We look foward to spending time with our clients and partners at annual conferences held around the country each year. Here are some reflections from Eco Partners staff about this year’s Indiana Recycling Coalition Conference in Indianapolis.
From Margot Gibson, staff writer: Meeting all of our Indiana clients was, without a doubt, the highlight of the IRC conference for me. As the newest addition to the Eco Partners writing staff, I am still in the process of matching clients’ names with their unique needs and personalities. Heartfelt thanks to all of our clients for making me feel welcome! As always, the conference seminars offered valuable industry insight and options for addressing complex problems. The networking opportunities and generous and frequent food and drink offerings were equally appreciated.
From Gary Roe, vice president: The conference’s opening reception on Monday night provided an opportunity to catch up with clients, colleagues, and old friends in a relaxed atmosphere. The fresh and clever hors d’oeuvres at Public Greens and the excellent ice cream at Brics were enjoyed in the festive atmosphere created by the steady stream of people passing by on the adjacent Monon Trail.
The sessions were informative and timely, none more so than the panel discussion on the Midwest Impacts of the China Ban. Representatives from three haulers, a paper recycler, a plastic recycler, and a district provided knowledgeable insights from many perspectives on the challenges and opportunities this new market landscape is bringing to our industry.
After the conference, members of the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative (IFSI) met. IFSI is an initiative of IRC that has been meeting for the last few years to bring together a group of stakeholders with the ultimate objective of reducing food waste in Indiana. This time, IFSI worked under the guidance of a consultant to define a results statement, target population and data indicators that will help guide future efforts of members. Altogether, it was another enjoyable and productive conference.
From Julanne Sausser, marketing communications manager: I am proud to be both a founding member of the Indiana Recycling Coalition and to have served on its first board of directors. I’m also grateful to continue to be a part of this commited, hardworking organization.
Back in 1989, I worked with Janet Neltner, a fellow IRC volunteer at the time, to scout locations for the very first IRC conference and helped to plan the event. We have come quite a way from the early years as a grassroots organization run by volunteers! It has been my pleasure to return to the conference through the years, keeping in touch with old friends and making new ones as we all work to advance sound practices for managing solid waste in Indiana.
A highlight for me this year was the session “Resource Recovery: Stories from Environmental Consultants.” The speakers shared about efforts to reduce waste and recover as many resources as possible following natural disasters, such as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.