The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit is the largest annual trade show for state legislators and legislative staff. That is the consequential place where they gather to exchange policy ideas for addressing common issues in the states.
The venue also serves as a perfect stage for ISRI to bring recycling to life before those policymakers who define our industry and enact the laws that govern how the industry operates. With record-breaking numbers in attendance at the Nashville Summit this year, thousands of attendees met the ISRI message that Recyclers Power America.
There are few events that facilitate an opportunity for ISRI members to network at one venue with state legislators from around the nation. More than 60 ISRI and staff members came together to sponsor the Summit's Exhibit Hall Luncheon. They transformed the space into a private exhibit hall devoted to showing legislators all the facets of the recycling industry. Unlike many of the other organizations in the Summit exhibit hall, ISRI does not come to sell a service or push a single model bill instead, our members focus on making connections and revealing the $110 billion industry and more than half a million jobs.
The ISRI message is resonating with state policymakers but recyclers can't stop now. Year after year state legislators and their staff are learning more about the scrap recycling industry and/or there is a good deal of turnover. The NCSL Summit provides ISRI not only the opportunity to invite state legislators to visit recycling facilities for themselves, but also for them to develop a mental image of what we do, what our challenges are, and how to create government policies that are designed to assist an important American industry. We have to be vigilant and proactive in getting our message out because according to one state delegate, "[p]eople in general and state politicians in general do not appreciate the value that recyclers provide to the economy financially and socially."