The New York State Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Stewardship Program is a unique internship opportunity that uses a “train-the-trainers” approach to engage NYS college and university students. Through immersive training sessions, delivered by SU-EFC staff and other local SMM professionals, students are presented with foundational concepts and principles of SMM. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines SMM as “a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles.” Essentially, SMM is the reduction, reuse, and recycling of valuable resources previously regarded as waste.
Upon completion of the trainings, students act as SMM Stewards by conceptualizing and implementing semester-long projects that allow them to strategically integrate SMM practices into schools, organizations, businesses, and more in target communities throughout the state. Stewards focus on a variety of high priority materials including traditional recyclables, organics, single-use plastics, textiles, electronics, and more.