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Cooperation in Rural Solid Waste Management. Why and How to do it; Where to find guidance. Laura M. Dellinger Midwest Assistance Program September 12, 2003 for Colorado chapter of SWANA. The Cooperative model is…. A tradition of coalition building

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Cooperation in Rural Solid Waste Management

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cooperation in rural solid waste management

Cooperation in Rural Solid Waste Management

Why and How to do it;

Where to find guidance

Laura M. Dellinger

Midwest Assistance Program

September 12, 2003

for Colorado chapter of SWANA

the cooperative model is
The Cooperative model is…
  • A tradition of coalition building
  • A strategy used to reach specific goals through the collaborative efforts of often disparate entities
disparate entities
“Disparate entities”
  • Traditionally, solid waste operators and recyclers have been considered, or considered themselves, as competitors
  • Experience and anecdotal evidence is demonstrating that their activities are symbiotic
it s a natural
It’s a natural!
  • The concept of cooperation (co-ops) is a long-standing tradition in agricultural communities
  • Can be most useful in creating diversion program options beyond the “basics” of MSW collection and disposal
    • Composting
    • Recycling
    • Hazardous waste
    • Large items & white goods
diversion benefits
Diversion benefits
  • Beneficial to solid waste operators who are interested in being in business for the longest possible time. Landfill capacity, even in rural facilities with low daily disposal amounts, is finite
  • Beneficial to communities
    • Gives them access to a nearby facility for a longer time
    • Prolongs the time before which they have to go through the daunting task of finding or establishing a replacement disposal facility
  • Beneficial to individual citizens: it can keep their fees lower
create win win solutions by
Create win-win solutions by…
  • Identifying common needs
  • Opening channels of communication
  • Pooling resources
  • ‘Piggy-backing’ on available programs of a larger community or one already well-established and functioning
    • Smaller/newer community can offer new services while larger/veteran program can obtain additional income or resources, plus greater volume that improves their market position or amount of final product
advantages opportunities
Advantages & Opportunities
  • Economies of scale
  • Sharing vs solitary shouldering of costs
  • Grant monies can go farther
  • Expanding program features offered
  • Opportunities for diversion
  • The arrangement can be loosely or formally structured; short, medium or long-term
loosely based cooperation
Loosely-based cooperation
  • Usually begins with informal arrangements
  • Usually involves casual agreements to act jointly to meet a need or solve a problem
  • Are what most structured coalitions or cooperative organizations evolved from
  • Decisions based on practicality and a minimal amount of structure are most effective when enacted in an atmosphere of cooperation and equity
  • Can become difficult to maintain since agreements are not legally binding, and their success depends solely upon the good will and philosophical consensus of the participants
  • Agreements can crumble under the economics of profit and loss or shifting political alliances
structured cooperation
Structured cooperation
  • Involves formal incorporation or organization by member groups
  • Involves selection of a democratic body to make decisions and possibly the hiring of staff
  • Administrative oversight becomes more necessary as revenues are generated, increased and spent; equipment or land is purchased and contractual relationships are established
has it worked somewhere before
Has it Worked Somewhere Before?
  • Coalitions have succeeded by forging alliances between individuals and groups whose history may be one of conflict, opposition or competition, but whose common bond is the desire to solve an agreed‑upon problem
    • Yankton Sioux Tribe, surrounding communities in SD & northern Nebraska
    • Wind River Reservation and its Wyoming county
    • Multiple communities in Nebraska and Wisconsin
sources of more information opportunities to network
Sources of More Information,Opportunities to Network
  • National & State Solid Waste / Recycling Associations
  • U.S. EPA
  • U.S. Dept. of Ag., Rural Utility Service & Rural Development
  • Rural Community Action Programs (RCAPs)
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Environmental / Solid Waste departments of other states, counties, etc.
  • Google and the Internet
special thanks
Special thanks …
  • to those involved in creation of the Cooperative Marketing Toolkit
    • Regions V and VIII of the United States Environmental Protection Agency
    • *Deb Barton - SD Solid Waste Management Association & Mid Continent Recycling Association (MCRA)
    • *Steve Danahy - NE DEQ
    • *Dale Ekart - University of Nebraska ‑ Lincoln
    • *Jim Hart - Perry Co. Recycling & Litter Prevention
    • *Kathleen Jackson - Headwaters Co‑op Recycling Project
    • *Mickey Mills - Bluegrass Regional Recycling
    • Kay Stevens - Nebraska State Recycling Association (NSRA)
    • *Sandy Sturm - Creative Conservation
    • *Susan Waughtal - SEMREX
    • *Jeff Weaver - Mower Col. Recycling

* The above may presently be in different positions or with different entities