Hi Everyone! While Lynn is off at SPC Advance this week, I thought I would take the time to fill you in on our trip to Indianapolis for the Resource Recycling Conference last week. FPI staff has been attending this event, which bills itself as the conference “where the industry evolves”. Having been to this conference several times in the past few years, it’s interesting to actually observe how the agenda has evolved. Just looking from last year’s conference to this year’s event, it’s easy to see a transition. While mixed waste processing facilities are still a hot button topic that many were eager to discuss and debate, other conversations were certainly taking place around things like managing glass products in the recycling stream and sustainable materials management.
Just like the conference agenda evolves, it’s also interesting to note how FPI’s relationships in the recycling space have evolved. I remember the information overload from the first Resource Recycling Conference I attended and the feeling of being a bit out of my element, being surrounded by all of these recycling professionals. Now, FPI is a familiar name and face to many that attend and we greet and are greeted as such. We have been welcomed into the discussions and I feel that we are truly accepted by the community as active participants in these recycling conversations. While the conference sessions are valuable to learn about the broader recycling industry, the networking opportunities are equally important. For example, in one day at this year’s event, we had a morning tour of a new polystyrene recycling facility in Indianapolis; we learned the market for PET thermoforms is expanding from our friends at NAPCOR over lunch and met some recyclers at dinner who were excited to tell us about recycling their paper cups!
Some of you may already know that FPI supports the work of The Recycling Partnership. We were actually able to squeeze a TRP board meeting into the week’s schedule – way to capitalize on the value of folks being in the same place at the same time! For conference goers – TRP had an entire plenary session to provide a great overview of the amazing work this non-profit crew is up to. I don’t want to highlight too much now since I have an entire future post dedicated to TRP, but I highly recommend checking them out in the meantime.
FPI receives a lot of conference invites throughout the year. On our limited budget, Lynn and I spend quite a bit of time determining which conferences and events best balance our needs for information and networking. It was another worthwhile event at this year’s RRC, and I’m looking forward to 2016.
I’m on the road again next week at the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference in Chicago. We weren’t kidding when we said it was going to be a busy fall!