Regional Recycling Market Development Workshop

The New Mexico Recycling Coalition partnered with National Recycling Coalition to host the southwest region's first regional recycling market development workshop.  Nearly 90 recycling and economic development professionals from New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Colorado gathered in Albuquerque on June 11, 2019 to work towards regional recycling market development.  The morning consisted of presentations from leaders in recycling market development, followed by an afternoon working session to identify 1) key recycling market solutions; 2) broad actions necessary to bring about the solutions and 3) specific action steps required to advance the broad action.  Attendees chose "accountability partners" to check in with in the next three months to ensure that specific action steps are being completed.

The next steps for New Mexico include a statewide recycling education campaign as part of the Rio Grande Recycling Corridor.  The campaign is funded by the New Mexico Environment Department's Recycling and Illegal Dumping grant that was awarded to the South Central Solid Waste Authority to develop a Recycling Education Campaign along the Rio Grande Corridor (Santa Fe to El Paso).  The goal of the campaign is to produce replicable outreach material that can be utilized statewide to reduce contamination at the curb or at the drop off center.

Additional next steps include a webinar hosted by NMRC in the fall of 2019 to note progress made towards regional recycling market development.  Webinar details will be posted as the date approaches.

Download the training agenda HERE

The presentations from the training can be downloaded at the links below:

Brief Look at Recycling Markets in New MexicoSarah Pierpont, Executive Director, NM Recycling Coalition

National Recycling Coalition and Market DevelopmentDave Keeling, President of National Recycling Coalition and Director of Steel Recycling Institute

The Nuts and Bolts of Recycling Market DevelopmentSusan Bush, Principal at Circular Matters

Recycling Market Development at the State Level —  South Carolina Recycling Market Development and see the Your Bottle Means Jobs video here Chantal Fryer, Director of Recycling Market Development, South Carolina Dept of Commerce and Market Development in Minnesota Wayne Gjerde, Recycling Market Development Coordinator, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Marketability from the curb to the MRF to market: Public, Private and Industry Partnerships Panel Discussion —  Recycling Markets and New Mexico Morris Friedman, President Friedman Recycling Companies; Contamination Reduction: El Paso Case Study Kurt Fenstermacher, Deputy Director Environ. Services Dept, City of El Paso; A Circular Material Solution for a World Drowning in Plastic Waste Bill Shepard, VP Of Marketing Continuus Materials, LLC

Group Facilitation Breakout Discussion led by Resource Recycling Systems — Small group facilitated discussions to identify where we want to be one year from now and what are the resources needed to get there — Kelly Domino,  Resource Recycling Systems

Program and Speaker Highlights

Susan Bush (above), Principal at Circular Matters, will give the opening presentation focusing on defining recycling market development (RMD) and how it differs from other recycling-related efforts. Susan will present her research on historical recycling market development concepts, what proved to be effective and why, and bring that information into present day circumstances. Susan will outline how to approach and strategically plan for RMD, and describe how RMD fits with the circular economy.

Attendees from Susan's presentation will take away information that will allow them to approach RMD in a thoughtful, strategic way.

Susan possesses over 20 years expertise working in the diversion industry and specializes in sustainable materials management and waste minimization. As a consultant, she helps clients implement programs and policies to reach their particular waste minimization and recycling goals.  Areas of expertise include materials market development, market analyses, program assessment and enhancement, policy analysis, developing waste and sustainable materials management plans, and developing professional certification training courses for recycling professionals. Susan has helped local, state and provincial governments, private companies, and industry organizations develop and improve their  diversion programs.


Chantal Fryer (above) has served as the Director of the Recycling Market Development at the South Carolina Department of Commerce for the past 13 years.  She manages the 14 member Governor-appointed South Carolina Recycling Market Development Advisory Council whose role is to advise the state on markets and actions necessary to continue to increase recycling in the state. She assists the recycling industry with market analysis and other economic development work. She provides manufacturers with technical assistance to help them recycle materials, connecting them with the $13 billion recycling industry across the state. She manages the Your Bottle Means Jobs campaign that connects the act of recycling with the jobs it creates and is a partner with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control on the Don't Waste Food SC initiative to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.

NMRC/NRC will provide top-notch experts who will lead the conversation to further the recycling markets development discussion, including Chantal Fyer.  Chantal will discuss recycling market development at the state level, how this is achieved and who benefits.

With Chantal’s leadership the economic impact of recycling in the state now exceeds $13 billion.   South Carolina is home to over 500 recycling companies including collectors, processors, recycled product manufacturers and equipment makers.   In the last 5 years, the Commerce department helped facilitate the recycling industry recruitment of 3432 jobs, $1,641 billion in capital investment, and 50 new or existing companies investing in South Carolina.

How did they do this and how can we work towards this in New Mexico?  Chantal will explain her work providing business matchmaking support, administering one-on-one materials management consultation, working with existing and emerging markets for materials, and tracking the economic impact of the recycling industry.

Wayne Gjerde is the Recycling Market Development Coordinator with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  Wayne possesses over 35 years of experience in market development, financial analysis, new business start-ups, and new product development in both the private and public sector.  Wayne will discuss his work consulting with startup and expanding recycling companies in the areas of finance, new product development, business plan development, sales and marketing.   His presentation will also highlight his extensive economic analysis work that links the environment and economy.

Morris Friedman, President of Friedman Recycling Companies which operates Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in El Paso,
Albuquerque, Phoenix and Tucson and processes curbside recycling for the Cities of El Paso, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Los Alamos, Durango and Phoenix. Friedman Recycling Companies handles about 13,000 tons of material each month.  Morris will speak to marketability from the MRF’s perspective—what commodities pose the biggest challenge, how are they are addressing these current challenges, how have they improved quality and reduced contamination?

Kurt Fenstermacher, Deputy Director of Environmental Services Department at the City of El Paso, will provide a case study of the City’s efforts to reduce contamination, which hovered around 35%.  Kurt worked with The Recycling Partnership to organize and implement a cart-tagging and educational program that resulted in a 15% decrease in contamination within 8 weeks.  How did they achieve this and what did they do differently that saw a shift in the right direction?

Kurt helped the City of El Paso launch curbside recycling in 2007.  Kurt serves on the board of the Municipal Waste Management Association (MWMA) and previously served in board leadership roles of the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) and the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP).

Bill Shepard, VP of Marketing for Continuus Materials, LLC, is a serial entrepreneur with over 30 years experience working in product design, and technology. Continuus Materials is the parent company to ReWall which transformed a big idea into realty by turning locally collected waste into locally distributed building materials.  Through green manufacturing and partnerships with public and private entities Bill will explain the steps taken to transform a hard-to-recycle item (aseptic and gable top cartons) into a usable commodity.   ReWall's Everboard is not only made from 100% post consumer recycled materials, but it is 100% recyclable at the end of its life and also outperforms similar products for durability, weather resistance and insulation.  Bill will outline future product development opportunities related to retail signage and additional construction materials.

Kelly Domino Image

Kelly Domino, Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) - Kelly Domino is a consultant at RRS with 8 years of experience in solid waste management, sustainable materials management, and resource recovery. Her skill set based in technical writing, research support, and communications enables Kelly to lend support to a variety of projects including university zero waste, private corporation sustainability outreach, and trade association product stewardship. Prior to joining RRS, Kelly assisted in environmental management projects at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, as well as on solid waste and recycling program work in the sustainable materials management section of the US EPA in Region 4. Kelly will lead the facilitated discussion and breakout session that takes place in the afternoon.  Kelly will use her expertise to guide attendees on identifying how they would like local recycling markets to evolve and what are the necessary steps to get there.   

RRS is a proud sponsor of the NRC workshops since they began in 2018. Our team has worked with the NRC to organize and facilitate the workshops throughout the US to bring best practices and improvement to recovery programs.

The agenda wraps up with "Next Steps" which will highlight existing plans to improve the marketability of recyclables, include information on new tools working to "Close the Loop by Buying Recycled," and summarize action plans identified during the facilitated breakout session.

Thank you to Susan, Chantal, Wayne, Kurt, Bill, and Kelly for helping to make the training a success!