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Resource Recycling Systems Inc. (RRS), a sustainable materials and resources consultancy based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has launched a new group to help companies develop and implement policies. Called Signalfire Group, the subsidiary will provide research, planning and implementation support to governments and organizations using policy and regulation as a tool to guide sustainable materials management and circular economy strategies.

“RRS has worked with government, business, non-profit organizations, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and academia for over 35 years,” says Jim Frey, co-founder and CEO of RRS. “We have witnessed the evolution of material recovery approaches which now involve all players in the manufacturing, use, collection, recovery and transformation value chain. Signalfire will focus targeted support on the evolving recovery model that will enable organizations to better participate in long-term sustainable circular economy initiatives. ”

According to a press release from RRS, the company established the subsidiary to devote resources to helping manufacturers, retailers and governments enter and participate in new recycling systems. Signalfire Group provides services focused on the development and implementation of world-class policy and regulatory approaches. The services include:

  • analysis and development of policies / legislation;
  • market research and landscape analysis;
  • stakeholder engagement and recruitment;
  • operational and compliance support; and,
  • program design / evaluation and pilot implementation.

Signalfire Group is led by three environmental industry veterans with decades of experience in sustainability, materials management, policy and product stewardship:

Resa Dimino has worked in recycling companies, trade groups and was the senior policy officer for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). While at DEC, she managed the development of the Beyond Waste sustainable materials management strategy over 10 years and helped formulate state legislation on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) e-scrap. Dimino is currently Managing Director at RRS, overseeing the infrastructure and engineering team.

Garth Hickle led the Product Stewardship Program for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, overseeing the implementation of the EPR programs for rechargeable batteries, electronics and architectural paint. In his consulting practice, he has worked with various public and private clients on the development of EPR and circular economy policies for waste electrical and electronic equipment, packaging, carpets, mattresses, etc. He is currently the Managing Director of the International Electronics Management Network and has served on the Board of Directors of Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) and Conservation Minnesota. Garth is also a lecturer at the University of Minnesota. He holds a doctorate. from Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

David stitzhal delegated to national product management dialogues and served on teams advising on product management and EPR issues in Seattle; King County, Washington; the Washington Department of Ecology and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. David also contributed to the development of the first local, state and national policies for the take-back of unwanted drugs. He was the founding coordinator of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council and was one of the first responders of the National Electronics Product Stewardship Initiative. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Stewardship Action Council and Chairman of Full Circle Environmental Inc.

“As more and more organizations strive to develop a circular economy, there is growing interest in shared financial and operational responsibility for materials management,” says Dimino. “The Signalfire Group is providing a dedicated and focused effort to help governments and businesses meet the challenges of this new model and apply proven and practical solutions. ”


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