American Waste – Paradigm Shifting Toward a Circular Economy

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Often hidden from sight, waste is an epidemic with impacts on both the environment and long-term economic prosperity. Americans generate approximately 258 million tons of waste per year, and such does not represent externalities arising from emissions of waste or materials associated with the production process. The inefficient use of resources, as illustrated by this magnitude of waste, presents a roadblock to both sustainable development and a truly prosperous economic system.

Join our expert panelists to explore the future of American waste, the potential for transformative sustainable innovation, and the regulatory aspects hindering and helping to establish a circular economy. In doing so, the panel will explore the possibilities of designing circular, waste-free economic, legal, and regulatory models to foster a cradle-to-cradle lifespan of material goods. Expert panelists will lead a dialogue on integrating the legal, social, environmental, and economic challenges of meaningful solutions to American waste.


  • John Pendergrass, Vice President of Programs and Publications, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
  • Mike Italiano, President & Chief Executive Officer, Capital Markets Partnership
  • John A. “Skip” Laitner, Principal & Independent Consultant, Economic & Human Dimensions Research Associates
  • Elizabeth Richardson, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond PC (invited)
  • Meagan Weiland, Independent Researcher, Economic & Human Dimensions Research Associates and Program Coordinator, Science Magazine 


Environmental Law Institute
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington DC 20036

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