Day 3 – Building an action plan and timetable

Discussion of Advancing Community Level Data Description: Small table breakouts addressing critical questions with guided moderation. Report-outs and general discussion as summarized below.

Recommend 2 ways to ensure communities use data to improve their programs.

• National standardization of definitions.
• Align terms between SMP, EPA Facts and Figures with WARM. Create a tool that aligns or translates between them.
• Needs to be manageable.
• Standardize tools and methods.
• National regulation for requiring measurement.
• Provide economic development data to local elected officials, including economic analysis.
• Need a national contamination rate/study
• Expand scope of data available, like Energy Star Portfolio, to look at trends between public and private sectors.
• Ensure participation from people all over the country in putting a plan together.
• What organization can build consensus among public and private sector?
• Need a common platform for storing and sharing data
• Leveraging contracts, franchise agreements, etc. against reporting requirements
• Reflect what communities value.
• Help communities benchmark.
• Invest in staff.
• Help communities understand how it will affect them.
• Transparency around what folks report compared to their peers, could lead to competition and recognition.
• Use data comparatively to learn from each other, with textiles, NYC has innovative textile programs but there is still a lot disposed, so NYC could look to another community to learn how they compare.
• Create an incentive/award program that features communities that have used the program.
• Target a message around data, how can you target information to residents to improve recycling and waste management.
• Help communities measure their own progress (rather than comparing to other communities).
• Sharing testimonials related to economics, such as siting MRFs based on data.
• MN created a Green Steps Cities program.

Identify 1 example of local data not commonly collected now that should be, and recommend how to expand collection of that data.

• Get a handle on non-residential tons.
• Multi-family units.
• Dumpster dives and talking to haulers and analyze what is being wasted.
• Contamination rates, often overlooked at the local government level.
• Identify true costs.

Recommend 2 ways to ensure linkages between local, state and national data.

• Acceptance of what is the important data everyone should collect
• Continuing to use new technology for acquiring data
• States could consolidate and aggregate data
• Consistent language and platforms that talk to each other
• Everyone uses different language and definitions, need a common language.
• Can’t use Facts and Figures to calculate GHG in WARM
• Requiring data reporting from national to state to local level
• Require in franchise agreement to provide data

Identify 2 ways to ensure the integrity of local data.

• Measure what you can and don’t measure what you can’t (don’t measure chicken litter).
• Delivering a service to rate payers.
• Understand the quality of material moving across state and national jurisdictions so we understand quality which translates to economic value
• Show them the monies/resources they are missing out on – carrot versus the stick – used tire situation in TN
• Communicate the effects of contamination of recyclables and show how the cost of extra maintenance of equipment comes back to them – show the long-term effects.
• Communities who are overloaded with social messages, not interested in another environmental program. So need to change the message – make it about dollars and cents to them as a taxpayer
• Greater communications.
• Not a lot of people are as passionate about seeing the data – Joe Citizen not interested in data – but use the data to craft a targeted message to address Joe Citizen’s specific problem or interest.
• Citizen level communication to create buy-in and make people more aware of what they are wasting.
• At the community level, the value of collecting data is to increase awareness, it’s circular – so you need to pinpoint an issue or a problematic material.
• Showing them the value by tying it back to the dollars and cents.
• Materials are always changing and it’s an ever-changing environment so need to keep them aware of the landscape and what is recyclable or reusable.


Discussion of Advancing State and National Level Data Description: Small table breakouts addressing critical questions with guided moderation. Report-outs and general discussion.

Recommend 2 critical elements of a national plan to advance national and state level data.

• A system modeled after Portfolio Manager (PM), the work of SERDC and a certain degree the TRI, report up State and LG data and report it in context of Facts and Figures (F&F) and report user location, start the work of mapping material flows. Have a certain amount available free and then after that there would be a fee. To give info on where the MRFs and end users are.
• National level organizer is needed (federal government or a non-regulatory agency or a partnership)
• Organics and work with states to report that data
• Economic development data that can be applied regionally and include in a national platform
• Within F&F break down and address in the wasted energy data to identify types and flow of materials
• Model it on regulatory side of things for DHS that sets minimum standards that states have to meet to collect data
• Federal gov’t should require states to have SMM plans, with different goals for different states
• Require states to be accredited and set a standard for accreditation like a college but for measurement (Recycling University)
• Required element of state SMM plans should be a measurement element

Recommend 1 or 2 methods to coordinate groups that collect state and national data.

• Use states’ managers meetings to get into the nitty gritty and make decisions, maybe hold the meetings more frequently
• More collaboration, possibly some type of online communication platform for measurement, could be available to communities, businesses, etc. Could use the portal to collect data without overlap of data.
• EPA should sponsor the previous idea
• Need for definition help for commodity groups
• If you can solve it at the community level, then it filters up
Identify 1 example of national and state level data not commonly collected now that should be and make a recommendation on how the collection of that data should expand.
• Direct to end-market industry information. For example , Arkansas promised Walmart confidentiality in their reporting and that worked well with aggregated data.
• In Maryland, Walmart and Target and Dollar Stores report directly to the state so they don’t have to report to the local government.
• The point of SMM is to minimize the impact of material, so states are not collecting the total impact of materials in their states like Oregon
• Do a better job collecting information beyond the boundaries of MSW. Collect at the local level.

Recommend 1 or 2 ways states and the EPA could help strengthen local data.

• Capture rate concept standardized and benchmarked.
• Provide support and tools especially to smaller communities.
• State and EPA could provide guidance on sample contract and franchise language.
• If you don’t contract or franchise, you can accomplish the same data collection through licensing haulers.

Identify 2 ways to ensure the integrity of national and state data.

• Need generation rates at the state level within Facts and Figures.
• Need to further engage industry to get data collected.
• Coordinate with commodity groups and national measurement at the EPA level.
• Publish the data in a comparable format over a period of years, even if the data is imperfect.
• Money, time and communication.
• Ensure someone is there to collect and report data consistently.
• Federal funding to provide state level staff to collect and compile data – e.g. a floating contractor paid for by EPA.
• Report data in a more granular format, be transparent about how data is aggregated
• Annual audits of data at local levels to ensure quality is checked. Maybe check a sample each year. Also at the state and national level.
• The amount of data, the more we have, the less margin of error, so if you don’t contribute data you’re contributing to the data integrity problem. Be consistent in reporting. Be constant.
• Seek granularity – the lowest level you can put in, the better. Accredited agency to review. Use industry marketing definitions.
• Do Quality Assurance and Quality Control.
• Document best practices, in addition to quantitative data. Should also be looking at BMPs.
• The solutions to data collection at the community level should be easily scaled up to the national level
• A top down methodology to correlate/sync the different kinds of state data.
• Uniform definitions as part of the methodology.
• The states should provide the platforms to the communities to help them report similarly.
• No team at the state level? All states don’t have the proper manpower.
• Focus more on the commodities versus the communities – it might not need to be a competition, some don’t want to be compared, they feel like they can’t compete – understand the ?
• Data collection needs to consider population densities – they don’t all have the same infrastructure – so it’s not fair to compare them.
• Could do an urban v rural analysis – think about challenges for data collection for each, they are different.
• MMP could do a lot for standardization – that’s one path to get us on the same page as a nation.
• If we had a platform that had each commodity – we could do national and state analysis – still need definition help and it should be set at the national level in conversation with industry experts.
• Building diverse coalitions to tackle specific issues, like the Atlanta example.

National Plan suggestions

• EPA identify and use the broader use of policy drivers to assist States and industry share, collect and report data (i.e. FTC environmental claims and economic development).
• Provide integrated platform for data collection and sharing.
• Economic analysis of material and material flow within system view.
• National contamination rate and study.
• Use of platform that States and Locals and industry can use to identify hot spots – focused efforts and in economic development as part of the foundation for the benefits of collecting and sharing data.
• Take MMP Platform and use as a jumping off point as an incentive for local government to report
• Interface with private sector on supplemental data to fill in data gaps.
• Provide consistent definitions and data elements from a systems approach.
• Opportunity for collaboration on template between access study and its updates and local government reporting templates, definitions, etc.., that is also useful and relevant for local governments
• Can EPA ask for States to update their solid waste management plans using measurement platforms as a mechanism to accomplish (soft policy approach)?
• Integrate and expand analytics through incorporating designed SMM principles and LCA tools to inform decision makers (identified end users).
• Opportunity for collaboration on template between access study and its updates and local government reporting templates, definitions etc.., that is also useful and relevant for local governments.
• Design with intent to support local community programs and efforts.
• Integrate with and access to the wider spectrum of data that is available and being collected by all entities that go beyond collection. Connect locals to materials that make most sense and align programs.
• Evolve the platform based on information and feedback from this summit and act.
• Organics: Work with States on a reporting template and how better to collect and report data.
• Economic development data and analytics that can be applied regionally that is relevant locally. Include in national platform.
• Within Fact and Figures and extended SMP platform — breakdown and address WTE (in context of WTE from the broader list of conversion processes and approaches) and the type and flow of materials through this category