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SMM Strategy

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In an effort to illuminate and elevate the issues around Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) to the forefront of national policy and create a plan of action to move SMM forward, the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) organized the first ever SMM Summit on May 12-13, 2015 at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. More than 130 individuals representing a diverse set of stakeholders came together to discuss the challenges and opportunities around SMM and strategize how the NRC network relates to and can support implementing SMM nationally.

The SMM Summit dialogue and participant-submitted white papers¹ generated hundreds of suggestions and concepts that NRC will use to facilitate the development of a National Recyclers+² SMM Action Plan (Action Plan). The volume of suggestions, along with the importance of the issues and the magnitude of the job make it imperative that NRC works in collaboration with all interested parties and stakeholders to develop a consensus on the recommendations for an Action Plan.

While facilitating the development of this consensus Action Plan, NRC will implement this Strategy as an internal work plan which will continue to support recycling and Recyclers+, various SMM initiatives utilizing existing NRC assets and tools, and obtaining additional resources to grow the SMM program over the next 24 months. NRC will continue collaborating and forming partnerships to support these efforts, as well. Ultimately NRC’s work will focus on the role of Recyclers+ in SMM, complementing and informing broader SMM initiatives.

¹For white papers and SMM Summit summary documents go to

²Recyclers + refers to professionals broadly involved with reuse, recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, and extended producer responsibility.

The SMM Strategy Plan was approved by the NRC Board on September 29, 2015.

View the Final Draft of the SMM Strategy Plan here.