Need to Know

EPA Awards $5.1M in Environmental Workforce, Job Training Grants

EPA Awards $5.1M in Environmental Workforce, Job Training Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 26 organizations to receive a total of $5.1 million in grants for environmental job training programs across the country. Funded through the agency’s successful Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program, these grants help to create a skilled workforce in communities where EPA brownfields assessment and cleanup activities are taking place.

Of the programs selected for funding this year, 31 percent plan to serve residents of communities experiencing persistent poverty and nearly 70 percent plan to serve veterans. All 26 selected programs plan to serve communities with census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones⁠—economically distressed communities where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

“EPA’s Job Training Program has helped to transform communities that need it the most. By investing in a local workforce to conduct environmental cleanup activities, we can help revitalize traditionally low-income neighborhoods,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement. “Seventy-five percent of those trained under our program have gone on to find full-time jobs with good wages. I am proud to announce that EPA is building on these successes by providing additional grants to help lift communities out of poverty, employ returning veterans and build a skilled environmental workforce for the future.”

Since this program began in 1998, more than 288 grants have been awarded. More than 18,000 individuals have completed training, and of those, more than 13,679 individuals have been placed in full-time employment earning an average starting wage of more than $14 an hour. Rather than filling local jobs with contractors from distant cities, EPA created its environmental job training program to offer residents of communities historically affected by environmental pollution, economic disinvestment and brownfields an opportunity to gain the skills and certifications needed to secure local environmental work in their communities. 

The selectees are:

  • Alaska Forum Inc. (Anchorage, Alaska)
  • Auberle (McKeesport, Pa.)
  • City of New Bedford (New Bedford, Mass.)
  • City of Pittsburg (Pittsburg, Calif.)
  • City of Richmond (Richmond, Calif.)
  • City of Rochester (Rochester, N.Y.)
  • City of Springfield (Springfield, Mo.)
  • Civic Works Inc. (Baltimore)
  • Colorado Department of Local Affairs (Denver)
  • Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa Inc. (Tampa, Fla.)
  • Cypress Mandela Training Center Inc. (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Earth Conservancy (Ashley, Pa.)
  • El Centro (Kansas City, Kan.)
  • Full Employment Council (Kansas City, Mo.)
  • Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps. (Milwaukee)
  • Hunters Point Family (San Francisco)
  • Lorain County Board of Commissioners (Elyria, Ohio)
  • Lost Angeles Conservations Corps (Los Angeles)
  • OAI Inc. (Chicago)
  • PathStone Corporation (Rochester, N.Y.)
  • Southern University at Shreveport (Shreveport, La.)
  • St. Louis Community College (Bridgeton, Mo.)
  • The Fortune Society Inc. (Long Island City, N.Y.)
  • Training to Work an Industry Niche (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • Workforce Inc. dba RecycleForce (Indianapolis)
  • Zender Environmental Health and Research Group (Anchorage, Alaska)
Need to Know

Eastman Begins Commercial Operation of Chemical Recycling Technology

Eastman Chemical Co. Twitter Eastman Begins Commercial Operation of Chemical Recycling Technology

Eastman on October 23 took a significant and definitive step forward to accelerate the circular economy. The company has begun commercial operation of an innovative chemical recycling technology that will help solve one of the world’s most pressing problems—waste plastic.

Eastman’s carbon renewal technology breaks down waste plastics into molecular building blocks like carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Carbon renewal technology is a game changer for recycling because it provides an end-of-life solution for many plastics from a variety of sources, such as single-use plastics, textiles and carpet, that traditional mechanical recycling methods cannot process. As a result, many of these plastics are landfilled or incinerated. Eastman expects to use up to 50 million pounds of waste plastic in carbon renewal technology operations in 2020, and projects are currently underway to significantly expand that amount.

“Eastman is a company of problem solvers, and our people have the capabilities to tackle the world’s biggest problems,” said Mark Costa, board chair and CEO, in a statement. “Closing the loop of waste plastics is a complex problem that has to be solved with innovative solutions. With the right people, world-class technologies and our unique vertical integration, Eastman is uniquely positioned to scale up this solution quickly. With carbon renewal technology, we will revolutionize recycling at the molecular level.”

Carbon renewal technology is operated in Kingsport, Tenn., home to the company’s largest manufacturing site and world headquarters. Eastman modified the front end of its acetyls and cellulosics production processes to accept waste plastic, reducing the amount of fossil feedstocks required. Carbon renewal technology has a significantly improved carbon footprint compared to the use of fossil feedstocks, according to preliminary lifecycle analysis studies by Eastman scientists.

In the carbon renewal technology process, waste plastic feedstocks are broken down to the molecular level and then used as building blocks, which are indistinguishable from virgin, to produce products used in Eastman markets, including textiles, cosmetics and personal care and ophthalmics markets. With carbon renewal technology, waste plastics can be recycled an infinite number of times without degradation of quality. This means recycled materials will have more possible end uses.

Eastman’s recycled materials will be certified by International Sustainability & Carbon Certification, an independent agency for tracking sustainable content in a variety of industries. Costa said Eastman will work across the value chain—with Eastman customers, potential feedstock suppliers, product manufacturers, brands and nongovernmental organizations such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) and others—to implement this large-scale circular solution for recycling waste plastics. Eastman became a member of EMF’s Circular Economy 100 Network earlier this year.

“The problem of waste plastics is not one that can be solved by a single company, but Eastman is taking definitive action to do our part,” said Costa. “Beginning commercial production of carbon renewal technology is a proof point of our determination to act quickly and decisively to accelerate the circular economy. Bringing this project to fruition so quickly—just eight months after we announced our intention to be a leader in chemical recycling—required innovation by some of the world’s brightest minds and effort by thousands of members of the Eastman team.”

Need to Know

Geosyntec Consultants’ Rogoff Honored with SWANA Life Member Award

Geosyntec Consultants’ Rogoff Honored with SWANA Life Member Award

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) awarded Dr. Marc J. Rogoff, senior consultant at Geosyntec Consultants, the 2019 Life Member Award at WASTECON 2019 in Phoenix this week. Rogoff was nominated by Dr. Jeremy Morris, principal at Geosyntec, for his valuable contributions to the industry, SWANA and Geosyntec Consultants.

To be considered for the Life Member Award, the person must meet the following criteria: length of service, commitment to SWANA and its chapters and superior commitment and service to their employer. This award is given with the approval of SWANA’s Board of Directors, conveying its stature, and entitles recipients to full membership status, without charge, in SWANA and all chapters during their lifetime.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for Marc, who has been a leader in SWANA at the chapter and national level for decades. I appreciate his insights and experience on a wide variety of topics, as well as his strong commitment to maintaining SWANA’s position as the leading solid waste association in the United States and Canada,” said David Biderman, SWANA’s executive director and CEO, in a statement.

With more than 38 years of experience in solid waste management as a public agency manager and consultant, Rogoff has completed more than 500 assignments worldwide on all facets of solid waste management. He is recognized internationally as an expert in the procurement and operations of solid waste collection, recycling and materials recovery programs and facilities and the economic feasibility of solid waste systems. In feasibility studies alone, Rogoff has brought to completion nearly two dozen solid waste projects totaling more than $1.2 billion in project financings.

Rogoff is also widely published in the fields of solid waste and recycling, with more than 200 articles appearing in trade and peer-reviewed journals. He has published eight major textbooks and has presented at dozens of chapter events and national symposia and conferences.

Rogoff has served SWANA in many capacities at the chapter and international level, having joined in 1981 when SWANA was known as GRCDA. Based in Tampa, Fla., he has been heavily involved in the Florida Sunshine Chapter in many leadership positions. He served as the director of two technical divisions, representing them to the International Board and serving as the representative for all technical divisions on the Executive Committee. In that role, he helped supervise a project to bring consistent formatting and updated language to the body of all SWANA Technical Policies.

“I am honored to be nominated for the Life Membership Award from SWANA,” said Rogoff in a statement. “For the past 40 years, I have completed solid waste assignments in 48 out of 50 states and 30 countries. During this time, I have been fortunate to have participated in more than $2.3 billion of solid waste projects. SWANA has been a big part of my life since I joined in 1981. The friendships and personal relationships that I have enabled me to be a better manager and consultant. Many thanks for thinking of me for this award.”

Rogoff was honored at SWANA’s Annual Business Meeting at WASTECON 2019: Pathway to Innovation in Phoenix.

Need to Know

TOMRA Announces Packaging Recycling Commitment

TOMRA Announces Packaging Recycling Commitment

At the Our Ocean conference in Oslo, Norway, TOMRA, a world leader in reverse vending machines and sensor-based sorting systems for the recycling, food and mining industries, announced its commitment to enable 40 percent of plastic packaging produced globally each year to be collected for recycling by 2030.

Currently, only 14 percent of plastic packaging is captured for recycling. And only 2 percent of this is recycled in a closed loop, meaning it can be reused again for the same purpose without being downgraded to lower-quality plastic.

"A circular economy for plastic is achievable, and there is every reason to be optimistic about the future, but it requires investment from industry, government and consumers," said TOMRA President and CEO Stefan Ranstrand in a statement. "TOMRA has been enabling this change through our technology and expertise for more than 45 years—we challenge others to join us and act now.”

TOMRA works with many global brands, plastic producers, converters and recyclers, enabling organizations to improve sustainability and reduce environmental impact through TOMRA’s solutions and knowledge.

"We believe now is the time for bold action on plastic pollution in our oceans," added Ranstrand. "TOMRA is the undisputed world leader in the collection and recycling of plastic packaging, particularly bottles, and we are proud to be leading the industry by launching these ambitious targets. To solve the crisis in our oceans, we must focus on how plastic is produced and handled on land. There is clear evidence that recycling infrastructure such as container deposit schemes drive huge improvements in recycling rates, consumer behaviour and reducing pollution."

By 2025, TOMRA estimates its solutions will sort more than 8 million tons of plastic per year from waste streams at a global level. The company also estimates it will upgrade 2 million tons of plastic to the quality of virgin material. Its reverse vending machines already collect 40 billion used beverage containers every year.

High-profile partnerships that TOMRA has recently entered into include the new global Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which has pledged funds toward solutions to eliminate plastic waste.

The company is also sponsoring and advising an all-female, round-the-world scientific sailing voyage called eXXpedition, which set sail in October with the aim of raising awareness about marine litter.

GFL Environmental Launches Initial Public Offering

GFL Environmental Launches Initial Public Offering

GFL Environmental Inc. announced the launch of its initial public offering of 87,572,500 subordinate voting shares pursuant to a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and an amended and restated preliminary base PREP prospectus filed with the securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces and territories of Canada (the "Canadian Regulators"). The initial public offering price is expected to be between US$20.00 and US$24.00 per share. GFL expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 13,135,875 subordinate voting shares to cover over-allotments, if any. GFL has been approved for listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ''GFL'' and has applied to list its subordinate voting shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ''GFL.'' The initial public offering is expected to close the week of November 11, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

GFL intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to redeem all of its outstanding 5.375 percent senior notes due 2023, US$160.0 million aggregate principal amount of 7.000 percent senior notes due 2026 and US$240.0 million aggregate principal amount of 8.500 percent senior notes due 2027 and to pay related fees, premiums and accrued and unpaid interest on such notes. Any remaining net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including acquisitions. 

J.P. Morgan, BMO Capital Markets, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, RBC Capital Markets and Scotiabank are acting as joint lead book-running managers for the proposed offering. Barclays, BC Partners, Raymond James, Stifel and TD Securities Inc. are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering. BofA Securities, CIBC Capital Markets, HSBC, Macquarie Capital and National Bank Financial Inc. are acting as co-managers for the proposed offering.

California Governor Signs Emergency Recycling Bill

California Governor Signs Emergency Recycling Bill

Help is on the way for areas in the state of California that no longer have California Redemption Value (CRV) recycling centers. California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed AB 54 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), which allocates $5 million to implement a mobile recycling pilot program administered by California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). The urgency measure went into immediate effect.

“AB 54 provides short-term relief to the thousands of Californians who need their container deposits refunded. Now the hard work begins. I will spend the next few months working on a more comprehensive solution that can start moving through the legislative process when we reconvene in January,” said Ting in a statement. “We can’t put off this reform any longer now that recycling programs are in a crisis.”

The bill comes after rePlanet shuttered its remaining 284 California recycling centers in August. AB 54 aims to relieve the long lines at remaining redemption sites and fill the void in areas that no longer have any. rePlanet was once California’s largest recycling company, operating about 20 percent of the redemption centers in the state. But a significant decrease in the scrap value of aluminum and recycled plastics has hampered its ability to stay open—even after the firm closed 191 centers in 2016 to cut costs. Exacerbating this problem are international market conditions, as countries around the world, most notably China, have imposed stricter standards on the types of waste materials they will purchase.

Under the mobile pilot program, local governments, nonprofits and others can apply for one of five grants to expand recycling opportunities in areas severely impacted by the rePlanet closures. At least one pilot location must be in a rural area, and the roving redemption centers must be open at least eight hours during the weekend when demand for services is high. AB 54 also temporarily suspends, through March 2020, the fines assessed on grocers required to take back beverage containers in-store when there are no recycling centers nearby, as they are not prepared to assume the responsibility of providing redemption services.

In addition to AB 54, the 2019-20 state budget previously included another $5 million to help more than 400 low-volume recycling centers stay open.

“AB 54 provides more flexibility and $5 million in funding for the CRV redemption pilot program for communities to increase convenient CRV redemption options for local consumers,” says Lance Klug, public information officer for CalRecycle. “The legislation also provides temporary regulatory relief for beverage dealers and makes available an additional $5 million in funding to help support California’s privately owned recycling centers.”

CalRecycle adds it is working “with urgency” to develop criteria and a tentative timeline for the CRV redemption pilot grant program that was authorized by AB 54.

“AB 54 is an important stopgap measure to address the recent closures of recycling centers throughout the state,” Gov. Newsom wrote upon signing the bill. “The California Beverage Container Recycling Program has long faced structural challenges and is in need of reform. I look forward to working with the legislature in the coming year on a comprehensive solution for this program as part of the ongoing discussion about the future of how we manufacture, reduce, reuse, recycle and compost materials in California.”

PaintCare Celebrates 10-year Anniversary

PaintCare Twitter PaintCare Celebrates 10-year Anniversary

PaintCare celebrates 10 years of providing consumer education and recycling opportunities for households, businesses and institutions that purchase paint, stain and varnish for use in their projects and operations. PaintCare, the national nonprofit organization created by paint manufacturers to operate paint stewardship programs in states that have passed paint stewardship laws, provides a convenient network of locations where the public can recycle post-consumer paint, stain and varnish.

“I am proud of the energy, time and resources that paint manufacturers and the American Coatings Association have invested in addressing management of leftover paint, providing a needed service to the public and passing a significant savings to local governments,” said American Coatings Association President and CEO Andy Doyle in a statement. 

Paint stewardship laws ensure that everyone involved in the production, sale and use of paint work together to manage the entire product lifecycle of paint. The program is funded by a fee on sales of new paint and remitted to PaintCare by paint manufacturers to operate the program. The fee revenue funds all aspects of the program in each state, including paint collection, transportation, processing and public education. 

In July 2009, Oregon passed the nation’s first such law, leading to PaintCare’s establishment in October 2009. Over the past 10 years, PaintCare has launched programs across the country following the passage of similar laws in California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and, most recently, Washington, where a new program is expected to begin operation in 2020. 
“Leftover paint accounts for a large portion of the material collected by government-run household hazardous waste programs,” said PaintCare President Marjaneh Zarrehparvar in a statement. “In addition to reducing the burden on local governments by supporting their paint collection, our network of paint retail sites creates new options for residents, businesses and institutions to dispose of leftover paint responsibly.”

“Our customers participate in PaintCare because keeping millions of gallons of leftover paint out of the landfill is the right thing to do for the environment and paint consumers,” said Steve Dearborn, CEO and president of Miller Paint in Portland and current chairman of the PaintCare Board of Directors, in a statement. “We have been proud to champion getting this legislation passed and establishing the infrastructure of the program throughout Oregon.”

Since 2009, PaintCare has set up 1,765 paint drop-off sites, the majority at conveniently located paint retail and hardware stores, and hosted 206 paint drop-off events. In addition, the organization has provided 3,597 large volume pickups via a free, direct pickup service for customers with 200 gallons of paint or more. 

PaintCare works with its haulers to ensure that as much paint as possible is given away as is, recycled or put to some other beneficial use. Most of what PaintCare collects is latex paint that can be remixed into recycled paint by processors, but some is used as fuel or made into other products. A small portion of what is collected is unusable and safely landfilled. Of the approximately 38.2 million gallons of paint collected to date, 80 percent was latex paint, and 20 percent was oil-based paint. Sixty percent of the latex paint was recycled back into paint, and 4.6 percent of the paint collected was made available for reuse.

Subaru Loves the Earth Recycling Program Expands

Subaru of America Subaru Loves the Earth Recycling Program Expands

Subaru of America, Inc.'s Subaru Loves the Earth initiative recently achieved the recycling milestone of diverting more than 2 million pieces of waste from landfills. Now, the automaker is bringing its robust recycling program in-store to REI retailers nationwide. Employing the TerraCycle Zero Waste Box platform that Subaru retailers across the country have used to encourage recycling, the automaker will leverage these boxes to support REI's 2019 #OptOutside initiative. This year, REI is taking its annual anti-Black Friday effort one step further and asking employees, customers and partners like Subaru to "opt to act."

As of October 23, Subaru has provided a co-branded TerraCycle collection box to all REI stores, offering a convenient way for REI members and customers to recycle snack wrappers accumulated from outdoor activities. Commonly thought of as hard to recycle, the collected waste streams will be turned into useful, high-quality recycled products (such as park benches, picnic tables and playground materials) and donated to Subaru community partners.

"Here at Subaru, we realize that along with our shared love of the great outdoors and all of the enjoyment it brings, it also comes with the responsibility of keeping our communities clean, not only for ourselves but for future generations," said Alan Bethke, senior vice president of marketing for Subaru of America, Inc. in a statement. "We are thrilled to welcome REI stores into our Subaru Loves the Earth program, joining our motivated network of environmentally conscious retailers across the country who have already shown great initiative in our quest to keep the outdoors beautiful and make the world a better place, one piece of recycled material at a time."

To kick off the program, Subaru will host several one-day upcycling collection drives at select REI stores, leading up to #OptOutside on November 29. Upcycling is the practice of creating a useable product from waste or unwanted items or adapting an existing product in some way to add value. Consumers are invited to bring used snack wrappers and unwanted recreational equipment they wish to recycle, including tents, yoga mats, yoga blocks, bike tubes, bike tires, grips and reusable beverage bottles. In appreciation, participants can receive a gift, while supplies last.

The automaker's partnership with REI for #OptOutside 2019 is a part of Subaru Loves the Earth, the environmental-focused initiative of the Subaru Love Promise philanthropic vision.

Alliance to End Plastic Waste Partners with Plug and Play

Alliance to End Plastic Waste Partners with Plug and Play

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) announced a partnership with Plug and Play to create an accelerator program focused on the plastics value chain to identify startups with different innovations to address plastic waste in the environment. 

Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that specializes in creating industry-specific accelerator programs. This initiative, to be called the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform, will focus on identifying solutions to lower the impact of plastic waste in the environment. Plug and Play will run two programs a year in three hub locations: Silicon Valley, Calif.; Paris; and Singapore.

The Alliance will work with its partners to select focus areas for each batch. From there, Plug and Play will source specific startups working on solutions in those areas. The programs will run for 12 weeks and accept 10 startups each. Each program will end with a Demo Day where Plug and Play and AEPW members have the opportunity invest in participants.

"I believe when we bring together all the stakeholders—large corporations, entrepreneurs, startups and universities—you can create real change. By devoting resources and attention to this global issue of plastic waste, we can make a difference in the environment. Through this platform, I commit to spend more of my time on sustainability-focused initiatives and will invest in 20 startups in this space per year," said Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO of Plug and Play, in a statement.

"Innovation is at the core of the Alliance. This partnership has a unique approach to identifying and supporting startups and innovations across the globe to fundamentally transform current waste management practices through new recycling technologies and by creating value for recycled plastics," said Jacob Duer, president and CEO of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, in a statement.

The accelerator will engage Alliance members throughout the entire plastics value chain on infrastructure, education and engagement, innovation and cleanup efforts to keep plastic waste out of the environment.

"Plug and Play will be the connective tissue between each of the hubs and provide startups access to new markets and Alliance Members a collaboration vehicle across the network to put an end to plastic waste. This global network of structured accelerator programs (Hubs) will support the initiatives backed by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste—with the ultimate mission of eliminating plastic waste in our environment," said Michael Olmstead, chief revenue officer of Plug and Play, in a statement.

The partnership is aligned with Plug and Play's broader sustainability initiative. Applications are open for the first program, which will run from February 2020 through May 2020.

Report: Solutions for Bridging the Plastic Collection Financing Gap

Report: Solutions for Bridging the Plastic Collection Financing Gap

Ocean Conservancy, in partnership with the Trash Free Seas Alliance, recently released its new “Plastics Policy Playbook: Strategies for a Plastic-Free Ocean.” Based on desk-side research, in-country workshops and robust financial modeling, the report is an in-depth guide to some of the most impactful public sector and private sector interventions available to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution in parts of the world most affected by the crisis.

“We are seeing unprecedented interest from government and business leaders alike in moving to a circular economy and addressing ocean plastic pollution; but with so many interventions needed—from bans to taxes to product redesign and everything in between—execution remains a challenge,” said Ocean Conservancy CEO Janis Searles Jones in a statement. “It is our hope that this document, rooted in data and research, will serve as a policy playbook for a key part of the systemic solution to ocean plastic.”

The new Plastics Policy Playbook builds on previous white papers published by Ocean Conservancy on the economics of plastic waste collection. In 2015, Ocean Conservancy released “Stemming the Tide,” which built on seminal research by Dr. Jenna Jambeck and her colleagues to find that 75 percent of the plastic in the ocean was never collected as part of a formal waste management system, and 60 percent originates from five focus countries in Asia—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. A second report, “The Next Wave,” identified that collection in these focus countries is largely underfunded and a net cost activity for most waste streams. Collection is not only key to stopping plastic pollution in the near term, but it is also critical to building a circular economy, where materials are continually recovered and reused rather than becoming waste.

This third report offers further analysis of how to finance plastic waste collection so that plastic never ends up in the ocean. Key findings include:

  • In the five target countries, there is a net financing gap for plastic waste collection of between $28 and $40 per ton.
  • To reduce the financing gap and ensure that all waste is collected, extended producer responsibility, implemented through packaging material fees—where producers pay fees depending on the amount of packaging material put on the market or their plastic recycling/recovery targets—can have the highest potential in reducing this gap, by up to 75 percent.
  • Increasing demand for recycled plastic through recycled content standards has a potential to reduce the existing collection financing gap by up to 34 percent.
  • Bans on problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics (specifically, plastic grocery bags, plastic straws and stirrers, plastic cups and lids, plastic cutlery, foam food containers, oxo-biodegradable plastic materials, PVC packaging and primary microplastics) can improve collection by reducing the contamination of post-consumer waste streams.

“The findings reinforce what we’ve long suspected, which is that we need a suite of solutions to address the problem of ocean plastic, and everyone has a role to play,” said Chever Voltmer, plastics initiatives director at Ocean Conservancy, in a statement. “The good news—as we’ve seen firsthand in developing this report with key partners from the Trash Free Seas Alliance—is that we are seeing both governments and the private sector ready and willing to do their part.”