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NRC News and Events

July 31, 2020

National Zero Waste Conference is Virtual!

ZeroWasteBanner_Virtual Conference
NRC is pleased to inform you that the National Zero Waste Conference is going all virtual, and will take place December 1-3. The conference will include the National Recycling Congress for the first time in 12 years; so kind of a big deal. If you would like to learn more, click below to visit the conference website for details, agenda, and to register!

Cities, Groups, NRC Chime In on Fed. Procurement

The U.S. EPA asked for public feedback on a list of recycled-content products purchased by federal agencies. The request drew 114 responses from a range of recycling stakeholders including the NRC. For the first time in 13 years, the U.S. EPA is going through the process of updating what it calls its Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPGs), which push federal agencies toward buying 61 recycled-content products in eight categories: paper, vehicular, construction, transportation, park and recreation, landscaping, non-paper office and miscellaneous products.

As part of the update, the EPA asked for public comments on the existing lists, seeking feedback on whether products should be added or deleted, recycled-content levels adjusted and more. In addition to the lists, the EPA produces advisory notices to help agencies go about buying specific products in those categories. EPA sought feedback on those advisory notices, too.

Full Article at Resource Recycling

Diversity + Inclusion = A Better NRC

An energized group of a dozen current and past NRC board members, and several special guests from across the US, joined virtually on July 14 to review NRC’s organization history and guide the future of board diversity. The special committee began putting plans in motion to re-animate the NRC’s Minorities in Recycling Council (MRC) as the “Multi-Cultural Council,” to more broadly include all nationalities, genders, socioeconomic groups and ages, and instruct the NRC’s board candidate development committee to focus on recruiting minority representatives, including but not limited to black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) for upcoming board elections. A subcommittee is also updating the NRC’s Who We Are statement to reflect this effort.

As Arley Owens, Executive Director of the Ohio Recycling Coalition (retired from the Ohio Dept of Natural Resources) said during the meeting, “People need to see themselves in the organization! We need to sweep out a net to capture a wide range of people working on environmental issues.”

Read the Full Meeting Summary

NRC Call for Board Nominations Is Open!

The NRC is now accepting nominations for the 2020 NRC Board Of Directors Election. If you are interested in making a difference at the national level, consider running! The 2020 Election will take place at this year’s virtual Members Meeting on Tuesday, October 20. You may nominate yourself or someone else by completing the nomination form that can be found on the web site. Please do not nominate someone else without their consent. The deadline to apply for the NRC Board of Directors is Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

The basic requirements for board members are:
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have been an NRC Member for at least one year OR be a designated representative of a state Recycling Organization that has been a member of NRC for at least one year.
Contact NRC for more information and to learn more about serving on the Board.

Not a member of NRC yet? Join us now!

Time to ReThink How We Think About Recycling

Guest article by Marialyce Pederson, NRC Board Secretary

Due to the global pandemic, millions of newly unemployed Americans have found themselves with unexpected time on their hands, many of them now contemplating how in a few short months, they went from being very busy with one or more full-time jobs, to sitting on the sidelines, no longer deemed “essential labor”.

In 2020, it is apparent that many Americans have now been gifted with time…time to re-think and re-design a future that is more environmentally, economically and socially equitable. How will you participate?

Read the Full Article

Experts Say Clean Reusables Are Not A COVID Risk

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, fossil fuel and plastic industry groups have said that reusable grocery bags and food containers spread the coronavirus. To stay healthy, they’ve encouraged consumers to double down on supposedly safer single-use plastic — things like disposable cups, cutlery, and shopping bags.

“As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the country, single-use plastics will only become more vital,” wrote Plastics Industry Association president and CEO Tony Radoszewski in March. “We live longer, healthier, and better because of single-use plastics.”

But health experts don’t think that a pivot to single-use plastic is necessary. In a statement released on Monday, more than 125 virologists, epidemiologists, and health experts from 18 different countries said it’s clear that reusables are safe to use during the pandemic. You just have to wash them.

Full Article at

Hot or Cold on Pizza Box Recycling?

This past month the American Forest and American Paper Association (AF&AP) announced the result of a study in Recycling Today magazine where they claim that there is minimal to no impact on the fiber strength of cardboard made from typical amounts of cheese and grease contamination to pizza boxes. Further, 93.6 percent of AF&AP members that consume OCC report that they accept corrugated pizza boxes for recycling. The recommendation is to change educational information and invite consumers to empty the pizza box and place it in the recycling cart regardless of the amount of grease or cheese clinging to the fiber.

This has met with mixed reaction from educators who point to the fact that the pizza boxes being studied were ones taken through programs that either don’t encourage pizza boxes or recommend only clean boxes, no grease or cheese allowed on the fiber. This means that many of the pizza boxes in the study may have been clean at the onset and simply mixed with some that had minor contamination (and a few with large amounts of cheese). Changing the messaging could result in far more contaminated boxes entering the recycling stream. The study didn’t address this issue. Also, many MFR operators have expressed concerns that each mill has different preferences. Would all mills accept cardboard bales with more highly contaminated pizza boxes?

NRC is interested in learning our members responses to this call from AF&AP and the Recycling Partnership. After all that has been done by educators, MRF operators, local collection companies to address the issues of contamination and marketability, is this change something you are pushing to customers or not? Email us or comment on our social media and let us know!

Full Article at Recycling Today

Sustainability Reigns Supreme For Most Consumers

New survey data from The Recycling Partnership and SWNS confirms that a significant majority of Americans increasingly prefer sustainable products and brands and are willing to pay more for these choices. Those surveyed want to do more to address waste and climate impacts and are looking to companies to support them in doing so.

Respondents indicated they would be willing to pay on average 26% more – and up to 44% more – for sustainable products. Eighty-five percent of the 2,000 surveyed strongly believe in recycling and nearly 80% expect every product companies produce to be 100% recyclable in ten years.
Full Report at The Recycling Partnership
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