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Recycling Education and Research Foundation

Recycle Research Foundation

Recycling Education and Research Foundation (RERF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization (FIN 52-1332690) closely associated with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (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 Activities


Over 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 nearly$800,000 in scholarships to more than 600 students. Since 2010, RERF has been sponsoring a special graduate scholarship open to those working in fields that may directly benefit the industry.  The Foundation also offers 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 Education and Research Foundation? Will your research benefit the recycling industry? If so, we’d like to hear from you. 

National Scholarships

Since 2010, the Recycling Education and Research Foundation has sponsored a graduate scholarship to individuals seeking a graduate degree in programs that support the scrap processing or the recycling industry as a whole. Recognizing the need for affordable graduate education, the foundation created a $5,000 national scholarship open to graduates regardless of their affiliation with ISRI.

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

Deadline for application has been extended to July 15, 2020 for maximum consideration. Contact the RERF liaison for questions.


National Veterans Stipend

Over the last several years, the Recycling Education and Research Foundation (RERF) 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, RERF created 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. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, have served a minimum 2 years active duty or 4 years reserve in a branch of the U.S. military and have been honorably discharged. Please note that while this stipend is intended to support those who have completed military service, it does not exclude members of the Ready Reserve who are in a non-drill pay or non-drill status.

Application must be received no later than July 15, 2020 for maximum consideration. Contact the RERF liaison for more information.


Chapter Scholarships

The Recycling Education and Research Foundation provides scholarships awarded by ISRI Chapters that have a scholarship programs. These programs award scholarships to dependents of employees of chapter member companies, who can use the funds for college, university, or trade school tuition. Each chapter establishes the qualification criteria, the amount of its scholarships, and selects its own recipients. 

A current list of ISRI Chapters with a scholarship program:

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

2020 RERF Silent Auction

Don’t miss the annual Recycling Education and Research Foundation Silent Auction, held in conjunction with ISRI2020! This year promises to be better than last, with exciting vacation packages and beautiful artwork. Items are donated by ISRI convention exhibitors, ISRI Chapters, local artists, and individuals within the industry.

The auction will begin Monday, April 27, during the Exhibit Hall Opening Reception and end on Wednesday, April 29.

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Recycling’s Advocate

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

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RERF takes the privacy of all those who visit its website or apply for any of its scholarships very seriously.

RERF Privacy Policy

Have Questions?

Natasha Smith Grant
Marketing Manager
(202) 662-8500