Hyatt Regency Minneapolis   |   Minneapolis, Minnesota   |   June 17-20, 2024

Conference Speakers


Matt O'Sickey, Ph.D.

Director of Education & Technical Affairs, INDA


Matthew (Matt) O’Sickey, Ph.D., Director of Education & Technical Affairs, INDA. Matt joined INDA in September 2022. He has prior experience as the Director of Application Engineering and Research & Development for the Americas at RKW North America and as Director of Global Market Development with Tredegar Corporation. He holds a deeply rooted belief that innovation is the result of the intersection of marketing and technology, and this is reflected in his career path, which encompasses both disciplines. His career has entailed developing and bringing to market a range of hygiene and packaging films and nonwoven laminates. Within the hygiene area, he has worked on the development and commercialization of topsheets, surge layers, waistbands, fit and closure elements, breathable films and laminates, backsheets, pouch films, and bags with more recent focus on sustainable solutions.

Matt has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and a Masters of Engineering Administration from Virginia Tech, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University with a heavy emphasis on the processing-structure-property relationships of polymeric materials.

Thursday, June 20
9:00 am - 11:15 am
Recycling & Regulations

What's America Flushing? A Deep Dive into the Largest Sewage Collection Study Conducted

Sanitation agencies and the wipes industry worked with an independent engineering firm, Kennedy-Jenks, to conduct the largest sewage collection study to date in order to see what Americans are really flushing and what's causing issues for sewage treatment facilities.

Two collection studies were conducted by INDA in partnership with RFA, CASA, and selected CASA member agencies: the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) in Southern California and the Central Contra Costa Sanitation District (Central San) in Northern California.

A total of 1,745 articles were documented across the four sampling events, marking it as the largest such collection study conducted in the United States.

Findings include:

Paper Products -- 52.8%

Nonwovens Labeled "Do Not Flush" -- 34.1%

Feminine Hygiene -- 7.2%

Trash -- 4.9%

Flushable Wipes -- 0.9%

The percentage of materials collected within each category had a high degree of consistency across collection events and facilities suggesting similar behavior across California. Based on this information, implementing consumer education to discourage the flushing of the top three categories could capture over 90 percent of the recovered materials.

Study results are informing the wipes industry's FlushSmart educational campaign to promote the "Do Not Flush" symbol and help consumers understand what should and should not be flushed.