Exciting News from the Recycling Jobs Task Force
Task Force Chair, Melinda Uerling
Led by Chair Melinda Uerling (an NRC Past President), NRC's Recycling Jobs Task Force (RJTF) had the opportunity to work with the Brookings Institute and provide feedback on the methodology and proposed revisions of the study "Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment".
You may remember that upon the release of the first Brookings Institute report in July 2011, "Sizing the Clean Economy," NRC's President Mark Lichtenstein assembled the task force in large part to address the shortcomings that the coalition identified in the Brookings Institute report and to respond to the underestimation of the impact the recycling industry has on the economy.
In their response to Brookings, the Task Force identified 3 key issues:
- The definition by which recycling is identified
- The methodology used for quantifying recycling jobs
- What job titles were included in the study
To view the Task Force's recommendations on these issues click here.
Throughout all of task force's hard work, the lack of standardized methods for defining and quantifying recycling jobs poses the greatest challenge to effectively characterizing the industry. There is no one comprehensive data source of job numbers out there - even SIC or NICS codes have limitations.
In developing their recommendations, the Task Force dealt with some pertinent questions for the recycling industry:
- How does one count secondary jobs within the recycling industry?
- Are administrative desk workers counted? Forklifters?
- Does the Staff Assistant of NRC have a recycling job?
How does one count jobs that process a percentage of recycled material in their product? Is the percentage of recycled content used to calculate the number of jobs?
It is the desire and intention of NRC's RJTF to engage the membership of NRC to have broader discussions about these pertinent questions. It is clear that there is a great need for some "apples to apples" recycling figures to characterize recycling's contribution to jobs in the US economy.
To that end, the RJTF would love your input for ideas on what role NRC should play in coming up with methodologies for achieving this goal and volunteers for helping to achieve them.
The RJTF will hold a webinar to have a deeper discussion about their findings and to gather feedback from the materials management community. Stay tuned for more information regarding this webinar.
To learn more about the Recycling Jobs Task Force Click Here.