U.S.-based recycling industry leaders have announced the formation of the Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC) — a regional awareness group focused on the collection and recovery of quality recyclable materials for a ten-state region.
Representatives from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina gathered to establish the corporation dedicated to uniting recycling industry leaders, state and federal government agencies and state recycling coalitions to promote sustainable recycling programs.
"Several years ago we began to discuss the idea of everyone who has recyclables to unite," explains Jerry Hawk, SERDC Chair. "Many states have individual government agencies dedicated to recycling and many corporate recyclers associate with trade organizations. The intent of SERDC is to unite with several public and private groups that currently exist in order to reach a common goal. The term "strength in numbers" is key in accomplishing the goals we have identified."
According to Arthur Ferguson, SERDC Vice Chair, groundwork for the regional interest group began when a small group of Southeastern neighbors in the recycling arena met to discuss the idea of a forum to discuss issues that are affecting the industry. "We met in September 2004 to get the abstract ideas on paper," Mr. Ferguson said. "At that meeting, representatives from Southeastern states confirmed five years of casual conversations. It was apparent the need for a united group existed and the momentum and timing was right for us to get started."
As a result of the generated interest, the group walked away from the two day planning session with a purpose and mission statement, set of bylaws, incorporated name, elected board of directors, an approved five-year budget, and the common theme "one strong united voice for recycling".
SERDC now stands as a 5013H charter, with a focused effort on growing the organization. "Now that we are structured and endorsed by EPA Region IV, SERDC is concentrating on membership development and gathering continued support from the recycling community," Mr. Hawk said.
Participants included: Alabama Power Company, Alabama Recycling Coalition, Aluminum Association, Arkansas Recycling Coalition, Bowater Newsprint, Bluegrass Regional Recycling Corporation, Caraustar, Carolina Recycling Association, Georgia Recycling Coalition, KW Plastics Recycling, Market Services of Alabama, Mohawk, Morris Recycling, Mount Scrap Materials, Recycle Florida Today, RecycleNet, SP Recycling, Steel Recycling Institute, Tennessee Recycling Coalition, Waste Management/ Recycle America Alliance and Weyerhauser.
SERDC encompasses and promotes the education and collection efforts for recyclables such as aluminum, steel, plastic, paper, glass, tires, newsprint, corrugated and electronics. Meetings are open to anyone in the ten state area interested in membership. The next meeting is scheduled for fall 2005. Details will be released at a later time.