Oct 16 - Recycling Community Mourns Death of Pat Franklin

Pat Franklin, founder and first Director of the Container Recycling Institute, passed away on Sunday.

Franklin started the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) in her basement in 1991 and was recognized as one of the preeminent experts on container recycling and bottle bills.

She was struck and killed by a pickup truck while crossing the street near a farmer's market in Oakland, Md. Franklin was preparing to make a drop-off at a recycling center.

According to a lifelong friend and the former CRI research director Jenny Gitlitz, "[She] grew CRI from a shoestring operation to an internationally recognized source of original information and analysis on beverage container recycling," wrote Gitlitz. "Pat was a shining light in the recycling movement."

"Pat was a true recycling hero," said CAW executive director Mark Murray. "She was stead-fast and tenacious in her commitment to both expanding and extending the Bottle Bill model."

Franklin promoted bottle-bill legislation, wrote industry reports, secured grants, spoke at recycling events, helped organize bottle bill summits and served as a spokeswoman for recycling in literally hundreds of interviews. She was instrumental in the passage of the Hawaii bottle bill and the expansion of bottle bills in Oregon, Connecticut and New York.

Franklin retired as executive director in 2007, but remained with CRI as a consultant and continue to advocate for container recycling.

Last month, Franklin, 71, was the oldest participant the 2012 SavageMan Triathlon, according to Gitlitz. "She finished 11 minutes faster than she did in 2011."

A funeral is planned for Friday in Fall Church, Va.

Contributions in Pat Franklin's memory can be made to the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, Oakland, Md.; to the Container Recycling Institute, Culver City, CA; and to the Flying Deer Nature Center, New Lebanon, NY.