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Waste and recycling trade group taking time to find new name

By: Jim Johnson
WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

June 18, 2013

Rebranding of America's largest trade group representing the solid waste management and recycling industry is going to take longer than previously anticipated by leadership.

A new name for the Environmental Industry Associations is still coming, but the group wants to take additional time to consider the options.

EIA, which includes the National Solid Wastes Management Association and the Waste Equipment Technology Association, previously had planned to reveal a unified brand at Waste Expo in New Orleans in May.

But EIA CEO Sharon H. Kneiss said that process will take longer. And that's a good thing by her estimation.

"We need to develop a new name that reflects what we're doing, which is all things waste and recycling," she said at Waste Expo. "What we decided after listening to the members is to do it right instead of doing it fast."

Work on the new name as the year unfolds will include research, focus groups and even a survey of members to gain feedback.

"We want to make sure we have sufficient input," she said.

Potential names could emerge by the end of summer with a final decision by membership coming by the end of the year, Kneiss said.

NSWMA, which represents those in the private solid waste management industry, goes back 50 years. That means there's a lot of history and familiarity with the name. The Waste Equipment Technology Association, the other part of EIA, represents equipment makers and those who provide goods and services to the industry. WASTEC traces its own roots back to 1972 and has been known under its current name for two decades.

"We have to come up with a really great name to replace NSWMA," said Thom Metzger, communications director for the trade group. "We have a great legacy. People feel very passionate about the history."

"You have to allow room for dialog," he said, as the initial schedule to change the name was simply too aggressive.

"We need to get the buy-in," Kneiss said.

"We're letting the process be governed by the members. That's fine. We'll get it done when we get it done," Metzger added.

While the trade group leadership has recognized the need to put some more space in the process, Kneiss also indicated that the push toward a name change and a reorganization of EIA staff is being driven by the membership.

"The members are the ones who initiated this. It's the association built the way they want it to operate," the CEO said.

The current name is not representative of what the industry is doing today, Kneiss said.

"What our members have told us in the strategic planning process is we represent the waste and recycling industry and we need to make sure that our audiences understand that clearly," she said earlier this year.

"This whole process was unleashed by the members. They very much want it to happen," Metzger said.