“They are not calling it solid waste management, they are calling it materials management,” Gedert said.
Sustainable materials management or SMM is a term that has gained much traction in recent months. It is the new buzzword for sustainability, recycling and energy recovery programs, and along with its close relatives zero waste and the circular economy, it is a term that isn’t going to go away. Even the highest public authority on the subject of solid waste is changing its terminology.
When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual data on solid waste generation and disposal in June 2015 it was no longer called Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures.” The report they released this year, which includes figures for 2013, is titled “Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2013 Fact Sheet.”