June 2019

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


August 14-16, 2019: Tennessee Recycling Coalition Annual Conference- Gatlinburg, TN*
August 26-28, 2019: Resource Recycling Annual Conference- New Orleans, LA

August 28-30, 2019: SWANA Quad State Conference (VA, NC, SC & TN)- Asheville, NC

September 9-12, 2019: State of TX Alliance for Recycling Annual Summit- San Antonio, TX

September 15-18, 2019: Georgia Recycling Coalition Annual Conference- St. Simons Island, GA

September 23-25, 2019: E-Scrap Conference- Orlando, FL

September 30- October 2, 2019: Arkansas Recycling Coalition Annual Conference- Eureka Springs, AR
Upcoming Webinars

June 20, 2019: 1:00-2:0 pm ET
To assist communities in planning for debris management before a natural disaster occurs, EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery updated its Planning for Natural Disaster Debris Guidance. This webinar will provide an overview of the guidance and highlight lessons learned and best practices.

June 25, 2019: 1:00-2:15 pm ET
SWEEP is a standard that will identify and reward leaders in sustainable materials management, while outlining the leading best practices for municipal and private sector leaders. The “Founding Father” of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) the worlds most successful green building rating system will discuss his work to transform the waste management industry sector toward sustainability.

July 24, 2019: 12:00-1:15 pm ET
Join us to discuss how to communicate to your residents about plastic film and find out the scoop on current status and emerging trends related to film and flexible packaging recycling.
SERDC News & Announcements
SERDC Featured in Publication

How Innovators from the Public and Private Sector are Creating Value from Waste
SERDC is pleased to be featured in a new publication from the Upcyclers Network, Closing the Material Loop-How Innovators from the Public and Private Sector are Creating Value from Waste. 

The report features over 15 case studies contributed by corporate, non-profit, and public sector leaders who understand the economic and environmental imperative to valuing waste as a resource. By shining a spotlight on organizations and partnerships that have created successful programs and business models to recover and reuse materials, the report aims to inspire more communities and businesses to take a proactive role in utilizing their trash.

Besides SERDC, featured public sector and non-profit organizations include Cal Recycle, the City of Austin, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, Kent County, the City of Phoenix, Lonely Whale, NextWave, the Resource Solutions Innovation Network, and the US Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Featured private sector organizations include Aquafil, the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Best Buy, Circular Solutions Advisors, Dell, Ecoculture Manufacturing Corp, Ecologic Brands, ECOR, ERI, HP, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Oxnard Pallet Company, UNIFI, Up Cycle it Now, and The Super Bowl.

“Given the recent negative media attention and market disruption around recycling, it’s more important now than ever to shine a light on solutions that are keeping our materials and resources in use,” says Gina Lee, Founder of the Upcyclers Network. “We have a real opportunity to support domestic manufacturers, create jobs, and lessen our environmental footprint if we can transform our perception of waste. This report provides real-life guidance on how to accomplish this.”

About the Upcyclers Network

The mission of the Upcyclers Network is to support the creation of a sustainable global economy. One where materials are kept in circulation and waste is seen as a resource. 

Our vision is to promote demand for recycled, recovered, and discarded material by amplifying the impact of businesses and organizations that rely on waste as their feedstock. Together, we will challenge our current production model and support the transition to a circular economy.  

SERDC Board Chair transitions to new position within Coca-Cola North America 
As Coca-Cola North America continues to accelerate their World Without Waste efforts to meet 2030 goals, they have rounded out their team in North America with the promotion of Nicole Smith as Sustainable Packaging Program Director. Nicole will be working closely with the Sustainability team, TI&S, Public Affairs, Bottling System and other internal and external stakeholders to continue to meet the packaging needs of consumers and customers while maximizing environmental and social sustainability. 

Nicole is the Chairperson of SERDC.
SERDC Speaks at National Recycling Caucus
On Friday, June 7, SERDC joined the leaders of national associations, including The Recycling Partnership (TRP), Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) to brief the Congressional Recycling Caucus on actions currently underway to address the issues facing the US recycling system. Other speakers included US EPA, US Chamber of Commerce, US Conference of Mayors, the City of New York, and representatives from Nestle and P&G.

All organizations are participants in the America Recycles Workgroup that was formed last fall and is facilitated by the US EPA.

The EPA seeks to bring our industry to common metrics for reporting and planning. “What gets measured, gets managed.”

Will Sagar commended the EPA for addressing these areas and displayed confidence in the succession of building a sustainable material management system in this country.  

For more information about the Congressional Recycling Caucus, the US EPA’s America Recycles Workgroup and the work SERDC is doing in the Southeast, please email SERDC.

SERDC Executive Director, Will Sagar (top left) along with Keep America Beautiful Senior Director of Affiliate Operations, Randy Hartmann, ISRI President Robin Wiener and The Recycling PartnershipVP of Industry Collaboration, Dylan de Thomas each spoke about the industry during the Congressional Recycling Caucus,
From SERDC Members

NC Senate Removed Repeal of E-Waste Ban from SB553 
Carolina Recycling Association email from June 14, 2019

Last week, Senate bill sponsors filed the 3rd version of Senate Bill 553. The 3rd filed version removed the section calling for the Repeal of the Landfill Ban for Discarded Computers and Televisions.

Thank you to those who reached out to members of the NC legislature to let them know that collection and recycling electronics is important. Your voices were heard! 

NC DEQ is a member of SERDC.
Since the electronics ban inception in 2011, significant amounts of TV's
and other electronics have been recovered in North Carolina
Alabama hits recycling milestone, keeping quarter of all trash from landfills
Posted June 16, 2019 on al.com
Alabama reached a new recycling milestone in 2018, according to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, diverting more than 25 percent of all the trash generated in the state from landfills for the first time since the state started closely tracking where its garbage goes.

"The first time was last year, based on our numbers, that we hit the mark," said Gavin Adams, chief of ADEM's Materials Management Section, which administers the department's recycling program. "We're very excited about it and we hope it continues."

“There is a lot of misinformation about recycling nationwide,” said Ashley Chambers, president of the Alabama Recycling Coalition and director of environmental education for the city of Tuscaloosa.. “Fortunately, here in the Southeast, it’s not that we’re immune from the problem that other cities are having, but the recycling markets want materials here in the Southeast.

“The cities here that are doing it correctly and keeping as many of the contaminants out as they can, are not struggling the way the bigger cities out west are.”

That’s because several Alabama companies have found a way to make yesterday’s materials into new products. KW Plastics in Troy bills itself as the largest plastics recycler in the world, processing millions of pounds of recyclables every year into pellets that can be molded into just about anything. Constellium USA (formerly Wise Alloys) in Muscle Shoals is among the largest aluminum recyclers in the world, providing materials for Inbev/Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) and Pepsi cans.

ADEM, ARC and KW Plastics are members of SERDC
ADEM and the Alabama Recycling Coalition are members of SERDC and KW Plastics is a Platinum Sponsor of SERDC
ASTRX Releases Review of Material Flow at MRFs and Reprocessors

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition & The Recycling Partnership studied how plastic, paper, glass, aluminum, cartons and steel packaging fared in material recovery facilities & reprocessor facilities
Posted June 12, 2019 on RecyclingPartnership.org

“Recycling is not just putting a bottle, can, carton or box in a curbside cart, it’s a system that provides raw materials to a complex manufacturing process,” said Dylan de Thomas, VP of Industry Collaboration for The Recycling Partnership. “We wanted to provide a critical feedback loop from the facilities that are sorting and reprocessing the goods we put in recycling carts and bins across the country to the companies that are producing an increasingly complex packaging stream.” 

ASTRX (Applying Systems Thinking to Recycling), the joint project of The Sustainable Packaging Coalition® and The Recycling Partnership, has released The ASTRX Review of Material Flow at MRFs and Reprocessors. The report investigates how plastic, paper, glass, aluminum and steel packaging move through two critical pieces of the circular economy: material recovery facilities (MRFs) and reprocessors.

The objective of the study was to learn whether there are packaging types, materials or contaminants that present significant challenges for MRFs and reprocessors, where specifically within the system they cause problems, and why. The ASTRX team conducted interviews with MRFs across the U.S., plastics reclaimers, glass beneficiators, paper mills, aluminum mills and a steel broker.

“We hear a lot that certain types of packaging create problems for MRFs or reprocessors, but sometimes issues only occur sporadically or only in certain regions,” said Trina Matta, Senior Manager, Sustainable Packaging Coalition. “We wanted to know what was just a problem for a few facilities and what was truly creating a burden on the recycling system. Our research identifies areas that are persistent, challenging problems in need of an intervention that could help the recycling system be more successful.

The Recycling Partnership is a Bronze Sponsor member of SERDC.
Waste and Recycling Industry Groups Produce Poster to Improve Recycling Habits
Posted June 19, 2019 on WasteRecycling.org

In an effort to help consumers recycle properly, the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), have jointly developed the Think Twice poster.

“The economics of recycling are changing. As our members look to expand markets for their recyclables, it is important consumers understand what items can be recycled and who to contact if they have questions. Our members are educating their customers to improve recycling habits. This poster supports those efforts,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.

ISRI is a Business member of SERDC.
Around the Southeast/US
Vote on the SWEEP Local Government Standard for Sustainable Solid Waste Management
The Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Protocol (SWEEP) is a standard that will identify and reward leaders in sustainable materials management, while outlining the leading best practices for municipal and private sector leaders.

SWEEP is an expert crowdsourced effort to create a voluntary performance standard for Municipalities and the Solid Waste Industry.  Seeking a blend of practical and best practices, SWEEP has developed performance credits to recognize leadership in solid waste management in across 6 categories.

  1. Sustainable Materials Management Policies (SMMP)
  2. Waste Generation and Prevention (WGP)
  3. Solid Waste Collection (SWC)
  4. Post-Collection Recovery (PCR)
  5. Post-Collection Disposal (PCD)

In the category of Post Collection Recovery (PCR) SWEEP looks at practices aimed at avoiding landfilling or one-off disposal of discarded materials by preserving and utilizing its residual material value. PCR credits seek to achieve the best blend of maximizing resource value while considering environmental externalities. The Municipal PCR requirements of SWEEP take into account four key performance indicators (KPI):

  1. Efficiency and Effectiveness
  2. Environmental Performance
  3. Economic Performance
  4. Working Conditions and Social Impact

SWEEP Is Also Seeking Participants in the Pilot Program
Local Governments and Waste Management Companies

SWEEP is seeking 15 Local Governments and 15 Industry partner participants to pilot the SWEEP standards.

They are looking for Small (<30,000 population), Medium (30,000 to 300,000 population) and Large (>300,000 population) Local Governments in 5 regions across the US. Private industry partners would be located in or serve the pilot local government.

The Pilot Program is scheduled to begin in the 4th quarter of 2019 after both the Local Government and the Industry Standards have been approved for piloting. We will be posting information on the website soon.

For more information on the Pilot, please write to will.zurier@sweepstandard.org.

Congressional appropriations bill calls for 'national recycling strategy'
Posted May 29, 2019 on WasteDive.com

A report attached to the FY 2020 Interior-Environment Funding Bill includes language directing the U.S. EPA to "help ensure the long-term economic and environmental viability of local recycling programs by exercising national leadership and facilitating the harmonization of standards."

The report calls for EPA to devise recommendations for voluntary actions that might "strengthen and sustain the current system" — including the implementation of standardized recycling labels across the country — "in collaboration with for-profit, non-profit, state and local governments, and other stakeholders."

"The national recycling strategy is an absolute priority in order to strengthen recycling in communities across America," said Rep. Betty McCollum, chair of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, in a statement. "It is environmental and economic madness to fill landfills and incinerators with recyclable materials because of confusion at the bin. Every household, business, school and institution should be using a standardized system to eliminate contamination and increase effective recycling."

Recommended Reads
Shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/20-2817990 and AmazonSmile donates to Southeast Recycling Development Council Inc.