Explicit material

Departments - Editor's Column

August 12, 2014
DeAnne Toto

DeAnne Toto

The Recycling Today Media Group will host our annual conference in the fall as we usually do. However, as you may have noticed by now, we’ve changed the name slightly to the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference, which we believe better reflects the overall scope of the event and the realities of operating material recovery facilities (MRFs) and commercial recycling operations in the current environment.

The conference will be Oct. 8-10 in Chicago at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, which has been the home of the event for the last four years.

Those of you who have attended the conference during that time know that our programming has long embraced materials beyond paper. Plastics are undeniably a growing part of the recycling stream, and we felt it was time for our conference to reflect that reality explicitly in terms of the event’s name as well. By changing the name of the event, we hope to better communicate the conference’s breadth to those who have not regularly attended.

As the mix of materials processed by MRFs changes to reflect consumer habits and brand owner preferences, municipal recycling programs are seeing less newspapers and printing and writing papers while the volume of old corrugated containers (OCC) and consumer packaging made from plastic and mixed materials continues to grow. MRFs have had to retool to address these changes and the widespread use of single-stream collection.

Of course, consumers of recyclables also have been affected by many of these same changes and have had to adjust their operations as well.

You can read more about the agenda and the speaker lineup in the feature “Relevant material,” beginning on page 112, but I’ll share one programming highlight with you here.

Ron Gonen, founder and CEO of the Closed Loop Fund, will be on the keynote panel, Wednesday, Oct. 8, beginning at 4 p.m. He will be joined by Kerry Getter of Balcones Resources and Al Metauro of Cascades Recovery and Green by Nature EPR to discuss the effects of sustainability on brand owners’ packaging decisions and on MRF operators. The panel is sure to provide a lively discussion on the effects of EPR and sustainability on the supply chain.

This is one of many sessions we’re excited about at the 2014 Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference. I think you’ll feel the same when you visit www.RecyclingTodayEvents.com to learn more about the event.