The Recycling Partnership announced the recipients of its Steve Thompson Memorial Education Grants program to bring more than 50 recycling professionals from across the U.S. to Minneapolis for the 2017 Resource Recycling Conference to further their recycling education. At the end of 2016, The Recycling Partnership released its 2016 State of Curbside report, identifying the key attributes of the highest-performing recycling programs in the U.S. The single attribute found in 100 percent of those communities was engagement in "public action," where local program staff were actively managing their programs. In other words, recycling professionals are the key to better program performance.
"To deliver powerful public actions that will enable these programs to recover more better recyclables, recycling professionals need tools - tools that we have available and that they will receive from the experts and leaders at the Resource Recycling Conference," said Keefe Harrison, the organization's CEO. "We are thrilled to make this investment in the future of the recycling system."
The Partnership today also announced funding to issue more grants, working with eight additional funders: Cascadia Consulting Group, the Closed Loop Fund, Dow, Keep America Beautiful, ReCollect, Re-TRAC Connect, Recycle By City and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.
"You can accomplish more with others than you can do alone - and we thank these companies and groups for joining us in bringing 53 recycling professionals from 34 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to the Resource Recycling Conference," said Harrison.
This is the second year that The Recycling Partnership, in association with Re-TRAC Connect and Resource Recycling, Inc., has offered the Steve Thompson Memorial Grant to bring recycling professionals to the Resource Recycling Conference, paying for travel, lodging and registration. Last year, 10 grants were chosen from more than 200 applications. This year, 53 grants were issued from more than 500 applicants.
Steve Thompson was a committed recycling champion who worked tirelessly to move the industry forward. Thompson, who passed away in 2016, served as executive director of The Recycling Partnership's precursor organization, the Curbside Value Partnership, before retiring in 2014. The grants are meant to honor him and his life's work.