• Press Release

Inaugural MRF Summit Offers Expert Panels to Address Domestic Recycling

August 22-23 Event to Examine Challenges and Opportunities

(Washington, DC) – The Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Summit, hosted by Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), will provide stakeholders with a unique and timely forum to address MRF challenges affecting the recycling and solid waste industries.

Experienced industry leaders from all links in the recycling supply chain will offer their expertise and vision to help guide stakeholders toward sustainable solutions for North American recycling programs in the wake of China’s waste import restrictions.

“In a time of uncertainty, we see opportunity to collaborate collectively as a full recycling value chain to progress to a more sustainable society,” said Maite Quinn, of Sims Municipal Recycling and co-chair of ISRI’s MRF Council. “At the MRF summit we will hear from all the different sides of the value chain. This is a time where we need to debate, be creative and work together to come up with innovative solutions.”

Key MRF Summit Panels:

Keynote Panel: The Changing Market for Recyclable Materials
For years, China has been a needed pressure relief valve for commodities markets offering western recycled materials. Indeed, Material Recovery Facilities and recycling programs developed around what markets would accept. At one time, about 40%—over 19 million tons—of recycled paper was exported to China and often these were lower grades of paper not affordably recycled domestically. But times are changing. China and other international markets are placing a priority on environmental improvement and demanding levels of product quality that many MRFs and other suppliers find challenging to attain. Panelists in this program will provide an overview of new policies in place in China and discuss how these policies are affecting present and future of recycling

Robin Wiener, President, ISRI
David Biderman, Executive Director and CEO, SWANA
Stephen Sikra, Associate Director, Corporate R&D, Procter & Gamble

Standardized Metrics for Developing and Measuring Municipal Recycling Goals
A major challenge in finding solutions to improved, measured output quality is the varying challenges of measuring the input of municipal and MRF recycling. This session will discuss the concept of creating a scorecard, using real data from a substantial set of U.S. cities that could become a common metric for these operations.

William P. Keegan, P.E., President, Dem-Con Companies
Will Sagar, Executive Director, Southeast Recycling Development Council
Scott Pasternak, Senior Project Manager for the Solid Waste and Resource Recovery Practice, Burns & McDonnell

Myles Cohen, President, Recycling Division, Pratt Industries

Single Stream vs. Dual Stream Collection
Since the 1990’s, single-stream recycling has been the trend as more and more communities, large and small, sought to improve recycling rates and reduce collection costs. The reduction in product quality is often recognized but offset by the improved recycling rate. But now, increasing demand for better quality output and the increasing costs to meet that demand may suggest it’s time to take a new look at the viability of single-stream operations. What will be the most effective operations in the future? Are there ways to adapt a fully-committed single-stream operation into another collection system? Are the costs of such a change justifiable, or unavoidable?

Kerry R. Getter, Chief Executive Officer, Balcones Resources
Willie Puz, Director, Public Affairs and Recycling, Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County

“In the past 25 years, the recycling industry has adjusted to swings and deviations, but we are witnessing an industrial shift like never before,” said Robert Smouse, Assistant Director of Code Compliance - Solid Waste Services for the City of Fort Worth, Texas and a member of SWANA’s Recycling Task Force. “Recycling professionals attending these sessions and hearing these industry leaders will learn specific applications and advancements to help ensure successful recycling programs are an integral part of their future integrated solid waste management plan in North America.”

Held at SWANA’s WASTECON®, the first-ever MRF Summit is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for MRF owners, municipal solid waste professionals, consumer products companies, and government officials to come together to address common issues, discuss challenges, as well as opportunities.

For more information about ISRI and SWANA’s MRF Summit, including additional session details, click here.


About SWANA: The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 50 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.

About ISRI: The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents more than 1,300 companies in 21 chapters in the U.S. and more than 40 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating nearly $117 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides nearly half a million Americans with good jobs.

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