An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Recycling and Resource Recovery as a Tool for Regional Economic Development

On this page:

Webinar Description

Wednesday, November 20, 2019, from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries 2019 Economic Impact Study (PDF)(8 pp, 8.06 MB, About PDF) Exitestimated that the United States scrap recycling sector contributes $110B to overall economic activity.  Could this figure could be more than doubled if the full value of the U.S. recyclable waste stream was captured? According to EPA’s Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2015 Fact Sheet, the United States is only capturing 34.7 percent (including composting) of the 75 percent of total recyclable material found within our municipal solid waste. 

During this webinar we will explore the mission of the Upcyclers Network, a newly formed non-governmental organization whose mission is to support the growth of the “waste as a resource” industry and unlock the value of recirculating recycled, recovered, and discarded material back into our economy. In addition, two public sector experts will share their perspectives on the importance of framing resource recovery as an economic development strategy and what tools and policies are needed to best capture the full potential of the United States waste stream.

Video: Recycling and Resource Recovery as a Tool for Regional Economic DevelopmentExit

Top of Page


this is a picture of Gina Lee of the Upcyclers NetworkGina Lee, Upcyclers Network - Gina is the Founder of the Upcyclers Network Exitand is a passionate advocate for businesses that are creating value from “waste”. The Upcyclers Network was founded to challenge our reliance on natural resource extraction and build a sustainable economy where waste is simply a resource out of place.

Gina has over 15 years of experience working in Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Impact in the United States, China, and Germany.  Her past roles include working with the Aspen Institute, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, and Mercy Corps. Gina has a BA in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She believes that social entrepreneurs will change the world and is a judge for the Echoing Green Fellowship Program and the NYC Curb-to-Market Challenge.

this is a picture of Steve Lautze, the Founding President of the California Association of Recycling Market Development ZonesSteve Lautze,  Founding President, California Association of Recycling Market Development Zones - After working for 20+ years as the Green/Industrial Specialist on the City of Oakland's Business Development Team, Steve has retired from local government to pursue independent projects in recycling market development and other sustainability initiatives, doing business as Resource Revolution.  In this role, Steve will continue to seek strategies that create good jobs while reducing climate impact.

Steve co-founded the Recycling BIN (Build Infrastructure Now) Coalition, and is also past President of the California Association of Recycling Market Development Zones Exit (2003-19) and the Northern California Recycling Association (1993-95).  He earned a BS in Land Resources Planning from Stanford University in 1982, where he started his recycling career, including managing the campus recycling center.

this is a picture of Will Sagar of the Southeast Recycling Development CouncilWill Sagar, Southeast Recycling Development Council - Will Sagar is the Executive Director of the Southeast Recycling Development Council Exit.  SERDC’s mission is to unite industry, government and non-government organizations to promote sustainable recycling in the Southeast.  Efforts include a specific focus upon the economic impact of the recycling industry.

Will graduated from the University of North Carolina with a double major on Economics and Mathematics.  After selling the excavation business he built and operated for a decade, he was the Solid Waste Director for Transylvania County, North Carolina for 16 years. While there he started the recycling program, built the first lined landfill in North Carolina mountains, implemented Pay As You Throw (PAYT), and established permanent household hazardous waste and electronics collection. Later with Henderson County, he started electronics collection and created a county energy accounting system. 

Will served as President of the Board of Directors the Carolina Recycling Association. When not at meetings, Will can be found on his bicycle. 

Top of Page


You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.