Resource Recycling Systems Inc. (RRS), a sustainable materials and resource consulting firm headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has launched a new group to assist companies with policy development and implementation. Called the Signalfire Group, the subsidiary will provide research, planning and implementation support to governments and organizations using policy and regulation as a tool to guide sustainable materials management and circular economy strategies.
“RRS has been working with government, businesses, nonprofits, NGOs (nongovernment organizations) and universities for more than 35 years,” says Jim Frey, RRS co-founder and CEO. “We have seen the evolution of material recovery approaches that now engage all players in the manufacturing, use, collection, recovery and processing value chain. Signalfire will focus targeted support for the changing recovery model that will enable organizations to better participate in long-term sustainable circular economy initiatives.”
According to a news release from RRS, the company created the subsidiary to dedicate resources to help manufacturers, retailers and governments enter and participate in new recycling systems. Signalfire Group provides services focused on developing and implementing best-in-class policy and regulatory approaches. Services include:
- policy/legislative analysis and development;
- market research and landscape analysis;
- stakeholder engagement and recruitment;
- operations and compliance support; and,
- program design/assessment and pilot implementation.
Signalfire Group is led by three environmental industry veterans with decades of experience in sustainability, materials management, policy and product stewardship:
Resa Dimino has worked in recycling businesses, trade groups and served as the lead policy staff for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). While at DEC, she managed the development of the state’s Beyond Waste 10-year sustainable materials management strategy and helped to formulate the state’s e-scrap extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation. Dimino currently serves as a managing principal at RRS, overseeing the infrastructure and engineering team.
Garth Hickle led the product stewardship program for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, overseeing the implementation of EPR programs for rechargeable batteries, electronics and architectural paint. In his consulting practice, he has worked with a variety of public and private clients on EPR and circular economy policy development for waste electric and electronic equipment, packaging, carpet, mattresses and more. He is currently serving as the managing director of the International Electronics Management Network and has been a board member of the Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) and Conservation Minnesota. Garth is also a senior lecturer at the University of Minnesota. He holds a Ph.D. from Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
David Stitzhal has served as a delegate to national product stewardship dialogues and served on teams advising on product stewardship and EPR matters to Seattle; King County, Washington; the Washington Department of Ecology and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. David also helped develop early local, state and national policy for the take-back of unwanted medications. He was the founding coordinator of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council and served as an original stakeholder of the National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative. He currently serves as board president of the National Stewardship Action Council and president of Full Circle Environmental Inc.
“As more organizations are working to develop a circular economy, there is an increasing interest in shared financial and operational responsibility for materials management,” says Dimino. “Signalfire Group provides a dedicated, focused effort to help governments and businesses navigate the challenges of this new model and apply proven, practiced solutions.”