The Big Picture

SMMP Credit: Materials Processing Infrastructure and Market Development Policy 

(2 Points, Non-Reciprocal) (Qualitative)


Credit Summary

To ensure that all collected materials are being used to their fullest potential. This aims to improve economic opportunity for the recovered materials market through policy that has been created by the local government. 


Impact Summary

SMMP is a driving factor in The SWEEP Standard. Redeveloping the market is an essential part of our mission and implementing a well defined and transformative policy plays a critical role in this redevelopment. Without this policy, there would be no guidelines or restrictions regarding material processing which would leave us in the same precarious spot we are in today. 


Submittal Summary



Local Governments & Industry Leaders
  • A document demonstrating that a new material processing and market development policy is being, or has been established.


Case Study & Benefits

More and more corporations are becoming involved in the materials reuse sector as a direct result of government incentives and environmentally conscious policy. Cities all across the globe are implementing grants, tax breaks, and zoning policies which support green business and the industry for recovered materials manufacturing and processing. These types of policies and principles have already been demonstrated, for example, in Boston’s Zero Waste Plan.


Intent and Requirements


To ensure that all collected materials are being used to their fullest potential. This credit is concerned with developing policy and standards which promote the recovery and reuse of materials. The credit qualitatively assesses the efforts of local governments based on how they contribute to a certain material reuse policy.


Why We Care

A relevant analogy for this industrial waste recovery is Colorado’s bill which creates economic incentives for recycling end market development. According to those who advocated for the bill, over $265 million worth of recyclable material is sent to landfills every year in the state. Furthermore, more than 95% of the state’s solid waste, if diverted from landfills, could be reused by businesses to develop more products. These statistics highlight the urgency for municipalities to become involved in the materials end market industry to not only maintain a standard of environmentalism, but also to remain efficient and stimulate economic growth. 

Incentivizing the reuse and processing of materials is very important for any municipality. Many waste products and materials are considered ‘hard-to-market’ for related industries. This means that an industry has no motivation to prevent landfills from being filled up with these unwanted materials. We must be proactive in developing effective materials processing policy to divert the tons and tons of materials that end up in landfills every year to other uses.


How to Meet the Requirements

Local Government Requirements

Develop and adopt a policy that facilitates and supports the development of public and/or private processing and manufacturing infrastructure for recovered materials and incentives for purchasing the output of these facilities. Strategies to meet the requirements could include off-setting processing costs of undesirable recovered materials or creating favorable zoning for materials processing infrastructure.

Potential Strategies:

  • Convene an Enabling Board to support local economic development through material recovery and processing infrastructure.
    • This could include creating a specialized team dedicated to finding opportunities and avenues to reinforce the materials end market industry, and thus stimulate the local economy.
  • Develop “buy local” and “buy recycled” content incentives in procurement. Incentives can include low-interest loans, grants, technical assistance and business development and marketing support.
  • Be a collaborative partner, streamline and assist in the project development process for qualifying projects, including accelerating permitting, fee or tax reductions, etc.
  • Integrate market development incentives in service agreements, i.e., offset costs of processing for hard-to-market recoverable materials.
  • Set up a “last chance” mercantile stores that sell reusable goods that have been either donated or salvaged by waste processing facilities.

Required Documentation

Submit a Material Processing Infrastructure Policy.

For more information, visit the Required Documentation, Definitions, and Referenced Standards.

Industry Requirements:


Case Studies & In-Depth Information

Case Study: State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign 2

The SABRC is a collaborative effort between CalRecycle and the Department of General Services to help implement state laws in California which require state industries to purchase recycled materials. The state’s previously realized Integrated Waste Management Act sets the foundations for this campaign as it aims to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills. The SABRC itself sets up a standard of requirements for state agencies and requires them to submit annual reports on their purchases. Thus far, the SABRC has been successful as state agencies in California have purchased over $1 billion dollars worth of SABRC compliant post-consumer recycled-content products. 

Case Study: Boston Zero Waste Plan3

In 2018, the city of Boston released a draft plan to create economic development through their zero waste initiatives. Their document lays out a plan for zero waste market development within Boston. This includes ensuring the proper zoning for recycling manufacturing developments. The plan hypothesizes creating a RMDZ, a Recycling Market Development Zone, that would grant support and tax reductions to companies within the zone. This type of zone has already been realized in cities like Los Angeles, where recycling companies located in industrial zoned property receive the city’s RMDZ benefits. The plan cohesively works to make Boston a greener city, and relies on incentivizing green business operations like materials reuse and processing. 


Referenced Standards




Enabling Board

Executive board

Market Development Incentives

Cambridge Dictionary Definition of “Incentive”: something that encourages a person to do something

Economic Times Definition of “Market Development”: Market development is a strategic step taken by a company to develop the existing market rather than looking for a new market. 

Combined Definition: Something that encourages an entity to develop an existing market 

Materials Processing Infrastructure and Markets for Recovered Materials

Merriam Webster Definition of “Infrastructure”: the underlying foundation or basic framework

CMC Definition of “Materials Processing”: Materials processing is defined as the series of steps or “unit operations” used in the manufacture of raw-materials into finished goods.

Combined Definition: Basic framework for manufacturing raw materials into finished goods. 

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