Waste360 recently caught up with Susan Robinson, federal public affairs director for Waste Management, Inc.—a leading provider of comprehensive environmental solutions services in North America.
Robinson will be speaking at the upcoming Recycling Summit, moderating the panel on “The Real Truth about EPR.”
Please enjoy this sneak peek into what promises to be a great session!
Waste360: What can attendees expect from your "Real Truth about EPR" session?
Susan Robison: Extended producer responsibility discussions in the U.S. tend to include broad, sweeping statements. This EPR session will allow for a deeper dive into the discussion about what EPR is, and what it is not. It will also explore the policies that drive the best recycling programs in the U.S. and in other countries, utilizing data to make meaningful analysis.
Waste360: Could you mention a few key takeaways that attendees will be able to apply to their own businesses?
Susan Robinson: A key takeaway from this session will be: knowing what questions to ask about EPR as it pertains to each attendee. For example, what questions should we ask about our recycling programs to understand which policy drivers will be the most effective levers to drive sustainable recycling in the future in our communities?
Waste360: How did you get into this fascinating industry?
Susan Robinson: I was working for a nonprofit environmental organization, focused on water quality and forestry issues in Washington State in 1986. We were asked to engage in the City of Seattle’s debate between waste-to-energy and recycling. In learning about recycling and solid waste issues, I became hooked. Within two years, I was working for the City of Seattle on their multi-family recycling program.
Waste360: As federal public affairs director at Waste Management, what's on your radar these days?
Susan Robinson: Sustainable Materials Management, or SMM, is a key policy shift that we are supporting. We are interested in helping promote the idea of using lifecycle thinking to ensure we are making the right materials-management decisions along the supply chain—focusing on overall environmental benefits rather than the current “weight-based” focus that drives much narrower goals and programs.
We love your focus on the environmental benefits of the important work we all do!