January 2019
U.S. Faces Plastic Waste Recycling Challenges
Changing Markets in China and the National Sword Policy
By now, most everyone in the solid waste industry and many outside the industry are familiar with China’s National Sword Policy, which became effective in February 2018. The bans, restrictions and tougher contamination standards are an effort by China to improve air quality, reduce pollution and prevent illegal waste smuggling.

In the short-term, National Sword and other policy changes are creating major challenges for U.S. recyclers to find new markets or reduce contamination in their materials (since 1992, China has imported 106 million metric tons of plastic waste, or 45% of all plastic waste). In some areas, recyclable materials are ending up in landfills, and municipalities are canceling curbside recycling programs.

Over the long-term, it will change the way the U.S. deals with its waste, and hopefully create opportunities for innovation and the development of new domestic markets. A new international organization, the Global Alliance to End Plastic Waste, was established earlier this year to develop solutions to end plastic waste in the environment, with a focus on the ocean.

Storm Water Channel Restoration Services
Project Profile
Blackstone Environmental recently provided water resource engineering to an industrial facility in Nebraska to assist in replacement of an undersized storm water culvert and restoration of channel riprap lining and vegetation.

The client requested improvements to the channel across the culvert system, replacement of culverts and a box culvert to improve hydraulic capacity through the channel.

Meet Emily Smart, Project Manager
Site Assessment & Brownfields Redevelopment
Emily Smart, PG, CPG, joined Blackstone in 2018 as a project manager and lead on our Site Assessment and Brownfields Redevelopment initiatives.

She has more 10 years of experience in environmental consulting, including Brownfields redevelopment, environmental cleanups, landfill groundwater compliance services and environmental due diligence.

As a licensed professional geologist and a certified groundwater professional, Emily has redeveloped numerous hazardous waste sites across the Midwest work which was praised by the EPA on RCRA and CERCLA sites. 

Contact Emily at 319-331-1577.
Staff Scoop
Blackstone Welcomes Two New Employees
Branden Rosenthal: Branden joined the Blackstone team as a Project Engineer. He graduated with a B.S. in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of Kansas in December.

Before graduating, Branden worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Kansas Biological Survey in 2018 and an Engineering Intern for KDHE in the Solid Waste Permitting Section in 2017.

He was a member of the Marching Jayhawks and the KU Men’s Basketball Band and has a passion for Chiefs football, good movies and spending time outdoors.

Contact Branden at 913-956-6224.
Nicolle Scheller: Nicolle joined the Blackstone team as Marketing Coordinator. She will support Blackstone's marketing, social media and branding efforts.

Nicolle is a graduate of Kansas State University in Journalism and Mass Communications and most recently worked for the City of Olathe, Kan. as a communications specialist.

In her off time, she enjoys spending time with her family, movies, walking her dogs, reading and decorating.

Contact Nicolle at 913-956-6227.
Overland Park, KS
Des Moines, IA
Iowa City, IA