These meetings are part of the ISRI Spring Board of Directors and Committee Meetings preceding the ISRI2022 Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada. The meetings began Saturday, March 19 and run through Monday, March 21. Here are some highlights from the second day on Sunday, March 20.
Design for Recycling Task Force
The Design for Recycling committee meeting kicked off with brief introductions around the room before launching into a review of the 2022 Design for Recycling® (DFR) award. Brandi Harleaux, committee co-chair and CEO of South Post Oak Recycling Center, discussed the purpose of the DFR award to recognize manufacturers, people, and packaging companies that are intentional in designing products with end-of-life in mind. Harleaux discussed the 2022 recipient, Sonoco Alloyd, an equipment manufacturing company that was recognized for its revolutionary Sonoco Alloyd EnviroSense® PaperBlister™ package that offers a recyclable alternative to traditional retail plastic-to-card blister packaging.
The committee looked forward to 2023 and Harleaux discussed two major goals—actively integrating ISRI’s new Brands Council into DFR and creating a second DFR award and determining its criteria. Regarding the Brands Council, Harleaux noted she expects it will be critical both “to the foundation we’ve already set up and to our momentum going froward.”
David Wagger, ISRI’s chief scientist/director of Environmental Management, provided an update of the association’s projects with the REMADE Institute, a public-private partnership established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) focused on accelerating the nation’s transition to a circular economy. He reviewed projects that recently concluded in 2021 and projects that are about to launch later in 2022. Harleaux thanked Gary Champlin for championing the committee during his tenure as ISRI chair. This was Harleaux’s last meeting as the committee’s co-chair and the group thanked her for her work over the last two years. She’s excited for what the future holds. “The future is bright for Design for Recycling,” Harleaux says.
Equipment and Service Providers Committee
Equipment and Service Providers Committee Chair Ian Lewandowski, director of global accounts at SHEARCORE, noted that ISRI2022 is the first in-person convention and exposition during his tenure as chair. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited,” he says.
ISRI Convention Chair Stephen Moss, vice president at Stanton A. Moss Inc., provided an update on ISRI2022. “We’re trying to create opportunities for you to network with your customers. That’s the important thing at this convention,” he says. ISRI Chair-Elect Brian Henesey, vice president and general manager of Rocky Mountain Recycling, Inc., notes that although the number of international attendees is down due to COVID-19 concerns, that number is made up by domestic recyclers. “Our active paid-registrant [numbers] are really high,” he says. “The ratio [of general attendees] with our exhibitors is probably the largest we’ve seen. It’s going to pay dividends.”
Moss updated the committee on planning for ISRI2023 at the Music City Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. He noted that 40 million people live within a 300-mile radius of the city, making it an advantageous location for the recycling industry’s largest event to continue growing. “It’s a new market we’re tapping,” he says. “Nashville is going to be a great host city. It’s going to be a home run.”
Tire & Rubber
The Tire and Rubber division meeting kicked off with Justin Short, ISRI’s government relations manager, discussing the Scrap Tire Value Chain. Division chair Mark Rannie described the Scrap Tire Value Chain as a “value add,” as it allows ISRI and other associations to meet monthly and discuss issues in the industry and decide how to act accordingly. Short also led a discussion on tire extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs.
Short pointed out several states are starting to implement legislation targeting the illegal dumping of tires. Law enforcement entities are beginning to focus on punishing bad actors committing these criminal activities, which includes an increase in penalties.
The group discussed its Tire and Rubber Spotlight session at ISRI2022, which will start at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23. Danielle Waterfield, ISRI’s chief policy officer and assistant general counsel, is one of the speakers. She will be joined by John Sheerin, director of end-of-life tire programs for the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, and Kyle Eastman, vice president of crumb sales and development for Liberty Tire Recycling LLC.
Division members highlighted the importance of being actively involved with local ISRI chapters. The meeting concluded with ISRI Chair Gary Champlin thanking the group for its support over the years on his journey to chair. “I came up through this division, and a lot of you folks were there to support me, so I just want to thank you for that,” he said.
Chair of the Plastics Committee Sunil Bagaria opened the meeting by discussing the specifications update ISRI is working on. Since plastics has many specifications to revisit, there are several subcommittees for each type of plastic. The committee approved the Plastics Film Scrap Specs to send to the ISRI Board for a vote on Monday, March 21. The committee then discussed the issue of chemical recycling and determining ISRI’s position on the matter. “We need to have a position on this,” Bagaria says. “And we want to develop something that’s acceptable to all members.” The goal is to develop a final statement approved by ISRI’s Board no later than the July 2022 board and committee meetings.
The membership committee meeting began with Brianna Gianti, ISRI vice president of membership, giving an update on 2022 renewals. She reminded audience members that there are onsite renewal options at ISRI2022 either at the registration desk or member booth. “All signs point to a great renewal year so far, so we’re really excited about that,” she says. Gianti discussed plans to advance member retention in 2022 and beyond through internal efforts by ISRI staff and externally through members’ efforts. She thanked the membership committee leadership: the committee co-chairs Marvin Finkelstein and Neil Byce, and membership committee executive liaison Brian Henesey. She and leadership welcomed the in-coming co-chairs, Sean Daoud of PNW Metal Recycling and Adam Shine of Sunnking Inc. Membership has a 90% retention rate and welcomed in 155 new members so far this year. “The number of new members we’ve brought in this year beat our numbers from 2015 to 2019,” Gianti says.
Justin Short, ISRI’s government relations manager, opened the MRF committee meeting by providing an update on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) state legislation. Last year, Maine and Oregon became the first states to pass packaging EPR legislation. Oregon has actively begun its rulemaking, while Maine is set to begin its activity this summer. Regulatory information for each state can be tracked using ISRI’s State Policies page. Short also pointed out that ISRI is keeping an eye on several states that have active packaging EPR legislation or could introduce credible legislation next year.
Fred Fischer, ISRI’s new assistant vice president of International Trade, was introduced to the group.
Short mentioned the Per- and PolyFluoroAlkyl Substances (PFAS) working group that is currently being put together. PFAS is an issue that is expected to have an impact on paper, plastics, and residential operations. Anybody interested in joining the group can reach out to ISRI’s safety team, Short, or Danielle Waterfield, ISRI’s chief policy officer and assistant general counsel. Finally, the group plugged its convention session, MRF Innovations and Collaborative Financing Models to Strengthen Recycling Infrastructure, taking place Wednesday, March 23 from 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Division Chair Craig Boswell, co-founder and president of HOBI International Inc., welcomed new members to begin the Electronics Division meeting. In the opening remarks of his final meeting as chair, Boswell noted how much he appreciates the industry—in particular the willingness to share common challenges and issues. “It’s been a pleasure to share [issues] with the people in this room,” he says. “If you’ve never been in another industry, I don’t know if you can appreciate how rare that is.”
The division discussed the upcoming electronics sessions at ISRI2022. Darrell Fleming-Kendall, executive director of RIOS™, noted RIOS is an accessible option under e-Stewards’ 4.1 Standard for Ethical and Responsible Reuse, Recycling, and Disposition of Electronic Equipment under the environmental management systems requirement. Boswell briefly discussed the Basel Convention and that it needs to remain a forefront issue for the division. Fred Fischer, ISRI’s new assistant vice president of international trade, introduced himself to the division and says he looks forward to working on issues affecting the industry.
Second Vice Chair Kevin Lamar, CFO of Dynamic Metal Services, provided an update on membership in the division. He reviewed the division’s efforts to attract new ITAD companies to ISRI and to the division.
Billy Johnson, ISRI’s chief lobbyist, discussed several issues facing electronics recyclers and ISRI’s efforts to combat them. Boswell noted that the division holds biweekly meetings and recommended anyone interested in learning more about the electronics division should feel free to join. If you are interested in sitting in on a biweekly call, contact Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photos courtesy of ISRI.