For Immediate Release: September 5, 2017
Contact: Stephen M Bantillo, Executive Vice President, National Recycling Coalition 916-242-8287, [email protected]
The National Recycling Coalition expressed deep sympathy and respect for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and called for government officials to employ the most environmentally and ethically responsible disposal of the storm debris materials, especially recycling and reuse.
“The NRC recognizes the crisis for the residents and businesses is—as it should be— everyone’s focus of the initial recovery efforts. However, as we’ve learned from Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, the next stages must involve a restoration of the infrastructure, which by necessity includes appropriately dealing with the millions of tons of debris. There is an opportunity to recover some of the material if proper steps are taken in the recovery process,” says Bob Gedert, NRC President.
Among the possibilities for recycling are huge piles of vegetative debris, as well as concrete and metal. There is a recycling infrastructure in place to handle that process. But the NRC strongly opposes the use of open air burning to dispose of debris, as has been done with previous disasters. That method released millions of pounds of toxins into the air, which has long-term deleterious health impacts on the already affected populace.
NRC has established a Hurricane Harvey Task Force to engage in assistance with flood related materials management. NRC will be working with various partners including the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Cooperative Teamwork and Recycling Assistance (CTRA), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), NRC trade association member Construction and Demolition Recycling Association (CDRA) and numerous others on effective, environmentally, and ethically sound recovery of hurricane debris.
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 40 years, NRC has been a leader in driving education and policy around recycling.