Project Launch Aimed at Building Local Economies Through Recycling

November 18, 2016, Ann Arbor, Mich. – Sustainability and recycling consultancy Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) joins the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center in announcing a new collaborative project aimed at increasing high value material recycling and capturing the related economic benefits in U.S. city regions.

RRS Beyond 34 Circular Economy Key PlayersBeyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for a New Economy is focused on breaking through the current 34 percent recycling rate in the U.S. It will provide a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates and help communities, cities, and businesses create new local jobs and achieve sustainability goals.

Beyond 34 leverages shared interests among key players in the product and packaging value chain including leading retailers, manufacturers, recycling industry service providers and local community leaders in a selected city region.

RRS will map the major commercial and residential recyclable streams, and identify a prioritized set of interventions to optimize local recycling and reuse. The results are expected to attract new reprocessing and end market manufacturers to the city region.

“Well managed companies reject the practice of discarding valuable materials in landfills and aim to create stable supplies of recycled feedstock for new products and packaging.  They want to see the economic benefit such as jobs and tax revenues realized in communities where they operate.  This is the circular economy in practice,” said Susan Graff, RRS principal and Beyond 34 project lead. “By looking beyond their own operations and working collectively on recycling system development, these companies have the potential to collectively accelerate the U.S. towards a market-driven approach to recycling and avoid the need for increased regulation.”

The project, initially funded by the Walmart Foundation, Target, Walgreens, Republic Services and Dow will be conducted in a phased approach beginning in January 2017.

“Our hope is that this project can provide a blueprint for companies and communities to successfully recycle and reuse materials that will drive positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes,” said Jennifer Gerholdt, senior director of the environment program for the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center. “Together, we can achieve a circular economy by putting more recovered valuable material back into global supply chains.”

More information about Beyond 34  is available on the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s website.




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 cutting-edge 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. RRS serves both the public and private sectors to manage change in a resource-constrained world.


Media Contact

Melissa Radiwon, Marketing Manager, RRS