RONA Votes to Join with NRC


The following letter from RONA Chair, Marjorie Griek, was sent to National Recycling Coalition President Mark Lichtenstein and NRC Board Members:


In 2009, there was grave concern on the part of the national recycling community that the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) would not be able to continue to function as a strong representative of the recycling, source reduction, reuse, remanufacturing, compost, Zero Waste and materials management industries (hereinafter referred to as Sustainable Resource Management). In light of this, the Recycling Organizations of North America (RONA) was formed to help fill that gap.

In 2012, when it became clear that the NRC would survive and thrive, boards of both organizations and their members agreed in spirit to join the two organizations together. They developed a document entitled Guiding Principles and Strategies that clearly stated shared goals and ideals, and mechanisms for reaching those. This document has been revised slightly to reflect the nature of the new relationship between NRC and RONA and is included as Attachment A.

During this time frame, RONA developed the National Standards Certification Board (NSCB) that created and oversees a National Standards program for Sustainable Resource Management. Work by this board is ongoing and shall continue whether under the RONA or NRC umbrella. See Attachment B for details.

RONA U established a relationship with Rubbermaid Products to do work on campuses, engineering new recycling bin lids, optimizing collection of used bins at end-of-life and improving recycling on campuses. An adjunct to this affiliation was a discount to all RONA members on certain Rubbermaid purchases and a donation to RONA. This relationship is not exclusive and we would encourage NRC to pursue other organizations to build this type of benefit for all its members and potentially serve as a model for one form of fundraising.

RONA also requests that the contents of the RONA U website relevant to supporting the NRC’s work shall be transferred over to the NRC website to enable a Campus Technical Council to continue to work in ways that remain distinct from other college and university organizations in the recycling field, and which focus on better linkages between higher education and industry.

RONA is proud of what its members and board have been able to accomplish in a relatively short time frame. The board fully expects to continue this work with NRC and expand upon it over the next few years. This is an important component of the donation of assets, since those assets include not only work product but the volunteer time of those conducting the work.

Therefore, the RONA board voted to approve the following motion:

The Recycling Organizations of North America agrees to donate all or substantially all of the assets of the corporation to the National Recycling Coalition with the understanding that the NRC will support the tenets of Attachment A & B (below), and the continuation of the Campus Technical Council, and to dissolve RONA if so approved by a majority vote of the members of the organization.


Respectfully submitted this 25th day of July

Marjorie Griek, Chair, RONA



Attachment A – Guiding Principles AND strategies

1.   Source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, market development, job creation, product stewardship and Zero Waste (hereinafter included in the meaning of the term “materials recovery programs” whenever that is used below) are essential to a sustainable environmental, energy, and economic future.

  • Reuse, recycling and composting materials recovery programs are focused on resource management, not waste management.
  • Thermal combustion is not recycling.
  • Materials recovery programs must be designed to minimize contamination in consideration of the needs of upstream and downstream users.
  • Materials recovery is the preferred management option for all residential, commercial, and industrial discards.
  • Reusables, recyclables and compostables are substitutes for virgin materials.

2.   Materials recovery is a shared responsibility and requires citizen engagement.

  • Reuse, recycling and composting require the participation and collaboration of all stakeholders – citizens and consumers, providers and consumers of raw materials, product manufacturers, product distributors and retailers, providers of Recycling infrastructure, and all levels of government.
  • Materials recovery programs must be accessible and convenient for all residential, commercial, industrial and institutional settings.
  • Reuse, recycling and composting stakeholders should support development and dissemination of sound, scientifically based, and balanced educational material that informs citizens on the need for sustainable resource management and engages consumers in the materials recovery process.

3.   Materials recovery goals must be clear, achievable, and measurable.

  • The foundation of successful policy and programs is accurate and unbiased information.
  • Stakeholders should develop a uniform system for measuring discards, reuse,recycling, composting, and waste disposal.
  • Customized and achievable recovery goals should be established.

4.   Products and packaging should be designed to take into account and address environmental impacts.

  • Products should be designed, manufactured, packaged, distributed, managed, and used to optimize the continuing value and recovery of the used materials and minimize the environmental and climate impact throughout the life cycle of the product.
  • Manufacturers should develop and support programs that optimize the recovery of recyclable materials.
  • Product and package environmental claims and labeling programs should be standardized, accurate, enforceable, and useful for consumers.

5.   Successful materials recovery requires sustainable and equitable economic policies.

  • The cost and value of reuse, recycling and composting, in comparison to alternative management options and waste disposal, must be transparent to consumers and policymakers and recognize sustainable development measures for resource depreciation (land and natural resources), energy savings, and environmental impact.
  • Government policies and programs must not favor virgin materials use and waste disposal over materials management by source reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting.
  • Government tax policies must provide direct and in-direct incentives for reused, recycled and compost materials utilization, new technologies, and infrastructure development.
  • Recovered materials (waste materials and byproducts that have been recovered or diverted from solid waste, including recyclables, compostables, reusable products and products that may be refurbished) must have access to markets, both nationally and internationally.
  • Manufacturers of new technology should be supported (e.g., sorting systems and collection vehicles) along with research, development and demonstration projects.
  • Stakeholders should work to expand uses of their products with recycled content.

6.   Think globally, act locally.

  • Taking into account regional and local differences, state and local collection policies and programs should utilize practices that optimize participation rates, cost-effectiveness, direct incentives, and energy efficiency.
  • Local governments should have the necessary authority, sufficient means and tools, to implement successful residential, commercial, and institutional materials recovery programs.


Proposed Strategies

1. Functions

The NorthAmerican Recycling Coalition (NRC) will further Sustainable Resource Management and materials recovery policies and programs across North America, including development of best practices and strategies through:

  • Organizing a National Recycling Congress
  • Organizing of groups representing all aspects of the materials recovery industry (broadly defined) with meetings on a regular basis
  • Working to coordinate relationships that will help drive local and national policy
  • Forming coalitions, committees or councils with like-minded organizations on an issue by issue basis to educate policy makers at both the local and national level and assist member organizations to:
  • Facilitate the sharing of information and resources
  • Develop the skills and resources of its members by enhancing materials recovery education
  • Facilitate communication and information and resource sharing between Recycling professionals both in the private and public sector
  • Develop consistent training and certification

To gain a new start with a new vision and a new image (while still valuing positive traditions) the new organization shall be called the NorthAmerican Recycling Coalition (NRC).

2.   Governance

  • RONA Board of Directors will join NRC Board of Directors.  The Nominating Committee for Boardmembers will thereafter work to build a diverse slate of candidates supportive of these Guiding Principles and Strategies.
  • At least one RONA Boardmember will be appointed to the NRC Executive Committee.
  • Support NRC’s latest policies on maintaining a firewall between donors and policy development
  • Support the development and coordination of state and provincial Recycling organizations (ROs) through the Recycling Organizations Council (ROC)
  • Support ROC and seek affilated ROs input on policies and programs proposed for NRC
  • Support conferences and events of ROs
  • Develop business model that collaborates with ROs when organizing National Recycling Congress in their area so that it is mutually beneficial to NRC and the host RO(s)
  • Cooperate to have representation of NRC at some RO conferences
  • Support the development and coordination of strategic partnerships with other related organizations (e.g., environmental, business, nonprofits, community colleges, universities, local organizations, and topic-specific organizations such as reuse, composting, product stewardship, market development, pollution prevention, sustainability, climate change and Zero Waste).
  • Allow organizations to join as they are and work out details to address all kinds of different membership structuresSupport conferences and events of other related organizations
  • Develop business model that collaborates with and develops strategic partnerships with other related organizations when organizing National Recycling Congress to encourage them to hold sessions at the National Recycling Congress so that it is mutually beneficial to NRC and other related organizations
  • Cooperate to have representation of NRC at other related industry conferences
  • Membership - Support multiple affiliation model of shared membership and unified dues structures
  • Offer NRC members discounts to collaborating organizations (e.g., U.S. Composting Council, Reuse Alliance, ISRI)

3.   Education and Networking

  • Organize and provide multiple platforms for members and stakeholders to gather, network, educate one another and align around national strategies to achieve its mission. Such platforms include:
    Physical gatherings, such as conferences, in-person meetings, training and the National Recycling Congress.
    Assume responsibility of organizing National Recycling Congress for 2014 with support from Resource Recycling. Take over full responsibility for organizing National Recycling Congress in 2015. Develop program collaboratively with members, ROC and host RO.
  • Virtual gatherings, such as Webinars, online meetings, extended learning classes, and social media. Develop strong body of knowledge and discussion on all aspects of Recycling.
  • Provide central calendar for coordinating major related events. Assist ROs and members on the use of social media tools to promote local, state and national events.
  • Provide open, accessible email listservs open to all members to share information and requests for information
  • Offer educational services and tools to help establish and/or operate member and affiliated organizations
  • Support, promote and oversee National Standards Certification Board (NSCB) according to policy adopted by RONA for certification of Sustainable Resource Management Training Programs and Professionals (attached)
  • Transfer relevant RONA University website content to NRC website and continue RONA University work with colleges, universities and other campus and institutional programs (including discounts) in a way that is complementary, yet distinct from the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) in order to support better linkages between higher education and the materials recovery industry. This could be the Campus Technical Council and provide internships, career services, applied academic research, technology transfer, and academic training.
  • Provide assistance to the NRC’s conference scholarship program
  • Continue to collaborate with CURC on campus recycling, sustainability and Zero Waste operations initiatives

4.   Policy and Advocacy

  • Be the voice of the materials recovery industry for all North American, national, regional, state/provincial and local issues.
  • Coordinate and foster collaboration among national policy leaders on pertinent national, regional, state and local issues
  • Develop options for how to offer a forum for other organizations that represent all aspects of the resource management industry (including organizations such as ISRI, Reuse Alliance, USCC, AF&PA, SRI, GPI, APR, USGBC, CMRA, BMRA, SWANA, KAB, PSI, PPI, GRRN, CRI, AASHE, NLC, USCM, ICMA, NaCO, ASTSWMO, APWA, Sierra Club, NRDC, EDF and ILSR) to share information and strategies different sectors are pursuing and to collaborate wherever possible. Meet by phone, webinar and in-person on periodic basis. Identify, track and participate in joint educational activities regarding national legislation and regulations that will affect Recycling.
  • Develop a National Recycling Policy Listserv and invite all members to join, and invite members of other participating organizations to join.
  • Organize Technical Councils representing different areas of interest of members and provide flexibility for them to operate like RO technical councils do.
  • Assist regional, state and local members on request to provide support for their leadership on major policy issues
  • Survey members, ROC, and Technical Councils for input on policy issues and report out results on website
  • Work with other countries to collaborate on policy issues

5.   Programs

  • Support the development of programs to address Industry, Commercial and Institutional wastes
  • Support the development of programs to advance technologies and domestic markets for discarded materials
  • Facilitate program and resource exchange among member organizations
  • Pursue program development funding opportunities for member organizations for other programs



Attachment B – RONA Delegation of Authority to National Standards Certification Board (NSCB)


The RONA Board approves the following actions to be taken by the NSCB:


a.     Adopt criteria for certifying training programs consistent with NSCB mission;


b.     Approve state and provincial recycling organizations as "Affiliates" authorized to use RONA logo and say that their programs "comply with RONA National Standards Certification Board."


c.     Approve other national, regional, state, provincial and local organizations, institutes, and businesses that specialize in training on Sustainable Resource Management or components thereof as "Affiliates" as in "2" above.


d.     Authorize the NSCB to develop and administer a national proficiency exam, or approve Affiliate exams that comply with NSCB testing standards, and approve the awarding of certificates recognizing professionals that pass such exams.


In the event that RONA merges with NRC, RONA should request that such authority to independently act in this way for policies and programs consistent with the RONA adopted National Standards Certification Plan should continue by the NSCB under whatever new structure is adopted. The NSCB intends to remain a part of the new organization.


July 27, 2012


Recorded by:

Marjorie Griek


Recycling Organizations of North America

Last Updated on Friday, 09 August 2013 10:55