On Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at the Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans, LA, the Board of Directors met in-person and discussed the organization’s definition of recycling to ensure that it remains relevant within the ever-changing recycling “industry”. Special guest, Bill McDonough (author of the popular book, Cradle2Cradle) joined the Board for the lively and insightful discussion after his inspiring keynote presentation. After excellent dialogue, the updated definition of recycling adopted by NRC is:

“Recycling is a series of activities by which material that has reached the end of its current use is processed into material utilized in the production of new products.”

NRC’s past definition of recycling, that was adopted by the EPA, was:

“The series of activities by which materials that are no longer useful to the generator are collected, sorted, processed, and converted into raw materials and used in the production of new products.” 

While the two read similarly, the updated definition was the result of extensive and excellent dialogue, where the new language was deliberately chosen. The updated definition is a section of a larger policy document that is still being finalized by the Policy Committee and will be released soon.

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