Conference Call

Features - Conferences & Events

Upcoming events for recycling professionals provide networking opportunities as well as expert insight into current market conditions.

March 19, 2010

As the first quarter of 2010 comes to a close, recyclers of all materials can take solace in the fact that business conditions have largely improved from one year ago. While many are hesitant to predict a full market recovery, commodity prices provide evidence that at least some of the volatility that plagued the market in late 2008 and 2009 is dwindling. 

Ferrous and nonferrous scrap materials are currently experiencing a significant upward price trend. Recovered fiber prices have maintained a steady gradual increase for the past 12 months and while plastic scrap prices had been up and down in 2009, the producer price index for plastics material and resin mfg has registered above 230 on the U.S. Producer Price Index for the last six reported months (statistics are available through December 2009), a level that had not been reached since November of 2008.

In turn, for those recyclers who were able to endure the harsh economic environment, it seems they are less preoccupied with how they are going to survive the downturn than they are with how they are going to resume normal business practices. Fortunately help is on the way.

This spring, several industry events will provide recyclers with insight into future conditions and best operating practices as they ramp up operations and resume normal workloads. The upcoming WasteExpo 2010, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) Annual Convention & Exposition and 2010 Bureau of International Recycling World Recycling Convention & Exhibition will present opportunities for recyclers to network and interact with one another and with industry equipment and service providers. For the many companies that were struggling to make ends meet in 2009, the events will offer an opportunity to see the latest industry innovations, allowing them to decide if now is an appropriate time to invest in equipment or technology upgrades at their facilities.

The WasteExpo 2010 conference and exhibition will be May 3-6 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, bringing together professionals from the solid waste and recycling industries.

Programming for the event will run from May 3-5, while the equipment and services exhibition will be on display from May 4-6. The educational programming for WasteExpo 2010 will feature tracks catered to specific segments of the waste management industry. Among the tracks that may be of specific interest to recyclers are Recycling, Green Management and Technology. The event also will feature several general programming tracks to teach basic best practices for all businesses in the solid waste and recycling sectors, including Transportation and Collection, Employee Relations, Business and Finance, Community Relations, Finance and Safety.

Among the sessions included within the Recycling track are “E-Recycling Trends in the States,” a session that will bring recyclers up to date on the latest trends in state laws governing the collection and processing of electronics, and “Paper Recycling Markets: What’s Next,” which will feature an expert panel providing analysis of where recovered fiber markets are likely to head in the future. Additionally, this track will feature commodity specific sessions related to glass and metals, plastics and C&D materials.

For recyclers processing materials resulting from construction and demolition activities, the session titled “LEED–U.S. Green Building Practices and Waste Industry Impacts,” in the Green Management track, will shed light on how the movement to construct energy efficient buildings is affecting the C&D recycling industry. 

The morning of May 5 will feature a special ticketed breakfast forum titled “Zero Waste Initiatives,” which will examine what is meant by zero waste and how local governments and environmental groups are collaborating to achieve that goal.

Beginning May 4, the WasteExpo exhibit hall will be open to attendees. Exhibit hall hours will range from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 4-5 and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 6. Rita Ugianskis-Fishman, show director for the event, says she expects a strong exhibitor presence, noting that WasteExpo 2010 has already booked 90 percent of the exhibitor booths that were occupied for the 2009 event.

More information about programming, exhibitors and registration for the event is available at

Also during the first week in May, the 2010 ISRI Convention & Exposition will take place May 4-8 at the San Diego Convention Center. The ISRI Web site bills the event as “the world’s largest scrap recycling trade show each year” that “more than 4,000 industry professionals attend.”

Following the ISRI Governance Board and Committee meetings to be held May 4-5, the ISRI Convention & Exposition will hold its Gala Opening May 5 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the exhibit hall. After the Gala Opening, the exhibit hall also will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 6 and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 7.

Educational programming for the event will begin May 6 and will include several spotlight programs to focus on specific commodities. This year, the ISRI Convention will offer spotlight sessions on ferrous, nickel/stainless, copper, aluminum, plastics and tire/rubber. ISRI says these sessions will offer attendees up-to-the-minute analysis of market conditions and trends from leading experts.

In addition to the specific commodity sessions, the event also will offer its Spotlight on the Economy session on the morning of May 7. This session will feature some of the nation’s leading economic analysts and will provide the latest information on economic conditions both in the United States and around the world.

Another highlight of the convention programming is the keynote session to be held on the morning of May 8. This year, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will give the keynote presentation. Rice served as national security advisor under the George W. Bush administration from 2001 to 2005 before filling the role of secretary of state from 2005 to January of 2009.

As a new feature of the ISRI Convention & Exposition, the 2010 event will introduce a new track of paper recycling-specific programs, according to the organization. Additionally, this year ISRI’s Paper Stock Industries Chapter will be holding its semiannual chapter meeting during the convention this year.

More information about programming, exhibitors and registration for the event is available at

The 2010 World Recycling Convention & Exhibition will bring together recycling professionals from all over the world and will be May 30 to June 2 at the Swissôtel The Bosphorus in Istanbul. The conference is put on by the BIR, Brussels, with organizational help from Turkish company Arttours.

According to the conference brochure, the BIR chose Istanbul as the destination for the event because it “is the only city in the world that bridges two continents” and is “one of the world’s natural meeting places.” Elisabeth Christ, communications director for the BIR, says she anticipates about 1,000 conference delegates to attend. “Our networking opportunities, commodity sessions with market updates and legislative information are very attractive, as our attendance figures have been continuously increasing over the years,” Christ says.

The 2010 event will open on May 30 with several BIR committee meetings that are by invitation only, with other invitation-only committee meetings being held on May 31 and June 1.

Plenary sessions open to all attendees will begin May 31 with specific trading sessions geared toward stainless steel and ferrous materials.

The following day, on June 1, the event will offer a nonferrous metals trading session in addition to plenary sessions related to the International Trade Council and the International Environmental Council.

Finally, on June 2, attendees can gain insight into the international paper, plastics, textiles and tire markets, with each commodity being featured in its own plenary session. The BIR says information about specific speakers will be announced in the near future.

The exhibit hall will be open May 31 and June 1 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and June 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The programming committee says the event will also feature several workshops for attendees, the topics of which have yet to be announced.

Throughout the event, several tours of the historic Istanbul area will be available to attendees at an added cost. Among the sightseeing tours offered are the Private Jewish Heritage Tour, the Ottoman Relics Tour, the Old City Tour and the Magnificent Bosphorus Boat Tour. Attendees who would like to extend their stay in the Istanbul area can participate in a post-convention sightseeing tour to either Ephesus or Cappadocia.

More information on the World Recycling Convention is available at