Sunday, November 18, 2012

after 10 years of consulting....

after 10 years of consulting, working with a wide variety of local and national clients, tackling efforts towards cleaner water, air and land, collaborating with some of the most amazing people and organizations -- i will be ending my consulting business to take a full-time position with the city of austin's resource recovery agency to help implement their zero waste strategy.
zero waste? how is that even possible? only through the dedication of elected officials, focused leadership, committed staff and a progressive community, can zero waste (or the diversion of at least 90% of all waste from landfills and incinerators to waste reduction, reuse and recycling) truly be possible. we has witnessed a ground swell -- a movement in some of the country's most forward thinking companies and organizations and people and commmunities -- a commitment to not just recycle bottles, cans, paper, glass, but to look beyond a few commodities and towards the elimination or diversion of a wide variety of commodities from electronics to tires to carpet to organic materials. we know that for every one job created in waste disposal, there are 10 jobs created in recycling-related jobs - recycling is a better economic driver than disposal. we know that recycling can be an economic stimulator for not just job creation, but for capital investment and entrepreneurial opportunities. we know that while the earth's resources seem abundant and endless, that they are actually limited. we know that it is not simply the raw materials for making stuff that is limited, but that the energy and water to make stuff is also limited. we know that through waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting, we can reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. so, there in lies a new opportunity for me as the city of austin's new recycling economic development liaison. in the position, i have the privilege of assisting one of the most progressive cities in the united states with their development and implementation of a zero waste strategy to take the very waste materials that austin residents, businesses and organizations are generating, and turn that waste into a local asset for jobs and investment for business and industry. as i wind down my client work in indiana and look to a new horizon in austin, texas in 2013, i am excited to be chosen as one of few people in the country who can be a cog in the engine towards zero waste and to join the ranks of the handful of communities who believe that there is a genuine opportunity for a new paradigm shift towards less waste and more economic development efforts that are good for our cities and its people -- not just to reach 20 or 25 or even 30 percent waste reduction through recycling. but, instead, to stretch our arms as far as they can possibly be stretched to steadily and incrementally take diversion to 50, 75 and to 90 percent diversion of waste. this is an exciting time for me and i look forward to being one of a team of people in austin who will make that zero waste goal a reality! thank you to all those who i had the honor of working with and for over the past 10 years leading julie l rhodes consulting. i truly would not trade that time of my life and my professional career for anything. just a few of the clients that i was lucky enough to work with include: * city of indianapolis * indiana recycling coalition * patachou, inc * association of indiana solid waste management districts * hoosier environmental council * palm beach county solid waste authority (florida) * reuse industries (ohio) * cereplast, inc (california) * indy food cooperative * product stewardship institute (massachusetts) * resource recycling (oregon) * architectural salvage warehouse of detroit (michigan) * mid-america council of recycling officials * and many others.