- The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) have issued two addenda to their 2015 Joint Advisory on Designing Contracts for Processing of Municipal Recyclables.
- The first addendum focuses on the changing composition of residential recyclables. It recommends conducting audits before the beginning of a procurement process and again throughout the term of a contract. It also provides information on different types of composition studies.
- The second addendum offers methods for figuring out the value of commodities based on the variety and blend of material received at processing facilities.
The original joint guidelines were the product of a year-long process involving experts from private industry and municipal agencies. Since these guidelines were released, recycling markets have continued to fluctuate and the industry has been faced with a variety of ongoing challenges. Many municipalities are considering rethinking their long-term contracts and some recycling processors have been forced to close for financial reasons.
"Municipalities often contract with private companies to provide some or all aspects of residential recycling collection and processing services," said SWANA Executive Director & CEO David Biderman in a statement. "With these addenda, NWRA and SWANA intend to provide tools that will help our members better structure recycling programs to adapt to changes in material composition and market prices."
"Our continued development and dissemination of best practices creates a solid framework to meet the ever-evolving dynamics of the recycling market," Sharon H. Kneiss, president and chief executive officer for NWRA, said in a statement.
The near future of recycling markets will likely remain volatile. Some changes such as new packaging designs, different consumer behavior and commodity prices can't be controlled. Yet these guidelines will help members better protect themselves in long-term agreements and adapt to whatever comes next.