Recycling Update 2017 was a smashing success – thank you!

Thank you to All who attended the 22nd annual recycling update conference!

We had 24 industry-leading presenters that inspired and educated, and a crowd of 350 attendees from many fields!  7 Gold Sponsors, 5 Silver Sponsors, and 10 Bronze Sponsors made scholarships and discounted tickets available to those who needed assistance.  Thank you for making the Conference such a success!

Linked here is the program for the day; we will be posting pdfs of the presentations here as well, so keep checking back.  And in mid-April, we will have videos of each presentation available on our YouTube Channel.

Thank you again to our Sponsors!

GOLD : City of Fremont, City of Vallejo, StopWaste, SF Department of the Environment, City of Napa, Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery, Napa Recycling & Waste Services

SILVER : City of Livermore, R3 Consulting Group, HF&H Consultants, Ecology Center, Gigantic Idea Studio

BRONZE : Marin Sanitary Service, City of Stockton, CRRC Northern District, Stanford Recycling Center, CRRA, City of Palo Alto, City of Sunnyvale, SCS Engineers, Amador Valley Industries, Berkeley Recycling

President’s Report

By Laura McKaughan
As my first President’s Report of 2017, I want to take the time to formally welcome to the board the newly elected directors: Hilary Near, Steven Sherman and Rebecca Jewell. At our board meeting in February, I was energized by the enthusiasm and fresh ideas the newcomers brought to their very first meeting. I imagine 2017 will be a very productive and busy year for NCRA with ever more tours, mixers, events, and classes for our members to attend, to learn from, get inspired by, and to network, network, network!

The best first example of this is in the expanded offerings of NCRA’s 5th Annual Zero Waste Week. Our flagship event, the 22nd annual Recycling Update will be on Tuesday March 21 in Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage. Recycling Update will feature more than 25 industry professionals in one, action-packed day in which each presenter will be given only 10 minutes to bring attendees up to speed on topics from recyclable commodities markets, new recycling legislation, edible food recovery, innovations in compost applications, and campaigns to promote source reduction. Featured speakers include John Wick, Co-Founder of the Marin Carbon Project, Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste, Adam Lowy, Co-Founder of Move for Hunger, and Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of the California Product Stewardship Council among many others. For a glance at some of the day’s speakers, click HERE and if you haven’t yet, REGISTER HERE for Recycling Update.

As was the case last year, employers are encouraged to drop off job announcements to the NCRA booth and job seekers are encouraged to visit the booth to learn more about positions available in their industry. Please plan to pack out any leftover notices so minimize paper waste.

The evening before on Monday March 20th, NCRA joins Zero Waste Marin and Marin Sanitary Service’s (MSS) in a screening of A Plastic Ocean. The film follows two explorers traveling to remote parts of the world and documenting the plastic pollution they find. Panel discussion to follow. The event is free and light refreshments will be served. RSVP here. There is also another film screening on Friday March 24 of Dogtown Redemption, a film which follows the local impact of the closure of Alliance Recycling Center in West Oakland. A panel will follow featuring the filmmaker and the event is free. For this movie screening, please RSVP here.

Lastly the 5th annual Zero Waste Youth Convergence will be held on Sunday March 19th in San Francisco. This event brings together high school and college students as well as young professionals in a full day dedicated to learning, visioning, organizing for Zero Waste. Please check their WEBSITE for more details and to register.

These events combined with the two tours during Zero Waste Week (both are sold-out), two webinars and one workshop, there are loads of events happening all week for NCRA members to take advantage of. We look forward to seeing you during Zero Waste Week and please EMAIL US if you have questions!

2017 Recycling Update Speakers Announced!

REGISTER HERE!

Over 20 Presenters will inform and inspire the 2017 Recycling Update conference.  Not all Speaker synopses have been submitted to NCRA yet, but here are a handful to whet your Zero Waste & material recovery appetites!

John Wick, Marin Carbon Project – “Creating Healthy Working Landscapes in California and Beyond.” John will present his current work connecting the California Healthy Soils Initiative, local community Climate Action Plans, organic waste recycling, and Carbon Farm Planning (based on the USDA COMET-Planner) to create healthy working landscapes across the state and beyond.

Jackie Nunez, The Last Plastic Straw – “Speaking Truth to Plastic -The Last Plastic Straw Movement – A tipping point from Awareness to Action.”   Over 500,000,000 plastic straws are used each day in the United States. In just the last few decades, people have come to expect plastic straws in every drink, an example of extreme waste generated for minimal convenience. These “tools” are quickly dropped into waste bins with little further thought, instantly becoming a growing source of plastic pollution.  The continued use of this unnecessary disposable plastic additionally perpetuates our dependence on fossil fuels and exacerbates climate change, as nearly all plastic straws are made from petroleum. True fossil fuel divestment requires the eliminating our reliance on single-use plastics, like straws.

Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of the California Product Stewardship Council – “How Stewardship Efforts Are Impacting Operations and Budgets”.   This will be a quick overview of the voluntary and mandatory producer responsibility efforts in California and how they are impacting local governments, haulers, retailers and consumers.  Learn about the big success stories, lessons learned, and what the current discussions are around producers sharing responsibility for pharmaceuticals, packaging, marine flares, and other products and what you can do to help support producers taking responsibility to reduce product waste.

Wendi Shafir, EPA Pacific Southwest Region – “How K-12 Schools can improve student nutrition, save money and avoid wasting food.”  EPA along with USDA and U of Arkansas has developed a K-12 Food Waste Audit Guide to show how to conduct plate waste audits to pinpoint reasons for wasted food and identify strategies to get kids to eat more and waste less.

Adam Lowy, Move For Hunger – “Donate Your Food When You Move.” When people move, they throw away a lot of stuff; unfortunately, some of that stuff is perfectly good, non-perishable food that could be given to a family in need rather than thrown away. For 7 years, Move For Hunger has been mobilizing moving companies across the US to pick up these non-perishable food items during the move and deliver them to local food banks. This year, they are launching a new program to rescue the unopened, non-perishables from people moving out of multifamily communities. Listen to Move For Hunger’s Founder discuss plans to roll out this new program across Northern California to reduce food waste and fight hunger.

Melissa Romero, Policy Associate for Californians Against Waste – “Legislative Update & What to Expect”.   Melissa will discuss significant legislative action that occurred in the past year and how these new laws will influence the future of waste reduction and recycling in California. Along with information on bills and other policies that are currently in progress.

Vanessa Pan, GO Box – “Filling in Emerging Needs Around Reuse.” GO Box will present on being an ongoing environmental ambassador in the field of reuse, providing a reusable take-out container service and a system for managing the returns. This presentation will speak on bridging the gap between those who are active in environmentalism and those who are not, along with new value adds GO Box brings to the table.

Susan Miller-Davis and Susan Blachman – “Measuring and Recovering Wasted Edible Food in Alameda County.”  While the Bay Area is a foodie mecca, nearly 15% of the people in Alameda County don’t know where their next meal is coming from. And wasted edible food is found in our green bins and landfills. Susan Blachman and Susan Miller Davis (two members of the NCRA Zero Wasted Food Team) determined that there is enough wasted edible food in Alameda County to significantly address local food insecurity as well as reduce GHG emissions, and water and energy consumption.

Emily Coven, Recyclist – “A Silicon Valley Executive Walks Into the Solid Waste Industry…”  How are we using technology in the solid waste industry, and how can we do better? Emily has been studying this question for the past two years, working with municipalities, haulers, and consultants to create cloud-based solutions to help communities move toward zero waste. She will share what she sees as opportunities for the industry as a whole to evolve through better, smarter use of data, technology, and digital communications. By the end of this 10 minutes, you’ll know what terms such as Organic Search (hint: it’s nothing to do with AB 1826), Responsive Design, Vanity URL, CRM, and API mean, and why you should care about them.

Tim Aagard, Tiny Tots Diaper Service – “The Three R’s and Diapers.”  Since 1939, Tiny Tots has been providing local families with a sustainable source for diapering their child. A cotton option has been provided since 1939.  Since 2009 a compost option has been available to customers. It is estimated that each baby uses 5,000 diapers until they are potty trained, a quantity which adds up in the landfill. Tim will discuss the benefits of cotton and compost both for the ecosystem and for the child.

Garth Schultz, Principal and Manager, R3 Consulting – “Rates, Rates, Rates – Recent Trends in Solid Waste Rate Setting.” Mr. Schultz will discuss new and innovative trends in solid waste procurements, rate structures, and high diversion/zero waste planning. Via his presentation, attendees will learn about ways in which current solid waste procurements are addressing continued progress towards high diversion, means of recovering revenues to pay for the costs of those services, considerations for moving towards cost-of-service rates, and the results of recent efforts to calculate target areas for future diversion.

Giri Veeramuthu, Director of Quality, American Licorice Company “Retailers and Manufacturers Striving for Sustainability Goals”.   
In a retail world the big box stores influence how manufacturing and processes get fine-tuned not only to the zero waste initiatives but how sustainable culture occurs by partnering with vendors, associates and the Corporate philosophy. Their actions have a potential to ensure better world, financially stable and a responsible citizen.  Their direction has led us to proactively believe in and investing our efforts towards cleaner energy, zero waste certification, responsible sourcing and carbon emission controls.  The practice is extended to personal life by promoting car-pooling, initiatives of reducing waste at house to water conservation.

Maria Javier“Planning for Trash: A Regional Look at Municipal Perceptions of Solid Waste Management in Urban Planning.”
With growing solid waste management regulations, municipalities are faced with the challenge of implementing comprehensive integrated waste management (IWM) strategies to effectively manage resources and comply with solid waste regulations. Rather than seeing collaboration as a hurdle, solid waste professionals can look to urban planning as a partner in helping the municipality achieve its IWM goals. For her Master’s thesis, Maria thoroughly examined several Bay Area cities for their current solid waste-planning practices through document analyses and municipal staff interviews. Maria will present the results of her research as a comprehensive list of strategies to effectively incorporate solid waste management into the permit approval process for commercial development projects.

Dan Kurzrock, Co-Founder, ReGrained – “Edible Upcycling: Circular Economy Applications for the Food System.” 40% of all edible food is wasted. This isn’t just wasted resources and squandered nutrition, it is also a massive business opportunity. Dan Kurzrock, co-founder of ReGrained, will be discussing a concept that he calls “edible upcycling,” which takes ideas from the circular economy and applies them to the food system.

Komal Ahmad, CEO and Founder, Copia – “Solving the World’s Dumbest Problem: Food Waste.”  We waste 3X as much food in America as there are mouths to feed. Hunger isn’t a scarcity problem; it’s a logistics problem. And for the first time in human history, we have the technology to effectively redistribute excess food to the people who need it most. Copia makes this process smarter and faster than ever before — enabling us to solve the dumbest, most intractable and unnecessary problems of our time.

Wade Laughter, Cannabis Activist – “The Importance of Compost in the Production of Commercial Medical Cannabis.” Wade Laughter will be presenting on the importance of compost in the production of commercial medical cannabis. Medical cannabis flourishes in soil that is rich and alive with compost. There is going to be a huge need for compost that is suitable for use in medical cannabis cultivation.  Find out how compost can become a gift for cannabis cultivators, patients and the environment.

Shana Levy McCracken – “Innovations in Fashion—Implications for Waste.”  Fashion is one of the most wasteful industries; however, many in the field are interested in sustainability and working to reduce their impact. Shana McCracken will share the latest in sustainable fashion innovations and get us thinking about what they mean for waste.

Amy Hammes, Recycling Specialist, City of Burbank – “The City of Burbank’s Master Recycler Program.”  The City of Burbank’s Master Recycler Program is a free citizen engagement and training program designed for residents who want to learn more about Zero Waste and how to engage the community on upstream design, consumption and recycling issues. Over the course of seven classes, students will have learned how to lead their own personal projects on such issues as packaging, reuse and repair, organics and composting, business social responsibility, hazardous materials and resource management.

Bob Hollis, The Mobius Network LLC – “GreenEducation.US Offers National Certification.”  GreenEducation.US provides a means for professionals to connect with subject matter experts through a variety of training and professional development opportunities.  GreenEducation.US was recently accredited by the National Recycling Coalitions’, National Standards Board to provide the Certified Sustainable Resource Management Professional training in California. This program provides 30-hours of web or classroom based training on  Zero Waste and Sustainable Resource Management.  GreenEducation.US also provides a platform for industry experts to share their knowledge through interactive webinars, online classes and recorded sessions.

 

Zero Waste Week – Full Schedule and Details!

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

Zero Waste Youth Convergence 5th Annual Conference, Sunday, 3/19/17
This event brings together high school and college students as well as young professionals in a full day dedicated to learning, visioning, organizing for Zero Waste and bringing this back to our schools and communities. Please check their WEBSITE for more details about last year’s event and this year’s details soon to come.

Screening of “A Plastic Ocean” Monday, 3/20/17,6pm, Marin Sanitary Service
Plastic Oceans has assembled a team of the world’s top scientists and leading film-makers to produce a powerful, high-end documentary in high definition ‘A Plastic Ocean’. Accompanied by scientists, conservationists, and engineers, the film follows the journey of two explorers as they travel to some of the most remote parts of the world, documenting the environmental issues associated with plastic pollution and its impact on the environment, ecosystems and human health. Panel discussion to follow (panelists not yet confirmed). Drinks and light food offered. Free for NCRA members, nominal donation for non-members. RSVP here.

22nd Annual Recycling Update – Tuesday, 3/21/17 – 8:30am – 4:30pm, Berkeley
Recycling Update is THE event of the season for Bay Area waste reduction professionals to learn about what’s new and different in discards management. The day features nearly 30 industry experts speaking on the spectrum of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot as well as networking opportunities, a delicious zero waste lunch, and plenty of ideas to bring home to your local municipalities.

Conference Format:

  • Ten-minute presentations
  • Zero Waste continental breakfast, gourmet lunch, and refreshments
  • Meet, discuss and network with folks in the field!
  • Easy BART access

It’s All About the Process(ing) Tour – Wednesday, 3/22/17 – 9am – 3pm
Most of the NCRA community is well-schooled on collection programs and outreach, but what happens next? Come see the next step in closing the loop.  We are lucky to have local Bay Area facilities with updated technologies to process collected materials into usable feedstocks. See here for all the tour info!

Want to know what happens to your glass bottles?  If you recycle a bottle in California, it goes to Strategic Materials – the largest glass recycler in the country.  If anyone toured their old facility in San Leandro, you’ll know that this is a fascinating and instructive tour!  Strategic has a new facility in Fairfield, and on this tour, you’ll see how glass is received, cleaned, and processed into cullet for production into new glass bottles and other products.

And what about food scraps, yard trimmings…and even the digestate we saw at our South San Francisco anaerobic digester tour a few months ago?  The Napa Recycling & Composting Facility has a new organics pre-processing line, receiving building, and all electric equipment to sort and process 80,000+tons/year of organics into feedstock for the onsite composting facility.  Many of us have seen MRF sort lines for recyclables, but you also need to see an organics sort line and processing operation to get insight into how California is going to get to that lofty goal of 75% of organics out of the landfill by 2025!

Tour participants will meet at a location to be determined in Berkeley at 9am, and the group will depart in two vans for a tour start time at 10am at Strategic Materials in Fairfield. No host lunch for the group will happen in the region from 11:45 until 12:45. Tour of the Napa Recycling & Composting Facility will start at 1 and end at 2:30, and the group will arrive back in Oakland/Berkeley by 3pm. Closed-toe shoes are required for the tour.

CRRA GRC Webinar: Next Steps to Zero Wasting in California, Thursday, 3/23/17, 12pm
Help us to plan the strategies and tactics we will need to maximize landfill reduction statewide.  Free workshop sponsored by the Global Recycling Council, a technical council of the California Resource Recovery Association. Sponsored by the National Recycling Coalition. See here for all the info and register here!

Dogtown Redemption, Thursday, 3/23/17, 6pm
Dogtown Redemption is the intimate story of recyclers in West Oakland—a journey through a landscape of love and loss, devotion and addiction, prejudice and poverty. Join us for a free screening, refreshments, and a Q&A session with the directors.  Register here!

Pier 96 New Processing Line Tour, Friday, 3/24/17, 10am – 12 noon
The multi-million upgrade at Pier 96 is impressive and provides an educational and exciting tour!  It is especially noteworthy that the upgrade was fit into, and around, the old system while it was operating. It has resulted in reduced residual, including capturing small pieces of material, such as shredded paper and more glass, and also has the ability to recover more material types like cartons, film plastic and textiles. The upgrade was designed based on the successful secondary MRF R&D efforts in LA that were recovering more than half of the SF residual that was sent to their facility. Register here, free admission, 25 attendees maximum.