The ninth-annual Resource Recycling Conference has kicked off, tackling high-interest topics at a critical juncture for the North American recycling industry.
The event has drawn nearly 500 industry professionals to the heart of St. Louis for three days of workshops, presentations and discussions.
The session portion of the conference begins today with a keynote from Joe Abernathy, vice president of facility planning and engineering for the St. Louis Cardinals. Speaking less than half a dozen blocks from Busch Stadium, home of the MLB team, Abernathy will talk about efforts to boost recycling and composting and reduce waste inside the stadium, and he’ll touch on how people’s love of sports can be used to convey the importance of recycling throughout their daily lives.
Resource Recycling Conference comes as ongoing concerns about contamination collide with new market realities brought about by China’s ban on many imports of recovered commodities.
The situation has left communities around North America with no-win choices, such as eliminating materials from programs, raising costs to recycle, or doing both.
This year’s program, which covers those topics and more, is a collaborative product, with sessions organized by the Missouri Recycling Association (MORA), National Recycling Coalition (NRC), The Recycling Partnership and Resource Recycling, Inc.
The conference began on Monday with a series of high-interest workshops, meetings and tours. Among them was a Measurement Matters workshop focused on finding ways to measure recycling progress in ways that can be easily communicated and compared across jurisdictions.
Some participants also visited a Republic Services MRF in St. Louis suburb Hazelwood, Mo. and a construction and demolition debris processing facility run by LEDR Recycling in nearby St. Charles, Mo.
The 2019 Resource Recycling Conference will be held Aug. 26-28, 2019 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.
Photo credit: Brian Adams Photo/Resource Recycling Conference