Developed by the Board of Directors, January 2009
This is ASTSWMO’s fourth strategic plan. The Association began the current era of strategic planning in 2001 and has updated its plans every three to five years. Since 2001, the strategic plan has been explicitly focused around the two dimensions of the ASTSWMO mission statement: support for State and Territorial (hereinafter “State(s)”) programs and influencing national policy. Past ASTSWMO strategic plans identified specific actions to support enhancements, innovation, and State waste prevention, management, and cleanup programs; and work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to influence national waste prevention, management and cleanup program direction and policy. The 2009 Strategic Plan continues those themes and adds to them.
In the 2009 strategic plan, a revised mission statement for ASTSWMO cements the commitment to the evolution of State waste and cleanup programs to include consideration of environmental sustainability and materials management. The plan also includes five principles that will guide the Association’s actions over the next three to five years. For the most part, these principles are not new to the organization; bringing them forward into the strategic plan highlights their importance to ASTSWMO’s continued success. Finally, the 2009 strategic plan continues to use strategic focus areas to organize and highlight key Association activities.
II. ASTSWMO's Evolving Mission
Since 1974, ASTSWMO‘s mission has been, “to enhance and promote effective State and Territorial waste management programs, and affect national waste management policies.” These two themes—serving and promoting State and Territorial programs and influencing national policies—continue to form the basis of ASTSWMO’s mission statement.
However, ASTSWMO also acknowledges the evolutionary expansion that many State waste programs and the federal program are engaged in as they increasingly incorporate strategies to reduce, detoxify, and eliminate waste by influencing product design, chemicals policy, manufacturing processes, and consumption patterns. This expansion recognizes that the most enduring way to achieve safe waste management often is to reduce or detoxify (or ideally eliminate) waste in the first place. These types of strategies, along with an increasing emphasis on viewing materials as a valuable resource to be maintained in commerce, are grouped under the titles of sustainability and materials management.
ASTSWMO has incorporated both these ideas into its updated mission statement:
To enhance and promote effective State and Territorial programs for waste and materials management, to encourage environmentally sustainable practices and to affect relevant national waste and materials management policies.
Fundamentally, the modification of ASTSWMO’s mission statement recognizes the importance of incorporating materials management and sustainability into the traditional waste management programs without losing focus on core programs, such as corrective action, permitting, enforcement, and inspection. Projections are that, between 2000 and 2050, the world population will increase by 50%; economic activity will increase by 500%; and energy and materials use will increase by 300% (1). In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all of previous history (2). Most products become waste within six weeks after purchase—and for every pound of consumer waste thrown away, an additional eight to nine pounds of waste are generated in the making and transporting of consumer products. Americans throw away over four pounds of waste per person per day (3). As individuals and as environmental officials, ASTSWMO members know that this cannot continue. ASTSWMO members see the expansion of the ethic that up to now primarily has been interested in segregating and managing waste to one that is also interested in the sustainable use of materials as critical to future environmental protection and economic prosperity. Waste and cleanup programs have an important role to play in the evolution to sustainability, and ASTSWMO is committed to being a leader of that effort.
The 2009 Strategic Plan continues, outlining ASTSWMO's Principles for Success and Strategic Focus Areas, as well as detailing how ASTSWMO intends to carry out the Strategic Plan.
»2009 ASTSWMO Strategic Plan (PDF, 256KB)
Past Strategic Plans
»2005 Strategic Plan
»2005 Strategic Plan Status Update (October 2008)
»2001 Strategic Plan
(1) Matthews, Emily, Et al. Weight of Nations: Material Outflows from Industrial Economies. World Resource Institute. Washington, DC, 2000. p xi
(2) International Partnerships for Sustainable Resource Management. Exploring Elements for a work plan (2008-2010). UNEP/IRM/SC/0711/06.
(3) USEPA Office of Solid Waste (5306P). Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2007 Facts and Figures. EPA 530-R-08-101. November 2008.