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Josh’s first time exhibiting at MRC’s Annual Conference

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As a first time exhibitor at Michigan Recycling Coalition’s Annual Conference, I was pleased to be welcomed by such a friendly crowd. The folks at MRC and RRS treated me as though I was already a part of the tightly-knit recycling family in Michigan.


Upon arriving at the entrance to the exhibit hall, I quickly learned how much Re-TRAC Connect had already become weaved into the fabric of Michigan’s waste diversion operations.

Two large placards were stationed outside the hall. The first sign featured businesses, municipalities, and institutions that have achieved a 30%+ recycling rate. The second highlighted businesses, municipalities, and institutions tracking their waste diversion performance with Re-TRAC Connect.

Recycling Rates

Re-TRAC Communities


I had the chance to see an inspiring presentation by NRC President, Mark Lichtenstein, that opened with trailer from Trashed, the documentary. Mark’s presentation highlighted the differences in attitudes towards the word “waste”. In North America, we often “throw things away” without fully appreciating the truth that nothing ever “goes away”. In other areas of the world, landfills are picked over by low income families in order to recover valuable materials that can be resold.

At lunch we enjoyed a passionate state-of-the-union address from MRC’s Executive Director, Kerrin O’Brien, which reviewed their achievements over the past year and outlined goals for next year.

Kerrin O'Brien

An afternoon session delivered by Elisa Seltzer of Emmet County Recycling was well attended and very well presented. Elisa described a five-step method to add new materials to recycling programs. This session stood out for me because it was well organized, Elisa was very engaging, and the attendees were active with many questions.

After a great day of meeting folks from Resource Recycling Services, RRRASOC, Networks Northwest, Michigan DEQ, and other leaders in environmental protection, we all met at a local venue for the final night in Kalamazoo. Here I had the chance to meet with the other exhibitors and experience Kalamazoo nightlife.

Bell's Brewery
Thank you MRC and thank you, Kalamazoo.
See you next year!