ISRI has resumed in-person events for the first time since February 2020. The 2021 Summer Board and Committee Meetings began Tuesday, July 13, at the InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf. A handful of virtual meetings were held the week of July 4-10, including the Young Executive, Women in Recycling, and Equipment and Service Providers councils.

Most of the board and committee meetings are open and free for ISRI members to attend. The meetings run through Friday, July 16. Here are some highlights from the first meetings.

Tuesday, July 6

During the Young Executives Council (YEC) meeting July 6, members discussed the new succession plan for YEC leadership. Each subcommittee provided an update. The Events/Programming Subcommittee promoted the upcoming ISRIYE co-hosted happy hour at the Sept. 22-24 Commodity Roundtables Forum in Chicago, and put out a call for proposals for session topics for ISRI2022. Proposals are due by Aug. 3. The Communications Subcommittee discussed the July 7 ISRIYE interview featuring Shelley Padnos. The Advocacy Subcommittee highlighted key topics that will again be discussed at the upcoming Government Relations Committee meeting July 15.

Wednesday, July 7

The Women in Recycling (WIR) Council began by discussing new ideas for ways to get more women from the industry involved in applying for ISRI-sponsored networking events and programs. The council discussed the recent Gulf Coast Chapter Summer Convention, including the successful WIR-sponsored networking event. The council talked about ISRI2022 and walked through the call for proposals for educational sessions. WIR plans to present a session for ISRI2022. WIR subcommittees reported on topics including online programming, communications, events, and the mentor network, which is in its second full month. 

Thursday, July 8

The Equipment and Service Providers Council received an update on global trade issues from Adina Renee Adler, ISRI’s vice president of advocacy. Members received an update about ISRI2022. There was a general discussion about new product launches.

 Tuesday, July 13

The State Policy Subcommittee received an update on state association outreach. The NCSL Summit has been shifted from August to Nov. 3-5 in Tampa, Fla.

The Environmental Justice Working Group reviewed recent lobbyist training that featured an Environmental Justice (EJ) session and gave a state policy update on EJ.

The Catalytic Converter Working Group noted there’s much legislative activity across the country aimed at reducing theft of the devices. The update included a list of suggested elements for future legislation. The working group will review the elements and potentially update.

After an update on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) bill, staff discussed issues surrounding chemical or “advanced” recycling. The chemical industry is trying to change the definition of “recycling” at the state level to add “chemical recycling” into the statutes. On the federal level, the chemical industry wants legislation that would create a national standard for recycling. Its goal is to move forward its sustainability story and get the industry categorized as manufacturing rather than falling under state solid waste statutes. ISRI staff noted this will be the next topic in ISRI’s state lobbyist continuing education program as part of the class on recycling definitions in state statues for the association’s state lobbyists.

The SREA Subcommittee recapped its marketing activities from 2020-21, as well as reviewing updated program metrics. Subcommittee Chairman Jim Wiseman, executive vice president of Smart Recycling Management, said the first six months of 2021 have gotten off to “a screamin’ start,” in terms of SREA Reports’ sales compared to recent years. He reminded members that, at $50, SREA Reports prepared by environmental consulting firm KERAMIDA and available through ISRI represent a valuable part of due diligence.

The reports provide hundreds of pages of data on a scrap-consuming facility’s environmental compliance record as required by federal law to help provide a valid defense against a Superfund liability claim. “It’s a business tool, a risk-management tool. It is not an insurance policy,” Wiseman commented. The subcommittee discussed a pending increase to the fee KERAMIDA charges ISRI to prepare SREA Reports. The subcommittee will discuss the matter internally and again at its fall meeting.

ISRI members can register for a free webinar, Managing Superfund Risk: The SREA Exemption & ISRI SREA Reports, which will be held July 21.

The opening Board of Directors meeting began with remarks from ISRI Chair Gary Champlin. New chapter presidents were introduced including Nidhi Turakhia (Gulf Coast), Jeff Miller (Ohio Valley), and Anthony Bonilla (West Coast).

The board honored Maryann Greene, ISRI executive assistant for the past 19 years, who recently announced she will retire at the end of September. Several members praised her professionalism and dedication to serving the association’s leadership.

The board reviewed some of the guest speakers who will speak at upcoming committee meetings this week. Kevin Lamar, Recycling Education & Research Foundation (RERF) chair, discussed changes in RIOS™ membership.

The board urged members to have their broker obtain a proposal from RecycleGuard®, ISRI’s sponsored business insurance program, and encouraged quotes from NAM Cyber Cover, ISRI’s sponsored cyber protection program.

The meetings continue through Friday, July 16. You may view the full schedule here.

Images courtesy of ISRI.