Monthly news & updates
February 2021
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Virtual Board Retreat Discusses the New Normal
The 2021 SERDC Board of Directors met in in January during the annual retreat to discuss initiatives, opportunities and objectives for the organization. A considerable amount of time was given to discussing the "new normal" and how that impacts membership's needs.

The 2021 Executive Committee was also elected. Board Chair: Kurt Schmitz-Pratt, 1st Vice Chair: Rusty Angel-Machinex, Treasurer: Derric Brown-Evergreen Packaging/Carton Council and Secretary: Dawn Gaines-Representing self.
SERDC Member News
US EPA National Recycling Goal: Comment Period ends March 8
At the 2020 America Recycles Summit on November 17, 2020, EPA announced the overall national recycling goal of increasing the U.S. recycling rate to 50% by 2030. This national goal will provide the benchmark to evaluate the success of the collective efforts to improve the nation’s recycling system. EPA is now soliciting comments on the recycling rate measurement methodology. Comments will be accepted until 11:59 PM ET on March 8, 2021

Funding and Other Resources
SERDC Recycling Infrastructure Grant Looking for 2021 Projects
A grant awarded to SERDC from the Coca-Cola Foundation seeks to award several more communities this year that seek to increase their curbside recycling programs. Funds must go towards infrastructure (carts, trucks, equipment) and/or outreach material. Examples include communities looking to move from bins to carts, expansion of service routes or needed related equipment.

Aluminum Can Grant targets the Southeast
The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and The Recycling Partnership (The Partnership) announced requests for proposals (RFP) for aluminum beverage can capture grants, sponsored by Ardagh Group and Crown Holdings, that will fund eddy currents, robots, and other equipment or process improvement activities to capture used beverage cans at Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs).

There will be two rounds of applications, with the first round closing on Feb 19 and the second round closing on March 31.

Healthy Communities Grant Opportunity for Louisiana
Since 2004, Keep Louisiana Beautiful has awarded over $3 million in grants to local communities in the areas of litter abatement, waste reduction, recycling, and environmental education. Letters of Intent are being collected through March 5, 2021. Learn more.
The Keep America Beautiful/Coca-Cola Public Spaces Recycling Bin Grant Program Available to SE
The 2021 Keep America Beautiful Community Grant Application is now available. Completed applications are due no later than Friday, March 19, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EST. 

Grant recipients are selected based on their potential to collect cans and bottles as well as creating new or expanded access to recycling opportunities in a community. This includes: providing recycling access to greater numbers of people; providing access in environmentally sensitive areas, e.g. along waterways; and the potential to increase overall recycling participation in a community.

Recent Foam Recycling Coalition Grants Recipients from the Southeast
The Tiny House Community Development, Greensboro, North Carolina, St. Lucie County, Florida and Collier County, Florida have all recently received grants for foam recycling infrastructure in their areas.

Since 2015, the FRC has awarded grants used to increase foam recycling. Additional grant recipients will be announced on an ongoing basis. Public and private entities in the U.S. and/or Canada that engage in any of the following activities are eligible to apply for the FRC grant:

  • Operate a material recovery facility
  • Manage residential curbside recycling programs
  • Manage drop-off or convenience site recycling programs

Other Recycling News
Eastman invests in methanolysis plant in Kingsport, Tennessee
Posted Feb. 1, 2021 on

Eastman Chemical Co., headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, has announced that it will build a “molecular” recycling facility for end-of-life polyester products and packaging at its existing site in that city. Eastman’s Kingsport site is one of the largest integrated chemical manufacturing plants in North America. The facility will create 90 jobs.

The company says it will use methanolysis to convert end-of-life polyester products and polyethylene terephthalate packaging that are difficult to recycle by mechanical means into recycled raw materials that will be used to produce the company’s specialty plastics.

This facility, which is expected to be completed by year-end 2022, will contribute to Eastman achieving its sustainability commitments for addressing the plastic waste crisis, which includes recycling more than 500 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2030 via molecular recycling technologies and becoming carbon neutral by 2050, according to the company. Eastman says it has committed to recycling more than 250 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2025.

After years of pressure, glass recycling may be at a turning point
Posted Jan. 27, 2021 on

Calls are broadening for creative and targeted solutions to make glass recycling work. Recyclers are focused on devising different collection methods catered to individual regions, reducing contamination, adding equipment investments and conducting public education programs.

Some of the nagging issues with glass are caused by its incorporation into a catch-all, single-stream curbside collection system. Alternative collection options have cropped up in many communities. Cities like Lake Worth, Florida, kept glass but transitioned to dual-stream collection.

The most commonly adopted solution to reinstate glass collection is one that Arlington, Fairfax and other counties in Northern Virginia established: drop-off sites. Ohio-based Rumpke Waste & Recycling has also been working with Midwestern communities it serves to create glass depots where citizens deposit containers; currently they work with three glass depots and another is in the works.

SERDC members fit many descriptions - from individuals to large companies, organizations to governmental entities. But our members have one thing in common. They understand that the best way to boost support for recycling in the Southeast is to work together.