As the 20th century segued into the 21st century, ISRI and its chapters experienced several transformations, all designed to make the association operate more efficiently and provide better service to members.
“ISRI’s survival as a volunteer organization serving its members may well depend on how well it’s able to alter its structure in order to accommodate change,” ISRI President Shelley Padnos stated in Scrap in 1999. Among the changes, ISRI reduced the size of its board of directors from more than 60 individuals to approximately 43. It also weighed the pros and cons of changing its name as an organization, moving away from the “scrap” term to focus more on “recycling.” On the chapter level, some groups considered merging, and several did just that in 2000. The Southern and Southeastern chapters, for instance, combined to create the New Southern Chapter (later renamed the Southeast Chapter), and the Keystone and Seaboard chapters merged to create the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. As ISRI Chair Sam Hummelstein wrote in Scrap in 2001, “The future of our 21 chapters is the future of ISRI. How our members come forward and make the chapters stronger and more relevant to their needs will define ISRI into the 21st century.”