Annual Members Meeting! Thursday April 19th at StopWaste Office

Please join us for our annual meeting where we will brainstorm our focus for 2018.  Meeting will be held at the StopWaste office at 1537 Webster Street, Oakland 94612. Email us at ncrarecycles at to RSVP, or with any questions you may have.

Tentative Agenda is as follows:

6:00pm Food and Group Sharing

6:30pm Annual Membership Address

7:00pm Group Activity: Priority-setting for committees

7:30pm Groups come back together for report out

7:45pm Screening of STRAWS with brief Q&A after

8:30pm Meeting adjourns & off to green drinks!

California Carpet Update, 2/2018

By Joanne Brasch, PhD, Special Project Manager, California Product Stewardship Council
On October 14, 2017, Governor Brown signed AB 1158, legislation sponsored by the National Stewardship Action Council, an affiliate of the California Product Stewardship Council, which made significant changes to the Carpet Stewardship program goals and structure. The new legislation required CalRecycle to appoint a Carpet Stewardship Program Advisory Committee to provide recommendations on carpet stewardship plans, plan amendments, and annual reports. All documents, including meeting agendas and minutes, are available on the official Advisory Committee web page. After several long and productive meetings, the Committee sent a letter on February 12, to CalRecycle and the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) outlining their comments and recommendations on the draft carpet stewardship plan proposed submitted on January 8, 2018. In the letter, the committee provided 21 recommended changes to the draft plan, listed in priority order.

The committee followed protocols to comply with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act as they discussed and voted on each recommendation, ensuring transparency and giving the public opportunity to comment. These recommendations aim to expand the carpet recycling program in California to provide adequate program funding, improve recycling infrastructure and subsidies, and drive markets for carpet materials. The committee requested the author of AB 1158, Assemblymember Kansen Chu, to provide clarification regarding his intent for the definition of recyclability. The author’s definition was incorporated into a new, more comprehensive metric of recyclability, which includes measurements of carpet deconstruction and material separation, ease of collection, cost-effectiveness, post-recycling material performance, and toxic components. Assemblymember Chu’s letter of intent for the definition of “recyclability” will in turn affect the grant and subsidy program, which by law prioritizes products that have the highest recyclability to ensure the carpet stewardship program incentivizes greener design.

CARE has until March 16 to resubmit an amended stewardship plan to CalRecycle, which will then review and develop staff recommendations on whether the plan should be approved at the May 15th public hearing. If anyone would like to get involved, there will be more opportunities for the public to provide comments and questions. The public can email to get on the committee’s listserv and CPSC funders can email to be added to the carpet listserv.

Help us hold the carpet industry to a much higher recycling standard for California!

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Monthly Board Meeting This Thursday in Oakland–CANCELED



BOARD MEETING – THURS February 15, 2018

Location: John Moore’s Office, 1970 Broadway St, Oakland, CA 94612

Food served at 6 pm; meeting begins at 6:30 pm.

Open to the public – all welcome to attend. Please RSVP to the NCRA Office if you wish to attend. Coming late? Let the office know so someone can be prepared to come down to let you in; the doorperson leaves at 6pm.


Recycling Update 2018 Speakers!

Over 20 presenters will inform and inspire the 23rd Annual Recycling Update conference.  See our ZWW/Recycling Update page under our Activities Tab to register for RU and to see the activities being planned for the annual Zero Waste Week.

David Allaway, Senior Policy Analyst, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  David will address Oregon’s efforts to move up the hierarchy with a focus on reducing wasted food, reuse/repair, and the built environment; Oregon’s transition to sustainable materials management; and the development of new statewide systems to measure progress towards broad sustainability goals that include – but go beyond – traditional weight-based waste recovery metrics.

Ric Anthony, Principal, Richard Anthony Associates, “Why Bottle Caps?” – Bottle caps are one of the most frequent plastic items found in coastal cleanups. There is need to bring the producers these products and packages to the World table to draft Zero Waste responsibility plans for proper management of discarded plastic via redesign for recyclability, buyback purchasing opportunities (closed circle), and recovery campaigns for vagrant plastics on land and sea. In ten minutes I will discuss the science and the campaign which includes legislative action to force the redesign to leash the lid, a lawsuit to fund the cleanup and a public education campaign that includes returning the caps found in coastal cleanups back to the producer.

Will Bakx, Soil Scientist/Owner, Sonoma Compost Company, “It Ain’t Over until the “Overs” have a Home” – When making finished compost or mulch, ‘overs’ are screened off to create a clean, uniform marketable product.  The ‘overs’ are the coarser woody fraction that used to go to biofuel plants for green energy.  As biofuel plants are shutting down or raising the bar on what products they accept, Woodageddon has arrived.  Or, Chunky Mulch is here.  Clean up your ‘overs’ and return all organics to the soil.  Mulch: the obstacles and the solutions.

Erin Cooke, Sustainability Director, San Francisco International Airport and Jennifer Acton, Environmental Operations Manager, San Francisco International Airport, “Achieving Zero: SFO’s Journey” – San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO or the Airport) has established the bold, Strategic Plan goal, of becoming the world’s first zero-waste Airport by 2021. In setting this target, our Airport asks the question of “how low can we go?” within its 14 million square foot campus materials system. To accomplish this bold goal, SFO drafted its first Airport Zero Waste Plan, which sets a pathway to respond to this question and achieve this goal. The Airport’s key implementation leads will walk attendees through SFO’s approach and gain feedback, from you, on what approaches will help our campus reach zero.

Sharon Daraphonhdeth, Interim Director of the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) at the University of California Berkeley, “UC Berkeley Students Make Zero Waste Possible” – UC Berkeley is committed to reaching zero waste by 2020. Sharon will be presenting on the major accomplishments, created and implemented by students on campus. She will touch on the importance and power of student leaders, and how they are shaping the conversation and paving the way towards zero waste.

Ken DaRosa, Chief Deputy Director, CalRecycle – Mr. DaRosa will share updates regarding SB1383 compost regulations.

Mikhail Davis, Director of Restorative Enterprise, Interface, “Making Closed Loop Carpet a Reality” – For nearly 25 years, Interface has been grappling with the challenge of making their new carpet tiles from old carpet, with many setbacks and breakthroughs along the way.  Mikhail will discuss the Interface journey to make carpet to carpet recycling a technical and economic reality and how and why they decided to break with the carpet industry in 2017 and support the passage of AB 1158, the nation’s first EPR law for carpet.

Jeff Denby, Co-Founder, The Renewal Workshop, “Enabling a Circular Economy for Apparel” – The reason we have waste in the apparel industry is the design of the industry itself. The Renewal Workshop leverages technology, systems thinking and marketplace drivers to start to evolve the industry towards a more regenerative model where resources are wisely used.

Tim Dewey-Mattia

Sara Fuentes, Sustainability Program Manager, Commercial Industrial Waste Applications, Inc. (CIWA, Inc.), “Putting the Zero Waste in Concierge Services” – Learn how CIWA uses emerging technology to help track trash and recycling services and save time and money. CIWA will share some best management practices and lessons learned through a few case studies from their large-scale tech clients in Palo Alto.

Hilary Gans, Manager, SBWMA – In 2016, the SBWMA had a large fire at the MRF. Hilary will tell the tale and share what he has learned from the experience.

Adam Gendell, Associate Director, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, “The State of Sustainable Packaging” – This presentation gives an overview of the most current understanding of packaging sustainability, including industry trends, regulatory happenings, and hot topics in sustainable packaging. Learn about the latest news and hear about the industry-facing work of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive Officer, Zero Waste Scotland – Ian Gulland will update us on the latest trends and policies in Zero Waste Scotland.

Zoe Heller, Assistant Director of Policy Development, CalRecycle – The export of recyclable material is a key component of California’s recycling infrastructure.  China’s import restriction is resulting in less recyclable materials leaving California, creating opportunities and challenges for how we manage our materials domestically.

Kevin Kumataka, Green Business Coordinator, San Francisco Green Business Program, “Creating Access to Environmental Recognition” – 2 years ago the San Francisco Green Business Program distinguished itself as the most stringent of Green Business Programs.  This created credibility but became a barrier to many businesses and business sectors in San Francisco.  To address this issue of access to working with the program and to maintain credibility, the SF Green Business Program has piloted a tiered certification model approach.  Come to this talk to learn about developments of not just the SF Green Business Program, but the development of the CA Green Business Program and expansion of the Green Business model to other states.

Alexandra Lalor, Greg Dudish, Alina Bekkerman, Dennis Uyat, “Lessons Learned from Zero Waste Youth Brazil” – From Brazil to the United States, people are coming together and collaborating to create a zero waste world. Representatives from Zero Waste Youth USA will share their experiences from attending the Brazil Zero Waste Youth conference, including challenges we face, similarities we share, and connections we’ve made as we continue to build an international zero waste movement.

Michael Lok, Planning Associate, Asian Health Services – Michael staffs the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative which was funded by AHS and has grown into a statewide coalition focused on making the nail salon industry safer, healthier and more just for the 129,000 nail salon workers statewide most of whom are immigrant women of color. Michael will give an overview of the Collaborative’s environmental justice work which stands on a foundation of community outreach, research and policy advocacy.

Jack Macy, Commercial Zero Waste Senior Coordinator, San Francisco Dept. of Environment, “San Francisco Upgrades MRF And Expands Materials Recycled” – San Francisco made major upgrades at Recology’s Recycle Central @ Pier 96 to increase the types of materials recovered, improve quality and reduce residual. These upgrades, along with efforts to reduce plastic in compostables and pursue the highest and best use of resources, resulted in San Francisco moving paper cups and cartons from composting into recycling, as well as moving aseptic cartons and plastic film from trash to recycling. Hear how these changes were made, and the latest status and results of the in-progress 2-year citywide rollout of outreach along with smaller trash and larger recycling bins, while addressing recent challenging market conditions.

Patrick Mathews, Salinas Valley Recycles, “Organics Management Planning in the Salinas Valley, the Perfect Storm” – The presentation will overview the expansion of SVR’s Organics Management Program and how we will utilize the $1.34 million grant awarded by CalRecycle under their Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Organics Grant Program for 2016-17.  The topics will include selected technology review, Ag waste recovery, collections, and food recovery and distribution in the Salinas Valley.  The discussion will also outline the unique organics “perfect storm” SVR is planning for in the near future: increased organics recovery, cannabis wastes, and growing challenges for the cattle feedstock (culls) markets.

Kelly McBee, Policy Analyst, Californians Against Waste, “Preserving California’s Bottle Bill” – California’s unique beverage container recycling law was enacted in 1987 and is one of the largest and most successful Bottle Bill programs in North America.  However, over the last few years, unsustainable losses of revenue for recyclers has led to the closing of hundreds of bottle buyback centers, denying California the full scope of the program’s greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits and others. Kelly will discuss opportunities for comprehensive program reform, legislative efforts to date, and next steps.

Terry McDonald, DR3 Mattress Recycling, and Saint Vincent de Paul Lane County, “Building Blocks from Broken Stuff” -Most retail thrift stores send worn and damaged materials to the landfill.  At St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, we use the broken stuff as building blocks for new products. Scratched vinyl records, ripped leather sofas, shirts with blown-out elbows, table tops with no legs? No problem. Our upcycling team creates unique products that attract buyers looking for something that didn’t come off an assembly line. The revenue supports a unique range of services to those struggling financially.

John Moore, Legal Counsel, NCRA, “Winning Isn’t Everything” – Presentation will discuss three local litigation cases from the past year.

Kate O’Neill, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley, “The Global (and Local) Impacts of China’s Scrap Ban” – This presentation addresses the unfolding impacts of China’s crackdown on scrap imports, with an emphasis on scrap plastics. I trace out implications for California, the US and the rest of the world, and discuss the many different options currently on the table.

Kerry Parker, Recycling Specialist, City of Alameda, and Samantha Sommer, Waste Prevention Program Manager, Rethink Disposable, “Straws-on-Request, and ReThink Disposable: Unpackaging Alameda Initiative” – The City of Alameda, now implementing a new law that bans plastic straws and other single-use plastics, has found itself suddenly in the midst of ongoing arguments regarding the branding of that whipped coffee drink everyone loves; responding to tough questions like whether or not something deemed “compostable” or “recyclable” actually is, and finding the way through tricky policy-making where most disposable single-use plastic food ware is now banned in the small island city.  Find out about how Alameda’s partnership with Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable program to create a demonstration project to “unpackage” a Bay Area community has brought expertise, resources, and technical assistance to hundreds of island businesses, and supports the city’s ambitious source reduction policy to keep our coastlines and bays free from plastics and other debris.

Jerame Rentaria, Organics Marketing Specialist/Company Landscape Designer at Zanker Road Resource Management, Ltd., “DM Reduction System at Zanker Facility” – The DM Reduction system processes materials categorized as miscellaneous debris, as well as residuals from Zanker’s other operations, including bulky items such as furniture, which are collected from local garbage collection companies. The fines are conveyed to a General Kinematics Air Classifier. Here, materials are fluidized with a high-velocity air stream which removes heavy items such as glass, metals, wood, and stones to be removed from lighter items such as paper, plastic and insulation. The heavy items are marketed as ADC, and the lighter items are shipped to a landfill for disposal.

Nicole Tai, CEO, GreenLynx – Nicole will discuss the growth of GreenLynx, which started in 2013 as a deconstruction coordination group and has grown into a full service reclaimed materials company with a Woodworks, Retail Store, Deconstruction service, and Green Building division. GreenLynx opened its store in Santa Rosa in August 2017 and is currently expanding to include reclaimed furniture and finish products, a reclaimed lumber retail and receiving yard, and on-site pickups of reclaimed lumber. Nicole Tai will also briefly discuss the recent Deconstruction Workshop GreenLynx hosted along with the EPA, and the amazing group formed out of this gathering.

Monica Wilson, US and Canada Program Director, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), “Recycling is Not Enough: Findings from our Global Plastic Recycling Research Project” – Working with organizations in China, Southeast Asia, EU, and US, GAIA’s research project on plastic recycling found that as exports increase to Southeast Asia processing may increase by the informal recycling sector, which would have environmental and health impacts on workers and surrounding communities. We also found that international plastic recycling trade transparency is nearly nonexistent and that stronger coordinated action needs to be taken by governments and other actors to curb the overproduction and consumption of plastic.

Board Of Directors Candidate Statements, 2018

Ten NCRA members have submitted ballot statements to serve on the 2018 NCRA Board of Directors. There are five positions to fill. Voting opens December 7 and closes December 21 at 11:59 pm.  The election results will be presented to the Board of Directors on December 22 and to the membership soon afterward.

Custom voting links will be emailed to members on December 7. If you do not receive our email but believe you should (i.e. your membership is current as of December 6, 2017), please email the office and we will email the link again.

CANDIDATES 2018: Shova Ale Magar, Nik Balachandran, Alina Bekkerman, Susan Blachman, Tim Dewey-Mattia, Janette E. Drew, Alex Hoffman, David Krueger, John Moore and Laura Zamora

Shova Ale Magar
I spent the summer after high school teaching workshops at the district–level wastewater treatment plant in Kathmandu, Nepal. During a workshop one weekend, I was inspired by the enthusiasm and curiosity of the 50 community members who had given up their weekend to learn about the project. That weekend taught me that environmental stewardship begins at the individual level. Everyone has a role to play.

I feel this every day in my work as a municipal recycling coordinator at Waste Management Inc. The actions we take individually grow into collaborative communities, from policies to enforcement, to education and out to individuals doing their part.

My career has included managing Green Citizen’s electronics recycling center in Mountain View where I assisted about 50 people a day who came in to recycle light bulbs, MacBooks, and even the occasional talking teddy bear. As a volunteer co-organizer of Zero Waste Youth USA’s 2016 and 2017 Convergences, I negotiated and managed the venue for the day-long event with 170 attendees including students, speakers, and vendors in the field. Collaboration including individuals and communities moves us toward a zero-waste world.

I humbly offer my experience to serve on the NCRA board.

Nik Balachandran
I would like to submit my candidacy for a position on the NCRA board. An avid environmental advocate, I regularly participate in beach cleanups and successfully led a campaign to end prepared food displays at corporate cafeterias that are discarded at the end of the shift. For years I have been reducing, reusing more, thereby, decreasing the need to even recycle. Along the way, I have educated people on how and why this is important.

Recently, I decided to make Zero Waste part of my career. I have years of experience as a data scientist in tech startups analyzing vast amounts of sensor data for actionable insights. I saw a great potential to marry innovation, technology, and waste. So I founded Zabble to help businesses track and reduce waste, save money and protect the environment. Since then I have been able to really understand industry trends and legislation, meet and learn from numerous inspiring people. In August, I earned a certification from USGBC as a Zero Waste advisor.

I believe that I bring a fresh perspective to the industry and could really aid NCRA in continuing their Zero Waste initiatives. I am very committed to my work. Your vote would be greatly appreciated.

Alina Bekkerman
As a Zero Waste advocate, I believe the next two years are critical and require a significant paradigm shift from a consumer mindset to a low-energy lifestyle

I humbly submit my candidacy to join the NCRA 2018 board, in service to our broader community and NCRA members.

In 2014 I first had an epiphany about the importance of waste stream management and recycling education while abroad in Ecuador, where I started a small program call Proyecto Puerto López Limpio. Upon my return home, I was first introduced to Bay Area initiatives as a volunteer for RU in 2015. In 2016, I joined the Zero Waste Youth Convergence planning committee, helping with fundraising, communications, and logistics. I co-directed the 2017 ZWYC, and continue to serve on the planning team for the 2018 event in a supporting role.

I would like to join the NCRA board to help collaborate on event production and education initiatives for RU and throughout the year. I believe that together we are a stronger movement, and would like to help connect individuals, organizations, and communities, promoting programs that inspire and educate the Bay Area and beyond.

Susan Blachman
A long-time NCRA member and a great fan of RU, I attended the 2014 Zero Food Waste Forum and got hooked. Ruth Abbe, John Moore and I launched NCRA’s Zero Food Waste Committee and with help from Susan Miller-Davis wrote Commercial Food Waste Reduction in Alameda County, the first-ever study of wasted food prevention and recovery efforts and opportunities in Alameda County. I presented our findings at RU2017, BIOCYCLE REFOR17 and NCRA’s Introduction to Recycling.

I plan to support NCRA’s efforts to further prevent food and other organics from being landfilled. This would include organizing another Zero Waste Food Forum and sharing local jurisdictions’  SB1838 compliance strategies (SB1383 requires California to meet organic waste reduction goals, including edible food recovery).

I was a City of Berkeley’s Zero Waste Commissioner for 8 years, co-chaired the Golden Gate Pollution Prevention Committee, was on the Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network Steering Committee and helped found the Women’s Environmental Network. I’ve been a member of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance, and the California Product Stewardship Council.

Tim Dewey-Mattia, Incumbent
I w
as elected to the NCRA Board 2 years ago, and I kindly ask the membership for a chance to serve another term.  I’m the Recycling & Public Education Manager for Napa Recycling & Waste Services – the local franchise hauler and operator of Napa’s Recycling & Composting Facility

I got my start in Zero Waste over 20 years ago – first with the Middlebury College recycling program, and then for non-profit recycling organizations in San Francisco.  I’ve been at Napa Recycling for 12 years and work on program development, implementation and outreach…plus I talk about chickens & earthquakes at Recycling Update.

As NCRA board member and co-chair of the Outreach & Activities Committee, I’ve helped coordinate events, organize facility tours, & fundraise for Recycling Update.  I believe NCRA can and should be a leader on the hot topics of the day, including increasing organics diversion through more infrastructure and program participation and finding solutions to the current recycling market woes.

NCRA and our members are Zero Waste pioneers, and I am honored to help carry that forward.  We are a collaborative, exciting, and down-to-earth bunch, and I’d be pleased to continue to serve on the Board.

Janette E. Drew
I welcome the opportunity to be of service to NCRA. I believe that recycling, stewardship, and excellent governance are perfect partners for our community.  I am passionate about our environment and the preservation of our beautiful area for future generations to enjoy.

I am grateful to live in an area that takes its waste management seriously and constantly seeks to implement best practices on an ongoing basis. NCRA’s efforts ensure that there is a voice and a platform for recycling concerns to be heard and in particular, actions be taken.

My contributions:

  • Trustee of a national nonprofit managing billions of member assets
  • Member, Socially Responsible Investing
  • Trustee of a local nonprofit providing care & support to at risk families
  • Member, Finance committee
  • Commercial Finance and banking background
  • Various leadership roles: President, Chairperson, Secretary, Executive
  • Participant, Clean the Bay
  • Master Recycler graduate, RecycleSmart’s inaugural program, 2016

I am a 19 year resident of Contra Costa County and have held various local and national community relations roles. I have successfully built and maintained good relationships between the organization and interested parties including governing bodies, community organizations, clients, and other stakeholders.

Alexandra Hoffmann-Bradley, Incumbent
My Zero Waste career began a decade ago as a Recycling Coordinator for Waste Management. I later worked in electronics recycling, now I’m focused on climate change and textiles. I’m proud to have written two SFE Zero Waste grants totaling $100,000. I’m currently developing textile recycling programs and outreach for local schools. My passion for recycling ignited when I won a school contest for the beverage recycling program in the 80’s and I want to ignite that same passion in everyone I meet!

I’ve loved serving on the board these past 2 ½ years. I worked on the ZW Advocacy Committee’s plastic bag ban campaign.  Next year I’m interested in getting a grassroots lobbying team together to send to the Capital.

I’m Co-Chair of the Activities Committee playing a large role in organizing mixers, mentorships, tours, and RU. I ensure everyone is fed and happy at our events. I’m pumped up about RU 2018 and Zero Waste Week, as it’s NCRA’s 40th anniversary we have some phenomenal ideas to celebrate Zero Waste. I hope that you will put your faith in me to continue to see those through as I still have much to contribute. Humbly asking for your vote.

David Krueger, Incumbent
I have served on the NCRA Board of Directors since May 2015.  I’ve been the Treasurer for the past year and participate in NCRA’s Zero Waste Advocacy Committee.  Recent accomplishments include working on NCRA’s campaign to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, organizing a tour of the West Contra Costa composting facility, and writing support letters for the Altamont composting facility and for increased processing payments to Buyback centers.  I have over 25 years of professional experience in the recycling industry, having worked for cities, haulers, consulting firms, and a college recycling program.  If re-elected I will work to increase networking and educational opportunities for NCRA members and to update our administrative systems and procedures.  I respectfully ask for your vote.

John Moore, Incumbent
I have served on the Board for the past 10 years and consider it an honor to do so. When I first joined the Board I realized that NCRA needed to develop younger leadership and membership and I am gratified to see that this is happening. With the urgency of climate change and its focus on greenhouse gas emissions, the NCRA Zero Waste mission is more relevant than ever. While the battle to stop counting ADC as diversion was won, methane-producing organic material keeps being landfilled despite the beneficial alternative of compost and the drive to recover surplus and edible food.

NCRA has a special place in the fabric of California advocacy of the 3 Rs. I would like to see NCRA continue to be in the forefront on climate change issues arising from disposal of post-consumer materials, recovery of edible surplus food to be delivered to the food insecure, and to stem the tide of plastic pollution. I request your vote so that I may continue to be part of the leadership towards these goals.

Laura Zamora
I want to be a candidate for the opening board member position.  I am a High School Environmental Science Teacher in Alameda.  I work tirelessly to engage my students in environmental science topics and citizen scientist projects.  On campus, I am working to make the campus more sustainable by building a sustainable garden and I am currently working with the Environmental Awareness Club to start adopting a Zero Waste campaign.

I am also a leader in the educator community- I am a lead teacher with the California International Studies Project.  I teach other educators about Environmental Justice and how they can implement action projects designed around Environmental Justice in their community.

It would be an honor and a privilege to be considered for this board member position.  I believe it is imperative to include the educator community because we have the ability to shape and influence our youth to live more sustainably.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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