Just one week after the National Recycling Coalition floated the possibility of a merger with Keep America Beautiful as a way of alleviating the financial hardships currently plaguing the organization, NRC members have begun sounding off in droves. Preliminary findings of a poll administered by Resource Recycling indicate that, of the 703 NRC members who replied at the time of this writing, over two-thirds are against any merger.
“KAB’s mission is litter reduction whereas NRC’s has always been about promoting recycling as a beneficial alternative to raw materials extraction,” commented NRC member Mark Loughmiller of the Arcata Community Recycling Center in California. “Litter reduction is a side benefit of the recycling process but is not the motivator for those within the industry.”
Other survey comments from NRC members were more blunt: “I don’t think that watering down the NRC with a KAB partnership is wise because of the headaches associated with this organization!” writes Bryce Hulsey of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. “There would be a better alliance with the bottle bill folks and SWANA.”
Dissent was not uniform among members, however. “While a national forum for recycling is necessary, I think local issues are also important,” said Adam Schlachter of Norseman Plastics. “One of the benefits that a NRC/KAB merger will provide is locally-driven execution. Some of the major issues that could be tacked include a buy-recycled marketplace push, market development initiatives, regional recycling initiatives, etc. Most KAB groups are members of state trade associations (which in turn join NRC) and so there is definite benefit by pushing national ideas to local affiliates for execution.”
Interestingly enough, the percentages are roughly reversed among non-NRC members surveyed. The majority — 58 percent — of the 480 non-members polled support a potential NRC/KAB deal, with many of those responses coming from KAB-active cities. 67 percent of NRC members oppose any potential deal.
Averaged together, only 43 percent of all respondents indicated they would support a merger between NRC and KAB. Another similar survey of 117 industry members by Waste & Recycling News indicated a somewhat greater disparity, with only 26.5 percent supporting a NRC/KAB merger.
News Source: Resource Recycling and Waste News
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