Plastics Recycling in the Capitol Region and Beyond: Myths vs Markets

Co-sponsored by: The Honest Weight Food Co-op of Albany & The New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3).
Zoom meeting technology provided by the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions (SU-CSCS).

Description: Single use plastic packaging has become ubiquitous in our world. While the use of plastics became widespread due to their utility, versatility and affordability, most people are now also familiar with the problems connected with single use plastics such as global ocean and local watershed pollution and other environmental and human health issues. This presentation and panel discussion will touch on alternatives to single use plastics and state and national efforts on the issue, but will primarily focus on plastics recycling in New York’s Capital Region and other parts of the state and the east coast: recycling rules and acceptable materials, how plastics are sorted at MRFs (Materials Recovery Facilities), markets and end uses for the specific types of plastic resins, and popular myths surrounding plastics recycling. Recycling experts and MRF operators will give presentations, followed by a Q&A panel discussion.

- Dan Lilkas-Rain, Recycling Coordinator, Town of Bethlehem, NY and Vice President, NYSAR3
- Elaine Hills, Honest Weight Food Co-op Environmental Committee

- Resa Dimino, Managing Principal, RRS (Resource Recycling Systems) and Partner, Signalfire Group
- John Brady & Nate Kelman, Twin Bridges Waste & Recycling

Tech Host: Savannah Betkowski, Assistant Coordinator, NYSAR3

Presenter Biographies:
Resa Dimino is a managing principal with RRS, a sustainability and materials management consulting firm, and a partner at Signalfire Group, a subsidiary of RRS focused on supporting governments and businesses to navigate policy and regulation to move toward a circular economy. Resa has over 30 years of experience in waste reduction, recycling, product stewardship, and environmental economic development. Resa’s recent projects include the study of PET thermoform recycling costs and material flows, and mapping the infrastructure and material flow of plastics in the US and Canada.

John Brady is the President of Twin Bridges Waste and Recycling. After graduating from the University of Albany, John was brought into the waste and recycling industry as a mentor under Scott Earl. John and Scott began Twin Bridges in July of 2019 and have grown from a 6000 home customer base to over 100,000 homes and businesses in 2 and a half years. 

Nate Kelman is a young entrepreneur in the recycling industry both on a local and international level and also an industry resource for Twin Bridges. Nate carries a wealth of knowledge when it comes to recycling product marketability. Nate is directly involved in how recyclable material at homes and businesses in our area get from the recycling center, to the hands of the specialists and organizations around the world who are directly involved in transforming the material into a reusable product.

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