During the Wal-Mart Sustainability Expo, held April 30, 2014, the Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC)
and the Curbside Value Partnership (CVP)
launched an organization called The Recycling Partnership
, a public-private recycling initiative that has been designed to boost recycling efforts throughout the Southeast.
The creation of the partnership is a result of SERDC 120, which is a group of companies, trade associations and public entities collaborating in an intensive, 120-day process to explore the best paths for increased recovery of quality recyclables in the Southeast, according to the organizations. Through SERDC 120, these companies and associations began the early stages of pooling funds to increase recycling efforts in cities that have been identified as viable partners.
“We are excited with the initial verbal and fiscal support of this fast-paced and focused public-private partnership,” says Keefe Harrison, CVP executive director.
CVP will handle the administrative functions for the Recycling Partnership, while SERDC will remain an integral part of the initiative, according to the Recycling Partnership.
Will Sagar, SERDC executive director, says, “Our combined efforts proved to not only reach SERDC’s ambitious goals, but go beyond what the industry could have expected. This is an exciting time for recycling and packaging recovery. While the goal was ambitious, the work was organized, moved quickly and engaged many of the leading packaging and recycling experts in the United States. The Recycling Partnership will work to boost recycling rates in the southeastern U.S. through outreach and infrastructure improvements.”
Designated timelines, budgets and potential partnerships for each specific location are scheduled to begin July 1, 2014, and continue through 2015 and beyond.
Members of the Recycling Partnership include the Alcoa Foundation, Coca-Cola and the Carton Council, as well as several additional firms and organizations that are expected to join by July 1, 2014.
Cody Marshall, project manager for SERDC 120 and an employee of Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says, “Cities know they need these improvements but often can’t pull the trigger because of competing priorities within their local government. If the private sector is able to work with the selected cities and offer a portion of the funding they requested, it will most likely unlock the other funds needed from the local level and leverage possible state grants to purchase important infrastructure that will inevitably increase supply.”
Sagar adds, “It has been exciting to engage with the leading recycling and packaging experts in the Unites States, and SERDC looks forward to The Recycling Partnership’s continued progress. This project has momentum.”