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Contact: Mary Ann Remolador,, 802-254-3636
Date: April 19, 2018

The Room Was Abuzz at NERC’s Spring Workshop in Maryland

The moment you walked into the Northeast Recycling Council’s Markets or Bust Workshop on April 3rd in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, you could feel the crowd’s energy.  There was no mistaking the interest and enthusiasm of the attendees and presenters about the timely topics to be discussed—recycling markets and market development opportunities.  The Workshop attracted veteran and young professionals from 20 states, the District of Columbia, and one Canadian province. 

Opening the Workshop was Ben Grumbles, Commissioner of the Environment for the Maryland Department of the Environment.  Commissioner Grumbles welcomed attendees and applauded their work on sustainable materials management.  He also thanked the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) for holding its Workshop in Maryland. (The first time that NERC has hosted an event in its newest member state.)

Following Commissioner Grumbles was Myles Cohen, President of Pratt Recycling  and Paper Stock Industries.  Mr. Cohen presented an overview of the primary market issues affecting US recycling industry sectors.  He also presented several strategies that US communities can employ to battle the current recycling market pressures largely resulting from China’s materials bans.  “We should be focused on quality of materials instead of volume,” said Cohen.  Cohen stressed the importance of “tackling contamination head on and promoting quality” recyclables.  He continued by pointing out that communities across the nation need to re-examine their recycling programs and consider getting “back to the basics.”

The Workshop continued with sessions about the history of recycling market development programs in the US; specific market issues affecting the paper, plastics, glass, and compost industry sectors; breakout sessions that encouraged attendees’ participation in identifying contamination, brainstorming alternatives for processing materials, identifying market development opportunities, and developing a marketing strategy for finished product. 

The Workshop speakers included:

For more information, visit NERC’s web page or contact Events Coordinator Mary Ann Remolador at 802.254.3636.