A group of state recycling officials is organizing a meeting in Chicago to talk about problems in container recycling. The effort is the broadest to date from government and one of several initiatives looking at how to turn around falling recycling rates.
The June 17 discussion is being sponsored by officials from Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin, and will include participation from other states. It is being funded by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The meeting will explore the state of container recycling and look at lessons learned in the United States and elsewhere around the world, said Ed Boisson, the forum organizer and principal in the consulting firm Boisson & Associates in San Geronimo, Calif.
``The goal [is] to try to promote a voluntary national initiative that would strengthen container recycling over the long term,'' Boisson said. He said the group has modest expectations.
``We're not launching an ongoing debate,'' he said. ``We're not going into this with the expectation that a deal is about to be struck.''
The states' effort follows work done several years ago by Businesses and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling, which attempted to put environmentalists and industry, including Coca-Cola Co., together in an effort to boost recycling. That effort ultimately fell apart.
Since then, soft drink and beer makers have held internal industry talks. More recently, the PET bottle industry and soft drink companies held their own meeting last month to talk about recycling difficulties. Boisson said industry has been invited to participate in the states' discussion.