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Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: National Recycling Strategy

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Webinar Description

Tuesday, October 27, 2020; 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a draft National Recycling Strategy and is now seeking public input through December 4th, 2020. The draft National Recycling Strategy identifies strategic objectives and actions needed to create a stronger, more resilient, and cost-effective U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system.

This webinar will provide participants who may wish to comment on the draft with an overview of the draft National Recycling Strategy, as well the key questions EPA hopes commenters will answer. The draft National Recycling Strategy was developed as part of EPA’s continued leadership in addressing the challenges facing the U.S. recycling system, including: confusion about what materials can be recycled, recycling infrastructure that has not kept pace with today’s diverse and changing waste stream, reduced markets for recycled materials, and varying methodologies to measure recycling system performance. The draft strategy identifies actions to address these challenges that build on the collaborative efforts by stakeholders from across the recycling system that began under EPA’s 2019 National Framework for Advancing the U.S. Recycling SystemThe draft strategy organizes high-level actions around three strategic objectives to improve the U.S. recycling system: 

  • Reduce contamination, 
  • Increase processing efficiency, and 
  • Improve markets. 

The National Recycling Strategy, when finalized, will be aligned with and support implementation of the national recycling goal(s), which EPA intends to announce in November 2020.

Video: National Recycling StrategyExit

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Speaker and Moderator

Photo of Meghan RadtkeSpeaker: Meghan Radtke, Ph.D. is a special assistant in the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a position she has held for the past 5 years.  She works on a diverse portfolio of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) topics, including recycling.  Prior to her current position, Meghan spent 4 years in EPA’s Office of Pesticides Programs working on ecological risk assessments, two years in EPA’s Office of the Science Advisor working on cross-cutting environmental issues, and one year at the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality working in the remediation program.  She has a B.S. in Biology from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Louisiana State University. 
Photo of Kim CochranModerator: Dr. Kimberly Cochran is the Chief of the Sustainable Materials Branch in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, leading the team that works on the National Recycling Strategy, the sustainable management of plastics and electronics, increasing international resource efficiency, and developing tools and information to understand the life cycle impacts of materials. She previously worked at the U.S. Department of State on international chemicals and waste issues, including developing the new Minamata Convention on Mercury, as well as working on issues under the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. Dr. Cochran also previously worked at EPA on concerns associated with construction and demolition (C&D) debris. Dr. Cochran has a Ph.D. (2006), M.E. (2001), and B.S. (2000) in environmental engineering from the University of Florida where she focused her studies on the measurement and life cycle impacts of C&D debris.


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