Recycling is more than placing bottles, cans and paper in a bin at the curb. It's a complex industrial system that affects how natural resources are extracted; how consumer products are designed, manufactured and disposed of; and how waste from homes and businesses are managed at their end of life. Key factors that have affected recycling the last few years include the economy and the rapidly changing collection infrastructure, combined with life-style changes that affect where recycling systems are needed.
The National Recycling Coalition has been building relationships within and between sectors in our coalition to strengthen recycling's changing infrastructure, while opening communication channels between diverse sectors. By opening dialogues and creating partnerships with various groups — recycling professionals, government, the business community, consumers, the media — we are capitalizing on the coalition's internal strength to advance recycling.
Last year a group of leading beverage manufacturers came together to focus on opportunities to advance responsible waste- management practices. Forming under NRC, the Beverage Packaging Environmental Council initiated a process to enhance industry coordination and engagement on recycling. Central to this work is an absolute commitment to constructive dialogue and collaboration with stakeholders.
NRC — more specifically myself as executive director — was invited early on to facilitate meetings and provide a third-party perspective. I have welcomed this opportunity and remain extremely encouraged by the thoughtful engagement process under way.
Far from abandoning the organization, BPEC members are more focused and energized than ever to develop shared solutions for increasing recycling. I expect great things will come from the work of BPEC and encourage the recycling community to continue to collaborate to increase recycling across the country.