Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.66
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Justin Heavey
Sustainability Associate
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
New York State Center for Sustainable Materials Management

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
In September 2020, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new academic collaborations between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with three State University of New York colleges that will help drive solutions to benefit local and statewide solid waste management and recycling. These partnerships with the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), University at Buffalo, and Stony Brook University are intended to focus on innovative strategies to improve recycling and waste reduction to simultaneously strengthen New York's economy and protect the environment. ESF was identified as the "front door" (umbrella) for this multi-institutional initiative.

The DEC entered into a 10-year partnership and commitment with ESF -- the first five years funded at $5.75 million -- to establish the New York State Center for Sustainable Materials Management based at ESF. This investment is in part helping develop a comprehensive plan to improve recycling and address market access challenges for recyclable materials. Local government recyclers are currently experiencing decreased recycling revenues and increased costs due to the lack of market access for collected materials.

Importantly, the Center's work focuses primarily on waste prevention and reduction, as well as a comprehensive community outreach and public education campaign with direct stakeholder engagement led by its partner, Syracuse University. Other projects include the research and development of recycling alternatives for "non-recyclable fibrous materials" such as lower grade paper, including composting and conversion options.

ESF's Officer-in-Charge at the time, Joseph Rufo, said, "This Center will help reduce waste and reinvigorate the State's recycling industry. As part of this effort, ESF will serve as a convener for a variety of related state-wide initiatives with efforts that are destined to be economic engines, creating far more jobs than landfills. A variety of ESF faculty, staff, and students will work hand-in-glove with the DEC, other SUNY campuses, Syracuse University, and other partners statewide. Ultimately, the goal is to transition this state Center into a national center when the time is right."

The Center -- the first of it's kind in the Nation -- is focusing on community engagement, outreach, policy development, public education, research and technical assistance with the intention of:

- Promoting waste prevention and reduction-particularly packaging reduction and product stewardship
- Encouraging closed-loop, responsible purchasing
- Developing economic markets for recyclables, fostering entrepreneurship and helping convert manufacturing to use recycling feedstock
- Launching a comprehensive community outreach and public education campaign, and facilitating additional stakeholder engagement
- Identifying new methods to manage non-recyclable fibrous materials through the development of composting options
- Identifying new methods to manage non-recyclable fibrous materials through the development of unique conversion options

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Additional info:

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