Promoting sustainable recycling in the Southeast by connecting local supply and regional demand of recovered material.
Monthly News & Updates in the Southeast
Upcoming Events

November 7-8, 2019: CPRC/ISRI Carolinas Plastics Recycling Tours and Meeting- Fort Mill, SC 

November 15, 2019 America Recycles Day

December 10, 2019: Carolinas Glass Recycling Summit- Wilson, NC 

January 26-28, 2020: Recycle Florida Today Winter Summit-Lake Buena Vista, FL

January 28-31, 2020: USCC Compost 2020- Charleston, SC

January 30, 2020: Waste Management Sustainability Forum- Scottsdale, AZ

February 17-19, 2020; Plastics Recycling Conference- Nashville, TN
Upcoming Webinars

November 20, 2019: 11:00 pm ET–

The November 2018 Recycling Summit brought together leaders from industry and all levels of government to discuss opportunities to advance and strengthen the domestic recycling industry and markets. This webinar will provide an opportunity to hear from workgroup participants and leaders from the Southeast on each of the four action areas.

November 20, 2019: 12:00 pm ET–

Learn about the Partnership's newly released Social Media Kit Volume 3 and DIYSigns, an editable online template to create recycling signs for your home, office or other public space. 

November 20, 2019: 1:00 pm ET–
Recycling and Resource Recovery as a Tool for Regional Economic Development by U.S. EPA Sustainable Materials Management Web Academy

Learn about the mission of the Upcyclers Network. In addition, two public sector experts will share their perspectives on the importance of framing resource recovery as an economic development strategy and what tools and policies are needed to best capture the full potential of the United States waste stream.
SERDC News & Announcements
What has been happening since EPA’s first ever Recycling Summit one year ago?
SERDC partners with EPA on Upcoming Webinar
November 20, 2019: 11:00 pm ET

The November 2018 Recycling Summit brought together leaders from industry and all levels of government to discuss opportunities to advance and strengthen the domestic recycling industry and markets. Four action areas were identified to improve or advance a national approach to recycling: (1) education and outreach, (2) enhancing materials management infrastructure, (3) strengthening secondary materials markets, and (4) enhancing measurement. Workgroups have been active this past year on each of these areas. This webinar will provide an opportunity to hear from workgroup participants and leaders from the Southeast on each of the four action areas.

Action Area 1: Promote Education and Outreach
Richard Chesley- Manager, Office of Solid Reduction Waste and Recycling, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

DHEC's Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling provides technical assistance as well as outreach and education to local governments, businesses, residents and others. Two key outreach initiatives will be discussed. RecycleRightSC was developed to reduce contamination in the state's recycling stream. Don't Waste Food SC was designed to reduce food waste through prevention, composting and donation. The goals, process, tools developed and more of both initiatives will be discussed.

Action Area 2: Enhance Materials Management Infrastructure
M. Gavin Adams- Chief, Materials Management Section, Alabama Department of Environmental Management

The Alabama Recycling Program housed in the ADEM Materials Management Section has been actively engaged in the enhancement of existing and formation of new recycling infrastructure since the program began in 2008. With a funding source provided through a surcharge on solid waste disposal in the state, the program operates a highly successful grants program, performs education and outreach encouraging wise resource use, and regulates recycling facilities to ensure environmentally compliant operations. Program personnel also support and participate on local, state and regional boards and commissions to advance recycling in the Southeast U.S and beyond. Infrastructure development is guided by a 2016 report from the Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC) which provided direction for both educational activities and grants fund investment.

Action Area 3: Strengthen Secondary Materials Markets
Nathan Wittstruck- Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Nathan will present a short overview of the Materials Market work over the last year, an update from the November 15, 2019 America Recycles meeting (relating to materials markets) and discuss EPA’s America Recycles progress report included in the National Recycling Framework document released during America Recycles week.

Action Area 4: Enhance Measurement
Larry Christley- Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

It has now been ten years since Region 4 moved to bring order to the chaos of our respective different data collection and sharing efforts. After years of hard work, the fruits of the labor are starting to pay off. Over 80 percent of the country is participating in sharing basic solid waste information in a consistent manner along with qualitative program data. Each year, more and more states join finding useful tools to help them make policy decisions. This presentation will share where we were, where we are, and what the next steps need to be.

Will Sagar- Executive Director, Southeast Recycling Development Council
SERDC Fall Workshop and Annual Meeting Brings the Region Together To Find a Way Out of the Jungle
Over 115 attendees spent the day at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC for the SERDC Recycling Workshop and Annual Meeting on October 16. The day was packed with speakers from all over the country addressing markets, contamination, successful recycling education tactics and what State Agencies find challenging and positive. The day ended with training from The Recycling Partnership on cart-tagging.

The State leaders panel was represented by North and South Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia and Kentucky. They discussed challenges, such as cities dropping curbside recycling or struggling with increased processing costs, They agreed that clear and unified messaging is an important topic right now and many have adopted or are creating "Recycle Right" messaging.

The annual report and financial statements from the organization were presented during lunch. SERDC Chairperson, Nicole Smith called the meeting to order, announced the proposed 2020 Board of Directors Slate and asked for additional nominees. Hearing none, the membership passed without opposition the proposed slate for 2020. New board members are: Wendy Worley-NC DEQ, Dexter Matthews-Liberty Tire; Dawn Gaines-Mohawk Industries; Kurt Schmitz-Pratt. Board Members accepting their next term are Rusty Angel-Machinex and Richard Chesley SC DHEC.

A note of thanks to Board Members Mark Williams-MS DEQ; April Carlock-Greif., Shawn State-Pratt; Kelly Johnson-Trex; and Michael Power-American Chemistry Council for all their years of service to help make SERDC the strong organization that it is today..

We'd also like to extend our gratitude to our speakers- Cheryl Coleman-US EPA; Andy Johnson-KW Plastics; Will Newsome-Sonoco; Lisa Skumatz-SERA; Sheila Sarovich-Waste Management; Rachel Kipar-The Recycling Partnership and Allison Brockman-City of Greenville, SC as well as our State Leaders Panel.
Grants Available for Recycling Infrastructure Improvements
Funding for another round of Grant funds from SERDC through a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation is open. Read more.
From SERDC Members

EPA Celebrates America Recycles Week

There will be a multitude of events occurring across the country on each day of America Recycles Week, from November 11-15, 2019. The purpose of these events is to recognize and celebrate recycling initiatives and progress towards improving the U.S. recycling system, to showcase innovative efforts across the recycling system, to share successes over the past year and to discuss opportunities for future collaboration. Each day of the week will feature a different theme, including veterans and jobs, measurement, markets and market development, education and outreach, and the importance of collaboration as key to success.

US EPA is a Government Member of SERDC.
Central Mississippi and City of Oxford Glass Collection Events
For America Recycles Day, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the Mississippi Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America, Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Door 2 Door Recycling, the City of Oxford and Sustainable Oxford are sponsoring 2 glass collection events on Friday, November 15. 

The Central Mississippi event will be held from 8am to 2pm at the Mississippi Farmer’s Market in Jackson. 

The Oxford event will be held from 7am-2pm at the City of Oxford Recycling Center. 

EVEN MORE materials will be collected for recycling on America Recycles Day! In addition to the Electronics Waste Collection Event and Glass Container Collection Event, FV Recycling will be at the Mississippi Farmer’s Market in Jackson on November 15 from 8am-2pm to collect Additional Recyclables. These materials include clean cardboard and white office paper, empty and rinsed #1 and #2 plastic containers and empty aluminum cans. 

Jackson Farmer's Market

Mississippi DEQ is a Government Member of SERDC.
Plastic Makers Welcome House Introduction of Bipartisan “Plastics Act”
Posted October 22, 2019 on

Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) last week introduced The Partnering and Leveraging Assistance to Stop Trash for Cleaner Seas Act (PLASTICS Act, H.R. 4636), which seeks to reduce marine debris and plastic waste in the ocean by leveraging U.S. assistance to support effective waste management systems in developing countries.

Steve Russell, vice president of ACC’s Plastics Division, made the following statement:

“The American Chemistry Council strongly supports the recently introduced PLASTICS Act, which seeks to reduce ocean plastics by encouraging innovative, market-based solutions and catalyzing private capital to enable the development of integrated waste management systems and strengthen markets for recycled materials. Each of these factors is critical for keeping plastics out of the ocean.

ACCis a Bronze Member of SERDC.

States Measurement Tool Training Available Online
Missed the State Measurement Program (SMP) 2019 Emerge Re-TRAC Training?

No worries you can find it here:
The Municipal Measurement Program (MMP) is a free Program Assessment and Planning Tool that delivers insights and actionable recommendations to municipal waste management agencies.

The MMP is delivered by The Recycling Partnership and Re-TRAC Connect to provide municipalities with a robust and accessible materials management program analysis and planning tool. It was also designed, with industry assistance, to standardize terminology and harmonize methodologies in support of consistent measurement across the U.S. and Canada.

You can't manage what you don't measure.

Re-TRAC Connect is a Bronze Sponsor Member of SERDC and The Recycling Partnership is a Business Member of SERDC
The Recycling Partnership Announces First-Ever U.S. Circular Economy Roadmap

The Recycling Partnership announces the first-ever roadmap aimed at addressing systemic issues in the U.S. recycling system and catalyzing the transition toward a circular economy for packaging. The report, “The Bridge to Circularity: Putting the ‘New Plastics Economy’ into Practice in the U.S.” is inspired and endorsed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation whose New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites more than 400 businesses, governments and other organizations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source.   

The Recycling Partnership is calling for a set of concrete actions based on three distinct issues currently undermining the U.S. recycling industry:  

(1) The speed of packaging innovation has outpaced the capabilities of our recycling infrastructure.

(2) As it stands, the U.S. recycling system cannot deliver the supply of recycled materials demanded by the Global Commitment.

(3) Intractable, underlying challenges create a difficult environment in which to develop a sustainably funded and responsive future recycling system. Bold innovation, supported by transformative policy is critical to tackling the extensive issues within the current system. 

The Recycling Partnership is a Business Member of SERDC.
Around the Southeast/US
Five Reasons Not to Miss COMPOST2020 This January in Charleston, SC!

DON’T MISS IT: three days in the southeast to learn and network on composting and healthy soils: policy, operations, and compost use; an exhibit hall full of products and services geared to better organics recycling, compost production and compostable products; live equipment demonstrations at the Charleston County Bees Ferry Landfill on Day 4!

SERDC Members can get 25% off the registration price (including earlybird rates) by entering the promotional code 2020SERDC during registration.

Early Bird Discount Registration ends Nov. 20!
  • Reason #1. “Everyone’s frustrated about recycling challenges from the National Sword and contamination. Compost is a local option that WE can control. So boss, I'll bring back to our elected officials a clear picture of what the rest of the country is doing to get the organic portion of our waste stream out of the disposal stream.”

  • Reason #2: Keynote speaker is Dr. Katharine Wilson lead author of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.

  • Reason #3. "I'll meet key contacts and information from more than 100 compost equipment and service providers that will help us move our program forward in a cost-effective manner. Not to mention, I'll establish good rapport through face-to-face meetings that help us move our programs forward, and purchase the right equipment and services to do that."

  • Reason #4. "I'll walk away with step-by-step instructions on how our we can use best practices in our planning, collection, compost processing, education and metrics, which will improve our success rate. 

  • Reason #5. “We can support our program with revenue or operate a successful business or non-profit if we plan it right—there are entire sessions about sustainable revenue models.”
NSF International to Develop Recycled Material Standard (RMS) for Environmental Nonprofit GreenBlue
Posted October 7,2019 on

With its 75-year history in standards development and certification, global public health organization NSF International has begun facilitating the development of the Recycled Material Standard (RMS) on behalf of the environmental nonprofit GreenBlue. The RMS stakeholder committee will convene during the Sustainable Packaging Coalition Advance event held in Denver, Colo. to review an initial draft of the requirements. Over the next several months, discussions will continue with the stakeholder committee as the standard is developed with a projected publication date in early 2021.

Brands, together with their suppliers and the recycling industry, are currently facing challenges to incorporate higher amounts of recycled content into packaging. The global standard will help advance adoption of certified material for common packing materials, beginning with plastic.

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