Mick Barry, president of Des Moines, Iowa-based Mid America Recycling, has been elected chair of the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) board of directors at a recent NRC board meeting in St. Louis.
Barry has been actively involved in the recycling industry for nearly three decades, holding leadership positions with recycling companies and associations. (A feature story profile of Barry and Mid America Recycling appeared in the January 2018 edition of Recycling Today magazine.)
His involvement in various boards and task forces has given him an in-depth, comprehensive view of the recycling sector during the past three decades, says Barry.
“As the NRC board chair, my goal is to keep the dialogue open about what alternatives are available today for the industry to increase economic recovery of material for raw materials for reuse and the potential for recovery of captive energy,” he comments. “Aside from burning – which I do not support – there are existing technologies to use our nonraw material quality recoverables and help us become less dependent on non-renewable energy sources.”
Barry’s involvement in recycling organizations includes the following:
- NRC board director for 12 years, including vice president (three years), treasurer (one year) and co-founder of the State Recycling Organization Council;
- Iowa Recycling Association co-founder in 1989, president (six years) and board member (12 years);
- Colorado Recycling Association board member (six years);
- Puerto Rico Recycling Partnership member and advisor;
- Iowa Legislature’s Committee Updating Iowa’s Deposit Law Task Force;
- Iowa Governor’s Comprehensive Recycling Task Force;
- Iowa Department of Economic Development (DED) Infrastructure Strategy Task Force, Iowa’s Future Economy 2020;
- Iowa Governor’s task force, Incentives for Expanding Iowa’s Recycling Industry;
- Iowa Governor’s and DED Task Force attracting new end-user manufacturers to Iowa;
- Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Task Force, Landfill Compliance with Federal Law;
- Iowa DNR Task Force, Recycling Jobs Development;
- Colorado Governor’s task force, Recycling and Renewable Energy; and
- Iowa State University Board associate member.
Barry began his recycling career with Weyerhaeuser Corp. in 1973 and was president of a company called CC&C Recycling before becoming a vice president of Mid America Recycling from 1998 to 2010, staying three years after the firm was sold to the former Greenstar Recycling in 2007. (Those initial Mid America assets were later sold to Houston-based Waste Management Inc.) He has been president of the second iteration of Mid America Recycling since 2015.