Recycling Update 2019 Speakers Announced!

Over 20 presenters will inform and inspire the 24th Annual Recycling Update conference.  See our ZWW/Recycling Update page under our Events Tab to register.

Here is our partial 2019 Recycling Update Conference line-up, in alphabetical order:

Peter Schultze-Allen, CPSWQ, QSP/QSD, BFQP, LEED AP – Peter Schultze-Allen is a Senior Scientist at EOA Inc. with extensive experience in the environmental field. He specializes in green stormwater infrastructure, litter reduction, zero waste policy, complete and green streets, sustainable landscaping, and urban forestry practices. His past experience includes two years with Recology in SF, eleven years managing the environmental programs for the City of Emeryville and five years at EOA where he has been providing GI, LID and litter-related technical assistance and program support to municipalities around the Bay Area.

The design of buildings has a large impact on the levels of waste and litter generated during operation. Mr. Schultze-Allen will present a summary of findings from a recent Bay Area report on designing buildings to meet stormwater and zero waste goals.

Jennifer Arbuckle, Recycling and Public Education Manager, Napa Recycling and Waste Services – Jennifer is a Northern California Native, Master’s Degree from CSU Chico in Environmental Geography, been working in the environmental field for the last 17 years, the last 12 being with Northern Recycling and Waste Services as Recycling and Public Outreach Manager.

Jennifer will highlight the statistics and various situations resulting from this unprecedented disaster.

Timothy Bouldry, Director, ISWA Scholarship Programme –  Timothy photographs and documents open dumpsite activity in developing countries, as well as the communities informally recycling in these areas. He has pointed attention to the topic of environmental and humanitarian injustices for ten years. He currently resides in Nicaragua where he is directing The ISWA Scholarship Programme that provides education to youths that agreed to not return to the dumpsite in order to pursue an education. More info about can be found at TimothyBouldry.com and ISWAkids.com.

Timothy Bouldry will be presenting The ISWA Scholarship Programme that is providing education for 70 youths and parents who are transitioning from a life of informally recycling at a dumpsite in Nicaragua, towards education and planning their futures. Nicaragua has been experiencing a lot of civil unrest due to their administration and the authorities they control. Human rights injustices will also be discussed, along with how politics and corruption affect municipal waste. 

Kourtnii Brown, Founder, Common Compost – Kourtnii is an environmental policy analyst and worm composting enthusiast, and the founder of Common Compost in Oakland, California.  Her idea for a community compost cooperative won the Living the New Economy’s Hackathon in November 2014, from which she received entrepreneurship support to launch a 3-year compost pilot project with funding from local grants and partnerships throughout the Oakland farm-to-fork community. She currently serves as a compost policy consultant to the Sustainable Economies Law Center and is also the Steering Committee Chair of the California Alliance for Community Composting.

The Ins and Outs of Community Composting – Community composting is an important facet of a diverse composting infrastructure and provides education to help catalyze larger scale municipal efforts. Kourtnii Brown, policy consultant with the Sustainable Economies Law Center, will address what policymakers and stakeholders can do to support community-scale composting efforts in terms of identifying legislative definitions, best management practices, and regulatory exemptions that standardize and ensure well-operated community composting sites. The presentation will provide a short overview of the legal and policy trends impacting each stage of the composting process, including 1) organic material generation, 2) hauling, 3) composting, and 4) distribution of compost.

Maricelle Cardenas, Community Outreach and Education Specialist, StopWaste – Maricelle is a community educator who has supported various education and outreach projects at StopWaste since 2010 and Jeanne Nader Program Manager, StopWaste – Jeanne runs the Community Based Outreach Project, which includes SWEET. Previously, Jeanne led the Master Composter training and residential outreach on sustainable gardening. She has been a Program Manager at StopWaste since 2001. Her background is in environmental education and community organizing.

SWEET – StopWaste Environmental Educator Training – StopWaste staff, Jeanne Nader and Maricelle Cardenas, will present the story of SWEET – an innovative and nimble train the trainer model that certifies Alameda County residents as environmental educators and community connectors. Jeanne will provide an overview of the SWEET training goals and nuts and bolts. Maricelle will share how StopWaste and SWEET grads have leveraged the Food Waste Reduction program focus into community outreach, education and mobilization opportunities.

Joshua Perez-Cramer, Operator, Independent Recycling Services – Joshua is the Operator of a Construction & Demolition Facility in East Oakland, who has been working in the environmental industry for the past five years, starting out working for a Solar Company as well as selling Energy Efficient Home Improvements. He is also an Environmental Educator with Stopwaste and enjoys volunteering with NCRA and Zero Waste Youth Events.

Josh will be discussing experiences working with different departments and jurisdictions; the pro’s & con’s with C&D Regulations and working with several departments; hauling vs. processing- source separation; education and community outreach; and the importance of 3rd party verification.

Roland Geyer, Professor, UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management – Prior to joining the Bren School Roland held research positions in Germany, France, and the UK. Since 2000 he has worked with a wide range of governmental organizations, trade associations, and companies on environmental sustainability issues. In his research he uses the approaches and methods of industrial ecology, such as life cycle assessment and material flow analysis, to study pollution prevention strategies based on reuse, recycling, and material and technology substitution. Roland has a graduate degree in physics and a Ph.D. in engineering.

Making Recycling Work – Reuse and recycling have the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impacts of industrial production, but suffer from widespread misunderstandings and have so far fallen short of their promise. This presentation will discuss how common misconceptions about recycling have been preventing it from reaching its full environmental potential and explore strategies to change this.

James Green, Founder, FixmyKix – James Green is a 19-year-old African American born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, Ca. His passion for sneakers and entrepreneurship led him to found FixmyKix.  FixmyKix is a mobile marketplace app for the service of sneaker restoration and customization to be bought and sold, to promote artistic entrepreneurship among young people and to reduce shoe waste in our landfills. James believes Entrepreneurship transforms lives and founded FixmyKix so that sneaker restoration and customization services can be more accessible to all and sneaker artists can now better access their customers.

Michael Gross, Director of Sustainability, Zanker Recycling – Mr. Gross has been in the waste and recycling industry since 1979. In 2011, Mr. Gross was named the Director of Sustainability for GreenWaste and the Zanker family of companies. This position allows him to coordinate and institutionalize sustainability efforts across divisions and among business relationships. He focuses on greenhouse-gas emissions reductions, procurement opportunities, C&D diversion opportunities, waste management and recycling alternatives and marketing, and energy and water conservation programs.

Advanced C&D Processing SystemSilicon Valley is known as the land of innovation when it comes to computers and information technology, but few people know that it is also the land of recycling innovation. Case in point: Zanker Recycling’s newest operation, the Advanced C&D Processing System which is using AI technology to sort C&D debris into marketable commodities.  Robots are the driving force of this advancement which will lead the C&D world to its next level.

Rob Hilton, President, HF&H Consultants – As President of HF&H Consultants, Rob has provided recycling and solid waste consulting services to more than 150 public agencies across the United States. He has been involved in over 350 projects covering a wide range of strategic, operational, programmatic, contractual, and financial issues. He has already negotiated four franchise agreements that had to anticipate the requirements of SB 1383 before it was complete and has been engaged by several other agencies around the state to develop SB 1383 plans.

It’s Not As Scary As You Thought: How to Start Implementing SB 1383 Programs – SB 1383 is being described as the biggest legislative milestone since the adoption of AB 939. Many jurisdictions across the state (particularly ones without organics collection programs) are anxiously anticipating the final adoptions of SB 1383, but implementing SB 1383 may not be as bad as they think.  This presentation will: Provide a big-picture summary of SB 1383, highlighting requirements that will likely have the biggest impact on local jurisdictions; describe practical steps local jurisdictions can do now to ensure their agencies are SB 1383-compliant; spotlight local governments that have recently adopted or modified franchise agreements to meet SB 1383 requirements.

Doug Kobold, Executive Director, California Product Stewardship Council – Doug has worked in the Solid Waste and Recycling industry and “talking trash” for over 26 years.  The past 18+ years, prior to taking the helm as the Executive Director at the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) in August 2018, were spent at Sacramento County where he held the position of Waste Management Program Manager in charge of the Business Development & Special Waste division. He has served on the Northern California SWANA Chapter Board of Directors as Chapter President and currently serves as Vice Chair on the California Chapters Legislative Task Force (LTF).

With the passage of SB 212 (Jackson, 2018), California will have safe, free, and convenient unused/unwanted medicine disposal options in every county in just a few short years.  SB 212 also creates a requirement for safe return containers to be distributed free of charge with every sharp/needle sold. This presentation will cover the important features of SB 212, an update on the ensuing regulations drafting process, a rough timeline for the roll-out of the statewide program, and other pertinent information.

Gina Lee, Founder, Circular CoLab – Gina is the author of The State of the Circular Economy in America, the first United States focused Circular Economy landscape study which analyzes over 200 Circular Economy initiatives.  Gina has over 15 years of experience working in Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Impact in the United States, China, and Germany.  Her past roles include overseeing partnerships with Fortune 500 corporations and top-tier business schools for the Aspen Institute, working with the Schwarz Group in materials management, and leading programming and corporate relations for Mercy Corps Beijing. She is skilled in engaging with organizations from across the policy, government and private sector and has managed workshops and pilot programs with organizations including TATA, the American Sustainable Business Council, TEDxLA, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.

My presentation will provide an overview of the guiding principles of the Circular Economy and highlight innovative American businesses and organizations that have already built circular solutions.  The presentation will also include trends and challenges facing the development of the Circular Economy here in the states and provide some ideas for moving forward.

Teresa Montgomery, Sustainability Manager, South San Francisco Scavenger Co.Teresa has over twenty years of experience in the solid waste and recycling field. She has a broad background in marketing and has developed and carried out a number of successful public information campaigns. She has extensive experience in the public and private sectors. From 2005-2015 she worked as the Director of Communications for the Pellegrini group of companies: Alameda County Industries, Garden City Sanitation, Livermore Sanitation, Mission Trail Waste Systems, and SAFE. In 2016, Teresa moved over to the South San Francisco Scavenger Company where she now works as the Sustainability Manager. She also maintains a part-time role at Garden City Sanitation.

Using Magic to Clean up Commercial Organics – During the summer of 2017, Blue Line Transfer added a Scott Turbo Separator to its arsenal of processing equipment. Loads of commercial waste containing a high volume of food scraps, food-soiled paper, and plastic & bioplastic bags are directed to the Scott and magically transformed. A significant amount of material previously sorted manually, sent out for processing, or hauled directly to landfill is recovered for on-site anaerobic digestion. The magic “salsa” created by the Scott allows Blue Line to landfill less, digest more, and increase gas production for their CNG fleet. Win. Win. Win.

Dr. Molly Morse, CEO, and co-founder of Mango Materials – Molly received her Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering–with an emphasis on anaerobic biodegradation of biocomposites for the building industry–from Stanford University, and her B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. Dr. Morse has contributed to multiple patents, publications, and presentations. Along with other Mango Materials team members, she is currently working to up-scale the biomanufacturing technology of using methane gas to produce biodegradable materials.

Molly will be talking about next generation biopolymers and their potential for addressing closed-loop carbon cycles.

Julie Muir, Zero Waste Manager, Peninsula Sanitary Service/Stanford Recycling – Julie Muir works for Peninsula Sanitary Service/Stanford Recycling and has managed Stanford University’s Waste Reduction, Recycling, and Composting Program for the last 25 years.  She leads Stanford University toward a zero waste campus through a rigorous and comprehensive program of waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting. She enjoys most working with students and the campus community on waste reduction and educating on the connection between materials management, the economy, and climate change.  Julie Muir is Past-President and current Senior Advisor to the California Resource Recovery Association and Chair of the Zero Waste Campus Council.

Tailgating Zero Waste at the Stanford Stadium – As Stanford University moves towards its goal of Zero Waste by 2030, Stanford’s Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER)  has focused on the adoption of new Zero Waste initiatives to further its commitment to sustainability.  This presentation will present the opportunities and challenges of supporting sustainable tailgating including using new dumpster trailers, green tailgate checklist, and fan engagement. Stanford won the Most Improvement award in 2017 from the PAC 12 Conference’s Zero Waste Bowl for its expanded tailgate recycling and composting initiatives.

Stefanie Pruegel, Senior Associate, Gigantic Idea StudioStefanie has worked in environmental communications since 1996. She has been a team member at behavior change marketing firm Gigantic Idea Studio since 2006 where she does research, writes public outreach materials plans and coordinates environmental events, and provides media relations services for public outreach campaigns on a wide range of topics.

Outreach Campaigns to Combat Curbside Contamination – Global markets require recycling feedstocks that are significantly cleaner than what’s typically collected curbside in the blue cart. Municipalities are responding with outreach to address wish-cycling and proper preparation of recyclables. Stefanie will share two campaigns created for two Bay Area cities.

Susan Robinson, Senior Director of Policy and Sustainability, Waste Management – Susan Robinson is Senior Director of Policy and Sustainability at WM.  Her 30+ years in the industry includes work in the public sector, non-profit environmental work, consultancy, and over 25 years in the private sector.  Susan’s experience includes global commodity marketing, research, and analysis of industry trends, and twenty years managing municipal solid waste and recycling contracts. She currently leads WM’s Sustainability Team.

Over the past three years, using US EPA’s Facts and Figures tonnage data, WM’s national average cost information, and EPA’s WARM tool, WM created a GHG abatement curve for the solid waste and recycling industry.  More recently, we used updated pricing and tonnage information to focus on the recyclables processed at single-stream MRFs to understand the environmental impacts and cost of the materials that we manage. Our goal for this exercise was to understand how we might prioritize our efforts for maximum environmental benefits, and at what cost.

SB 1383 Is Moving Forward

By Arthur R. Boone, Center for Recycling Research (CRR)
On Wednesday December 18th, Cal Recycle formally ended its early regulation phase and is now drafting final regulations that must be approved by the state officer in charge before becoming final in 2022.

The Legislature has put a lot in play and the department is trying to step up its enforcement work. When you consider that CA has as much garbage now as it had when AB 939 was adopted 29 years ago, the legislature may have lost patience with the “talk-big, act small” results of AB 939 implementation.

In Europe, the EU voted about a year ago that starting in 2024, all organics shall be collected as a source-separated material and not delivered to landfills but to other beneficial end uses. This ruling came after 20 years of fooling around with various kinds of programs to keep methane out of landfills and bowing to the garbage-as-usual interests in used materials management. It’s easy to think that CA will now be repeating for ourselves what Europe has learned in the last 20 years as we try to make SB 1383 work.

Maybe we need to bring Enzo Favoino to Northern California and run him around with his stories; a wise man from Italy and ZW leader in Europe.

 

We Cannot Recycle Our Way Out Of Plastic Pollution

By John Douglas Moore, Co-Chair, NCRA Zero Waste Advocacy Committee

Please watch the 15 minute segment of Sunday, January 3’s edition of “60 Minutes” which first focused on Boyan Slat’s enterprise to clean-up large ocean plastic gyres by using a large net to collect it, and then segued to the global problem of plastic pollution, painting a pretty grim picture.

The show did not question Slat about what he intended to do with the collected plastic and gave a light brush to any current performance flaws in the technology. China’s National Sword was highlighted as impacting plastics recycling but did not address impacts on collected contaminated paper, cans, and bottles, and did not confront the big lie of single stream collection long advocated by monopolistic trash haulers.

An intelligent adult watching the show asked me “does this mean my plastic Starbucks cup does not get recycled when I put it in the store’s recycling bin?”

Lest you have any doubt that we cannot recycle our way out of plastic pollution and need to up our efforts to reduce plastic use and pollution, please watch this show segment. […]

 

2019 Board Election Results

Congratulations to the five incumbents re-elected to the NCRA Board:
Nik Balachandran, Alina Bekkerman, Doug Brooms, Hilary Near and Jessica Jane Robinson.

Thirteen members were written in for the sixth open seat – perhaps a record! The current Board of Directors selected Lori Marra for the remaining spot. Thirty-three percent of the members voted; two abstained.

Thank you to the folks who cast write-in votes as well as those that were written in. We look forward to your continued involvement. The Communications Committee will be politely contacting you!

Appreciations to the Election Committee –  Portia Sinnott and Steve Sherman, and Juliana Gerber, NCRA Administrative Coordinator, for managing the nominations.

Officers will be selected at the January 12 board retreat. Terms end in December. Click here for Candidate Statements. For bios, please visit the Board and Staff page.

 

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Member Interview – Hilary Near, 12/18

HILARY NEAR, NCRA MEMBER SINCE 2009
As Commercial Zero Waste Analyst for San Francisco Environment, I serve the City and its goals of living more lightly on our Earth through designing and participating in Zero Waste systems. Working primarily with businesses to improve their recovery programs, I consider myself an ambassador for behavior change necessitated by mandates and environmental initiatives.

My formal education includes a BA from UC Berkeley and MPA from San Francisco State. One of the first times I felt like I was among “my people” and chosen path was in StopWaste’s Master Composter class of 2007. Since then, I’ve had the immense privilege of working for some of the Bay Area’s most generous and progressive organizations/people – StopWaste, Cascadia Consulting Group, City of Oakland and San Francisco Department of the Environment. I continue learning on the job and through extra courses like NCRA’s Introduction to Recycling (2009) and US Composting Council’s Compost Operator Training Course (2014). I joined the NCRA Board in 2017. One reason I show up daily to work toward Zero Waste is the chance to continually learn and share with so many passionate change makers!

I’m grateful to enjoy my work for San Francisco Zero Waste. I feel refreshed in my free time by connecting with the soil and other creatures. I care for a small plot in the Oakland Golden Gate Community Garden and several bee hives, along with a cat with whom I share a small studio at North Oakland Golden Gate Co-Housing. Tis the season for wild mushroom foraging, and I love to hike the East Bay hills and head home with a delicious haul of local chanterelles and other fruits of the forest. My yoga and meditation practice are essential to ground and inspire me on this life journey. Come join me for a yoga class at Barefoot Movement in Uptown Oakland!

I’m also inspired by the commitment and love that my co-housing community demonstrates as they show up for each other at weekly meals, hard conversations and little neighborly actions.

Vacation dreams? I would go on another, longer bike packing trip. In Fall I set off on the train to Eugene, Oregon and biked home, camping along the way and going at my own pace. I loved it! I’d continue the trip down the Pacific Coast all the way to Chile, even!

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