Over 20 presenters will inform and inspire the 23rd Annual Recycling Update conference. Not all speaker bios and synopses have been submitted to NCRA yet, but here are quite a few in alphabetical order to whet your appetite! See our ZWW/Recycling Update page under our Activities Tab to register for RU and to see our first reveals of 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.
Nicole Bassett, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alexandra Lalor, “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.
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
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.
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.