LAS VEGAS The Environmental Protection Agency and Congress are unable to understand the "difference between waste disposal and recycling," Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries chairman-elect Doug Kramer said during the closing general session of ISRIs annual convention in Las Vegas.
Kramer highlighted the challenges faced by the industry amid increased regulation from the two bodies. "If these (regulatory) decisions dont go our way, we as an industry may be in for the fight of our lifetime," he said.
Outlining his administrations goal for his two-year term, Kramer noted the desire to increase utilization rates and grow ISRIs membership.
Kramer placed particular emphasis on safety, praising the recycling industry as "a safe industry," but stressing the need to continue efforts to become safer. "We choose to be safe," he said, drawing upon President John F. Kennedys 1962 speech at Rice University in Texas for inspiration. ISRIs safety initiatives are being undertaken "not because theyre easy, but because theyre right."
Kramer also expressed his desire for more ISRI members to become involved with the groups functions and services, noting that "the playing field is leveled at ISRI. The size of your company doesnt matter."
The closing session also featured guest speaker and former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who was discussing the Clinton Foundations solid waste management and recycling efforts in India and Haiti.
Clintons keynote address attracted national media attention as it was interrupted by a woman throwing a shoe and a bundle of papers at the stage (amm.com, April 10).
Before holding a question-and-answer session with Clinton that discussed her views on global economic and political matters, outgoing ISRI chairman Jerry Simms said the group extended its "deepest apology for that crude interruption."