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Introduction to Recycling Curriculum

Key Terms in Recycling
• Introductory Survey: What do you currently know about recycling
• Basic Terms: Three Rs, The IWM Hierarchy, and To Discard or to Dispose.

Basic Concepts in Recycling
• How the materials cycle got broken
• How we recognized our shortcomings
• Conceptualizing the future: hierarchy
• The failure of recycling’s competitors: landfills and incinerators

• Market share of competing ventures—how fast things change
• What’s available for recycling: 12 categories
• How recycling works: drop-off, buyback, curbside
• Processing mixed materials vs. source-separated recycling
• The five types of material sorting/processing facilities
• Encouraging source separation-type recycling: the four policy options
• Five meanings of source reduction
• Three levels/types of recycling
• Market development and recycled product procurement
• Forming new ventures: the six areas of activity
• Recycling’s role in climate change

Know Your Materials

• Hands-on demonstrations of basic market grades of materials: metal, glass, paper, plastic, wood, etc.

Equipment Slide Show
• Independent Learning: paper and video resources

R3CNLF (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost No Landfill)

John Moore, general counsel and board member for NCRA, writes: If the waste industry truly reconfigured itself to become a resource recovery industry dedicated to zero waste, could they do it better and more quickly than existing recyclers and would existing recyclers support it? There is no question that the two industries now compete for the same discard supply and that the wasters have the advantage in money, resources, and government contacts.

News Flash!!!

NCRA is now active on Twitter @NCRARecycles & Instagram: ncrarecycles. Join the conversation for Zero Waste!

Board Meetings

Board Meeting, April 17
Meet us in Oakland at the law office of Henn, Etzel and Moore on
Thursday, April 17 for a 6:00pm
dinner and sharings followed by the meeting at 7:00pm.

The address is 1970 Broadway,
Suite 950, Oakland, CA 94612 - near the 19th/Broadway BART station.

Planning to come late? Let a Board Director know in advance so they can
come down to let you in.

The NCRA Board meets the third Thursday of the month - except in August and December.


Who is NCRA?

Advocacy News

Zero Waste Needs Your Help - Click here to get involved.


Click here for development & job opportunities.


Our popular Intro to Recycling Class was held on March 24-26 at 401 Tunnel Ave in San Francisco. Please stay tuned for the next class!

Nature of Materials-Part Two: Reuse, Textiles, Ceramics, Chemicals, and Soils was held on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at San Francisco Department of the Environment, San Francisco 9am - 4:45pm, 1455 Market St #1200. See our News Flash! for links to the presentations given by industry professionals.

NCRA's first ever Nature of Materials B class was held on Dec 3 at
the new headquarters for the San Francisco Department of the Environment
and featured presentations by industry professionals on textiles,
ceramics, soils, reuse and chemicals. For links to the presentations
given, pls click on the links below: register here:

Alexa Kielty, SF Department of Environment: Textiles

Nicole Tai, Reuse Alliance. Reuse in the 21st Century

Daven Stetson, St. Vincent dePaul Society of Lane County. Retail Reuse

Paul Burns, Fire Clay Tile Company. Ceramics and Clay

Chris L. Fisher, Green Works Environmental Services. Chemicals

Thanks to all those who attended and stay tuned for more classes like these!


Learn about jobs in recycling & waste reduction from leaders of the industry at NCRA Jobs in Recycling Workshops.

The next Jobs In Recycling Workshop - Haulers is November 5, 2013. Click here for details.

Workshop History, article reports and video.

Support NCRA


Wish there was MORE you could do than just be a member of NCRA? Donations to suppport NCRA Programs are always welcome. Please contact NCRA President Laura McKaughan at for more.

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