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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

Sincerely,

Markssignature

 

 

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.

First Ever SMM Policy Summit Draws More Than 130 Experts

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) last week concluded the first-ever Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit where sustainability leaders from across the country convened, determined to elevate the issues around discards management back to the forefront of national policy dialogue.

“The NRC is pleased that the Summit created this opportunity to discuss the vast challenges and opportunities that face the broad spectrum of sustainable material management professionals,” said Mark Lichtenstein, NRC President and CEO. “The Summit is intended to be the starting point for development of a National SMM Action Plan that will catapult recycling and other SMM issues to the next level of support and success at every level.”

Nearly 140 individuals representing government, businesses and organizations gathered at the University of Maryland, College Park, on May 12 and 13 – a broad and diverse set of stakeholders representing many of the greatest minds in recycling, reuse, discard prevention, product stewardship and other diversion methods. Key presentations were made by Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and Judith Enck, Region 2 Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as:

  • Ruth Abbe, Abbe & Associates and President, Zero Waste USA
  • English Bird, Executive Director, New Mexico Recycling Coalition
  • Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner, New York City Department of Sanitation
  • Bob Gedert, Director, Austin Resource Recovery
  • Nina Goodrich, Executive Director GreenBlue and Sustainable Packaging Coalition
  • David Levine, Executive Director, American Sustainable Business Council
  • Ryan McMullan, Manager of Environmental & Safety, Toyota
  • Scott Mouw, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Joe Pickard, Chief Economist, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
  • Al Rattie, Director of Market Development, U.S. Composting Council

There were dozens of creative concepts that emerged that will become the basis for the National SMM Action Plan. Some initial consensus ideas included the need for:

  • Making the business and jobs case for SMM;
  • Model policies, programs and laws for communities to further SMM;
  • Matching programs with performance metrics;
  • Connecting SMM strategies and professionals with businesses and product designers, and local and state policy makers for improved consideration of full life cycle impacts and opportunities;
  • Incorporation of SMM into climate action plans;
  • Training and certifications of SMM professionals, recognizing that there are multiple options;
  • Evaluation and verification of product certifications to provide clear information for consumer choice and clear direction for businesses to comply with FTC Green Marketing Guidelines (e.g., strong support for the How2Recycle label);
  • Best practices information and resources, including model ordinances and contracts; and
  • Education on downstream impacts on end-user markets and opportunities for investment in markets in the U.S.

“The future of SMM is critical for the thousands of NRC members and others across the country working each and every day to manage discards through source reduction, reuse recycling, composting, product stewardship and other diversion methods” said Gary Liss, Summit Co-Chair. “These SMM professionals could benefit from being more a part of overall sustainability, triple bottom line and climate change initiatives. This will help solve other critical problems for communities and businesses at the same time and brings more allies to help on gaining approval for new policies, programs, facilities and funding.”

“This dialog and subsequent Action Plan will breathe new life into SMM programs and particularly ‘upstream’ efforts that need greater political support,” said Julie Rhodes, Summit Co-Chair. “More attention to SMM could result in other help for SMM professionals such as:

  • More focus on redesign,
  • Better solutions for problems,
  • More collaboration, and
  • New rules and incentives.”

The SMM Summit was led by the NRC in partnership with the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solution and University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, and supported by ISRI, Starbucks, Steel Recycling Institute, ReTRAC, SCS Engineers, SMART Recycling South Carolina LLC, Paper Recycling Coalition and Sims Recycling Solutions

About the National Recycling Coalition

The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing SMM in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across waste reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling. For more than 30 years, the NRC has been a leader in driving education and policy around SMM. Learn more about the NRC at https://nrcrecycles.org/, and the SMM Summit at https://nrcrecycles.org/sustainable-materials-management-summit/.

About Sustainable Materials Management

The US EPA defines SMM as “an approach to serving human needs by using/reusing resources most productively and sustainably throughout their life cycles, from the point of resource extraction through material disposal. This approach seeks to minimize the amount of materials involved as well as associated environmental impacts, and account for economic efficiency and social considerations.” SMM includes actions across the full life-cycle of materials, including but not limited to managing materials after they have been discarded. SMM is about environmental justice, regional solutions, job training and local job creation, new materials science and design for recycling, innovative financing, product stewardship, sustainable organics management, a nexus of market-based and policy-based solutions, reuse and repurposing, highest-and-best use analysis for local decision-making, new management technology, enhanced recycling, and many more.

EPA’s Stanislaus to Keynote NRC’s Summit – May 12

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) announced this week that US Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus will keynote the first-ever Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit to be held May 12 – 13, 2015, at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. Stanislaus will join EPA Region 2 Administrator, Judith Enck and a diverse set of stakeholders representing the greatest minds in sustainable materials management, determined to elevate the issues around discards management back to the forefront of national policy.

Stanislaus heads EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, leading the agency’s land cleanup, solid waste and emergency response programs. As EPA’s primary person in charge of SMM nationally and internationally, he will anchor the event by defining SMM and providing a foundation for the national policy discussions of the Summit.

“We are pleased to have EPA’s leadership open and jumpstart the SMM Summit dialog,” said Gary Liss, SMM Summit co-chair. “The future of SMM is critical for the thousands of NRC members and others across the country working each and every day to manage discards through waste reduction, reuse recycling, composting, product stewardship and other diversion methods.”

Delegates and attendees from a broad spectrum of interests and expertise will contribute to the creation of a new, forward-thinking, strategic National SMM Action. In addition to EPA, the Summit will highlight efforts of some of the most innovative companies, programs and SMM efforts across the U.S., including experts from the Toyota, US Composting Council, the Cities of New York and Austin, and the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

“The Summit is the launch pad for what NRC and the 200 organizations and businesses participating in the event see as the first of an on-going effort,” said Julie L. Rhodes, SMM Summit co-chair. “The recommendations that come out of this first Summit and compiled and prioritized in the National SMM Action Plan become the roadmap for NRC’s advocacy and work for the coming years.”

NRC also announces two new webinars as part of its Recyclers Guide to Understanding SMM series to prepare attendees for the Summit and to help SMM practitioners better grasp the broad concepts of the issues, including:

  • Aprl 23 – Life Cycle Analyses and Redesign for SMM
  • April 29 – How NRC Policies and Principles Support SMM

Register for these webinars and view the two previous webinars at: https://nrcrecycles.org/smm-webinars/

Those interested in attending are encouraged to review the Summit Program, check out all the organizations joining the effort and register today! Those who register by April 15 can still submit White Papers to contribute to the National SMM Action Plan in advance of the Summit.

The SMM Summit is led by the NRC in partnership with the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solution and University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, and supported by ISRI, Starbucks, Steel Recycling Institute, ReTRAC, SCS Engineers, and SMART Recycling South Carolina LLC.

About the National Recycling Coalition

The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing SMM in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across waste reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling. For more than 30 years, the NRC has been a leader in driving education and policy around SMM. Learn more about the NRC at www.nrcrecycles.org, and the SMM Summit at https://nrcrecycles.org/get-involved/2015smmsummit/.

About Sustainable Materials Management

The US EPA defines SMM as “an approach to serving human needs by using/reusing resources most productively and sustainably throughout their life cycles, from the point of resource extraction through material disposal. This approach seeks to minimize the amount of materials involved as well as associated environmental impacts, and account for economic efficiency and social considerations.” SMM includes actions across the full life-cycle of materials, including but not limited to managing materials after they have been discarded. SMM is about environmental justice, regional solutions, job training and local job creation, new materials science and design for recycling, innovative financing, product stewardship, sustainable organics management, a nexus of market-based and policy-based solutions, reuse and repurposing, highest-and-best use analysis for local decision-making, new management technology, enhanced recycling, and many more.

NRC to Hold Sustainable Materials Management Webinars

Check out the National Recycling Coalition’s (NRC) webinars on February 11th and 18th on the “Recyclers Guide to Understanding SMM.” In preparation for the National Sustainable Materials Management Summit, NRC is conducting these two webinars to assist our members in better understanding the definition and applications for SMM in their own programs and communities. These informational webinars are designed to help members prepare for active participation in the Summit. Members are encouraged to attend both, as together they are designed to help build knowledge and expertise in SMM in advance of the Summit.

 

Recyclers Guide to Understanding SMM, Part I

Date: February 11, 2015

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm EST

Cost: Free

Presentations:

“Why NRC has organized the SMM Summit” Mark Lichtenstein, President and CEO, National Recycling Coalition and Executive Director, Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions

“EPA’s SMM definition, policies, and programs” Elizabeth Resek, Chief, Municipal Source Reduction Branch, USEPA HQ

“What do NRC members currently do with SMM” Julie L. Rhodes, Co-Chair, NRC Sustainable Materials Management Summit Committee and President, Julie L. Rhodes Consulting

REGISTER HERE

Recyclers Guide to Understanding SMM, Part II

Date: February 18, 2015

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm EST

Cost: Free

Presentations:

“How recycling managers can best contribute to achieving SMM” David Allaway, Policy and Program Analyst, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

“What support for local SMM initiatives should be in a National SMM Plan” Gary Liss, Co-Chair, NRC Sustainable Materials Management Summit Committee and President, Gary Liss & Associates

REGISTER HERE

 

Posted in Uncategorized|

NRC to Spur Action for Sustainable Materials Management in Spring 2015!

Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) announced the first-ever Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit to be held May 12 – 13, 2015, at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. The one-and-a-half day Summit will launch a national dialog intended to accelerate sustainable materials management in the United States, and is co-hosted by the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions/Environmental Finance Center, and University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center.
 
“The Summit aims to enrich the value and role of sustainable materials management initiatives in businesses, states, and local communities across the United States, across North America, and beyond” said NRC Board President and CEO, Mark Lichtenstein. “Ultimately we want to accelerate SMM as a method of choice for avoiding the generation of discarded material. At this Summit, a focus will be on the sustainable management of materials that have been discarded.  The Summit’s approach will be to generate action-oriented strategies.  At the end of the day, this ‘unconference’ will have produced the beginnings of a refined SMM strategy-based plan” Lichtenstein continued.
 
The Summit will bring together 200 of the most innovative thinkers and practitioners working on issues around how natural resources are extracted, used, and then managed after their initial end-of-life. It also includes leaders in source reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling. NRC will develop the start of a SMM National Plan based on a facilitated dialogue among a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The intent is to identify deeper collaborative connections for actions and activities in the future among progressive businesses, federal, regional, state and local governments, reuse and recycling organizations, trade and industry groups, and other nonprofits.
 
Initial Supporters of the SMM Summit include ReTrac, the Steel Recycling Institute, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Broad and inclusive Advisory and Steering Committees (see below) are also helping to organize this important event, which represent all segments of reuse, recycling, and composting in America.
 
About the National Recycling Coalition
The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing SMM in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across waste reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling. For more than 30 years, the NRC has been a leader in driving education and policy around SMM. Learn more about the NRC at www.nrcrecycles.org, and the SMM Summit at https://nrcrecycles.org/get-involved/2015smmsummit/.
 
About Sustainable Materials Management
The US EPA defines SMM as “an approach to serving human needs by using/reusing resources most productively and sustainably throughout their life cycles, from the point of resource extraction through material disposal. This approach seeks to minimize the amount of materials involved as well as associated environmental impacts, and account for economic efficiency and social considerations.” SMM includes actions across the full life-cycle of materials, including but not limited to managing materials after they have been discarded. SMM is about environmental justice, regional solutions, job training and local job creation, new materials science and design for recycling, innovative financing, product stewardship, sustainable organics management, a nexus of market-based and policy-based solutions, reuse and repurposing, highest-and-best use analysis for local decision-making, new management technology, enhanced recycling, and many more.

 

Posted in NRC News and Alerts|

NRC supports the Recycling Industry Coalition policy opposing Dirty MRFs

After spirited and thoughtful debate at the Board of Directors meeting on November 21, 2014, the Board voted to support the Recycling Industry Coalition policy opposing Dirty MRFs. The motion the Board voted on was:

The National Recycling Coalition supports the policy adopted by the Recycling Industry Coalition (RIC) in highlighting concerns with the implementation of Dirty MRFs. The NRC agrees with concerns with Dirty MRFs that RIC highlighted and other concerns. Instead of relying on Dirty MRFs, NRC urges communities to implement best practices for the separate collection of recyclables. Recycling programs must be designed to minimize contamination in consideration of the needs of upstream users. In conjunction with source reduction, reuse, and composting, the recycling of valuable materials for their highest and best use is essential to a sustainable environmental, energy, and economic future.

The RIC policy statement in it’s entirety is as follows:

The Recycling Industries Coalition represents industries and companies that are concerned about the potential degradation of recyclable materials when they are mixed with solid waste. Our experience, along with that of thousands of American communities and businesses, shows that separate collection of recyclables continues to be the most effective and cost-efficient method of maximizing the collection of clean recyclable raw materials. Simply put, collecting recyclable materials in the same bin as garbage basically just creates more garbage — good for nothing much more than being disposed of in landfills or incinerators.

Preserving the quality of recyclable materials, from collection through production into new products, will ultimately expand both the supply and the demand for recyclable feedstock for the world’s manufacturing industries. Coalition members know that a facility processing waste and recyclables mixed together, known as a Dirty MRF, will not improve and may harm recycling. When processing recyclables mixed with solid waste, it can result in the recyclable materials being rendered useless for reprocessing into new products. Mixing these valuable recyclables with food, diapers, and other contaminants will severely degrade them to the point that they will only be usable for incineration, landfilling or energy recovery, which is not recycling.

The private and public sectors have invested billions of dollars in infrastructure enabling citizens and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle efficiently. The $90 billion dollar recycling industry supports hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Maintaining the current large job base in the overall recycling network as well as the creation of new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States is critically important. Recycling conserves non-renewable natural resources, helps numerous industries reduce their energy use and significantly reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators. Products made from recyclable materials can be recycled many times, whereas recyclables converted to energy, burned or landfilled are lost forever. Finally, recycling is sustainable and results in avoided greenhouse gas emissions.

Members of the Coalition include: American Forest & Paper Association, Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Knauf Insulation, National Recycling Coalition (NRC), Newark Group, O-I, Paper Recycling Coalition (PRC), the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI) and Waste Management (WM),

Recyclables aren’t waste, let’s keep it that way.

Posted in NRC News and Alerts|