- The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) have signed a memorandum of understanding that indicates the groups will collaborate on educational strategies for recycling and food waste, according to a press statement.
- The agreement — which is intended to "strengthen both associations," according to SWANA CEO David Biderman — will allow the groups to increase goal awareness and communication to a larger audience.
- The statement suggests the groups will also continue to collaborate on "topics of mutual interest" after this initial round of collaboration.
While each industry association has a unique base of members and supporters, collaboration is the key to creating change. This has been seen with the Slow Down to Get Around initiative, a national campaign that has been pushed by both SWANA and the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), among other groups. Additionally, SWANA has teamed up with the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) to collaborate on a range of projects, which has led to various industry outreach and surveys.
Recycling and food waste diversion both continue to be problematic nationwide as major cities struggle to reach benchmarks and targets. Traditional educational tactics — such as flyers or door-to-door campaigns — have been deemed unsuccessful, and the industry is now desperate for new practices to improve rates. Through this new collaboration, it is hopeful that SWANA and ASTSWMO will spark new ideas to educate citizens and keep recyclables and organics out of landfills.