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EPA Releases New Sustainable Materials Management Program Strategic Plan

This week the United States Environmental Protection Agency released their new Sustainable Materials Management Program (SMM) Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2017 through 2022. See below for the email from Assistant Administrator of the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Mathy Stanislaus, introducing the plan.

Dear Colleagues,
I am pleased to share with you the EPA’s new Sustainable Materials Management Program (SMM) Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2017 through 2022. This strategic plan represents the collective thinking of EPA staff and management across the country, as well as input from many stakeholders including states, industry, and non-governmental organizations. The life-cycle based decision-making and systems-based approaches of SMM reflected in this strategic plan offer far greater opportunities for addressing the complex environmental issues we face today than traditional resource, waste and chemicals management approaches. SMM truly represents a change in how we think about environmental impacts and economic opportunities.

The three main strategic priorities chosen as the focus for the EPA’s future SMM efforts present significant opportunities to achieve environmental, economic, and social results. They are:
The Built Environment — conserve materials and develop community resiliency to climate change through improvements to construction, maintenance, and end-of-life management of our nation’s roads, buildings, and infrastructure;
Sustainable Food Management — focus on reducing food loss and waste; and
Sustainable Packaging — increase the quantity and quality of materials recovered from municipal solid waste and develop critically important collection and processing infrastructure.
In addition to these strategic priorities, we will continue work in our other SMM emphasis areas including sustainable electronics management, materials measurement, life cycle assessment, and SMM international efforts. Our international efforts include participation in the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency that provides a forum to exchange and promote best practices with business and other stakeholders to address the challenges of SMM.

The work that you do is critical to advancing SMM. You know that SMM principles and approaches must be applied at all levels, from the local community to the global economy. Our strategic plan outlines priority areas and includes many examples of potential actions at various levels. Over the next 12-18 months we will be undertaking activities to obtain input and feedback from organizations such as yours on specific efforts we can undertake together to achieve our shared SMM goals. I ask that you share our Strategic Plan with your networks.

Thank you for your continued and important work in this area. If you have any questions, would like to provide input, or share your ideas for how we can work together to implement this strategic plan, please feel free to contact me or Kathleen Salyer, Deputy Director of the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. She can be reached at [email protected] or 703-308-8895.

Mathy Stanislaus
Assistant Administrator
Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response

View the full plan here.

An Open Letter: National Recycling Coalition’s Response to Media Attacks on Recycling

COE 10th Annual Symposium on Environmental & Energy SystemsJohn Tierney’s effrontery with his “The Reign of Recycling” piece in the New York Times (10/3/15) has once again become evident with his feeble attempt to lay waste to the recycling industry, this after his  original 1996 piece in the New York Times Magazine, “Recycling is Garbage.”

“Whether it’s by national newspapers, network TV, or conservative think tanks, attacking recycling has long been a popular way to make headlines. As we recycling professionals know, the overwhelming majority of these attacks are based either on over simplifications of complex environmental issues, or on political philosophies out of step with mainstream America. The sound bites are hard to beat: ‘Recycling is a waste of time. There is no landfill crisis. Recycling doesn’t save trees’. These statements are both short and provocative–in other words, perfect for the news media. The idea of bashing recycling is so compelling that ‘the evils of recycling mania’ is even used as an example of how to get publicity by being contrarian in Jay Levenson’s popular ‘Guerilla Marketing’ series (National Recycling Coalition-NRC, 2000).”

Attached and at is a fact sheet produced in 2000 where we at the NRC “recommended a five-part strategy to respond nationally and locally to attacks on recycling. Since most decisions about recycling programs are made at the local level, we suggest that you spend most of your energy responding locally, even to national attacks. We also offer some sound bites of our own in response to ten of the most frequent attacks on recycling. These can be used in your letters to the editor, talking points for interviews with reporters, and speech notes for local leaders (NRC, 2000).” Even though we’ve extracted these quotes from a document NRC developed 15 years ago, many points still resonate now. Today, we understand even more than we did in 2000 about how misinformed attacks undermine the investments, job creation, tax contribution, pollution reduction, and other benefits of recycling.

The National Recycling Coalition

The NRC, Inc. is a nonprofit organization formed in 1978 focused on the reduction of waste and sound management practices for raw materials. We work to maintain a prosperous and productive American recycling system that is committed to the conservation of natural resources and to building a foundation for an environmentally sustainable economy. We are unique in that we represent and facilitate activities among businesses and manufacturers, environmental groups, industry trade associations, nonprofit organizations, and representatives from all levels of government. At NRC’s core is a multitude of affiliated state-level recycling organizations. Our network extends across waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting activities.

We understand recycling and the sustainable management of materials.

First Hand Experience

Personally, I started my first recycling program in 1981. I have nearly two decades of experience working in an internationally recognized regional solid waste management system that included a “state-of-the-art” landfill, waste-to-energy facility, transfer and trucking operations, and centralized composting and recycling facilities. I’ve helped establish sustainable materials management and recycling programs in the US, Caribbean, and throughout Central and South America. These are the types of facilities and programs journalist Tierney from the Times talks about from afar.

Unlike a maverick journalist like Tierney writing from the bleachers, I’m no different–and my experiences are no different–than the thousands of others represented by the NRC who directly face 24/7 challenges about how to deal with our discarded materials. Tierney is an aberration, one who did all of us a disservice, but he also provided us an opportunity to articulate why what we do is so important.

Initial Flaws of Tierney’s Case

Tierney’s erroneous depiction does not describe the recycling in America that we know. In fact, most American communities have found positive economic success in administering recycling programs that require minimal sorting. Those of us in this industry, including our colleagues at the City of San Francisco, Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Mid-America Council of Recycling Officials, Northeast Recycling Council, Recycling Partnership, Reuse Institute, Solid Waste Association of North America, Southeast Recycling Development Council, US Composting Council, Zero Waste International Alliance, Zero Waste USA, and many others will continue to do an effective job of dispensing with Tierney’s half-truths, non-supported “research,” and specious arguments. We all know that the premise of his misinformation campaign–that recycling is both economically and environmentally ill advised–is a non sequitur.

Tierney wields an accusation of motivated reasoning, that “we” have blindly recycled based on emotional irrationality. If he and the Times had done appropriate due diligence, we know they would have found that recycling is an issue that resonates and is economically defensible throughout the US, not just among the recycling acolytes of tony Park Slope in Brooklyn or San Francisco, but in cities like Indianapolis, where a national recycling conference (organized by Resource Recycling) was held the week before his article appeared in the Times. Had Tierney attended, he could have met with recycling businesses and others who employ some of the estimated 471,587 direct and indirect jobs, and responsible for at least $106 billion in annual economic activity in the US associated with recycling (ISRI). He could have talked with members of state and local governments who would have described their successes and failures. Instead, Tierney continued to paint his recycling canvas with one brush and one color.

Clearly, we all know that if recycling were economically counter-productive, the industries we collectively represent would have closed their doors long ago. We have been in this business for more than a century and have survived even without Tierney’s inaccurate economic pronouncements. In fact, our industry is as large as the American automobile industry (EPA), and many businesses are now saving millions of dollars by focusing on reducing, reusing, recycling, and pursuing Zero Waste principles.

Particularly farfetched is his assertion that we should calculate the value of reducing our carbon emissions with how much carbon is comparatively offset by recycling 40,000 plastic bottles vs. the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by one passenger on a flight to Europe. I welcome the opportunity to explore more germane comparisons with the Times and others, such as the savings of CO2 for every ton of paperboard that is recycled (over three tons), driving a car, or heating and lighting your house. In addition, “Tierney falls short in his analysis of the environmental impact of recycling. Nearly all independent studies, including those by EPA, have shown that recycling offers superior environmental benefits to landfilling and incineration. Further, utilizing recycled materials reduces energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions in many manufacturing processes when compared to using virgin materials (ISRI).”

The Myth of the “Welcomed” Landfill and others have debunked much of Tierney’s vacuous and naïve comments about landfills. We need to continue to shine light on the following dark, farcical statements of his:

“A modern well-lined landfill in a rural area can have relatively little environmental impact.”

“Landfills are ‘welcomed’ in rural areas…they have plenty of greenery to buffer residents from sights and smells.”

A contention that landfills are “welcomed” in many communities seriously understates the long-term liabilities associated with landfills and other disposal facilities. It does not effectively consider important economic externality valuations, and quality of life issues. Underserved populations, including the impoverished, minorities, and others with little political power are disproportionately affected by such facilities. Tierney inexcusably looks the other way regarding the serious social and environmental justice imbalance that we know exists in all too many neighborhoods across America. Further, he ignores the fact that many of these landfills are owned by profit-driven corporations with shareholders disconnected from the host communities who are forever cursed by the trash that lies beneath them. Tierney also neglected to discuss the context of how the extraction of raw materials in many cases also leads to the decay of society and local communities, and how there are 71 tons buried along the way from mining, manufacturing, and distribution of products for every ton buried locally (ILSR). It’s inconceivable that in 2015 we still hear these tired, baseless, and offensive comments. It’s time we bring these inequities into the light.

A Tour of the Real World

I have proposed to the New York Times that they accompany me on an excursion to visit communities hosting the sparkling facilities Tierney constructs in his Utopian world. We’ll go to wonderful communities in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Region that “host” two of the nation’s largest landfills. We’ll talk to people in these “greenery-filled” communities who can’t open their windows during the beautiful New York summer because of the rancid odor. We’ll look at the impact on roads from the never-ending train of tractor trailers taking a 12-hour round-trip carrying discarded materials from New York City to this sacred land of the Haudenosaunee, and where–among other historically significant events–the Women’s Suffrage movement started. We’ll have a serious talk about the economic hubris and carbon impact of this craziness.

We’ll then take a trip to the rural Tug Hill Region of New York where I’ll show the Times two other “state-of-the-art” landfills. More importantly, we’ll also talk to people living near these facilities. We’ll work hard to find the people forced to leave their homes when a landfill was built in their backyard. I’ll take them to another landfill in a suburban community near Albany. We’ll stop in a densely populated neighborhood directly adjacent to the landfill and I’ll explain with vivid examples what externality impacts and costs really mean.

We’ll then head to St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands to visit the only landfill on that island, and I’ll introduce them to local residents from the underserved community there tirelessly fighting to change their horrible reality (its certainly not Tierney’s Utopia). I’ll facilitate a discussion with representatives, including youth leaders, of Basura Cero (Zero Waste) in Puerto Rico, working hard to prevent a massive waste-to-energy facility from being built in Arecibo. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the articulate and well-reasoned arguments fueling a passion and desire to preserve their community. I could take you to sites all across the US–suburban, rural, and urban–and provide many more examples of how landfills, and those in the business of trash reduce the quality of life for those living nearby.

What the Times published was an absolute affront to all these communities, and I look forward to The New York Times Company taking me up on my offer to help them reach the people who actually live near these facilities. These people will provide real-life “data” for a story. This will be a story diametrically different than one written by someone in an isolated, comfortable office far from the plume of reality real people are facing every day.

It is no shock to those of us in the trenches that segments of our industry are experiencing unique challenges these days as a result of a changing business model and increasing quality concerns. “Decreased commodity prices combined with the decision of some municipalities to collect recyclables in the same bin as waste materials affect both the economics and the technological feasibility of recycling (ISRI).” So too does the lack of a level playing field laced with the reality of subsidies on virgin materials, and the incomplete accounting of the true and full cost of disposal alternatives like landfills, waste transfer stations, and waste-to-energy (externality costs). Disposal of discarded materials-a multi-billion dollar industry-provides little societal benefit and far more societal risks than a system that capitalizes on materials as commodities generating genuine value. The same can be said for raw material extraction and processing compared to a manufacturing supply-chain utilizing recyclable materials.

It’s about Materials and Resources, not Waste

We as a commodities industry have faced issues like the cyclic nature of our markets and many other challenges in the past. We understand that we are part of an ever-changing supply and value chain. Today, like in the past, these concerns don’t indicate the demise of recycling. We can and must address ever-evolving challenges of our unique industry. “Let’s focus on what works and develop the processes and technology needed to expand recycling. Turning our backs on recycling altogether now would significantly hurt the US balance of trade, the recycling industry, the environment, and sustainable materials management. That would be a major step backward for our country (ISRI).”

We are not some haughty group, pursuing a spiritual mission of recycling because we are ignorant, or have some inside scoop and know better than everyone else. We do, however, recognize that we need to work much harder at front-of-the-pipe solutions. Tierney completely ignores the changing nature of materials and the “evolving ton,” the immense research and development around new materials–materials being designed for recycling, for the environment. He misses the boat on the nascent circular economy, and the associated role of the emerging solution of sustainable materials management. He does not address how discarded materials can help augment local economies. He ignores the inexcusable human habit of creating waste–waste, something Nature does not recognize–of “disposing” materials that have great value as commodities, not to be buried or burned.

Perilously Promoting “Disassociation”

Tierney infers that we need to make it easier for people to get rid of their “stuff.” We agree that convenience and the effective use of an individual’s time sorting materials are important considerations; however, Tierney inappropriately skirts one of our greatest challenges in this field, the increasing trend toward “disassociation.” The last thing we need to do is further separate the generator of discarded materials from the costs and realities of that place called “away”–a place that simply does not exist. (One person’s “away,” after all, is someone else’s “here.”) We do a great disservice propagating the falsehood, and propping-up ignorance around the fallacy that disposal options such as landfills and waste-to-energy facilities have minimal effects on the environment and society. The notion that disposal is economically more attractive than reducing, and developing creative reuse and repurpose programs for our materials, designing better materials, and yes, maximizing appropriate recycling and composting, is patently false.

Thinking back to when I publicly took issue with Tierney’s words in 1996, and considering his recent article, I see him to be implacable and unchangeable. His “piece relies on the intellectually dishonest tactic common in anti-environment screeds of criticizing an environmental solution for its imperfections instead of comparing to a real world alternative (” such as those I outlined. We need to rise above the predetermined structure of arguments the John Tierney’s of the world create for us. They give us false choices, and the debate they construct and foster is moot. We have to reframe the discussion. A shift in paradigms is needed, which Tierney’s recent diatribe clearly supports.

To that end, the NRC is solidifying a partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency, and in the coming months will host an important meeting in New York City–the media capital of the US–to shed more truth, and talk through all these issues. In addition to people and organizations directly involved in recycling, we are inviting the New York Times and others representing a spectrum of views. Our intent is to continue accelerating the sustainable management of materials across America.

Yours in sustainable materials management,

Mark Lichtenstein
President and CEO, National Recycling Coalition, Inc.

Adjunct Professor, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

[email protected]

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 [email protected] or Jack DeBell at [email protected].

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 [email protected]

NRC SMM Roundtable at the Resource Recycling Conference

Join the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) at a follow-up event to the National Sustainable Materials Management Summit at the Resource Recycling Conference! NRC will be hosting the “NRC Roundtable on How ROs and Communities Can Move to SMM” from 3-5pm ET on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

At the SMM Roundtable for RO’s and Communities, NRC will highlight its National Sustainable Materials Management Action Plan and the USEPA SMM Strategic Plan. Discussion will then focus on how NRC can support Recycling Organizations and communities to adopt and implement SMM policies and programs.

If you are unable to join in person, a call-in option is available. Please email [email protected] to RSVP and to receive the call-in information.

View the program agenda here.

NRC Events at the Resource Recycling Conference

The NRC and ROC will be holding our Annual Meetings in conjunction with the Resource Recycling Conference on Monday, September 28 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, IN. All members are encouraged to attend!

Other NRC events in conjunction with the Resource Recycling Conference include Board meetings on Monday, September 28 and Tuesday, September 29 and the Murray J. Fox Scholarship and NRC Annual Awards Presentation Lunch and the NRC Roundtable on How ROs and Communities Can Move to SMM on Wednesday, September 30. Register for the Resource Recycling Conference here and see the full schedule of NRC events below.


Monday, September 28
9-10am, NRC Board Meeting, Room: Florida/Illinois
10am-12pm, NRC Annual Membership Meeting and Candidates Forum, Room: Indiana Ballroom A-C
1-4:30pm, Recycling Organizations Council Meeting (ROC), Room: Florida/Illinois
Tuesday, September 29
12:15-1:30pm, NRC Board Meeting, Room: Indiana Ballroom AB
Wednesday, September 30
12-1pm, Murray J. Fox Scholarship and NRC Annual Awards Presentation Lunch, Room: Indiana Ballroom AB
3-5pm, NRC Roundtable on How ROs and Communities Can Move to SMM, Room: Indiana Ballroom AB

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.

NRC Endorses Congressman Ellison’s “Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act”

July 28, 2015

The Honorable Keith Ellison
Member of Congress
2263 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) is pleased to endorse the “Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act.”

The Mission of the National Recycling Coalition is to partner with and facilitate activities between and among non-profit organizations (NGO’s), businesses, trade associations, individuals and government to maintain a prosperous and productive American recycling system that is committed to the conservation of natural resources.

In conjunction with source reduction, reuse, and composting, the recycling of valuable materials is essential to a sustainable environmental, energy, and economic future. The “Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act” will help communicate the following:

  • Recycling is a value-added activity to our communities, states, and country that creates “green,” well-paying jobs, boosting a domestic economy committed to sustainability.
  • Materials recovery (primary vs tertiary recycling) is the preferred management option for all residential, commercial, and industrial discards.
  • Recycling is resource management, not waste management.
  • Sustainable Materials Management is a critical strategic shift away from the past strategy of waste management toward a holistic resource management system that strives to use less materials overall, reduce toxins, recover more used materials, create new jobs, and foster economic development.
  • Recycling is not disposal.
  • Thermal combustion is not recycling.
  • Recycling programs must be designed to minimize contamination in consideration of the needs of upstream users.
  • Recyclables are substitutes for virgin materials.

We believe that recycling is a shared responsibility which requires citizen engagement. The grants program established in your legislation will provide critical investment in infrastructure and technologies. This will help achieve the goal of a more sustainable America for our future. We look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve that future





Mark Lichtenstein
President and CEO

NRC Board of Directors Call For Nominations

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 Monday, September 21th at 5:00pm ET and will reopen from the floor of the NRC Annual Members Meeting on Monday, September 28th at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, IN.

To nominate yourself or someone else, please fill out the Board Nomination Form to submit your/their information to the NRC Board Member Election Committee.

NRC Awards Call for Nominations

NRC Awards – Nominations Due August 21, 2015 at 5pm Eastern!

The National Recycling Coalition announces the “Call for Nominations” for the 2015 Awards – with awards presented at the Resource Recycling Conference September 28-30, 2015 in Indianapolis.  Spread the word!!

Nominate the best programs or individual you know in the following categories:

  1. NRC’s Lifetime Achievement Award– recognizing an outstanding individual with a lifetime of leadership and dedication to the field of recycling.
  2. Bill Heenan Emerging Leader Award – recognizing an outstanding individual aged 35 or under who has emerged as a leader in the field.
  3. Outstanding Recycling Organization – awarded to a State Recycling Organization with outstanding growth, programs, leadership, or which has made a substantial impact on the field.
  4. Outstanding Business Leadership – awarded to a for-profit company showing leadership, innovation, and success as a corporate model in recycling and diversion.
  5. Outstanding Non-Profit Business Leadership – awarded to a not-for-profit company showing leadership, innovation, and success as a corporate model in recycling and diversion.
  6. Outstanding Community or Government Program – awarded to a public (community / governmental) program showing innovation, progress, or success as a model for other public programs.
  7. Outstanding Higher Education Program – awarded to a college / university with an exceptional program in recycling or in connecting higher education and the industry in the areas of degrees, tech transfer, career services, etc.

Nominate a worthy candidate (you may self-nominate) by clicking on the following link.  For questions, please contact Lisa Skumatz at [email protected], or at 303/494-1178.  Deadline is August 21, so get your nominations in!

Click here to nominate a worthy candidate!


You will need:  contact information for yourself and the nominee, 150 word summary, and 250 words or less on each of the following topics (concise is preferred):  Coverage / longevity; innovation / meeting needs; effect on recycling / hierarchy;  program economics;  leadership / cutting edge; and additional information (if needed).  The criteria for the higher education award asks for information about degree programs and career services, applied research / tech transfer, and links with recycling industries.  We recommend you prepare a document with these elements first, and then cut and paste your responses into the form.