The Recycling Research Foundation

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Natasha Smith Grant
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Recycle Research Foundation

The Recycling Research Foundation (RRF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization (FIN 52-1332690) closely associated with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI). Its board is made up of 16 automatic directors, comprising ISRI Chapter Presidents of chapters with a Foundation Scholarship, and 12 directors appointed by the Chair of ISRI.

The Foundation’s mission is to “promote the art and science of scrap processing and recycling through research, sponsorships, technical assistance, and educational programs for the purpose of advancing the industry.”

Foundation Activity

GlobeOver the last 10 years, the Foundation has fulfilled this mission in two primary areas; the offering of scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students, and the funding of research beneficial to the industry. Since 2002, the Foundation has awarded more than $790,000 in scholarships to more than 600 students. Since 2010, RRF has been sponsoring a special graduate scholarship open to those working in fields that may directly benefit the industry and starting in 2013, the Foundation will be offering a special 4-year, $8,000 scholarship to former enlisted personnel.

In research over the last few years, the Foundation has funded a detailed study of the U.S. scrap electronics industry, Inside the U.S. Electronics Recycling Industry, one of the first studies to report on the exports of used electronics. The Foundation has also worked with rubber recyclers to create a uniform ASTM standard in playground mulch and will be looking into whether or not to fund a comprehensive study of post-consumer plastics.

Are you interested in receiving funding from the Recycling Research Foundation?  Will your research benefit the recycling industry?  If so, we’d like to hear from you. 

Grant Application

National Foundation Scholarships

Recognizing the need for affordable graduate education, the Foundation created a $5,000 national scholarship open to individuals seeking a graduate degree in a program that supports the scrap processing and recycling industry as a whole. The industry itself is both labor and mechanically intensive as scrap processors take old and new metals, paper, rubber, plastic, glass, and more, and sort it into established grades which are highly sought after by manufacturers as a readily available feedstock. To begin to understand the challenges, ask yourself a few questions: How would you separate paper from glass? How about aluminum from copper, or lead, or iron and steel? It is perhaps easy to do this at the level of a few hundred pounds, but every year the industry must process in excess of 200 billion pounds of material. The challenges of recycling at this scale have given rise to new and innovative technologies as the recycling industry adapts to an ever changing marketplace of goods.


National Veterans Stipend

Over the last several years, the Foundation has become keenly aware of the number of veterans in need of financial aid as they seek to complete their undergraduate education. Understanding that not all expenses may be covered through existing government and scholarship aid, the Foundation has decided to create a stipend of up to $8,000 open to those who have served in the U.S. armed forces. This stipend covers $2,000 per year and is renewable for up to 4 years or the length of study, whichever comes first.


Chapter Foundation Scholarships

The Recycling Research Foundation also provides scholarships awarded by ISRI Chapters that have a scholarship Program. One of the qualifications to be eligible for these scholarships is that the applicant must be a dependent of an employee working for a company that is currently an ISRI member in the chapter hosting the scholarship, or an employee themselves.

A current list of ISRI Chapters with scholarships are:

The Chicago Chapter
The Empire Chapter
The Gulf Coast Chapter
The Indiana Chapter
The Michigan Chapter
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter
The Northern Ohio Chapter
The Northwest Chapter
The Ohio Valley Chapter
The Pacific Northwest Chapter
Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter
The Pittsburgh Chapter
The Rocky Mountain Chapter
The Scrap Tire Processors Chapter
The Southeast Chapter
The Wisconsin Chapter

Foundation Fundraising

In addition to personal donations, the Foundation holds a silent auction in conjunction with ISRI’s annual convention and exposition each year as the primary way of raising money to continue its mission. Popular gifts have included pictures with Ex-Presidents, tickets to the Grammy’s and Emmy’s, Scrap Art, and fully-paid, destination trips. 

Contributions to RRF are tax deductible under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Recycling’s Advocate

For 41 years, ISRI's Recycling Research Foundation has advanced the scrap industry through its issue analysis and academic scholarship support.

Read More

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