SWANA establishes Recycling Task Force

SWANA establishes Recycling Task Force

Task force to help address challenges facing recycling programs in the U.S. and Canada related to activities in China.

February 14, 2018
Edited by Adam Redling

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, has established a Recycling Task Force created to provide guidance to members, industry stakeholders, state/provincial and local governments and elected officials concerning the challenges facing recycling programs in the United States and Canada.

With China’s waste ban already in place and the 0.5 percent contamination standard taking effect March 1, 2018, SWANA’s Recycling Task Force will develop and support strategies for ensuring the continuation of sustainable recycling programs throughout North America.

“SWANA’s Recycling Task Force will reduce dependency on minimal end markets by creating strategies, developing infrastructures and marketing SWANA’s commitment to sustainable recycling programs in North America,” Kim Braun, environmental programs & operations manager for Culver City, California, says. Braun will serve on the Task Force. “Although we may feel some pressure now, the future holds so much opportunity—jobs, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, invention of the newest technologies and the creation of new sustainable markets, all of which the Recycling Task Force will support.”

SWANA’s Recycling Task Force will include representatives from SWANA’s technical divisions, SWANA’s International Board, local government officials, private sector materials recovery facility owners (MRFs) and equipment manufacturers. The full list of Task Force members will be made available later this month.

“The leaders who will serve on this Task Force have expertise in all elements of recycling in North America,” David Biderman, SWANA executive director and CEO, says. “By tapping their expertise and working with all our industry partners, we will be able to take the appropriate steps to protect and enhance recycling programs in the United States and Canada.

“Now that China’s waste import restrictions have taken effect, reducing contamination will be an obvious focus; however, the Task Force will also evaluate strategies for increasing demand for recycled material, and educate elected officials about the job growth opportunities associated with improving domestic recycling operations to meet this challenge,” adds Biderman.

SWANA submitted comments to the World Trade Organization in August 2017 and December 2017, sent a letter to state agencies, has met with government and private sector stakeholders in both the United States and Canada, and now is creating the Recycling Task Force to continue providing leadership and expertise to help address the current disruption in the marketplace.