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​SWANA celebrates Earth Day 2021 with continued focus on resource management

Sustainable Materials Management Summit to come June 15

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The Maryland-based Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is celebrating the 51st anniversary of Earth Day by helping communities advance from solid waste management to resource management. 

SWANA is also set to host a Sustainable Materials Management Summit on Tuesday, June 15. This half-day, virtual event will bring together recycling, organics recovery, and resource management professionals. Industry leaders will discuss new US EPA Recycling Goals, organics infrastructure, and how the public sector can move the needle on recycling.

According to the organization, a key mandate is to continue to provide guidance to municipal and private sector waste and recycling operations, in both the U.S. and Canada, to help them address ongoing challenges facing local recycling programs, all while protecting workers and the public during the pandemic. 

"Everyone in the solid waste industry plays a role in reducing the environmental burden on communities and the planet," stated David Biderman, SWANA's Executive Director and CEO. "While improving recycling systems should continue to be a priority, reducing waste generation will reduce pressure on overburdened dumpsites and landfills, particularly in developing countries. SWANA calls on manufacturers and others to work with governmental entities at every level to reduce the amount of waste that is generated, and to recycle more of it."

"Every day, the professionals in the solid waste industry work to protect our earth, from education on waste reduction and proper recycling, to collection in alternatively fueled vehicles, to proper waste disposal in highly engineered disposal facilities," said Brenda Haney, SWANA President and Solid Waste Director for the City of Lubbock, TX. "This is an industry full of proud, ingenious, and creative individuals moving us forward."

SWANA estimates that the United States spends about $200 million each year to process recycling that ends up in a landfill or other disposal facility. Over the next five years, the United States could waste an estimated $1 billion to process recycling that is really garbage. 

SWANA encourages the public to stop "wish-cycling" to prevent contamination. One easy change to help the environment this Earth Day is to check local recycling programs to learn what recycling materials are accepted.

There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day and help the planet, while staying safe during this time. Learn more about SWANA's initiatives by visiting SWANA's website at

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