Washington DC – The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) announced the first-ever Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Summit to be held May 12 – 13, 2015, at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. The one-and-a-half day Summit will launch a national dialog intended to accelerate sustainable materials management in the United States, and is co-hosted by the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions/Environmental Finance Center, and University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center.
“The Summit aims to enrich the value and role of sustainable materials management initiatives in businesses, states, and local communities across the United States, across North America, and beyond” said NRC Board President and CEO, Mark Lichtenstein. “Ultimately we want to accelerate SMM as a method of choice for avoiding the generation of discarded material. At this Summit, a focus will be on the sustainable management of materials that have been discarded.  The Summit’s approach will be to generate action-oriented strategies.  At the end of the day, this ‘unconference’ will have produced the beginnings of a refined SMM strategy-based plan” Lichtenstein continued.
The Summit will bring together 200 of the most innovative thinkers and practitioners working on issues around how natural resources are extracted, used, and then managed after their initial end-of-life. It also includes leaders in source reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling. NRC will develop the start of a SMM National Plan based on a facilitated dialogue among a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The intent is to identify deeper collaborative connections for actions and activities in the future among progressive businesses, federal, regional, state and local governments, reuse and recycling organizations, trade and industry groups, and other nonprofits.
Initial Supporters of the SMM Summit include ReTrac, the Steel Recycling Institute, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Broad and inclusive Advisory and Steering Committees (see below) are also helping to organize this important event, which represent all segments of reuse, recycling, and composting in America.
About the National Recycling Coalition
The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization focused on promoting and enhancing SMM in North America, with a network of more than 6,000 members extending across waste reduction, reuse, composting, and recycling. For more than 30 years, the NRC has been a leader in driving education and policy around SMM. Learn more about the NRC at www.nrcrecycles.org, and the SMM Summit at https://nrcrecycles.org/get-involved/2015smmsummit/.
About Sustainable Materials Management
The US EPA defines SMM as “an approach to serving human needs by using/reusing resources most productively and sustainably throughout their life cycles, from the point of resource extraction through material disposal. This approach seeks to minimize the amount of materials involved as well as associated environmental impacts, and account for economic efficiency and social considerations.” SMM includes actions across the full life-cycle of materials, including but not limited to managing materials after they have been discarded. SMM is about environmental justice, regional solutions, job training and local job creation, new materials science and design for recycling, innovative financing, product stewardship, sustainable organics management, a nexus of market-based and policy-based solutions, reuse and repurposing, highest-and-best use analysis for local decision-making, new management technology, enhanced recycling, and many more.


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