The Global Recycling Standards Organization’s board of directors has approved a new membership program for RIOS™, the Recycling Industry Operating Standard. Under the new program, RIOS™ will have certification and management tracks. The certification track is the traditional membership that RIOS™ has operated with since the first RIOS™ and R2/RIOS™ facilities obtained certification in 2009. The management track is for companies that understand the positive impact of a quality, environmental, health and safety (QEHS) management system and are ready to begin implementation, but may not need or be ready to complete the third-party audited certification.

The certification track includes a license for certification, and there is no change to the dues structure. The lower-cost management track will cost a recycling facility $1,000 for the first year, and a $500 maintenance fee each subsequent year. It does not provide a license for third-party certification. Both memberships include an official copy of the RIOS™ Standard; a RIOS™ Implementation Guide; access to RIOS™ trainings; and staff support throughout the implementation process. Companies may also change membership types.

“RIOS™ is an investment in your company, whether you chose to be certified or not,” says Darrell Kendall, executive director of RIOS™. “Certification certainly provides huge marketing benefits, but implementing a management system under any condition will make any recycler a better customer and supplier, a safer workplace, and better member of the community.”

With the lower-cost management track, “We have taken the pressure of certification off the table, and put the focus on improving the business, and that’s huge,” Kendall adds.

ISRI Chair Gary Champlin views the expansion of RIOS™ as a step in the right direction. “Our industry continues to make massive strides in our health and safety and environmental performance,” says Champlin, co-owner of Champlin Tire Recycling. “This new membership model represents an opportunity for our members—and all recyclers—to take that first step, regardless of the commodities that they process.”

When you collect recyclables, it is imperative that your material is contributing positively to the environment and to your community. The RIOS™ QEHS management requirements give you the confidence that your facility is accomplishing these goals. Designed on the well-established principles of the plan-do-check-act model, RIOS™ requires that companies and facilities evaluate the QEHS risks that exist within their operation; mitigate them to the fullest extent possible; evaluate the success of the programs; and then improve them over time.

For more information about the RIOS™ certification program, and how you can actively support the continued emergence of a healthy, safe, and sustainable recycling industry, please contact Kendall at (202) 662-8528 or email.

Photo courtesy of Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.

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