The many challenges that recycling has faced over the past few years have created a fresh opportunity for us to take a look at our practices and strategies from new perspectives.  The Northeast Recycling Council’s (NERC) Spring Conference—Reframing Recycling—will focus on what we have learned from past experience, and provide a forum for discussing the industry’s future. NERC’s Conference will be held virtually on March 30 – 31 (1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern). The Conference Agenda features panel discussions and sessions with recycling’s most influential professionals from the US, Canada, and Germany.

The keynote panel on the first day focuses on a Canadian perspective of choosing the right EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) model and how EPR policies can be implemented in a manner that is effective, while at the same time efficient in achieving the desired outcome. Peter Hargreave of Policy Integrity, Sara-Emmanuelle Dubois, of NovAxia Inc., and Pierre Benabidès of Lichens Recyclability will be the panelists.  The following session discusses resources for policy makers challenged with setting post-consumer recycled content requirements. The presenters are Dan Felton of Ameripen, Elizabeth Balkan of Reloop North America, and Heidi Sanborn of the National Stewardship Action Council. The Conference continues with Alasdair K. Carmichael of NAPCOR, Kim Holmes of 4R Sustainability, and Scott Farling of Titus MRF Services, presenting on opportunities for rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) markets, as well as the potential of secondary sorting for removing more recyclables from the waste stream.

The second day begins with a panel discussion about compostable packaging, featuring Nora Goldstein of BioCycle Connect, Olga Kachook of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and Carla Castagnero of Agrecycle. A session focusing on refillable bottle programs will feature Caren McNamara of Conscious Container, Jules Bailey of the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperatve, and Tobias Bielenstein of the Refillable Workng Group Germany (Arbeitskreis Mehrweg GbR).  A session updating the progress made with EPR Programs for mattresses, paint and electronics will wrap up the day and the Conference, with Marie Clarke of the Mattress Recycling Council, Laura Honis and John Hurd of PaintCare, and Jason Linnell of the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) scheduled to discuss.

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