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Saturday, December 17, 2011

NRA Leads Industry Collaboration

Collaboration is key to driving sustainability down successful paths - the National Restaurant Association takes a leadership role in creating common ground for organizations to work together.  In December Elemental Impact orchestrated and the  NRA hosted a series of meetings with complementary organizations, trade associations, non-profits and foodservice operators, to ground synergies into working relationships.  

Wayne, Scott, Mike, Chris & Jeff
First on the agenda was an introductory meeting with the U.S.Composting Council. Wayne King, USCC Past President, and Michael Virga, USCC Executive Director, met at the NRA offices with Scott DeFife, NRA Sr EVP Govt & Public Affairs, Chris Moyer, NRA ConServe Program Director, and Jeff Clark, NRA Contractor.  Holly Elmore, Ei Founder, served as the facilitator and photographer.  The Ei FB photo album, 12-12-11 NRA-USCC-Ei Mtg in D.C., gives a short pictorial recap.

The meeting was an introductory session with baseline sharing of each organizations' history and new directions in the formation process.  

Wayne explaining the current compost
manufacturing scenerio across the nation
As Ei's partner in the Zero Waste Zones, the NRA is focused on operational practicalities of diverting food residuals and other organics from landfills.  Limited destination sites is a key challenge for separated organics collection to become a national standard operating practice.

The NRA is the trade association for the largest commercial generators of post-consumer food residuals; the EPA estimates 97.5% of the food residuals are landfill bound.  The USCC is the trade association for composting and other permitted alternatives to landfills.  Working in unison is natural and necessary for  the infrastructure and support systems to develop so the foodservice industry may embrace zero waste practices.

At the USCC Annual Conference January 17 - 20 in Austin, TX, the POWER - Perishable Organics Waste to Energy - session will highlight  the NRA's role in promoting post-consumer food residual recycling.  The ZWZ Blog post, Get EmPOWERed at the USCC Conference, gives the session's full description.

Safety and education are another common ground for the NRA & USCC.  The ZWZ Blog post, Safety & Education - A Necessary Marriage, showcases each organizations' primary safety and education focus.  Joint platforms will naturally flow as the NRA & USCC work together.

Stay tuned for exciting developments in the budding USCC | NRA relationship. Exciting, important seeds were planted in already fertile ground!

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