RE: [GRRN] Who does NRC Represent?

Cloutier, Chris (
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 15:27:43 -0500

As a newly elected boardmember to NRC I also read (and have reread) Rick's comment with interest. Honestly, I still struggle with the questions. I have spent a fair bit of time over the last month talking with former boardmembers about what they think can/should happen on the board.

But, let me address the questions.

> 1. Its it truly representing the interests of the majority of members -- or
> is it frozen by special interests that have the budget to attend meetings
> and provide financial support for events?
Don't know. I work for the State of MN. I don't think that the interests of my employer can be served through my serving on the NRC Board unless I work to improve the Board and the organization and therefore, hopefully, recycling. Also, what would be the special interest of the State of Minnesota? Big cash prize for highest recycling rate? Flow control? MN Vikings - official football team of recyclers across the country?

But, as a coalition, the NRC Board should be made up of "partisan" members of the diverse coalition.The Board seems to be trying to move away from a true coalition style by focusing on organizational development, shifting policy issues to a "work group" and asking boardmembers to "take their hats off" when seated at the table. I don't object to this - I am not sure I know enough about the organziation or board to object to it even if I wanted to. But, it doesn't seem consistent with my understanding of a coalition.

There is a strong emphasis, from what I have heard, to "preserve the forum." I agree that this is a valuable and necesary function of the board. But, incumbent upon the board that adopts that mantra, is an onus to improve the forum, assure access to the forum for all points of view and not shy away from controversy. I don't know if this spirit exists and am intersted to find out.

> 2. Should NRC be taking any new policy position or should it lobby? What
> should its role be?
First part is too broad. I think the NRC should be willing to take policy positions that improve/help/foster recycling and lobby on the same. But by answering that way it begs the question of what issues should be addressed? Minimum content? Flow control? Anti-trust activities? Bottle bills? Mandatory recycled-content procurement by public agencies? Any and all of these have a myriad of voices w/i this coalition and all deserve to be heard.

What should its role be seems to be a question that has always been in question. Once upon a time it seems that it was a huge board whose job was to debate the pressing issues of the day - regardless of its ability to affect them. The board, seemingly quite deliberately, has been shrunk and asked to do more on an organizational front. Is this an attempt to limit, silence or weaken the board and its ability to create/debate policy or an attempt to "preserve the forum"? I have heard both.

Maybe instead of asking "should" we should ask "can". What can the NRC's role be?

> 3. New jersey is not affilited -- how many states are not affiliated right
> now?
I don't know.

> Comments from all sides welcome!!
> Michele

> Michele Raymond
> Publisher
> Recycling Laws International/ State Recycling Laws Update
> 5111 Berwyn Rd. Ste 115 College Park, MD 20740)
> 301/345-4237 Fax 345-4768
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