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Join us for a special event led by the NRC

smm-dialog-workshopHave you ever wondered how Sustainable Materials Management and the Circular Economy are relevant to recyclers?
Attend the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Dialog for you to do just that. We have an expert line-up of presenters, followed by a discussion among attendees about how to take these principles and turn them into action.
  • Gary Liss, Co-Chair, NRC SMM Committee highlighting NRC SMM Strategy and Moderator
  • Cheryl Coleman, USEPA addressing what is SMM and Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs)
  • Katie Wallace, New Belgium Brewing Co. as a model SMM Business leader addressing what they are doing on sustainability in general, SMM, LCAs, Resource Management, Resource Efficiency, Circular Economy and Zero Waste
  • Gloria Hardagree, Georgia Recycling Coalition on Recyclers+ (reuse, recycling, composting and related professionals) at the table with manufacturers and product designers to redesign products and packaging.
The Workshop will be held during the Southeast Recycling Development Council’s annual summit on November 7, 2016. Please sign up for this session here. You do not have to be attending the full conference to participate, but if you plan to attend the full conference, you must register for both events.

: Monday, November 7, 2016
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm ET
Cost: Free to NRC Members; Others $25.00.
Please note: All members of state recycling organizations affiliated with the NRC are automatically members of NRC. Click here for a list of state affiliate
Member Code: NRCmember
Location: 225 Courtland Street NE, Atlanta, GA. 30303 USA


For more information on the SERDC Summit and other events taking place, click here.

The NRC will also be holding a Board meeting in conjunction with the SERDC summit on 11/9/16. If you are in the Southeast region, please plan to join us.

If you would like organize an event like this in your area, please let us know. Contact NRC’s Staff Assistant for more information at [email protected].

Murray J. Fox, The “Johnny Appleseed” of U.S. Recycling

About the Author:  Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and serves as Senior Staff of the Waste to Wealth Initiative. He specializes in helping cities and counties recover increasing amounts of materials from the waste stream and add value to the local economy  through new processing and manufacturing facilities.  Neil also serves on ILSR’s Board of Directors.

In my career of five decades of working in the recycling field for ILSR there is only one person I consider a true “Johnny Appleseed of Recycling” in the U.S.  His name is Murray J. Fox and he remains a sage of recycling, whose own history provides insight into today’s policies and issues. He never failed to teach others about the configuration of the equipment, the technologies to be employed and the problems to be solved.  In the 1970s, Fox provided guided tours to beginning community recyclers of his ingeniously designed beneficiation plants with modern equipment and expandable walls along concrete pads.  These were the people  who subsequently became national leaders in the emerging U.S. recycling movement.

Fox first became aware of how much glass was being wasted in his aluminum storm window business, and then, due to new regulations for safety glass, he entered into a joint venture to build a glass tempering plant in Webster, Massachusetts. His curiosity brought him to Belgium…

Click Here to continue reading.

America Recycles Day – How Can YOU Get Involved?

America Recycles Day (ARD) has been the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States since 1997. Every year on and around Nov. 15, thousands of local event organizers mobilize throughout their community to educate millions of people about recycling within their communities.

One of the biggest barriers to recycling is knowing what items can (can cannot) be recycled. This year, the National Recycling Coalition is working with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) to promote and spread awareness of what can be recycled, and how to recycle it correctly, in celebration of America Recycles Day. We invite you to plan your own ARD event by taking advantage of the wide variety of tools and resources KAB offers to make event planning easy and successful. Once planned, register your event here – this allows your event to become part of the national network of America Recycles Day events!

“America Recycles Day provides the encouragement and ‘know how’ to make recycling a common practice every day of the year,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “We invite you to host an event in your community – invite your family and friends from work, school, your neighbor to participate in America Recycles Day and to take the #BeRecycled Pledge in a collective national effort to improve recycling in our country.”

Events can be scheduled at any time during the fall leading into the official America Recycles Day celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Additionally, as part of our campaign, we encourage you to ask your networks how they live a recycled lifestyle by taking the #BeRecycled Pledge, which is a promise to actively choose to live a recycled lifestyle by committing to “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” in all aspects of daily life. This includes:

  • Recycling at home, work/school and on-the-go;
  • Buying products made with recycled content; and
  • Educating and encouraging friends, family and neighbors to take the #BeRecycled Pledge

Learn more about America Recycles Day For questions, contact Tyler Orton at 202-688-0604 or [email protected].

The National Recycling Coalition 2016 Awards Recipients

For Immediate Release, September 19, 2016
This September, The National Recycling Coalition honored recycling awards recipients at the Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans. The awards were presented to the recipients at the 2016 Murray J. Fox Scholarship and NRC Annual Awards Luncheon.

The awards program is designed to honor and recognize outstanding individuals, programs, and organizations around the country, both for their achievements, and to serve as a model and a resource for learning for NRC members. Award categories range from higher education, not- for and for-profit organizations, business leadership, as well as recognition of outstanding programs.

2016 Awards and Recipients

  • Outstanding Business Leadership For-Profit Company- Sheetz Inc. & Weis Markets, Inc.
  • Outstanding Not-for-profit Business Leadership- La Soupe of Cincinati, Ohio
  • Outstanding Recycling Organization- Indiana Recycling Coalition & Texas STAR
  • Outstanding Higher Education- Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas
  • Outstanding Community or Government Program- The Chapel Hill – Carrboro School District, North Carolina
  • Outstanding Community or Government Program, Honorable Mention- City of Columbia, South Carolina, School District
  • Bill Heenan Emerging Leader- Laurel Stelter of Iowa
  • Lifetime Achievement in Recycling- Meg Morris of Covanta Energy

Details of the Awards and Winners 

Outstanding Business Leadership For-Profit Company
Sheetz, a family-owned firm, pilot tested bins, service, hauling contracts, and employee training and found a solution that works in this sector – which they have now rolled out to 70% of their locations. They are already diverting over 8 million bottles and cans, expecting to hit 12 million as they finish roll-out. What a great example for others in the convenience store industry!

In response to a corporate mission to be good environmental stewards, Weis reduced their company’s carbon footprint 22.1% from their 2008 baseline – surpassing their 20% by 2020 target 4 years early. They achieved this goal by creatively manufacturing recyclables into new products, including Envirologs from recycled waxed paper; Weis Choice compost from food from 70 stores; and customer plastic bags turned into Trex lumber – and also receiving back park benches to donate to community organizations.

Outstanding Not-for-profit Business Leadership
Food is a huge focus in our industry, and La Soupe is a non-profit that rescues food toward feeding hungry people with the soups and stews that chef and founder Suzy deYoung whips up – a step up the process over composting! Partnership is the name of the game at La Soupe – including partnerships with grocery stores, organic farmers, and other area chefs (called the “Chef Bucket Brigade”). They also hold after-school cooking classes, and feeding children in food deserts is a special target for La Soupe.

Outstanding Recycling Organization
The IRC (Indiana Recycling Coalition) had three main accomplishments this last year: 1) leading a successful two-year campaign bringing together an array of efforts to oppose siting of a mixed waste facility in Indianapolis; 2) Launching the Indiana Student Recycling Leadership Corps (SRLC), with PepsiCo, a high school scholarship program that allowed two students to present their work on community recycling projects at this year’s IRC conference; and 3) launching the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative (IFSI), a high-engagement stakeholder initiative to build food infrastructure, pilot projects, and toolkits.

Texas STAR was busy this year – spreading word about the huge impact the recycling industry has had on the state through the Texas Data Recycling Initiative (TDRI). Other efforts include strengthening partnerships and relationships with other NGOs in the state, reaching out to new sectors and companies, and a huge focus on providing value to and engaging WITH members though presentations at meetings, conferences, and events to develop a stronger understanding of recycling in Texas.

Outstanding Higher Education
JCCC (Johnson County Community College) has a tradition of proactively connecting students to work in recycling and diversion through internships at the Center for Sustainability. These efforts have led to partnerships with community organizations, and significant “green” changes on-campus. These efforts have increased diversion from 14% to 51% since 2010, helping them progress toward their “Zero Waste by 2025” goal. Community partnerships have also raised more than $135,000 for scholarships.

Outstanding Community or Government Program
The Chapel Hill – Carrboro City School District implemented a district-wide compost separation program. In its first full year, the program diverted more than 255,000 pounds from the landfill to a composting facility. In addition, they increased recycling rates significantly. The result is a net zero-financial program that educates students and their families about composting and waste reduction.

Bill Heenan Emerging Leader
Teenager Laurel Stelter has not only participated in the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) event for several years but has also been helping Iowa towns become better stewards of their environment. In 2013, at only 16 years of age, Laurel contacted the event’s planners to begin a bottle and can recycling campaign – and did a “get it done” move, getting recycling going in the towns and event. Her commitment and dedication to this program shows you how one individual truly can make a difference for her own and future generations.

Lifetime Achievement in Recycling
Meg Morris has dedicated her personal and professional life to the advancement of recycling. She is long-time NRC Board member – serving as president, chair, vice president and treasurer of the NRC during her long tenure on the Board, and was a major force in the re-emergence of the NRC, helping organize the rebuilding of the organization and its finances. Meg has had roles on the Boards of Directors for NYSAR, the PA Recycling Markets Center, Go Green Initiative, Mass Recycle, America Recycles Day, Inc., and the Federation of NY Solid Waste Associations serving in leadership positions.


Savannah Marie Betkowski, NRC Staff, [email protected]; (202) 618-2107

National Recycling Coalition Announces 2016-2017 Board of Directors

National Recycling Coalition Announces 2016-2017 Board of Directors
For Immediate Release: September 14, 2016

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) is proud to announce the election of six members to the NRC Board of Directors. Elections for the Board were held during the 2016 Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans, LA.

The new and re-elected Board Members, listed below, will each serve 3-year terms:

  • Susan Attridge, Recycling Coordinator, City of Buffalo, NY
  • Maggie Clarke, Zero Waste Consultant, Zero Waste New York
  • Paul England, General Manager, Pratt Recycling
  • Carey Hamilton, Executive Director, Indiana Recycling Coalition
  • Dave Keeling, Director of Recycling, Steel Recycling Institute
  • Robin Wiener, President, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

The recently voted-in individuals join the following active Board Members:

  • Stephen Bantillo, Executive Director, Recycling Certification Institute
  • Gary Bilbro, Consultant, NewGreen Consulting
  • Robert J. Bylone, Jr., Executive Director and President, Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center
  • Jack DeBell, Development Director, University of Colorado Recycling
  • George Dreckmann, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, City of Madison, WI- Streets Division, retired
  • MaryEllen Etienne, Programs Manager, Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO)
  • John Frederick, Executive Director, Intermunicipal Relations Committee
  • Juri Freeman, Sr. Consultant, Resource Recycling Systems (RRS)
  • Bob Gedert, Department Director, Austin Resource Recovery, City of Austin
  • Marjorie Griek, Principal, Pearl Consulting
  • Brent Hildebrand, VP Operations, Alpine Recycling and Waste
  • Doug Hill, President, EcoVision Environmental
  • Gary Liss, Zero-Waste Consultant, Gary Liss & Associates
  • Maite Quinn, Business Development and Marketing Manager, Sims Municipal Recycling
  • Antonio Rios, President, Puerto Rico Recycling Coalition
  • Will Sagar, Executive Director, Southeast Recycling Development Center
  • Lisa A. Skumatz, Principal Consultant/Research, Skumatz Economic Research Associates, and non-profit Econservation Institute
  • Michael Van Brunt, Director of Sustainability, Covanta
  • Melissa Young, Assistant Director, Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions

Ex-officio members include Michele Nestor, Recycling Organizations Council (ROC)-chair, and honorary lifetime members Cliff Case of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, LLC, Murray Fox with i-ROC, and Mark Lichtenstein Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Sustainability at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Officers will be elected at the next in-person Board meeting.

“I am so thrilled with the election of these candidates to carry on the great work that the NRC is doing” said Executive Committee and outgoing Board Member Fran McPoland.

For more information contact NRC Staff at [email protected]

National Recycling Coalition Awards Murray J. Fox Scholarships

For Immediate Release: September 7, 2016
Contact: Jack DeBell, Chair, Campus Council, 303.492.8733, [email protected]

National Recycling Coalition Awards Scholarships

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) today announced the award to four outstanding New Orleans-area college students with scholarships towards their higher education expenses in the sustainability field. 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 $102,000 in scholarships to 58 college students.

“The Murray J. Fox Scholars represent a future world in which recycling and sustainability is paramount,” said Bob Gedert, president of the NRC. “These students were chosen among 27 applications for their outstanding qualities, including a demonstrated interest in and passion for recycling and academic performance. We applaud the efforts of the scholarship winners.”

This year’s scholarship recipients are:
· Kia Barnes, a sophomore studying Environmental Science at Dillard University
· Sage Leopold, a sophomore studying Environmental Studies at Tulane University
· Jessica Meyer, a sophomore studying Biology at University of New Orleans
· Anthony Rizzi, an Environmental Studies sophomore at Loyola University

Each student was awarded $1,500 scholarships to assist with their education, complementary admission to the 2016 Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans, and a one-year membership to the National Recycling Coalition. NRC’s Campus Council evaluated the 27 applications and made recommendations for the award to the scholarship fund board.

– 30 –

About the National Recycling Coalition (NRC):
The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing materials management in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across waste reduction, reuse, composting and recycling. For nearly 40 years, NRC has been a leader in driving education and policy around recycling.

About the National Recycling Coalition’s Campus Council:
The NRC’s Campus Council creates stronger linkages between higher education and the sustainable materials management industry. The Council provides information and opportunities for applied research, intern training, professional certification and employment. Take advantage of the Campus Council’s services at or e-mail [email protected]

Join NRC at the Resource Recycling Conference for the Municipal Roundtable: Best Practices in Resource Diversion

The National Recycling Coalition, in conjunction with Austin Resource Recovery and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, is convening a roundtable discussion about best practices in diversion – with an emphasis on reuse, recycling and composting strategies. We welcome waste management authorities, city recycling coordinators and others to join in a two-part conversation about which diversion strategies work well and why, and how we can leverage peer to peer relationships to encourage widespread adoption of best practice. We request participants bring one example of applied best practice and one issue your community would like to learn more about.

Presented by Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO)
Date: August 30 / Time 2:00 – 4:00 pm / Meeting Room: Melrose, 3rd Floor
No additional fee to attend / Registration required

Click Here For More Information

Click Here To Register For Resource Recycling

What is Zero Waste?

Written by Gary Liss

Over the past five years or so, leading solid waste and recycling organizations, communities and businesses across the country have increasingly embraced Zero Waste. Zero Waste policies and programs establish practical ways to eliminate waste and safely reuse, recycle or compost discarded products and packaging. However, there has been confusion in the marketplace due to the many definitions of “zero” that are being used.

To address this confusion for its members and others, NRC identified the need to evaluate and come to consensus on a definition for Zero Waste. Earlier this year, the NRC Board adopted the definition developed by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA). It reads as follows:

Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.

Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

The key measure of performance toward ZWIA’s Zero Waste definition is diverting 90 percent of all discarded materials from landfills, incinerators and the environment. While it’s true that 90 percent diversion does not equate to zero landfilling, the goal is viewed – both by ZWIA and NRC – as the most reasonable and yet ambitious target the industry should be aiming for. When referring to the zero waste definition, ZWIA encourages that to be capitalized, as is commonly done in contracts and other legal documents when referring to a defined term.

One compelling reason for NRC to adopt the ZWIA definition of Zero Waste is that it is the only peer-reviewed definition in existence today. It’s also been accepted by environmental, recycling and Zero Waste leaders all around the world. To date, many organizations, businesses and communities have adopted and support the ZWIA definition. It has also been embraced by many members of NRC.

Another facet of the zero waste definition that NRC finds especially useful is that it does not count waste-to-energy as diversion. While some companies and groups have endorsed a “zero landfill” practice, it is important to ensure that diverted material is not headed for incineration either.

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has acknowledged that it has members that support waste-to-energy while others support Zero Waste. SWANA wants to support both of those groups of members, so it has agreed to not view waste-to-energy as part of Zero Waste.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution “In Support of Municipal Zero Waste Principles and a Hierarchy of Materials Management” last year that also highlighted that waste-based energy should be counted as disposal, not diversion.

NRC hopes that adopting ZWIA’s clear-sighted definition will help its members and the industry to continue to strive for the highest waste diversion and recycling goals and encourage them to divert as much as possible. NRC joins other organizations like the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council and Zero Waste USA, and many businesses and communities who have also adopted this definition. NRC encourages others to adopt this definition as well.

Please email me at [email protected] if you know of any business, government agency or organization that adopts it.

Gary Liss is a current board member and secretary of the National Recycling Coalition. He was also a founding Board member and past president of NRC and is the president of Gary Liss & Associates.

This article was reprinted from NRC’s OpEd in the Resource Recycling Magazine on May 17, 2016.

2016 NRC Board Nominations are Open!

The 2016 NRC Board Nominations are open! Nominate yourself or someone else who is passionate about improving recycling for the National Recycling Coalition’s Board of Directors!

To run for the Board, you must be age 18 or over and have been an NRC member in good standing for a minimum of one (1) year.

Electronic nominations close on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 1:00pm ET/12:00pm CT/11:00am MT/10:00am PT and will reopen from the floor of the NRC Annual Members Meeting on Tuesday, August 30th at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, LA.