ISRI highlights importance of Design, Education, and Outreach on Earth Day
In celebration of the 44th Earth Day, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) cited three key objectives for society to help improve recycling rates: better design for recycling, education in schools, and public outreach. The continuous development of new technology has given the industry the power to recycle more materials, but greater awareness is needed to increase the flow of end-of-life products into the recycling stream.
“Since last Earth Day, ISRI has undertaken several key initiatives on behalf of the recycling industry to encourage responsible recycling across a broad spectrum,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI.
“This has included efforts to recognize manufacturers to design their products with recycling in mind, the launch of a pilot program in schools and a K-12 curriculum, a student video & poster contest focused on cell phone recycling awareness, an online campaign touting the importance of recycling used household electronics called Project Reboot, and promotion of certification and the use of certified recyclers. As a $90 billion industry, responsible for more than 460,000 jobs, we continue to strive to make a positive economic and environmental impact each and every day.”
Since last Earth Day, in addition to processing roughly 135 million metric tons of materials, the recycling industry has helped promote environmental stewardship through a number of programs:
• Design for Recycling (DfR) – ISRI works with manufacturers to design products with recycling in mind right from the drawing board and recognizes proactive steps made by manufacturers who have actively incorporated DfR principles into products and processes. This year it presented Dell Inc. with its Design for Recycling Award for two of its tablets and a laptop model representing products that emphasize recycling during every phase of the lifecycle.
• Education in Schools – In the past year, ISRI partnered with JASON Learning to launch a comprehensive school curriculum to help teachers and students understand both the importance of recycling and the recycling industry. The campaign includes standards-based, K-12 curricular experiences, interactive Web-based experiences, and more. This partnership launched the first youth recycling awareness video and poster contest with this year’s theme focused on the importance of cell phone recycling. Also announced is a pilot program in both Baltimore and Kalamazoo, Michigan to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM education.
• Public Outreach – In partnership with Earth911, ISRI launched Project Reboot, aimed at bringing together businesses, corporations, and civic groups to educate the public on the need to responsibly recycle electronics. Part of the online campaign features a pledge for the public to sign promising to recycling old electronics.
• Certification – To ensure strict environmental safeguards are in place, ISRI continues to promote the importance of recycler certification, including the Recycling Industry Operating StandardTM (RIOSTM) and the Responsible Standards for Electronics Recycling plus RIOS (R2/RIOSTM) certification programs. Paper, metal, plastics, rubber, glass, and textiles recyclers displaying the RIOSTM certification and electronics recyclers with the R2/RIOSTM certification demonstrate that they are recycling in compliance with the highest standards for environmental protection, as well as for worker health and safety, and product quality. These certifications ensure the industry is proactively safeguarding the environment.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the Voice of the Recycling Industry™. ISRI represents more than 1,600 companies in 21 chapters nationwide that process, broker and industrially consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides safety, education, advocacy, and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development.