By Steve Rizer
The Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) recently declared that its membership base has been able to weather the economic storm of recent years. “Despite difficult economic times, [we have] managed to maintain most of [our] membership base, unlike many other trade associations,” according to CMRA. The group attributed the stability to the work it has been doing in serving construction and demolition (C&D) recyclers.
CMRA provided the following list of its 20 newest members:
- Ace Recycling, Chester, Va.
- Harley Hollan Companies, Tulsa, Okla.
- Sherbrooke OEM LTD, Sherbrooke, Qubec, Canada
- Law Offices of Eric P. Bock, Washington, D.C.
- Baltimore Recycling Center, Baltimore
- On Demand Container LLC, Cincinnati
- MB America Inc., Reno, Nev.
- Kafka Conveyors & Equipment, Mosinee, Wis.
- Allocco Recycling LTD, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- County Conservation Co., LLC, Sewell, N.J.
- United Recycling & Container, Snohomish, Wash.
- Eco Recycling, Pagedale, Mo.
- Great Lakes Shingle Recycling, Jenison, Mich.
- G.W. Murphy Inc., Hammond, Ind.
- Schnitzer Northeast, Everett, Mass.
- P. Flanigan & Sons Inc., Baltimore
- Richard S. Burns & Co. Inc., Philadelphia
- Patriot Recycling, Raynham, Mass.
- Choctaw Autumn Construction Waste Recycling LLC, Houston
- Rocky Mountain Recycling, Commerce City, Colo.
CMRA is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes the recycling of construction and demolition materials. The organization began in 1996 to provide an information exchange for the C&D recycling field. It became a spokesperson for the industry while continuing to help direct professionals seeking information about C&D recycling to answer sources. CMRA still has this role, but over the years it has provided more formal information resources for specific materials, such as asphalt shingles, gypsum drywall, and concrete.
In response to members’ concerns about regulatory and legislative issues, CMRA formed the CMRA Issues & Education Fund, a 501(c)(6) entity that promotes the viewpoints of C&D recyclers to regulators and legislators at all levels of government. In 2005, CMRA joined the Industrial Resources Council, a group of like-minded non-profit associations that promote recycling of materials ranging from tires to coal ash.
CMRA Executive Director Provides Additional Details to GBI
In an email interview, CMRA Executive Director William Turley provided the following additional information to Green Building Insider:
GBI: Your organization stated that despite difficult economic times, it has maintained most of its membership base. What had been the size of your organization's membership base, and what is the current size of the membership base? How much of a dropoff has there been?
Turley: 245 right now, and we have been growing the past few years after a drop right after the economic fall of 2008. Back to where we were.
GBI: In your opinion, how would you characterize the current state of your organization and its prospects for growth in the future?
Turley: The CMRA has seen growth in its annual meeting (C&D World, next one is March 25-27 in Nashville) of 15 percent at least for the past four years. Membership has rebounded. We have several projects going in, including an impact study on the environmental and economic benefits of C&D recycling. A certification program for the recycling rates of C&D facilities. And through our CMRA Issues & Education Foundation, a range of advocacy activities that are promoting the viewpoints of recyclers at the stage and national level. While we always have a membership drive, we feel it is the activities that benefit the industry that will most drive membership as people see what we are bringing to the table.
GBI: How recently did the 20 newest companies mentioned join CMRA? How many more companies/organizations are expected to join this year?
Turley: Since that 20 we have had about 10 more. We probably will hit 260 this year.
GBI: What statistics, if any, can you provide regarding the amount and/or percentage of construction material that is recycled in the United States (and perhaps abroad, too)? What could these numbers rise to by the end of the year and/or within the next five years?
Turley: No one tracks expertly how much is recycled. We have made estimates at the request of [the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency], and for concrete there probably is still conservatively 140 million tons of it recycled ever year. For mixed C&D, [it is] much more challenging to do an estimate, but because it is later per cubic yard than concrete, at least 50 million tons would be a good estimate.
GBI: Besides the activities that your organization has undertaken, what else should be done by both the public and private sectors to advance the cause of recycling construction materials?
Turley: Buy it. If there is a market for the recycled end products, then little else matters, except for overreaching regulations. If the demand is there, it will be made.