Every conference I have attended this year has included sessions or keynote addresses about the impact of China's National Sword program on America's recycling efforts. Fortunately, these same conferences also included ways to address it.
Speaking of conferences, I will be attending the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Summit in Galveston next week. If you will be there, please join me for a hands-on communication workshop I am co-facilitating on Tuesday afternoon, October 30. We will concentrate on how to use SMART goals to successfully focus your research and planning efforts. If you won't be at the Summit, watch for more about SMART goals in an upcoming newsletter.
Eco Partners knows that good communication is key to the success of all community solid waste initiatives. We would love to work with you to communicate your messages. Please give me a call or email me!
Local Economic Development Key to Recycling Infrastructure
Credit: AlexLMX | iStock | Getty Images Plus
At the 2018 AISWMD Retreat, Bob Gedertof Resource Recycling Systems shared a plan for how local economic development can create recycling demand.
His presentation, Rebuilding America's Recycling Infrastructure: Economic Development Strategies for Local Communities gave suggestions of how to address the need for recycling industries and build recycling infrastructure at the local level.
In 2017, approximately 33% percent of U.S. recycling commodity exports - worth $5.6 billion - were sent to China. Now in 2018, less than 5% of US recyclables are shipped and accepted in China. China's National Sword program clearly had an impact, but collections in our communities didn't stop. Where will all this material go now?
Gedert suggests that after steps are taken to increase the quality of our collected material, communities can increase local demand via economic development tactics like these:
Utilize local traditional business attraction tools for "diversion" support businesses
Hire a Recycling Economic Development Officer
Provide one-on-one business assistance using dedicated staff to assist zero waste businesses with economic development resources
Offer zero waste pitch sessions; host an annual event for zero waste entrepreneurs to pitch business ideas to potential investors