The Council began developing research and development capabilities to study SMM initiatives. A short survey was created to gauge interest in conducting sponsored research among pre-identified colleges and universities. Board members were/are encouraged to share their organization’s research needs and any willingness to sponsor research at qualified colleges or universities.



Cross-Organization Collaboration

Jack DeBell was asked to represent the Campus Council as liaison to the new Campus Technical Committee of the US Zero Waste Business Council.  He was also asked to serve on the advisory committee of the student-centered: Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN).



Council Case Study Series

As a result of keen competition for the NRC’s recent Outstanding Higher Education award, the Campus Council has begun a series of case studies featuring some of the exemplary applicants. Johnson Community College- winner of the most recent award was just featured and will be followed by Arizona State University and the University of Maryland. These case studies will be added to a new page of the website, included as regular Council updates, and hopefully promoted with other NRC news.




Speaking Engagements

The NRC and the Council were well-represented at the first-ever Colorado Campus Recycling Forum held April, 15th at the EPA Regional HQ in Denver. State and national leaders agreed to meet with campuses quarterly to harness student advocacy along with providing technical assistance, funding opportunities, etc.


The Campus Council presented its new Resource Center at the US Zero Waste Business Council’s conference in Austin on June 2. Local meetings were arranged with University of Texas colleagues who met STAR Executive Director, Sara Nichols.




A press release, summarizing another successful year of the Murray J Fox Scholarship was distributed to NRC’s media contacts including Resource Recycling magazine (who included a group photo of the awards event).


In September, Resource Recycling Magazine included Jack DeBell’s op-ed piece: “Notes From the NRC: Connecting the Industry with Higher Education”, which was shared on several campus listservers and generated several supportive responses.




2017 Goals and Workplan


2017 will be an important year for the Council as it continues to develop within the NRC as well as externally with other organizations.


Strategic Plan involvement

Much of the Campus Council’s work will complement short and mid-term priorities in the NRC’s Strategic Plan.


Technical Assistance

The Council has created considerable resources that should be coordinated with the planned development of other NRC technical resources (white papers, webinars, speakers bureau, etc)


Collaboration with ROC and Other Organizations

The Council will continue to promote ROC member activities and events to campus contacts. The Council will continue to collaborate with other campus organizations, promoting the SMM White Paper.


Resource Recycling Conference

The Council will coordinate another successful year of Murray Fox Scholarships featured at the NRC Awards ceremony. The Council will lead on the awards committee’s Higher Education and Emerging Leader awards. A session(s) and speaker(s) highlighting campus : industry collaboration is requested.