SWANA applauds focus on sustainable materials management in EPA strategy
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) issuance of a National Recycling Strategy, announced November 15th by EPA Administrator Michael Regan. The Strategy is the first step in a 10-year vision and new strategic direction for EPA's Sustainable Materials Management Program. SWANA has been closely engaged with EPA over the past four years helping the agency respond to China's National Sword program, including participating actively on several recycling workgroups and advocating for EPA's 50 percent waste diversion goal by 2030.
"SWANA is very pleased that EPA has broadened the draft National Recycling Strategy to encompass Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and other topics," stated David Biderman, SWANA's Executive Director and CEO. "We look forward to working closely with EPA and other stakeholders to educate Americans about the strategy and helping to implement it."
SWANA received an advance briefing from EPA officials concerning the strategy late last week, and Carlton Waterhouse from EPA discussed the strategy during his keynote session at WASTECON on November 3.
SWANA has played a very active role advocating for stronger federal support for municipal recycling programs. SWANA was a key supporter of the RECYCLE Act, which was incorporated into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that will be signed by President Biden later today. SWANA spoke at a recent U.S. Senate Recycling Roundtable and issued a report on the recovery of recycling markets.
SWANA is the only national non-profit association in the United States whose members include recycling professionals employed by both the public and private sectors.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.