Strategic plan


The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) completed its first strategic plan in 1998 and updated in 2003 and 2007. A group of RAM members and staff met during 2012 to review the plan and identify areas for change.

A group of RAM members and staff met during 2007 to review the plan and identify areas for change.
Strategic Planning Committee (2013-2018):

  • Lori Blais
  • Doug Lien
  • Mark Rust

Mission Statement

We are committed to increasing recycling in Minnesota to improve the social and economic health of our citizens, businesses, institutions and future generations.

Vision Statement

Increased recycling supports sustainability, resource conservation, jobs and a stronger economy in Minnesota


In 1998, RAM’s membership stood at 100. During the formulation of the 2013-2018 strategic plan, RAM’s membership was 200. As of September 2007, the membership stood at 218. As of February 2012, the membership stood at 265. In 2012, the composition of the membership is as follows.

– Individual or Associate Memberships: 51
– Small business: 57
– Medium Business: 8
– School: 9
– Nonprofit: 21
– Government: 79
– Large Business: 33

There are 87 counties in Minnesota. As of 2012, there are about 100 Solid Waste Administrators working in Minnesota. Being that most are currently RAM members, the potential growth in the government sector is unlikely. RAM should focus on attracting businesses and nonprofit organizations such as schools, sustainability managers and educational leaders.

Currently more and more businesses are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and implementing green practices. Another timely and relevant issue is organics recycling and management as well as the economic impact of the recycling industry. RAM should strive to be the primary recycling educator on these issues in Minnesota. RAM could prove to be a useful source of information and host educational events throughout the state.

Despite these potential areas for growth, RAM should focus on maintaining membership levels through strong retention and slow growth in the membership. RAM’s focus should be to create a more financially sound organization and find secure funding sources. Government grants are not a viable option.

Major Tasks Completed in 2012:

RAM completely redid the website to a more user friendly look with branding that was consistent with our other marketing materials.
Our niche recycling programs such as Message in a Bottle™ and Recycle Your Holidays™ recycles over 1 million pounds of material annually since 2008.
We held rain barrel and compost bin distribution events to further promote waste reduction and reuse amongst the general public.
Promoted the environmental, social and economic aspects of recycling in Minnesota.
State of Recycling in Minnesota:
View MPCA MN Recycling Stats from the REMI model (External Analysis) as attachment

Specific Five-Year Work Plan
Outcome 1: Raise the public profile of recycling, composting and recycled products.

Strategy 1.1: Research possible RAM mascot

Strategy 1.2: help CLIMB revamp their educational message. Research the possibility of doing a finder’s fee for setting up events for them. Host a RAM forum at their facility.

Strategy 1.3: Continue to develop buy-recycled, composting practices and recycling resources for Minnesota consumers through outreach and regional/statewide events and recycling programs.

Strategy 1.4: Submit press releases to the media and RAM members (metro and greater Minnesota).

Strategy 1.5: Use the RAM website to promote environmental, social and economic effects from recycling.

Outcome 2: Increase the organization’s revenue and organizational strength.

Strategy 2.1: Create and produce REseed products to sell in retail outlets. Organize a committee of members and board members to assist Executive Director for the implementation phases.

Strategy 2.2: Increase membership and sponsorship opportunities. RAM should focus on maintaining membership levels through strong retention and slow growth in the membership. RAM to also continue to increase membership value.

Strategy 2.3: Diversify funding sources and explore funding sources through foundations.

Recycling Programs: Recycling collection, processing and marketing programs are a way to provide funding to any association when markets are strong. It is also a way to actively promote and improve recycling efforts in Minnesota. Away-from-home recycling is a niche that no other environmental organization has successfully filled and there is a need for this type of education and program implementation in Minnesota. RAM could fill this niche and generate revenue. Grow the Reseat program to create a solid revenue source for RAM.

Mascot and recycling education services: Research the feasibility of going into schools and businesses as well as doing public events to promote recycling and recycling education.

Collection events (for miscellaneous materials such as e-waste, etc). Have them sponsored.

Event recycling management and mobile shedding service

RAM Calendar created each year, sponsorship revenue to be $5000 at least

Explore the possibility to conduct business assistance for a fee

Strategy 2.4: Use the new website registration system and offer to other nonprofits or online orders for sales for a small fee per order/registration.

Strategy 2.5: Assure administrative continuity.

Outcome 3: Be an educational resource to waste generators and recycling advocates on recycling topics for which there are few other sources and for underserved audiences.
Strategy 3.1: Serve small businesses and schools with recycling information.
Strategy 3.2: Boost recycling at major venues in the state and away-from-home locations.

Strategy 3.3: Promote member operations, feature RAM members on the RAM website and RAM eNews.

Strategy 3.4: Get more members to use the new RAM blog. Test out the blog on RAM board, get board to use the RAM blog and experiment and expand that to membership.

Strategy 3.5: create short videos using flip cam and place on RAM YouTube and promote YouTube to membership and other RO’s.

Strategy 3.6: Create separate emails to membership solely on RAM resources so they are more prominent.

Outcome 4: Continue to be the Recycling Authority in Minnesota.
Strategy 4.1: Using the updated website to effectively communicate recycling messages with the general public.

Strategy 4.2: Forums: hold at least four educational forums per year, and provide quality membership services.

Strategy 4.3: Continue to convene an annual conference, but explore other conference or seminar opportunities.

Strategy 4.4: Improve member communication and networking opportunities through RAM eNEWS and consistent member training events and educational tours. Provide a feedback survey on each RAM eNEWS to improve member communications. Explore working jointly with other organizations on events.

Outcome 5: Provide a consistent and consensus-building approach to policy issues.
Strategy 5.1: Create a consistent, standardized board approval approach for policy advocacy.

Strategy 5.2: Maintain timely communication to and from members.

Strategy 5.3: Present unbiased information to lawmakers when they are faced with issues that affect recycling and composting within the State.