Co-chair Dan Garvin, president of Colorado Iron & Metal Inc., opened the Government Relations Committee by welcoming new members to the Monday, March 21, meeting in Las Vegas. Tony Smith, ISRI’s vice president of safety, gave the safety message. Co-chair Scott Miller of Sims Metal began his opening remarks by noting how much he’s enjoyed leading the committee with Garvin. “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” he says. He reviewed several of the issues they focused on during their term including COVID-19, Environmental Justice, infrastructure, and improving the image of the industry through government relations. “We’re prepared for the next step and are ready to hand the reins off to the next.”
The committee leadership gave a special thanks to Danielle Waterfield, ISRI’s chief policy officer, and Justin Short, ISRI’s director of government relations.
Billy Johnson, ISRI’s chief lobbyist, reviewed the 2022 advocacy agenda. “It’s a living document; it’s always changing,” Johnson says. “We have three main themes for the agenda, but new issues come up all the time. Ideally members can use the agenda as a tool to knowledgably speak on industry issues when engaging with legislators.”
Johnson provided an update on several legislative issues including transportation, the U.S. Mint’s Mutilated Coin Redemption Program, and catalytic converter theft. As chair of ISRI’s Environmental Justice Task Force, Garvin updated the committee on the group’s work. He noted how important it is for recyclers to engage with their communities and take hold of their own stories.
ISRI President Robin Wiener gave an update on EJ issues from the federal side and echoed Garvin’s point. “I’m starting to see more members talk about what they’re doing in their communities, and they’re doing great things, but we need that number to increase,” she says.
Andrew Lincoln, vice president of Lincoln Recycling, provided an update from the State Policy Subcommittee. He discussed some of the trends the group is following and reviewed the lobbyist training program ISRI held in 2021. Those sessions will continue in 2022 and ISRI will also offer member advocate training. “A lot of us are used to speaking to our state representatives but it can be intimidating for newer members,” Lincoln says.
He also noted the National Conference of State Legislatures’ summit will be Aug. 1-3 in Denver. He added the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association is currently looking for nominations for the 2022 Recycling Impact Award.
The committee received an update on materials and catalytic converter theft and related legislation from Todd Foreman, ISRI’s director of law enforcement outreach. Danielle Waterfield, ISRI’s chief policy officer, and Wiener discussed chemical recycling. ISRI is developing a position and will update members soon.
Photo courtesy of Sara L. Cottle via unsplash.