2019 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award Winners Announced
Photo courtesy of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Photo courtesy of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers announced the winners of the 2019 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards. The winners were formally recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources and communities in an awards ceremony in Franklin on August 1.

“We applaud those who proactively look internally at their own operations and capabilities to better our environment,” Lee said. “Tennessee is fortunate to have these passionate and innovative organizations committed to improving our state.”

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation.

In its 33rd year, the awards program covers nine categories: building green; clean air; energy and renewable resources; environmental education and outreach; environmental education and outreach (school category); land use; materials management; natural heritage; and sustainable performance.

“The projects and organizations recognized by this year’s Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards reflect the best of environmental protection, conservation, community engagement, and partnerships,” Salyers said. “These award winners are taking the initiative to go above and beyond what is required.”

The 2019 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award recipients are: The Compost Fairy, Cumberland International, Cumberland River Compact, Mitchell Heights Neighborhood Association, Norris Water Commission, Ruby Falls, Tennsco Corporation, Turnip Green Creative Reuse, and Urban Green Lab.

Additionally, Belmont University in Nashville is recognized with a Pursuit of Excellence award, which recognizes past award winners who continue to demonstrate a high regard for environmental stewardship.

A panel of 16 professionals representing agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental and academic professionals judged more than 65 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground environmental achievement, innovation, transferability, partnerships, and public education.

Daniel Kietzer
Recycled Materials Complete the Circle in Tennessee

Florim USA and Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations connect through the Tennessee Materials Marketplace to close the loop on end-of-life materials

Americans dispose of some 10 million metric tons of reusable materials, like glass, annually. Most of it ends up in the landfill, and only about one-third gets recycled. That’s not because of some intrinsic materials or chemical property that makes materials like plastic and glass difficult to recycle, but rather a reflection of a very challenging interplay between collection processes, market supply and demand, and rising freight costs to move material in the US.

“Glass is 100% recyclable,” says Robert Weisenburger Lipetz, executive director of the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC), a nonprofit trade association. “It has an unlimited life and can be melted and recycled endlessly to make new glass products with no loss in quality,” he adds.

The difficulty is that most processes that can use recycled glass need it to be clean, sorted by color, and/or meet some minimal contamination requirements. This is difficult for our single-stream recycling systems in the US to produce. Glass is also very heavy, making it difficult for manufacturers to source recycled glass at a manageable cost.

That being said, there are some very creative companies right here in Tennessee finding ways to “mine” this valuable material.

Photo courtesy of Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations

Photo courtesy of Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations

In Clarksville, TN, Florim USA is producing large format porcelain tiles that offer surfaces for all requirements in architecture, interior design and building construction. The American subsidiary of the Florim Group, based in Italy, Florim USA is one of the largest and most technologically advanced porcelain facilities in North America. The process they use is considered “closed-loop,” with all waste generated throughout the six processing operations recycled back through the system.

Not only that, but they can and do utilize a variety of post-consumer and post-industrial materials as a raw material in their tiles, replacing various virgin raw materials. They are committed to producing high-quality products in an efficient and environmentally sustainable manner, constantly exploring the latest technological advances and best management practices. Active material exploration is one reason they are an engaged participant in the Tennessee Materials Marketplace.

"At Florim we are focused on the environment and its sustainability. Post-consumer material is an aspect of the process that Don Haynes and his team have been working on for several years. We are now very proud to be able to use post-consumer materials in all of our tiles," said Marco Fregni, CEO at Florim USA.

Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations is a full-service electronics and materials lifecycle management company with locations in Onalaska, Wisconsin and Nashville, Tennessee. They have years of experience managing the unique risks and regulations of organizations seeking to safely participate in recycling, while safeguarding sensitive data and protecting the environment from e-waste and other pollutants by closing the loop for all sorts of electronic devices.

One of the challenges Dynamic has managed to tackle is end-of-life materials from electronics. Dynamic utilizes a proprietary process to separate the different kinds of components of electronic wastes, and as a result is producing millions of pounds of recyclable materials in clean commodity form.

Dynamic is also an active user on the Tennessee Materials Marketplace. While working on the platform to identify opportunities for buying used gaylord boxes, they noticed that Florim USA had posted a “wanted material” listing detailing specific post-consumer materials they could use in their manufacturing process. Once connected, it didn’t take long for the two parties to see the potential for a reuse application, especially as they began to explore the logistics of the deal.

Dynamic’s trucks regularly make the trip from Wisconsin to their location in Nashville, TN to pick up recyclable items needing special processing. They can now make one productive loop - taking full truckloads of material south, and returning north with full truckloads of materials from their Nashville facility.

Both companies see this as a significant win, the regions they serve and for the Tennessee Materials Marketplace. The application makes financial sense, environmental sense and it demonstrates how important the right connections can be. As often happens, both companies are beginning to explore other materials and improved methods of delivery and packaging that will smooth the process even more.

Is your company looking to source by-products and recycled materials to use in your products, or establish new end-markets for existing materials? The Tennessee Materials Marketplace may be able to help. It’s quick and easy to get engaged - click here get set up in our program today.

About Dynamic LIfecycle Innovations

About Florim USA

Daniel Kietzer
Your company, ISO 14001 and the Materials Marketplace

If you have not heard of ISO 14001, you probably will. Companies doing business with Fortune 1000 and/or global entities are more frequently seeing it required. Good news is that it is not a burdensome, costly initiative and it has significant potential benefits. There is much you can do on your own and lots of assistance available.

ISO 14001 has become the international standard for designing and implementing an environmental management system. The standard is published by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization), an international body that creates and distributes standards that are accepted worldwide. ISO 14001 provides a framework that an organization can follow, rather than establishing environmental performance requirements. It is a voluntary standard that you can certify to.

An environmental management system (EMS), is comprised of the policies, processes, plans, practices and records that define how your company interacts with the environment. This system needs to be tailored to your particular company, because only your company will have the exact legal requirements and environmental interactions that match your specific business processes. However, the ISO 14001 provides a framework for creating your EMS so that you do not miss important elements needed for it to be successful. As you set waste-related objectives and targets, the Materials Marketplace may be one tool you use to pursue continual improvement.

These days it would be hard to debate the merits of having a plan when it comes to the environmental impact of a facility’s operation. Beyond the priceless payback associated with employee morale and public image, there is hard ROI associated with regulatory risk mitigation and savings from better managing energy, water and waste. There are many examples of this. What’s more is some of the largest companies are actually requiring ISO 14001 certification in order to be a supplier. This is most notable with the automotives and their supply chain.

ISO 14001 is really about making a good plan and managing to it. If you need help, let us know, there are many connections we can help you make and managing your material streams with the Materials Marketplace is a great way to start!

Daniel Kietzer
Manufacturers, Startups and Nonprofits Driving Progress on Reuse and Recycling in Tennessee

Recycling and reuse market development requires a diverse ecosystem of material generators, aggregators, processors, consumers, and advocates. That ecosystem is on the cusp of flourishing in Tennessee; where a truly fascinating mix of startups, nonprofits and manufacturers are beginning to work together through the Tennessee Materials Marketplace to move the needle on landfill diversion and sustainable materials management.

Bob Zak and Daniel Kietzer with the Tennessee Materials Marketplace team zig-zagged from Memphis to Nashville to Morrison in early March ‘19 to meet with a handful of businesses and organizations working with the Materials Marketplace to hear firsthand about what’s working well and needs scale, and learn about challenges companies have today in leveraging materials reuse and recycling in their business. Here are a few highlights from the trip:

Clean Memphis and Urban Green Lab

Clean Memphis has been working in the Memphis community since 2008 - organizing cleanups, providing programming like Project Green Fork, and advocating for reuse and recycling in the region. Clean Memphis’ Executive Director, Janet Boscarino, was introduced to the Tennessee Materials Marketplace by Devin James at Refurban, and will be another important connector for the program in West Tennessee.

In the Nashville area, we met with Urban Green Lab, a nonprofit doing important work in the community to eliminate waste in classrooms, households, and workplaces. Urban Green Lab’s Sustainable Classrooms Program trains teachers on how to integrate sustainability into the classroom, and their Corporate Roundtable brings Nashville-area companies together to learn, network, foster new skills and policies, inform leadership, and exchange best practices to make sustainable workplaces a priority. We’re working with Urban Green Lab to integrate the Materials Marketplace into some of their programming and get the word out to Nashville businesses.

TDEC’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, and Office of Policy & Sustainable Practices

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has been a long-time leader in the circular economy at the state level. In addition to being an early supporter of the Materials Marketplace, TDEC programs and resources have long supported small businesses and large manufacturers alike to take steps to better manage materials. Daniel and Bob met with Dr. Ronne Adkins, Regional Director of External Affairs in TDEC’s Memphis Field Office and Director of TDEC’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program to align our efforts. SBEAP stands out as an especially useful program for small businesses; working almost like a free, outsourced EHS department in a way. Definitely get in touch with them if you’re a small business and need assistance understanding and complying with environmental regulations.

Vaughn Cassidy (Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices) has worked closely with the Materials Marketplace since the beginning. OPSP conducts environmental policy research and analysis; and provides technical guidance to business, industry, and other public entities to promote environmental stewardship. Vaughn has worked with manufacturers all over the state, and has been an important conduit between TDEC, business and the Materials Marketplace resource.

Living Lands & Waters

Living Lands & Waters is a truly one-of-a-kind "industrial strength" river cleanup operation. Founder Chad Pregracke, the LL&W crew and an army of volunteers (over 110,000 to date) have removed over 10 million pounds of waste from US rivers, including riverbank areas in and near Memphis. Chad happened to be in Memphis with over 100 volunteers for their annual Alternative Spring Break while we were in town, and we had a few minutes to jump on a boat and meet him on the LL&W barge. In addition to these clean up activities, manufacturers are also working with LL&W to find new homes for the waste they remove from the river. We learned that many of the materials recovered from this particular operation will be destined for some really cool recycling applications - follow them on online to find out more.

Large Manufacturers

We also had meetings and site visits with companies including Fedex, Dal Tile, Cascades/IFC Disposables and others to get a look at some specific manufacturing by-products, materials sourcing, and challenges with reuse and recycling in today’s market. All of these manufacturers are engaged in the conversation as a part of both operational and/or sustainability goals to reduce cost, drive value, and create positive environmental impact. Keep an eye on the Materials Marketplace in the coming weeks to get a look at some really interesting (and high value) materials streams from a few of these companies.

Insights from these companies on some high-level barriers - including data/waste audit gaps, true cost accounting for waste disposal, and others - may also open some additional program services in the coming months. Stay tuned!

TheCO - Driving Innovation

TheCO in Jackson, TN was one of our favorite stops during this trip through Tennessee. Coworking + makerspace. Entrepreneur community. Technology education leader. Economic development catalyst. All made in Jackson. Check out their website and some of their projects to learn more about what they do - it really is incredible. We’re hoping we can get some Materials Marketplace materials into the hands of their creative entrepreneur community!

Green Solutions: Small Business Expo in Warren County

To wrap up our trip, on March 8th we joined Bridgestone and the Warren County Discard Discussion group at their first Green Solutions Small Business Expo. The Discard Discussion group has had quite a bit of success over the last two years helping local businesses in the area find ways to save money on waste disposal and material acquisition, and we’re keen to combine the technology capabilities of the Materials Marketplace with their engaged local network to push their impact even higher.

How you can Get Engaged

If you haven’t created an account yet on the Materials Marketplace, we encourage you to hit this link and get engaged with our growing network today. Whether you’re on the supply side, demand side, a material processor, an entrepreneur, or reuse advocate - there’s an important role for you to play in building out Tennessee’s circular economy ecosystem.

Daniel Kietzer
Post your totes (IBCs) on the Materials Marketplace

Rescue your floor space, guilt and risk free.

Empty totes take up space, not just in your facility but also in our overcrowded landfills. You can use the Tennessee Materials Marketplace to help get them out of your way, knowing they will be given another life or disposed of properly.

It is simple and risk free to find out if this will work for you and your totes. Create a free listing to get started in the Marketplace and provide some information on your totes (or any other items you’d like to see reused). Once the items are posted, you’ll start to receive inquiries. When you like an offer, take it. If not, you can take your totes listing and go home. No risk.

Daniel Kietzer
Success Story: The J.M. Smucker Company and Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations Reuse & Recycle Shrink Wrap
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Generator of Material: The J.M. Smucker Company in Lexington, KY

Amount of Material: 3-4 tons annually

Material Diverted: Shrink wrap plastic film, on a cardboard core

Receiver of Material: Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations in Nashville, TN

Environmental Impact: 12-13 metric tons of CO2 equivalent savings

Total Savings and Value Creation: $10,500 per year

Respect for the environment has been a focus of The J.M. Smucker Company since its founding in 1897. Smucker has established specific environmental goals to reduce its impacts related to waste, water and greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, including diverting 95 percent of waste from landfills. To help reach these goals, the Lexington team joined the Materials Marketplace.

The plant had been working to find alternatives for the discarded film rolls from their shrink wrap machines. The mostly-spent rolls still have valuable material on them but because the film is still on a cardboard core, it is too costly to be processed by their current recycler.


When they posted these shrink wrap rolls to the Materials Marketplace, they were discovered by Dynamic. Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations is a full-service electronics and materials lifecycle management company providing solutions for IT asset disposition, electronics recycling, product refurbishment, remarketing and more with locations in Onalaska, WI; Nashville, TN.; and Minneapolis, MN. Dynamic is dedicated to protecting the environment by keeping reusable materials out of the world’s waste streams and believed they could use the discarded rolls to replace new rolls they purchase to package goods for delivery. When they have used all they can, the leftover film and the core are ethically recycled. Even more, they are able to work with Smucker to pick up the material on backhaul trips by their fleet.

By diverting these spent rolls, Smucker is able to get closer to their overall goals and realize cost savings from the 3-4 tons of material going to landfill. Dynamic is able to put that material to beneficial use and save around $10,000 per year in new film purchases. This reuse application results in a reduction of 12 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

Daniel Kietzer
What's new in the Tennessee Materials Marketplace






materials listings

We have over 130 materials listings in the Tennessee Materials Marketplace from across Tennessee, including:


PP Regrind


PET Polyester Airbag Scrap


Hard Slag and Granulated Slag


PP/PE Bottle Caps Regrind


Wood Mulch


Milling Dust

Interested in any of these materials? You can sign up for the Tennessee Materials Marketplace free of charge and quickly get in touch with these materials' owners. Head over to our join page and sign up today.

Daniel Kietzer
By the Numbers - Users and Materials in the Marketplace Today

What's in the Marketplace?

Companies have created listings for a variety of materials so far, including:

  • Rubber By-products
  • Hand Carts
  • Large Transformers
  • Agricultural Lime
  • Scrap Pallets and Wood
  • Electric Motors
  • Caged Totes
  • Plastic Films
  • HDPE Plastic
  • Cardboard
  • Fabric Scraps

Interested in any of these materials? You can sign up for the Tennessee Materials Marketplace free of charge and quickly get in touch with these materials' owners. Head over to our join page and sign up today.

Daniel Kietzer
Announcing the Launch of the Tennessee Materials Marketplace

New circular economy program connects businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs to uncover and implement new creative solutions for hard-to-recycle wastes and by-products

Franklin, Tennessee - August 14, 2017: The US Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation today announced the launch of a new online platform that allows for circular reuse of products and materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. Through the cloud-based Tennessee Materials Marketplace, traditional and non-traditional waste streams are matched with new product and revenue opportunities, ultimately enabling the culture shift to a circular, closed-loop economy. 

Tennessee is the second state in the US to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale; and joins an international network of Materials Marketplace projects already underway across the globe, including the Ohio and Austin Materials Marketplaces, US Materials Marketplace, and the Turkey Materials Marketplace.

In addition to facilitating reuse matches, the program also allows for collaborations to be made between Tennessee’s larger manufacturers working towards zero-landfill and highest and best use of materials like General Motors and American Snuff, and agile and innovative small and medium-sized businesses. 

Over the past 20 years, Materials Marketplace projects spearheaded by the US BCSD and scale-up partner Pathway21 have engaged hundreds of companies - large and small - academic institutions, nonprofits and entrepreneurs around the world. Andrew Mangan, Founder and Executive Director of the US BCSD, says “Many businesses and organizations in Tennessee are challenging the traditional take-make-dispose model; the Materials Marketplace is an important enabler to move this new circular thinking into action.

Additional Background/How to Get Involved:

  • Visit the program's website at http://tennessee.materialsmarketplace.org for more information and steps for how to get involved. It's a quick and easy process.
  • Participation is free for any company or organization with operations in or near the state that wants to explore new opportunities to transform by-product/waste materials into new products, or secure recycled material streams to reduce use of virgin feedstocks.
  • The US BCSD manages the Tennessee Materials Marketplace, with initial funding support from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. 
Daniel Kietzer
What is the Materials Marketplace?
The Materials Marketplace is an award-winning regional and national platform to facilitate company-to-company industrial reuse. Through the cloud-based platform, traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams are matched with new product and revenue opportunities, ultimately enabling the culture shift to a circular, closed-loop economy.
Daniel Kietzer