The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) became a Sustaining Member with the Northeast Recycling Council in 2014. Though this relationship is just starting, NWRA has a long history of working with hundreds of businesses and organizations throughout the United States. NWRA is the trade association representing private-sector U.S. waste and recycling companies, as well as the manufacturers and service providers that do business with those companies. Association members operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. NWRA provides leadership, advocacy, research, education and safety expertise to promote North American waste and recycling industries, promotes the concept of “Environmentalists. Every day.”
Steve Changaris, NWRA Regional Manager – Northeast Region, has attended NERC conferences and values his organization’s membership in NERC. “I am very impressed with NERC. Having been in this business for over twenty years, I really like being able to connect with other professionals at the conferences. It is a great place to meet old friends and make new ones. The information presented is first-rate and the staff has always been helpful to me and to NWRA.”
The Association was launched in 1962, formed as the National Council of Refuse Disposal Trade Associations. In 1968, the group moved to Washington, DC and was chartered as the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and hired its first full-time staff.
In 1993, a major reorganization occurred. The Waste and Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) was formed, and both NSWMA and WASTEC became quasi-independent trade associations under the umbrella of the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA). Sharon H. Kneiss became the new president and CEO of EIA in June 2012. During her first year leading the group, she oversaw a strategic planning effort, in which the EIA leadership moved to reorganize the group, merging EIA, NSWMA, and WASTEC into a single entity with a single name. This process was completed in November 2013, when the EIA Board of Trustees adopted new bylaws for the merged group and renamed the merged association the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA).
In 2015, NWRA has targeted their efforts using key strategic themes – promoting safety initiatives through professional grade training programs: advocating for laws to make roads safer for employees: explaining the true cost of recycling: and offering real solutions that continue to make recycling feasible for both the private waste and recycling industry and their municipal customers
“In speeches to key industry groups, in interviews with the media, and elsewhere, we’ve been aggressively informing the public and policy makers that there is a cost to recycling, and the fact that global economic forces have been threatening the business models upon which the current recycling system was built,” said Kneiss. Their efforts are focused in different categories of advocacy, market statistics, professional development, safety, and ANSI standards.
The National Waste & Recycling Association plays an active leadership role in advancing policies that benefit the solid waste industry and improve the quality of life for all Americans. Its advocacy work focuses on the legislative and regulatory objectives of its members across a variety of important solid waste issues like climate change and the recycling industry. The Association comments frequently on EPA proposals relating to climate change. NWRA believes that improved solid waste management will continue to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and states on their website that they are proud that America’s solid waste industry is one of the few to have reduced greenhouse emissions in the last 20 years.
NWRA has provided market data to its members since 1994. Participating companies report organizational information, and receive manufacturing and sales data on the industry as well as their company’s relationship to the market and competitors. The goal of the program is to provide a forecast of market trends and an indicator of resource pricing used in the manufacturing industry.
The Women’s Council fosters the professional development of women in the waste industry while striving to increase their business, financial and leadership skills through education, workshops, mentoring, and networking opportunities. In addition, the Women’s Council established an educational scholarship program to assist qualified individuals in their pursuit of an education that will lead to productive careers in the environmental industry. All National Waste & Recycling Association member employees and their dependents are eligible to apply.
NWRA offers its members Professional Development services of certification and education for professionals in the recycling and solid waste industry.
The NWRA staff frequently speaks at regional conferences, provides media contact, and press conferences providing opinions on various policies and describing how the changing recycling environment will affect the industry. They also had a monthly column in Waste 360 magazine discussing commodities and markets.
Chaz Miller, Director of Policy/Advocacy, has served as an Ex Officio member of the NERC Board since 2014.