The US EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) is happy to announce that the SMM Prioritization Tools are now available for use. They can be found on the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/smm/sustainable-materials-management-prioritization-tools.
SWANA joined over 170 other organizations urging Congress to include direct relief to cities, towns, and villages in future federal assistance packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented coronavirus public health crisis has strained municipal budgets across the United States. This will, in turn, test their ability to provide essential services to communities and support local economic activity in these critical times.
After the coronavirus pandemic has passed, the world will need solutions to repair our economy in a way that protects both the planet and its people. The circular economy is a solution for our future health and wellness and recycling has a vital role to play.
A circular economy is not possible without recycling, yet it can’t happen through recycling alone. As companies ramp up their circular economy goals, they’re often based on the concept that recycling will be the workhorse and catch-net of a bigger system. The truth is, that system is not yet a reality.
Two City Councilmembers are pushing legislation that would create composting and electronics waste drop-off sites to compensate for recycling reductions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Community Organics and Recycling Empowerment (CORE) Act, the city would place three drop-off sites for organics and community recycling centers for hazardous or e-waste in each community district by June 2021. The 177 centers would be open 20 hours a week, at minimum.
The Washington-based American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Sonoma, California-based More Recycling (MORE) have announced a new website designed “to accelerate end market development” for plastic scrap.
“The Recycling Market Development Platform will help connect stakeholders, accelerate the continued growth of plastics recycling and provide guidance on how to better support plastics’ circularity,” says the ACC and MORE in a news release. “This free, open-source digital platform was developed by MORE with ACC as a founding partner.”
In a letter sent to congressional leaders May 5, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) calls upon legislators to prioritize critical infrastructure industries, including waste and recycling, in the next COVID-19 relief package that Congress will take up soon. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) designated the waste collection industry as essential in March.
The scope and scale of the food waste challenge in America is daunting. Recognizing the gravity, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through its EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge program, is encouraging and empowering local programs to craft local solutions to this pervasive problem. EPA is incentivizing participation in the program by showcasing local food waste prevention champions, both nationally and regionally.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) urges the public to take necessary steps to protect sanitation workers from coming into contact with potentially contaminated items. Solid waste collection is a critical and essential job as part of the response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The men and women working in the waste and recycling industry are on the frontlines protecting human health and the environment.
The coronavirus pandemic is leading the food industry and regulators to change policies as they grapple with empty shelves, a glut of fresh produce and milk, and sudden shifts in consumer buying habits.
The problem isn’t a shortage of food and commodities. If anything, food waste is becoming a bigger issue as traditionally big, bulk buyers — like college dorms and restaurant chains — suddenly stop receiving deliveries. As a result, millions of gallons of milk are being dumped, and farmers have no alternative but to turn fresh vegetables into mulch.