On November 15, 2018, at EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC, Acting Administrator Wheeler will host a group of senior level executives in a dialogue to discuss the current challenges and opportunities with the recycling system in the United States. SWANA has been asked to attend this event along with others in the recycling industry, representatives from local and state governments, and manufacturers and brands that rely on recycled feedstocks in the U.S. The Summit will culminate with an agreement by the participating executives and EPA to work together moving forward.
The Core Advocacy Group is asked to review the draft joint commitment statement developed by EPA, provide any edits that can be recommended to the Agency, and determine if the commitment conforms to SWANA’s mission and technical policies and should be signed by David Biderman on behalf of the Association. SWANA’s Recycling Task Force and the leadership of the Sustainable Materials Management Technical Division have also been consulted for their feedback on this statement.
Please review the draft joint commitment statement below and provide comments no later than Wednesday, October 24. Additional background information on the joint commitment can be found here.
DRAFT JOINT COMMITMENT STATEMENT
On this America Recycles Day, November 15, 2018, We, the undersigned, commit to working together to identify solutions to address the critical issues facing our recycling system in the U.S.
ACTION AREA 1: Education & Outreach
Recycling is strong. A national conversation is needed on how to best educate the public how to recycle right. Outreach and education strategies for consumers, local and state governments as well as other applicable stakeholders on how to properly manage materials at end-of-use will improve the quality of materials entering the system for processing. Commitments may include:
- Working together (such as through task forces or working groups).
- Supporting a national PR campaign with agreed-upon common messages.
ACTION AREA 2: Enhancing Materials Management Infrastructure
Rapidly evolving materials streams and aging materials management infrastructure are leading to inefficient use of domestic resources. New investments in infrastructure will help meet the nation’s materials management needs and foster a more resilient solid waste system capable of withstanding pressures from disruptions. Commitments may include:
- Facilitating communication between different stakeholders across the system.
- Stimulating investment to improve, enhance, and expand solid waste management infrastructure.
ACTION AREA 3: Strengthening Secondary Materials Markets
The rise of import bans on recycled materials has stressed the need to improve domestic markets for recycled materials, as well as to better integrate recycled materials and end-of-life management into product and packaging designs. The goal is to help produce products that are of high-quality and are free of contaminants. Commitments may include:
- Using end markets and established materials recovery facility capabilities to identify recyclables that can be included in recycling programs.
- Increasing the dialogue with materials recovery facilities (MRFs) to inform the design and production of new products, including packaging.
ACTION AREA 4: Enhancing Measurement
Stakeholders across industries agree that more consistent measurement methodologies are needed for waste issues. There is also a common recognized need for agreed upon definitions for important terms that can then be communicated consistently within industry and to the public. Commitments in this area may include:
- When publishing information on recycling, promoting transparency by including definitions and methodologies.
Fostering common measurement approaches and definitions of recycling and recovery across the country.
If you have comments or changes that you would like for SWANA to consider, feedback is requested no later than COB Wednesday, October 24. Please contact the Hoosier Chapter to get in touch with SWANA.