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The Sustainability Consortium and University of Arkansas

Opportunities in Regional Circularity

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is a global non-profit organization transforming the consumer goods industry to deliver more sustainable consumer products.

TSC had an opportunity to look at recycling infrastructure in Northwest Arkansas and explore ways for region to move towards a more circular system in order to make the most of material being collected. Rather than looking at one city with one municipal waste system, TSC took on the challenge of navigating and aggregating data and insights from multiple municipalities and rural districts in NWA, all with their own systems and processes. TSC set out to understand the volume of recyclable materials present in the region with the assumption that more visibility into what is moving in the system will be a window into end market development. TSC and project partners will share our experience navigating the complex world of regional circularity, speak to the importance of collective visioning and stakeholder engagement, discuss the economic development impact of regional recycling infrastructure, and outline some creative recommendations resulting from our work creating circular economies in Northwest Arkansas.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Sarah Lewis, Senior Director of Innovation, TSC
  • Jennifer Park, Innovation Program Coordinator, TSC
  • Mervin Jebaraj, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, University of Arkansas
  • Brent Heist, Section Head – Packaging Sustainability, P&G