SERDC, RRS and US EPA Region 4 Team Up to Provide Tools to Help Make the Case for Recycling in the Southeast

(ANN ARBOR, MI) September 7, 2018– In the face of market uncertainties – including the evolving waste stream, commodity pricing, and bans on commodity imports – solid waste and recycling program managers are faced with hard questions and program considerations.

“The current complexity of logistics for recycling and disposal has grown exponentially,” said Will Sagar,  Southeast Recycling Development Council (SERDC) Executive Director.  “The myriad of management options the public works director faces today are difficult to navigate and multifaceted when justifying a program expenditure to an elected board of decision makers.”

SERDC and EPA Region 4, have identified the need to develop integrated solid waste management (ISWM) evaluation tools that consider how to manage and recycle solid waste in ways that are most effective and economically sound.

The collaboration helped to inform the US EPA Region 4 and RRS in the creation of two tools to assist local governments in the Southeast to analyze their recycling programs. The tools use assumptions based on national and regionalized data and are meant to provide insight and direction for further community-specific research and planning.

“These tools will set community leaders on the path toward identifying the right solutions for their local conditions and the ability to communicate the findings to key stakeholders including elected officials, finance departments, city managers, and residents,” said Sagar.

An Introduction to Funding and Accounting is a guide to assist local governments with analyzing and maximizing their solid waste systems to identify, collect, track, and analyze costs associated with their services. The tool helps solid waste/recycling personnel and their elected leadership to ask appropriate questions and introduces methods of funding to assist in optimizing their community program based on local conditions.

The Recycling Program Scenario Model is an Excel®-based model that uses community-specific data (e.g., location, number of households, participation level, etc.) to calculate estimates for various recycling program scenarios including collection types, hub-and-spoke models and more. The free tools are hosted on the SERDC website at

The US EPA Region 4 is hosting a free two-part webinar series Making the Case for Recycling 101 & 201 on Sept 13 at 2 pm ET and Sept 26 at 2 pm ET that will feature the tools and guest speakers sharing real-world experiences on making the case for recycling for decision-makers and elected officials. Register for the free webinars at

The US EPA Region 4 is also offering a half-day interactive workshop during the SERDC Summit on November 12, for state and local government representatives, county and district leaders, solid waste directors, recycling managers and coordinators, SRO directors, and others to learn how to make the case for recycling in their communities. This workshop will feature the free tools, as well as the knowledge to introduce these concepts and tools to others in their local communities. More information on the workshop can be found on the SERDC website at


About US EPA Region 4

The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. The US EPA Region 4 serves Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and six tribes.

About RRS

Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, RRS is a sustainability and recycling consulting firm that strives to create a world where resources are managed to maximize economic and social benefit while minimizing environmental harm. The firm has industry professionals, engineers, economists, technical analysts, and communication specialists who share this vision and possess core strengths in materials and recovery, life cycle management, applied sustainable design, and collaborative action development.


The Southeast Recycling Development Council works to unite industry, government, and non-government organizations to promote sustainable recycling in the Southeast.  Goals include fostering communication among these groups, promoting best management practices, and communicating the economic impact recycling brings to the region.