Poster: Toward Urban Sustainable Materials Management

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Our project chronicles the waste management (WM) histories and systems of Detroit, Minneapolis, and Baltimore to provide a set of best WM practices for other post-industrial communities. Each of these three cities constructed a waste-to-energy facility during the 1980s to accommodate their municipal waste. Concurrently in Detroit, citizens started their own grassroots recycling organizations to fill the city’s recycling void, while Minneapolis instituted a citywide recycling collection program in the same decade. In the 1990s, Baltimore County partnered with community volunteer groups to open a recycling drop-off center on the weekends. Since 2010, Baltimore moved to single-stream recycling, Detroit began its curbside residential recycling program, and Minneapolis implemented an organics recycling program.


We examine the WM structures in our three case study sites through local history, policy research, and interviews with community stakeholders. We reviewed state and local policies to identify challenges and opportunities for implementing sustainable materials management (SMM) strategies. Our interviews detail the local economic and political histories of WM strategies, describe the interactions between stakeholders, and provide suggestions for how each city can integrate more innovative WM policies. From this information, we developed a set of best practices for adopting SMM strategies in post-industrial cities.


Reema Abi-Akar , Peoria , IL (see bio)
Yi Tang , University of Michigan (see bio)
Gabriel Jones , Ann Arbor , MI (see bio)
Activity Type: Posters
NPC Topic: Sustainability