Rethinking Recycling: Adapting to the New Status Quo

Recorded On: 05/28/2019

The recycling programs of hundreds of municipalities across the United States were thrown into disarray last year when China established a significantly more rigid criteria for the types of recyclable materials they would accept. This change has both considerably increased the cost of many communities' waste management programs while also forcing some of them to send previously recyclable materials to landfills and incinerators.

In this webinar, you'll join a panel of waste management experts from both the public and private sectors as they discuss how the communities they serve have adapted to these changes, and share strategies that may be useful to your own municipality. This webinar will cover:

  • The background to last year's shakeup in municipal waste management
  • How Fort Collins and Mecklenburg County have responded to these new challenges
  • Understanding alternate ways to set up programs for durability

Richard Coupland III

Vice President, Municipal Sales Republic Services

Mr. Coupland joined Republic Services in 2015 as vice president of Municipal Sales.  He currently leads the Municipal market vertical, consisting of partnerships with more than 2400 municipal cities in 40 states and Puerto Rico.  His team provides consultative support to their Municipal partners, to understand and navigate changes in the industry, as well as emerging technology and methods.

Richard received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute, and his Masters degree in Business Administration from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Jeffrey Smithberger

Director, Solid Waste Management

Mr. Smithberger has over 35 years of experience in management and leadership of complex Solid Waste Management Systems. He currently works as the Director of Solid Waste for Mecklenburg County NC, which is where he resides. He previously worked as the Director of Solid Waste in Fairfax County Virginia, where he retired from after 28 years of service in 2011. Both jurisdictions are the most populous regions in their respective states.

He is well versed in working with government, industry and residents on the complexities of solid waste management. Jeff has both an engineering and business background from Virginia Tech, where he attended and graduated.

In Mecklenburg, he oversees ownership and operation of the County’s 100,000 ton per year MRF, a 140,000 ton per year composting operation, and other infrastructure.

Caroline Mitchell

Lead Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist

Caroline Mitchell is the Lead Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist at the City of Fort Collins. She is the lead on recycling education and outreach to the community and calculates the Community Diversion Rate for Fort Collins. Caroline plays a primary role in policy development and implementation and supports recycling in the business and multi-family sectors of Fort Collins.

Caroline has worked in the recycling industry for 16 years, working for non-profit recyclers in Colorado and Michigan prior to joining the City of Fort Collins. She is a member of the board of Recycle Colorado and has a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder. 

David Biderman

Executive Director and CEO, Solid Waste Association of North America

David Biderman is the Executive Director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and has been a leader in the waste industry for more than 20 years.  He has been with SWANA for four years, and has helped it significantly grow its membership and leadership position in both the United States and Canada.  David joined SWANA in April 2015 after 18 years with the National Waste & Recycling Association, where he was their General Counsel, Vice President for Government Affairs, and Safety Director.  He has testified before numerous federal, state and local agencies and councils.  Over the past two years, he has spoken frequently on the challenges and opportunities facing local recycling programs, and participated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s November 2018 America Recycles Day Summit.  David is also very passionate about safety for solid waste workers, and was the recipient of Preco’s Safety in Motion award in 2017, given to an individual who is making a significant difference improving worker safety.  He has provided safety and compliance training to thousands of solid waste and recycling workers throughout the United States and Canada.

Prior to entering the waste industry, David was an attorney at the Washington DC law firm Steptoe & Johnson, where he specialized in environmental and transportation law.


05/28/2019 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
05/28/2019 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
Evaluation Survey
15 Questions
1.50 ICMA CE credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 ICMA CE credits  |  Certificate available