The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) is leading the way to promote recycling market development activities across the nation. With recycling markets in crisis since late 2017 because of Chinese restrictions on the import of curbside generated recyclables, the need to refocus on recycling markets abounded. A fundamental issue driving this crisis is the lack of domestic end markets to handle the sudden oversupply of recycled materials that are now looking for new homes.
The NRC stepped up to provide a platform for collaboration aimed at strengthening and growing domestic recycling markets. The leading edge of this effort included a regional recycling market development workshop series inaugurated in 2018, just months after the market collapsed. In 2018, four workshops were organized in partnership with key state recycling organizations (SROs) and featured local end markets and recycling experts. These events were attended by more than 250 people. In 2019, the NRC has four workshops planned in states needing to revitalize recycling markets.
RRS, a mission driven consulting firm focused on material recovery and sustainability, was engaged by NRC to help drive this effort. RRS is applying its decades of experience developing and working with recycling programs across the country, helping communities to divert and market recycled materials, and facilitating multi-stakeholder collaborations to drive solutions and is working with NRC to create a road map for the future.
While still early in the process of reshaping recycling markets, these workshops have led to a broader, more integrated understanding of the diversity of problems and potential solutions facing different parts of the country from many stakeholder perspectives along the value chain. They have established the interconnections among collectors, processors and end-users of recycled materials that are needed to bring forth a reimagined system that will better serve economic and environmental outcomes well into the 21st century.
Over the next 18-24 months, the U.S. will see a reinvigorated recycling system with jobs and capital investment at the heart of building the new recycling economy. Momentum continues to grow, and the coalition of leaders participating in these workshops are driving positive system change using the lessons learned, and connections made, through the efforts of NRC and its partners.
Full article available here.
NRC is gearing up for lots of activities at the Resource Recycling Conference (Mon Aug 26 – Wed Aug 28) including hosting our annual fundraiser for which we need your support! The fundraising reception, in partnership with the Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC) and the Louisiana Recycling Coalition, will be held from 6-9pm at the Gravier Street Social, a beautiful spot in historic downtown New Orleans just a few minutes walk from the Sheraton. For just $60, you can enjoy extra networking, spirits and snacks for a great cause. NRC is currently accepting sponsors for this event; if you’re interested in raising your profile at the Resource Recycling Conference and supporting the NRC, please contact Sarah DeSouza at [email protected] NRC appreciates your support!
For more information or to register, click here.
Additional NRC-organized engagement opportunities at the Resource Recycling Conference listed below.
Monday, August 26th
8:30 – 10 am NRC Annual Membership Meeting and Election Kickoff
10 am – 12:30 pm Recycling Organization Council (ROC) Meeting
3:30 – 5:30 pm Regional Recycling Market Development Workshop*
6 – 9 pm Joint NRC/SERDC Reception
Tuesday, August 27th
3:30 – 5 pm The Power of Looking Upstream Session
Wednesday, August 28th
7:30 – 8:30 am NRC Awards Presentation and Breakfast
Check out all of the great learning and networking opportunities here and make your arrangements to be there today. We’ll see you there!
The ROC has monthly meetings (via video conference) which are open to any state recycling organization that wishes to listen in. Agenda for these meetings includes a ROC and NRC Update, a valuable ROC Member Roundtable, and informative guest presentations.
The ROC is looking forward to our upcoming annual meeting on Monday August 26 from 10a-12:30 pm, held in conjunction with the Resource Recycling Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans, LA. There is no fee to attend but registration is requested.
The Carolina Recycling Association is looking forward to its 30th birthday next year; but we’re still going to say we’re 29 from now on… Since 2017, CRA has greatly increased its focus on the things that matter to member communities and industry professionals – we have also hired a Communications Coordinator to join our other two staff members. CRA prioritizes the need to face the challenges brought on by the National Sword policy, high contamination levels and recycling programs struggling to stay afloat due to increased costs by providing a constant positive, informative voice to our members and the media.
In the last year, CRA has supported four contamination-themed workshops across both states, hosted Recycling Business Connections and our 29th annual conference with 550 attendees this past March. CRA’s legislative advocacy included mobilizing our membership to keep the state’s 30-year old recycling assistance program funded, advocating to keep and fully fund our electronics landfill ban, and developing legislative engagement tools for our members. This year, CRA’s strategic plan includes hosting a Zero Waste Practitioner’s Certification Course in partnership with the NC chapter of SWANA, creating a legislative action toolkit, and creating short video documentaries highlighting various leaders in the W&R industry in the Carolinas. Last, please save the date for our 30th Annual Conference and Trade Show, March 23rd-26th 2020 in Raleigh, NC!
The following are upcoming recycling-related conferences:
View NRC’s comprehensive recycling conferences and events calendar anytime and add your own event for all to see. Access the calendar here!
During our well-attended Regional Recycling Market Development (RRMD) workshop held at the Albuquerque Museum this past week, the term “collaboration” kept coming to my mind when thinking about this workshop series and all other NRC programs. The Albuquerque workshop is a prime example of how the NRC collaborates with its affiliated recycling organizations. In this case, we cohosted the event with the New Mexico Recycling Coalition, our state affiliate. Past RRMD workshops were cohosted with our affiliates in Oregon, Georgia and Illinois. Stakeholders from numerous surrounding states attended each of the previous workshops. With attendees from Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico and with several tribes represented, the Albuquerque workshop could also evolve into further regional collaboration. The need for regional cooperation has been a constant theme throughout all of the market development workshops.
As the workshops have evolved, the sphere of collaboration has expanded to include two of the preeminent consulting firms in the market development arena. Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) has provided their market development expertise and technological capabilities since the Portland workshop which has really enhanced the informational content of the subsequent workshops. The principals of Circular Matters, LLC, all formerly of RSE, have joined the collaboration by providing their vast knowledge of national, regional, and state market development programs throughout the country.
The NRC is working to further enhance the workshop collaboration with the “soon to be debuted” development of online recycling market development resources on the NRC website and the upcoming announcement of a new nationwide partnership for future workshops. If you are a NRC direct or affiliate member, you and your company can join the collaboration on the RRMD workshops and other NRC programs. Please contact me ([email protected] ) or Sarah DeSouza ([email protected] ) if you are interested in collaborating on the NRC RRMD workshops or sponsoring the workshops or other future NRC programs!