CONFERENCING ON A NATIONAL SCALE WITH RECYCLING UPDATE IN MIND
The 2012 Resource Recycling Conference In Austin, Texas
By Jordan Figueiredo, Solid Waste Specialist, Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan)
Last month, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2012 Resource Recycling Conference (put on by Resource Recycling Magazine) from Monday August 27th through Wednesday August 29th in Austin, Texas. With funding from NCRA and my own pocket, I enjoyed the meetings and networking on Monday and sessions and networking on Tuesday and Wednesday with 500 other colleagues from various segments of the industry. This, the third annual Resource Recycling Conference, was provided in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful, the Product Stewardship Institute, the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) and the Recycling Organizations of North America (RONA now merging with the NRC). Attendees at the conference came from 39 states, Puerto Rico, four Canadian provinces and half-dozen countries; the trade show had over 60 exhibiting companies and organizations as well.
Resource Recycling put together quite a nice conference at the Downtown Austin Hilton - with a variety of interesting speakers from around the country such as the newly formed Recycling Reinvented and American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN), David Allaway from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, executives from Waste Management, Republic Services, Greenstar and much more. They even had their own version of Recycling Update with “The Lightening Round” - a series of 6 presentations of 13 minutes each with questions following in the limited time left. Overall, it was a nice perspective to be at such a conference dealing with national issues such as EPR, market trends, and perspectives on what we call what we do (i.e.: it's not just recycling, it's sustainable materials management now).
Aside from the engaging sessions, the networking was great as well. My main intention for the conference was to meet people from all around the country and continue to build a network and knowledge of great speakers for future Recycling Updates, and of course promote Recycling Update for any future potential speakers and attendees. Many a brochure and business cards with NCRA website information were passed out. Outside of some CRRA and Cascadia staff, I had never met 95% of the attendees and never seen any of the speakers before. For example, people from the National Recycling Coalition, the City of Austin, students from Austin universities, Recycling Associations in Ohio, Oregon and New Mexico, Staffers from Oregon and Portland, the Steel Recycling Institute, Recycling Reinvented and many more. For more information on the conference, click here. Next year's conference is scheduled for Louisville, Kentucky's downtown Marriott, August 27-28, 2013 so mark your calendars and check the RR website soon for more information.
Please stay tuned for future conference session summaries and who’s coming to speak at Recycling Update 2013. As always, please review all things Recycling Update,