RONA to dissolve, join NRC

RONA to dissolve, join NRC

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

After a long engagement, two recycling advocacy groups are finally on the verge of joining forces.

Billing the move as "a next step," the Recycling Organizations of North America (RONA) has gained approval from its members to dissolve and join the National Recycling Coalition (NRC).

After a six-day discussion period, RONA members voted to approve the motion. In an e-mail sent to its members, RONA noted, "Twenty-four of the 33 member organizations voted on the motion for RONA to donate its assets to NRC. All voted in favor of the motion." 

The consolidation has been a long time coming. The two groups worked to draft a unifying document in 2012 entitled "Guiding Principles and Strategies" and held internal discussions as early as April 2011 laying out how the consolidation could happen. In August 2011, at the Resource Recycling Conference in Indianapolis, the two groups announced "formal cooperative efforts." A letter in August 2012, released at the Resource Recycling Conference in Austin, Texas, formally announced RONA and NRC's plans to "join together."

An updated version of "Guiding Principles and Strategies" will be used to "guide us as we take our next steps in this journey," Marjorie Griek, RONA's chair, explained to Resource Recycling. "We are looking forward to the next leg of our journey where we can combine resources, volunteers, time, expertise, effort and enthusiasm and hopefully take the 'new' NRC to its place as the most effective recycling organization in North America."

RONA began in 2009 as an alliance of recycling-focused organizations, and its goal was to sustain recycling efforts throughout the country at a time when severe mismanagement of funds had crippled the NRC and put its long-term solvency into question. In the time since, the NRC has appeared to stabilize under new leadership. A consolidation between RONA and NRC is seen as a move that could potentially strengthen both parties.

RONA's National Standards Certification Board (NSCB), which was developed to oversee national recycling standards and practices, will continue to run independently of the NRC. RONA U will move over to NRC, forming a Campus Technical Group aimed at improving and supporting recycling practices on college and university campuses nationwide.

Before the move is considered official, NRC's president Mark Lichtenstein confirmed to Resource Recycling that NRC board members will have to approve receiving RONA's assets. Optimism is running high, he added, "These are two seemingly small NGOs, but this positive action, I predict, will have serious, positive, and over the long-term, monumental reverberations."

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