2022 Annual Meeting Recap

November 10, 2022
Sami Izzo Recycler of the Year Award winner, Marc Morgan, with NRRA Executive Director, Reagan Bissonnette

NRRA staff, Board of Trustees, and voting municipal members gathered on Wednesday, November 9 at the Puritan Backroom conference center to celebrate this year's NRRA award winners, hear from three of our exceptional vendors, and vote on the new Board of Trustees slate.

NRRA Executive Director, Reagan Bissonnette, opened the meeting highlighting the thing that makes NRRA so special: our municipal members. Not just a place for community gathering, the transfer stations and recycling centers across the Northeast - and operators who run them - are sites of innovation, making tangible, positive change within their communities. Last year, over 47,000 Tons of waste was recycled - the equivalent of pulling over 21,000 passenger cars off the road for a full year! Reagan also noted the many accomplishments of NRRA over the past year, including the Recycle Right campaign that reached over 74,000 individuals, the Annual Recycling Conference that returned to an in-person event, and the hugely successful Fall Bus Tour. 

Board Chair, Joan Cudworth, graciously thanked NRRA staff and board members. She illustrated all the ways board members support the NRRA, including: 

  • Monthly meetings between the Board Chair and Executive Director to plan for board meetings and discuss NRRA matters
  • Several board members volunteered for Solid Waste Advisory Team (SWAT) visits under the recent USDA Recycling with Results grant, including Scott Hazelton, Brian Patnoe, and Dennis Patnoe
  • Brian Patnoe also served on the NH Solid Waste Working Group with Reagan, which held meetings most months
  • Steve Bullek serves on the NH Waste Management Council as NRRA’s appointee
  • Ben Hoy attended the Resource Recycling Conference in Austin, TX with Reagan

In all, board members participated in 21 board and committee meetings over the course of the fiscal year, including the Trustee Board Meetings, the Salary and Benefits Working Group, the Conference Planning Committee, the Member Benefits and Dues Working Group, and the Capital Reserve Working Group.

Finally, Board Treasurer, Mark Richardson, gave an update on the 2021-22 financials. Mark stressed the importance of planning ahead with the creation of a new Capital Improvement Plan committee to budget and save for larger capital investments to keep NRRA running smoothly.

NRRA is lucky to have such dedicated board members who support the important and unique work of our recycling non-profit!

After the opening business, annual meeting attendees had the opportunity to hear from three NRRA vendors on the often-asked-about topics of paper, glass, and plastics recycling. Tom Moore, President of APC Paper Group, with a local paper mill in Claremont, NH, spoke about the importance of well-sorted and uncontaminated materials. "Quality is where it all happens," he stated, emphasizing that higher quality material can be turned into higher quality products, and thus will fetch a higher price. He is anticipating a gradual increase in OCC prices over the next year.    

Attendees then enjoyed an interactive conversation, with NRRA vendor, Ivar Martin, as well as several members speaking on the topic of processed glass aggregate (PGA) and how it has been used in towns such as New London for roads and sidewalk projects. Again, the hardest part of glass recycling is dealing with the contamination - it can slow down the grinding process when creating PGA and damage machinery. (For a better understanding of the two main ways glass is recycled through NRRA, please visit our Glass Recycling Story Map and video.)

Finally, Annual Meeting attendees were joined virtually by Cassandra Flores, Commodity Sales Manager with GFL Environmental, one of NRRA's plastics recycling vendors. She spoke of the innovative ideas being considered in the world of plastics recycling, from chemical recycling to using recycled plastics in new ways. While cautiously optimistic about the markets, she touched on the impact of contamination, stating, "Clean material moves. It's not always about the price [of the materials], but the guaranteed movement off the floor." With many NRRA members looking to move materials quickly, this point resonated with many in attendance! 

The annual meeting wrapped up with a presentation of NRRA's annual awards.

NRRA Volunteer of the Year Award went to Scott Hazelton, a strong and consistent volunteer who willingly lends his time and deep expertise to NRRA as a board member and SWAT volunteer! 







NRRA Vendor of the Year Award went to Ivar Martin, who consistently delivers excellent glass crushing service and expertise to NRRA members across the Northeast.







Sami Izzo Recycler of the Year Award went to Marc Morgan, who's outstanding waste reduction efforts and passion for recycling earned him this prestigious award. 







Thank you to all who were able to attend this year's Annual Meeting! We look forward to another year working closely with our board and municipal members to strengthen recycling through economic and environmentally sound solutions.