Revived recycling market development program touts the power of creative business partnerships

TECHNOLOGY

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A strong market for recyclable materials is a key aspect for improving recycling access and infrastructure, said the speaker. webinar last week Sponsored by Southeast Recycling Development Council. They discussed how both fledgling and established market development programs can impact local recycling systems, and encouraged cities and states to develop their own market development initiatives. I urge you to consider making one.

Here are three points from the discussion.

New federal interest in recycling market could help launch new development initiative

AMERIPEN program manager Kyla Fisher said there is an “incredible opportunity” for states and local governments to initiate new recycling market development programs. Five years after he left the National Sword, a Chinese policy that restricted imports of most recycled materials, the US recycling industry is now consolidating its domestic market.

The US EPA is also generating renewed interest in how state market development programs can help the United States achieve the goals outlined in the National Recycling Strategy. Achieve a recycling rate of 50% by 2030EPA Strategy It proposes conducting market development workshops and including rural and regional entities that can help create opportunities on a smaller scale.

The last time EPA paid attention to this issue was in the 1990s, when EPA developed its “Recycling Means Business” initiative centered on job creation in the recycling industry, resulting in a “fairly strong program.” Was born.

AMERIPEN has a recycling market development task force, Best practice guide For states and localities interested in launching such programs. Each region has different markets and opportunities, so there is no single approach to creating the right program.

“Focus on your organization’s strengths and find a partner who can help you with the rest. You can’t do everything,” Fisher said.

Successful programs and development agencies like the Goodwill partnership in Michigan and the state market development team in South Carolina have one thing in common. Maybe I don’t understand. Bring them to the table and have a conversation,” she said.

South Carolina programs prioritize direct business relationships

South Carolina’s recycling market development program has been a focus of attention in the United States because it has operated for over 30 years as part of the state’s Department of Commerce. This will provide the advantage of connecting South Carolina businesses to numerous recycling companies across the state, said Anna DeLarge, recycling market development manager.

The program promotes the economic benefits of recycling by encouraging businesses to use more recycled materials, educating residents on recycling practices, and connecting recyclers and processors to end markets. .

Expanding the supply and quality of recycled materials available to companies is an ongoing process, she said. In 1993, there were “only a handful” of processors in the state. Today, she has over 300 recycling-related businesses, including four recycled paper mills.

Sustainability efforts by leading brands such as Volvo and Google are driving many of the state’s circular economy initiatives, and over the past 18 months, businesses of all sizes have taken an interest in making their businesses more sustainable. It’s starting to show

“When we talk to manufacturers, one of the questions we ask is, ‘Do you have recycling needs? Are there opportunities for greater sustainability on site? These referrals are then piped back to our recycling market development team where we can quickly establish a connection,” he said.

Leverage partnerships to turn saved discoveries into new products

Donations to thrift stores that don’t sell often end up in landfills. To reduce waste, West Michigan’s Goodwill Industries partnered with several companies to transform hard-to-sell items into new products, said business development director Nick Carlson.

Goodwill stores in Muskegon, Michigan diverted 69% of donated materials last year instead of discarding them. This means that employees have sold goods in stores or online, found buyers elsewhere, or recycled or otherwise reused materials. The store aims to achieve an 80% diversion of his within the next two years, he said.

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