An effort by the National Recycling Coalition’s (NRC) Board of Directors to merge NRC with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) has failed. The board had promoted the merger as a way for NRC to address its troubled financial situation.

Fifty-seven percent of NRC members who voted on the proposed merger supported the proposal. However, a two-thirds majority of those voting was required for the merger to proceed.

“Although the KAB proposal received the support of a significant majority of our members — 57 percent — it did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority in order for the NRC board to proceed with implementing the proposal,” said Melinda Uerling, president of the NRC Board of Directors, in a press release. “We recognized from the beginning that the two-thirds majority was a steep hill, and the results reflect that. We want to thank all of our members for participating in the election. The unexpectedly high turnout truly demonstrates their passion and support for the future of recycling in this country.”

According to an NRC press release, “the NRC board must immediately address its financial situation. During the campaign, the board indicated to the membership that bankruptcy was a likely option. The board will be meeting over the coming weeks to re-assess that and all other possibilities.”

Before the vote, some NRC members formed a group called “Save the NRC” that opposed the proposed merger on the grounds that it would “eliminate NRC as an independent voice for recycling, giving recyclers just a limited advisory role in an organization that has historically failed to support the structural changes that are essential if progressive recycling policies are to be adopted in this country.”