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Registration, Sponsorships & Exhibits Open for 2024 MRN/SWANA Mid-Atlantic Annual Conference - 6/10/2024


A Look Back to 2021

Published on 12/31/2021

Mission Focus
As we say farewell to 2021, let’s take a few minutes to celebrate our accomplishments this past year.

Legislation action committee gets it done: After a shortened session in 2020, the MRN Legislative Action Committee got to work in fall 2020 on several priorities for 2021 focusing on items from single-use plastics and paint stewardship to EPR, organics recycling/waste diversion, and recycling market development.

Their work included several testimonies in front of relevant legislative committees (here and here) including testimony on January 15, 2021, where members Chaz Miller and Richard Keller offered support for HB0164 Department of the Environment – Office of Recycling – Recycling Market Development.

Recycling Market Development has been at the heart of MRN’s legislative priorities since the organizations inception (we’ll get to that below), and we are thrilled that after so many years and hard work, HB0164/SB0116 was passed and signed by Governor Hogan.

We also held several free webinars including on the impact of EPR on Maryland’s recycling programs (February 10) and a recap on the 2021 legislative session (April 22). In December, MRN announced legislative priorities for 2022 which include truth in labelling, EPR, post-consumer recycled content requirements and more.

2021 MRN/SWANA MA Conference went virtual: After taking 2020 off, the MRN/SWANA MA conference got back in action with an online event held over 2 half days, Wednesday, June 23 & Thursday, June 24. The conference brought together recycling pros, vendors and thought leaders from across the industry for some great conversations about the challenges the industry has faced and where we can go from here. Included in the two days were two general sessions and four concurrent breakout sessions, 13 different virtual booths (see who was there), a few fun polls and a secret word challenge (see who won).

On Wednesday, MRN members voted in favor of the 2021/2022 Board of Directors slate, which included 16 members, five of which are also on the Executive Committee, and represent a broad base of county and municipal government agencies, private businesses and corporations, and private citizens.

*We’re excited to announce that we’ll be back in person on June 23, 2022, at the BWI Marriott for "Recovery 2022!" Hope to see you there!

MRN Celebrates 30 Years! Albeit quietly due to the pandemic, MRN celebrated a huge milestone in 2021 when the organization turned 30 years old. Initially charted as the Maryland Recyclers Coalition (MRC), the organization brought together recycling pros from the private and public sector to work towards building a better Maryland by promoting sustainable reduction, reuse and recycling (the 3 “R’s”). The organization has served - and continues to serve - as a resource providing education and events as well as information on current trends and policies; as a connection point between members as well as between the recycling community and the public; and most importantly, as a strong presence on the Maryland legislative front advocating for sensible legislation. In 2009, the organization rebranded as the Maryland Recycling Network (MRN).

*We’re looking forward to a more robust celebration coming in the spring of 2022! Stay tuned for details.

Other News:
In our July webinar, we heard from MRN Patron Member Ford Schumann on his journey from environmental advocate to recycling business entrepreneur and owner of Infinity Recycling, Inc. 

In November, we sponsored the MDE Recycled Sculpture Contest, where we awarded a $250 prize to Kierstan Lang, Century High School, Carroll County for her sculpture “The Guardian.” The event returned in-person on November 19 and featured 40 entries from ten high schools.

Of course, MRN wouldn’t be able to accomplish all this without the support of our members, volunteers and sponsors. Thank you for helping us make this far! Here’s to many more years!

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Infinity Recycling


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