CM: SMMP Credit- Local Government Policy for Comprehensive Public Participation in Solid Waste Management Program Development

The Big Picture

SMMP Credit: Local Government Policy for

Comprehensive Public Participation in

Solid Waste Management Program Development

(1-2 points, Non-Reciprocal)

 

Credit Summary

SMMP Credit: Local Government Policy for Comprehensive Public Participation in Solid Waste Management Program Development Solicit intends to encourage broad public input into decision-making around solid waste management. By adopting policies of Public Participation in solid waste management, local governments and industries can improve their solid waste management with Public Participation

 

Impact Summary

Solid waste management is an important aspect of every city, town, and industry. Proper waste management protects the environment, keeps infrastructure clean, and ensures the health and safety of people. The benefits of proper waste management, as well as the risks of improper disposal, impact people; as a result, the public population should have input on decision-making around solid waste management. 

 

Submittal Summary

To meet the requirements of this credit, a local government must adopt at least one policy of best practices Public Participation in solid waste management, described in EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Public Participation Manual. This must include support for the inclusion of Public Participation

 

Case Study and Benefits 

This was done in Hennepin County, Minnesota, where the local government asked residents, schools, and businesses for their input on waste management. They received a lot of feedback, which they were ultimately able to use to improve their recycling program and organics system, as well as offer better support for those interested in becoming more sustainable. 

Other resources 

Referenced standards & definitions 

 

Intent and Requirements

Intent

Solicit and encourage broad public input into decision-making around solid waste management.

Local Government Requirements

Tier 1: (1 point)

Adopt a policy of best-practices Public Participation in solid waste management decision-making 11 as described in the EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Public Participation Manual January 11, 2017

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-01/documents/final_rcra_ppm.pdf .

Tier 2: (+1 point)

Implement Tier 1 requirements

AND

The policy must provide support for the inclusion of Public Participation. Support can include Technical Support, provided experts, funding, etc.

Industry Requirements

Not applicable.

Potential Strategies:

  • Provide online access to a public meeting calendar for waste management meetings and a record of the topics and discussions held.
  • Create the role of Waste Ombudsman to interface with the public around these topics.

 

Why We Care

Solid waste management is an important aspect of every city, town, and industry. Proper waste management protects the environment, keeps infrastructure clean, and ensures the health and safety of people. The benefits of proper waste management, as well as the risks of improper disposal, impact people; as a result, the public should have input on decision-making around solid waste management. 

 

How to Meet the Requirements

  • Provide online access to a public meeting calendar for waste management meetings and a record of the topics and discussions held.
  • Create the role of Waste Ombudsman to interface with the public around these topics.

Required Documentation

Show proof of the implementation of the program and the public’s involvement in it. 

 

Case Studies & In-Depth Information

In Hennepin County, Minnesota, the local government sought input from residents, businesses, cities, schools, and haulers, to identify the best ways to encourage waste prevention, increase recycling, and eliminate landfilling of waste. Through meetings, interviews, and surveys, the public shared their input on the county’s solid waste management programs. 

Through these methods, the public was able to give a lot of feedback to improve solid waste management. It was discovered that residents emphasized increasing recycling convenience and needed more capacity in their recycling cart. In addition, it was found that interest in organics recycling is high, although the concept is still new and unfamiliar to many. Barriers to organic recycling must be addressed, however, to make it more accessible for and understood by residents and businesses. It was also determined that educational and financial resources provided by the county are in fact beneficial in encouraging recycling. 

Businesses, residents, schools, and construction sites all expressed the success they saw in programs developed due to the feedback they gave the county. Ultimately, with this Public Participation, Hennepin County was better able to improve recycling and engage their citizens in solid waste management. ¹ 

In Colorado’s Boulder County, the local government has partnered with EcoCycle to provide training and support to people in the community to become multi-family complex (MFC) Eco-Leaders. MFC Eco-Leaders help families in their complex learn about and implement zero waste practices and maintain waste diversion in their communities. Eco-Leaders are trained in accordance with the program and are expected to serve as a resource to individuals in their communities, as well as communicate frequently with EcoCycle. This enables a few individuals within a community to become very knowledgeable about waste diversion and zero waste practices and directly help those in their immediate community implement them. 

 

Referenced Standards

EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Public Participation Manual January 11, 2017 

The EPA RCRA Public Participation Manual describes how government, private industry, public interest groups and communities work together to make important decisions about hazardous waste management facilities. Public participation plays an integral role in this decision-making. 

 

Definitions

Public participation 

EPA Definition: Public participation can be any process that directly engages the public in decision-making and gives full consideration to public input in making that decision. For SWEEP, the “public” participating in solid waste management program development would include taxpayers, homeowners, students, and even visitors. 

Example: An example would include the public of Hennepin County, Minnesota, where individuals participated in surveys, interviews, and meetings to share their opinions on solid waste management. Eco-Leaders in Boulder County’s EcoCycle program would be the public most directly involved in the program, but the entire community involved at varying levels. 

Technical Support 

Your Dictionary Definition: A range of services providing assistance with technology, typically aiming to help the user with a specific problem. 

Example: the technical assistance provided by Hennepin County, Minnesota to help those implementing new recycling programs. This was emphasized by about 55% of the population in the county as the best way to support them. In Boulder County, EcoCycle provides technical support to MFC Eco-Leaders by helping them with any questions or issues that arise while educating other members of their community. 

Waste Ombudsman 

DHCS Definition (Ombudsman): An Ombudsman is a person in a government agency to whom people can go to for assistance with navigating the programs or policies of the agency. 

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