Jeremy O’Brien Selected to Join National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee

Jeremy O'Brien Committee Appointment - May 2024

May 21, 2024 – SWANA Director of Applied Research Jeremy O’Brien was recently appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Costs and Approaches for Municipal Solid Waste Recycling Programs.

“Jeremy’s appointment underscores the breadth of talent within SWANA. We are confident that his expertise will be used to drive positive change and advocate for solutions that benefit our communities, the environment, and the industry,” said Amy Lestition Burke, Executive Director & CEO at SWANA.

This ad-hoc committee is tasked with examining the comprehensive data regarding the operational and financial aspects of recycling programs for municipal solid waste (MSW) across various levels of governance, including municipal, county, state, and tribal jurisdictions. The committee’s intention is to offer actionable recommendations, including potential policy strategies, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of MSW recycling initiatives.

“It is an honor to be selected to join the committee that will investigate and report on the costs and performance of municipal recycling programs,” O’Brien said. “While these programs are often implemented in response to national and state goals and mandates, local recycling and solid waste managers are mainly responsible for their implementation and their costs are borne by local citizens and businesses.”

“Jeremy’s appointment reflects SWANA’s commitment to advancing sustainable waste management practices,” said SWANA President, Art Mercer. “We are proud to have him represent our association and having his contributions drive innovation and sustainability in the industry.”

O’Brien is one of 13 members of the committee, and his term will last until July 16, 2025. He expressed his gratitude for his recent appointment and looks forward to representing SWANA on a broader scale.

“I look forward to working with the committee members to explore new policies and structures that will result in more equitable and sustainable methods of funding and implementing municipal recycling programs. These efforts aim to incentivize the participation of the beneficiaries of these programs, including material suppliers, product and packaging manufacturers, regulators, and policy makers,” O’Brien said.

In addition to receiving this prestigious appointment, O’Brien is celebrating 25 years of service at SWANA. He has served as the Director of Applied Research since 1999. Before this, he served as a Senior Professional Associate at HDR Engineering, Inc., for 10 years in North Carolina. O’Brien’s earned his master’s degree in urban and environmental engineering from Duke University and is a board-certified environmental engineer.

Learn more about the committee on the National Academies website. Learn more about O’Brien and the Applied Research Foundation on the SWANA website.


The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 60 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.

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