Poster: Toward Urban Sustainable Materials Management
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.
Invited SpeakerReema Abi-Akar is a second year master’s student in the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. She studies Sustainable Systems, specifically urban systems including waste management and energy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She has extensive written and verbal communication experience, having interviewed hundreds of people in all walks of life over the course of a four-year reporter position at UIUC’s student newspaper. As part of her master's studies, Reema has amassed a diverse set of experiences across the board. She has conducted a Life Cycle Analysis project comparing a paper book with a Kindle, written a grant for an environmental education organization for staff professional development, and contributed to the University of Michigan urban planning journal’s blog regarding planning for cemeteries.
, University of Michigan
Confirmed SpeakerYi Tang is a master’s student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. She is currently studying sustainable systems, equipped with expertise in environmental system analysis techniques. She is interested in system modeling and data analysis application in environmental sustainability. Recently, she has conducted a project to develop a prediction model in R to make weather predictions in 15 cities. In another project, she evaluated sustainability of the Tesla Powerwall through Life Cycle Analysis, Life Cycle Costing, and Social Life Cycle Assessment. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Resources and Environmental Science from Shanghai Jiao Tong University where she completed three lab research projects across fields of environmental toxicology, microbiology, and environmental chemistry.
, Ann Arbor
Invited SpeakerGabriel Jones is a Dual-degree Master's student in the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) and Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. He is currently developing a food policy database as a graduate research assistant for the Food Access in Michigan study at SNRE. Gabriel also recently authored a policy document on healthy mobile food vending for the Washtenaw Food Policy Council. His interests include food systems planning, environmental justice planning, policy advocacy, just sustainability, and institutional diversity. More specifically, he is interested in exploring how local governments can use policy and planning tools to create a more just and sustainable food system. Gabriel received his B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Geography from California State University Dominguez Hills. He is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, John D. Issacs Scholar, CSU Pre-Doctoral Scholar, and Environmental Grantmakers Association Fellow.