Will Recycling Survive in your Community?

Recorded On: 05/23/2018

The North American recycling industry has long relied on export markets, such as China, to purchase commodities from processing facilities.  Recently, China changed its acceptance criteria for imported recyclable commodities. The net effect of these changes, known as “China Sword” is a significant reduction in acceptable contamination levels (from 3%+ to 0.5%) in any recovered paper and plastic grades intended for sale in China.  Additionally, China has banned all mixed paper from import, regardless of contamination levels.  As a result, certain areas of the United States have experienced new levels of volatility due to broader industry reliance on China and other export markets as their largest end-market buyers of recyclable commodities.  This webinar will take a look at the China Sword changes, what recycling companies are doing to manage the changes, and offer suggestions on how cities can structure more successful partnerships to address these realities and keep recycling sustainable in your community.

You and your staff will learn:

  • What is China Sword, and how does it impact my Municipality?
  • What are the short term and longer-term impacts of these changes on the recycling industry?
  • What is the importance of public education on helping manage and mitigate impacts from China Sword?
  • How can we better structure long term contracts going forward to ensure recycling remains executable in our communities?

This webinar is complimentary thanks to the sponsorship of an ICMA Strategic Partner who will have access to registration information.

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.

Pete Keller

Vice President, Recycling and Sustainability Republic Services

Pete is responsible for defining and implementing the strategic direction of the sustainability platform for Republic Services, to meet both business objectives and customer needs. His dedication to our Blue Planet is best noted by Republic Services’ recognition as the only Recycling and Waste company in to world to be named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.  Pete is a thought leader in the industry, with contributions to recycling infrastructure development, standards and optimization, development of renewable energy projects, and customer solutions that support the organization’s commitment to sustainability.

Pete has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has served on numerous industry boards and committees during his career. 


05/23/2018 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
05/23/2018 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