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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.

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, and the SMM Summit at

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.