March 28

Watch Now

On the surface, municipal recycling programs have been one of the great success stories of the past century. The recycling rate overall has tripled in the past 30 years, resulting in 68 million tons of materials diverted from landfills each year.

But the reality is starkly different. The current economic model for recycling is unsustainable, imperiling municipal recycling programs that have been in place for decades. Shifts in end market demands, limited public awareness about what and how to recycle, and broad misperceptions about the real costs of recycling further complicate the landscape.

If recycling is to survive, leaders must develop robust and resilient strategies.

Join Governing and Republic Services on March 28 at 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern as our panel of experts discusses how leaders can take a more durable approach to recycling – developing new models to ensure they can continue operations in the years to come.

In one hour, you’ll hear:

• Why the economic model to support recycling operations has unraveled
• What factors you must consider as you take a more durable approach to recycling
• How seven important steps can help you ensure you sustain recycling in your municipality


Jeffrey Smithberger

Jeffrey Smithberger

Director, Solid Waste Management Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, Mecklenburg County Government

Mr. Smithberger has over 34 years of experience in management and leadership of complex Solid Waste Management Systems. He currently works as the Director of Solid Waste for Mecklenburg County NC, which is where he resides. He previously worked as the Director of Solid Waste in Fairfax County Virginia, where he retired from after 28 years of service in 2011. Both jurisdictions are the most populous regions in their respective states.
He is well versed in working with industry on the complexities of solid waste management. Seeking local ordinances that increase recycling and sustainability, but are also workable in the community.
Jeff has both an engineering and business background from Virginia Tech, where he attended and graduated from before the schools’ football team became popular. He has two grown daughters, the oldest who also works in the solid waste field in VA and the youngest who is pursuing her doctoral studies.

Richard Coupland III

Richard Coupland III

Vice President, Municipal Sales, Republic Services

Mr. Coupland joined Republic Services in 2015 as vice president of Municipal Sales. He currently leads the Municipal market vertical, consisting of partnerships with more than 2400 municipal cities in 40 states. His team provides consultative support to their Municipal partners, to understand and navigate changes in the industry, as well as emerging technology and methods.

Richard received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute, and his Masters degree in Business Administration from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Pete Keller

Pete Keller

Vice President, Recycling and Sustainability, Republic Services

Pete is responsible for defining and implementing the strategic direction of the sustainability platform for Republic Services, to meet both business objectives and customer needs. His dedication to our Blue Planet is best noted by Republic Services’ recognition on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, at both the National and Global levels. Pete is a thought leader in the industry, with contributions to recycling infrastructure development, standards and optimization, development of renewable energy projects, and customer solutions that support the organization’s commitment to sustainability.
Pete has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has served on numerous industry boards and committees during his career.

Mark Funkhouser

Mark Funkhouser — Moderator

Director, Governing Institute

Mark Funkhouser is the director of the Governing Institute and publisher of Governing magazine. He served as mayor of Kansas City, Mo., from 2007 to 2011. Prior to being elected mayor, Funkhouser was the city's auditor for 18 years and was honored in 2003 as a Governing Public Official of the Year.

Funkhouser is an internationally recognized auditing expert, author and teacher in public administration and its fiscal disciplines. He holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in public administration and sociology from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, an M.B.A. in accounting and finance from Tennessee State University and a master's degree in social work from West Virginia University.