VRU Speaker Showcase – Day 1

Order may be different than on the program page…

China’s National Sword’s Impact on the El Cerrito Recycling Center

Laurenteen Brazil
Waste Prevention Specialist, City of El Cerrito

Laurenteen has over 18 years of experience in the recycling industry. The Waste Prevention Specialist at the City of El Cerrito, she provides educational outreach to the community and works directly with businesses for legislative compliance. Over the course of her career she has served on both the NCRA and CRRA Boards. A certified ZWUSA Zero Waste Community Associate, she is an ardent proponent of Zero Waste goals and advocates for lifestyle behavior change. In her spare time, she volunteers to help green a K thru 8 school and her church. She enjoys outdoor activities and aspires continually to be impactful. []

Are Compostable Products Being Composted?

Leslie Lukcas
Executive Director, Zero Waste Sonoma

Leslie has worked over 20 years in solid waste and resource management industry and, prior to this appointment, was the Director of Zero Waste at SCS Engineers a solid waste, recycling and organics management consulting firm for 13 years. She also had her own consulting company for 7 years.

She serves on the board of directors of the National Recycling Coalition and the Zero Waste International Alliance and is an advisor to Zero Waste USA and California Resource Recovery Association. She is the founder of numerous stakeholder groups including the (GIVE) Council, Compost Coalition of Sonoma County, Sonoma County Zero Waste Task Force and the Zero Waste North Bay Symposium. Leslie has spent her career designing and implementing comprehensive sustainability and Zero Waste programs for large institutions, public agencies, venues, and events throughout California and the nation. []

Bringing Reuse Into Food Service Through Policy and Business Innovation

Miriam Gordon
Program Director, Upstream

As Policy Director with UPSTREAM, Miriam is a leading architect and incubator of local and state policies aimed at making the Throw Away culture a thing of the past. Previously, as the California Director of Clean Water Action, Miriam launched ReThink Disposable, a program that has demonstrated that reducing throw away products in food service saves food businesses money and improves customers’ dining experiences. Over the last 20 years, she has been a leading California advocate for policies aimed at reducing plastic pollution and has worked with local, state, and federal agencies implementing pollution prevention and water quality programs. []

Fighting Plastic Pollution: California Legislative Efforts

Genevieve Abedon
Policy Associate, Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition / Ecoconsult

At Ecoconsult, Genevieve represents the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition, a coalition of non-profit organizations dedicated to source reduction solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. She advocates on their behalf for statewide legislation in the California Legislature and Executive Branch, as well as various processes amongst regulatory agencies. Before joining Ecoconsult in 2017, Genevieve worked on statewide and local plastic pollution policies and campaigns for Californians Against Waste. In the past, she has worked as a Landfill Reduction Technician at various events and sailed across the North Atlantic Ocean studying microplastic pollution with The 5 Gyres Institute. []

Debate: Collecting Low Value Plastics

Topic: California Communities Should No Longer Collect Plastic In Their Curbside Recycling Programs

Head Royce High School Debate Team and NCRA Mentors:

Pro:  Patty Moore, Rebecca Jewell
Con: Martin Bourque, Peter Slote

Recycling Rewards: Recycling Incentive Contest

Derek  Crutchfield  
Recycling Coordinator, City of Vallejo and Board Member, SWANA Gold Rush Chapter

Derek has been in the Solid Waste and Recycling field for approximately 25 years. His career began with an internship with the City of Napa, which eventually led to a part-time position with the City of Fairfield. In 2000 Derek graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in Environmental  Studies. He eventually went to work for the City of Vallejo where he has been employed for the last 18 years. Derek is currently on the SWANA Gold Rush Chapter Board and the California Product Stewardship Council the Board. Derek is an outgoing and fun loving recycling enthusiast!! []

Reducing and Rescuing Oakland’s Surplus Food

Wanda Redic
Senior Recycling Specialist, City of Oakland and Board Member, California Resource Recovery Association

Wanda began her career in solid waste and recycling in 1994 at the City of Berkeley developing and implementing an ISO 14000 Environmental Management System and commercial and residential food scraps collection service. In 2007 Wanda became a Recycling Specialist in Oakland. She has over 26 years of service in government recycling and organics programs. Wanda currently manages outreach programs, assists with managing franchise agreements, develops and implements programs for compliance with regional and state mandatory recycling and organics laws. Most recently Wanda has lead Oakland’s participation in SB 1383 rulemaking and its implementation including edible food recovery program development. []

SB 1383 Model Tools Overview

Monaliza Noor 
Associate Analyst, HF&H Consultants

Monaliza Noor is an Associate Analyst at HF&H Consultants. She recently assisted with the development of CalRecycle’s SB 1383 implementation tools and case studies. To help jurisdictions plan for SB 1383, Ms. Noor has also helped develop a number of SB 1383-specific tools that identify requirements; delineate which entity (City, hauler, or a third-party) will do what; and, allow for cost-benefit analysis. In addition to her SB 1383 focused work, Ms. Noor also assists in hauler performance reviews, solid waste and recycling contract analysis, and procurement evaluations. Before joining HF&H Consultants in 2018, Ms. Noor worked for the City of Oakland’s environmental services division. In 2016, she earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco.


VRU Speaker Showcase – Day 2

Update on Recycling, Circular Economy, and Embodied Carbon in LEED v4.1

Wes Sullens
LEED and Building Codes Technical Development Director, U.S. Green Building Council

Wes is responsible for the materials credits in LEED and directs organizational activities related to construction waste, product manufacturing, material transparency, circular economy, and embodied carbon. He has worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors for 20 years on broad topics including energy efficiency, supply chain sustainability, and chemicals transparency. []

What Stormwater and Zero Waste Have in Common

Peter Schultze-Allen
Senior Scientist, EOA, Inc.

Peter provides technical assistance to municipalities around the Bay Area, specializing in the development of policies and practices for: public and private green stormwater infrastructure, Zero Waste, zero litter, complete streets, sustainable landscaping, and urban forestry. His previous experience includes managing the environmental programs for the City of Emeryville and team member of Recology-San Francisco’s Fantastic Three program rollout. He is one of the four authors of the Ecology Center’s initial draft of Berkeley’s Single-Use Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance adopted in March 2019. []

How Franchising Impairs Recovery of C&D

Brock Hill
President and Director of Operations, Premier Recycle Company 

Brock is President and Director of Operations for Premier Recycle Company. He started with the company in 2008 and has since led an 80% increase in facility material throughput. As well as serving on the board of Silicon Valley Construction Financial Management Association, Brock serves as the Legislative Committee Chairman and Board of Directors member for the Construction and Demolition Recycling Association. []

John Moore
Law Office of John Douglas Moore

Although not a Zero Waste professional, John is a star in his own profession. He taught in law school when he was 23; won his first case while still in law school at age 24 and in the 39 following years achieved and has been recognized as much as anyone can as a lawyer, including service as a superior court judge. Last year he became one of a select few attorneys admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, which he will presently discuss. []

Accelerating Trash Detection in the SF Bay Area using Advanced Technology

Dr. Anthony Hale
Program Director for Environment Informatics, San Francisco Estuary Institute  Aquatic Science Center

Tony has advanced the Institute’s communications practices, overseen the development of new data visualization technologies, and partnered with state and federal agencies to address complex data management challenges such as those presented by trash-related pollution. He leads a solid team of innovators who share a common mission to advance our collective knowledge of California’s most pressing environmental concerns. []

Debate: Mixed Waste Processing

Debate Team, Head Royce High School, details pending

Wastepickers: Key Agents for Zero Waste Cities

Magdalena Donoso
Coordinator, GAIA – Latin America and the Caribbean

Magdalena has worked in communications and networking with several Chilean NGOs and in Television Trust for the Environment (UK), supporting educational and activism programs in forestry and biodiversity for 15 years. For the last ten years she has worked on waste issues with cities in Latin America, particularly defending the rights of recyclers and promoting zero waste. She is based in Concepción, Chile. []

I Clean the Streets, Because I’m from the Streets: How to Use Environmentalism as a Vehicle to End Homelessness

Julia Lang
East Bay Director, Downtown Streets Team

Julia is a community builder striving to end homelessness. As a Director at Downtown Streets Team, she is developing transformational communities of unhoused folks who are improving themselves while beautifying their surroundings. Her work is centered on making sure that everyone has a seat at the table, with a sense of belonging, purpose, and place. []

Transforming Wasted Food Recovery In A Small Rural County

Michael Bisch
Executive Director, Yolo Food Bank

Michael has an accomplished background in business management and nonprofit leadership. Following his undergraduate education in Business Administration, he launched a career in international finance. An entrepreneur for the past 20 years, Michael has been the owner for 10 years of Davis Commercial Properties, a commercial real estate brokerage firm. As president of the nonprofit Davis Downtown for four years, Michael acquired a deep knowledge of nonprofit management best practices. At this time of transformation for YFB, Michael’s unique qualifications enable him to guide the organization with a balance of innovation and stability, blending business acumen with a passion to serve. []

# # #


VRU Program


NCRA’s Recycling Update will be held on-line on Monday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 6, from 12-5pm. Two half-days. Registration is $75 for Current Members and $135 for Non-Members. Details

Join NCRA                              Register Today

Speaker Showcase – Day 1
Speaker Showcase – Day 2


Interactive Topic Lunches, 10-Minute Presentations, Entertaining Breaks and – drum roll, Debates! The debates will be conducted by members of a local high school debate team coached by subject matter experts from both sides of the issue.

Presentations will be from innovators and experts in waste prevention, food rescue, reuse, recycling, composting and Zero Waste.  Join 300 Zero Waste professionals and advocates for networking and small group discussions of current topics.

The program (subject to change) is as follows:

12:00pm Topic Lunch
1:00pm David Krueger
Leslie Lukacs Zero Waste Sonoma Are Compostable Products Being Composted?
Laurenteen Brazil City of El Cerrito National Sword’s Impact on the El Cerrito Recycling Center
Genevieve Abedon Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition / Ecoconsult Fighting Plastic Pollution: California Legislative Efforts
Miriam Gordon Upstream Bringing Reuse Into Food Service Through Policy and Business Innovation
2:00pm Break: Entertainment / Activity TBD
2:30pm Debate Team Head Royce High School Collecting Low Value Plastics
3:15pm Break: Entertainment / Activity TBD
Monaliza Noor HF&H Consultants SB 1383 Model Tools Overview
Wanda Redic City of Oakland Reduce and Rescue Oakland’s Surplus Food
Derek Crutchfield City of Vallejo Recycling Rewards: Recycling Incentive Contest
4-5pm+ Virtual Networking
12:00pm Topic Lunch
1:00pm David Krueger
Wes Sullens U.S. Green Building Council Update on Recycling, Circular Economy, and Embodied Carbon in LEED v4.1
Peter Schultze-Allen EOA, Inc. What do Stormwater and Zero Waste have in Common?
Brock Hill & John Moore Premier Recycle Company / Law Office of John Douglas Moore How Franchising Impairs Recovery of C&D
Tony Hale San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Science Center Accelerating Trash Detection in the SF Bay Area using Advanced Technology
2:00pm Break: Entertainment / Activity
2:30pm Debate Team Head Royce High School Mixed Waste Processing
3:15pm Break: Entertainment / Activity
Magdalena Donoso GAIA – Latin America & the Caribbean Wastepickers: Key Agents for Zero Waste Cities
Julia Lang Downtown Streets Team I Clean the Streets, Because I’m from the Streets: How to Use Environmentalism as a Vehicle to End Homelessness
Michael Bisch Yolo Food Bank Transforming Wasted Food Recovery In A Small Rural County
4-5pm+ Virtual Networking

NCRA/NRC DEI Webinar Recording


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
in Waste and Recycling
August 27, 2020

Recording              Speaker Bios

Presented by: The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) and the Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA) in coordination with the NRC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council, the NCRA DEI Committee and the Ohio Recycling Coalition. Produced by Portia Sinnott, NCRA Vice President and Zero Waste USA Program Director.

This webinar’s objectives are to motivate the waste and recycling industry to actively explore and discuss DEI issues and initiatives, and inspire individuals and organizations to create their own mandates. We will address the issues via succinct introductory presentations with commentary, hold a robust intra-panel discussion and follow that with a lively Q&A session!

What does Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) mean in the Waste and Recycling Industry?

Are we leading the way or stumbling behind? Does anyone have a handle on the statistics? Has your business, agency or non-profit adopted DEI initiatives? Are they actively being implemented and tracked? Are the benefits clear to all involved? What factors are being addressed – age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, ability, language and/or cultural background? Does your actual workforce reflect these commitments – in front of the house: management/decision makers, as well as the back of the house: workforce/membership? Are there efforts underway to stimulate workforce training and advancement?


  • Moderator and Commentator, Arley Owens, Executive Director, Ohio Recycling Coalition, former NRC Board Member, organizing member of the NRC DEI Council, and former Chair of the NRC Communications Committee and the Minorities Recycling Council
  • DEI Introduction and Industry Situational Report, Sophia Huda, Vice President, Ohio Recycling Coalition, member of the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board and Adjunct Sustainability Professor, The New School, New York SLIDES
  • Developing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mandates, Faye Christoforo, Executive Director, Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) SLIDES
  • Sustainable And Safe Recycling, Alina Bekkerman, NCRA Board Member and San Francisco Conservation Corps, Program Manager and
    Felisia Castañeda, NCRA Member and Recology San Francisco
    Environmental Learning Center Supervisor SLIDES
  • Moving Forward Together, Abrilla Robinson, Vice President, Ohio Recycling Coalition’s and Chair of the Ohio Recycling Coalition’s newly created Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. Past President of the National Recycling Coalition Minorities Recycling Council and organizing member of the new NRC DEI Council.

# # #


Help Support The Race To Zero Waste!


Join the Virtual 5K Walk/Run
to Zero Waste Challenge!
(Or just donate!)

With your generous support, Race to Zero Waste can uphold its mission of “Sustainability in Action.” As we reflect upon our workers, ways to promote Zero Waste initiatives, and how we can better serve our community once social restrictions are lifted, we can acknowledge our past, work in the present, and plan a Zero Waste future for all.

Below are The 3 P’s your support of Race to Zero Waste will create:

  • Providing financial assistance to R20W Workers
  • Promoting accessible Zero Waste education and outreach
  • Pursuing safer, more efficient Zero Waste methods for future events.

We are all in this together and your support will help guide our future into a new and even better normal than the one we left behind. RUN/WALK/BIKE with us in solidarity over solutions that keep us all safe and our planet healthy for generations to come.


Once you register you’ll be able to set-up your tracker (Charity Footprints free iOS/Android app or link up your Fitbit), and complete your distance goal anywhere and anytime!

The registration/running fee is $25, and you can sign up as an individual our create your own team to invite friends and family to support you on this challenge.

We’ve got some fun ways to stay engaged, learn about Zero Waste and meet new people virtually of course >:)

May 22nd, Live @ 5 pm PDT – Zero Waste Educational Series
May 29th, Live @ 5 pm PDT – Celebration Zero Waste Fest

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81719167159


Website & Social Media Survey!

We would like to know what you think of this website and our social media:
Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn and YouTube

Please take our Survey by June 15!

Members            Non-Members

Now that we can only interact virtually, on-line communication is more important than ever. So, we’ve created a survey to get your feedback on how our website and social media can meet your needs. It shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to fill out (depends on you) and if you include your contact info, you’ll be entered in the survey raffle to win a 2021 Recycling Update (RU) registration or a $100 Community Bikes  gift certificate

Also, please help by sharing the following link with non-member friends interested in recycling, so we can learn how to better reach people with our Zero Waste message:


Our goal is to hear from hundreds if not thousands of people!

Please respond today or by June 15!


Thank you 2020 Recycling Update Sponsors!


Sponsorship makes low-cost tickets and scholarships for Zero Waste Week events possible!

GOLD: City of Vallejo, StopWasteNapa Recycling & Waste ServicesCity of NapaSan Francisco Department of the EnvironmentHF&H ConsultantsR3 Consulting GroupRethinkWaste, Alameda County Industries, Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery, Toter, City of Fremont

SILVER: Zero Waste Sonoma, Zero Waste Marin, PSSI/Stanford Recycling, SCS Engineers, Marin Sanitary Service, Ecology Center

BRONZE: South San Francisco Scavenger, City of LivermoreRecycleMore, Recyclist, Resource Recovery Coalition of California, City of Sunnyvale, City of Stockton, Cascadia Consulting Group, RecycleSmart, Sure-Close

Generous support from our Sponsors provides scholarships and low-cost tickets to students and those that need financial assistance to attend. If you are interested in Sponsorship, please send us a note via the contact page!

Bronze – $500 = 1 ticket
Silver – $1000 = 2 tickets
Gold – $1500 = 4 tickets


Ticket(s) to the event based on sponsorship level (as outlined above)

–*Special this year* Discounted registration for the National Zero Waste Conference ($55 discount per ticket)

–Your personalized logo on the NCRA website and program

–Sponsors will be formally thanked on stage

–Sponsor logos will be displayed on the screen during both breaks and lunch

–The larger the sponsorship the larger the logo is for placement

–Sponsorships support discounted tickets for job seekers as well as the students’ scholarships

Comments on StopWaste Guiding Principles and Recycling Plan

By David Krueger, NCRA President, 11/23/30

Thank you and StopWaste for the opportunity to provide input as you update your Guiding Principles and Recycling Plan. In general, your draft Principles and Plan align with NCRA’s mission to End Waste, our vision of a sustainable circular economy, and our goal to stop landfilling and incineration. NCRA appreciates the work that StopWaste has done in the past, and our primary comment for StopWaste is to “stay the course” and continue to implement and build upon your existing successful programs. Bringing about systemic change and transforming social norms is a slow, long-term process that requires consistent and repeated messaging and action.

Guiding Principles

NCRA is in alignment with StopWaste’s current (2018) guiding principles and the considerations for updating them that StopWaste presented at the October 15, 2020 NCRA Board Meeting: Systemic Change, Social and Racial Equity, Collaborative Partnerships, Regenerative Economy, Social Norms, Health Indicators. We strongly support your inclusion of Social and Racial Equity as a consideration. We encourage StopWaste to adopt guiding principles that look beyond a narrow “landfill diversion at any cost” framework and take into account the broader impacts of diversion efforts on communities, workers, health, climate change, and the protection of soil, water, and air quality.

Landfill Obsolescence

NCRA strongly supports StopWaste adopting a goal of landfill obsolescence by 2045. This is in complete alignment with NCRA’s mission and vision. It is a very clear and understandable goal. As noted above, this goal must be achieved in accordance with guiding principles that ensure that our efforts to achieve landfill obsolescence do not inadvertently negatively affect our communities, workers, climate, air, water, or soil.

We also recognize that this is a very audacious goal given that the previous goal of 75% diversion was not achieved. StopWaste needs to be prepared to answer questions from the public about how landfill obsolescence is achievable when 75% diversion was not. Other questions that StopWaste needs to address are: How much will it cost to achieve this goal, and how will StopWaste monitor progress towards this goal? NCRA would add that obsolete landfills can be “recycled” into locations for buy-back centers, re-use stores, resource recovery parks, composting facilities, recycling facilities, recycled content manufacturers, etc.

Stay the Course: Continue to Support Collection, Processing, and Public Education

NCRA is concerned that StopWaste may be planning to shift limited resources to new, desirable programs while prematurely discontinuing necessary existing programs that have not yet achieved their goals or full potential. One example is that StopWaste discontinued the program which provided no-cost indoor containers to businesses. That program was effective at encouraging businesses to source separate and will be even more needed as SB 1383 is implemented.

StopWaste’s draft Recycling Plan states, “both the data and the experiences of Alameda County jurisdictions and service providers suggest that the county is reaching the limits of an approach that relies on post-consumption collection and processing.” NCRA respectfully disagrees. While we wholeheartedly support waste prevention and “upstream solutions” and agree that they are preferable to “downstream” solutions, there is still much work to be done to optimize collection and processing.   Contamination of collected recyclables is still at 25% – 35%.   An estimated 50% of Alameda County residents don’t recycle their food scraps. Source separation is neither universally available nor understood. The public still doesn’t know how to sort properly. Significant public education, technical assistance, and enforcement efforts are still needed to ensure correct source separation and to bring about the needed change in social norms. StopWaste has successfully led these efforts in the past, and should continue to do so. Both “upstream” and “downstream” programs will be required to achieve landfill obsolescence, and StopWaste should not abandon the existing “downstream” solutions as it works to implement new “upstream” ones.

Promoting Reusables / Banning Disposables

One “upstream” solution that NCRA recommends StopWaste include in their Recycling Plan is promoting reusable foodware / banning disposable foodware. NCRA supports StopWaste creating a countywide ordinance which features funding for reusable foodware and support for enforcement. Similar to how StopWaste has successfully implemented and enforced other countywide ordinances and bans. While NCRA applauds the creativity and leadership of the individual jurisdictions who have implemented innovative, groundbreaking local resuable foodware ordinances, a unified countywide approach will be easier for the public and food vendors to understand and for hesitant jurisdictions to adopt.

SB 1383 Compliance

SB 1383 is the greatest challenge facing Alameda County jurisdictions since AB 939. StopWaste should continue and expand its efforts to support Member Agencies in achieving SB 1383 compliance. SB 1383 compliance should be a significant part of any Recycling Plan for 2021 and beyond. StopWaste has greater financial resources and staffing than most Member Agencies and is in a unique position to lead SB 1383 compliance efforts in the County. Many of the requirements of SB 1383 are most efficiently and effectively implemented on a countywide level. Examples of how StopWaste could lead SB 1383 compliance efforts include:

  • Inspection and Enforcement.
    StopWaste should expand its MRO inspection and enforcement activities to cover all related SB 1383 requirements.
  • Edible Food Recovery.
    Identifying edible food generators and food rescue organizations, connecting them to one another, and educating generators are all best done on a countywide basis. Food rescue organizations do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries.
  • Procurement
    StopWaste should coordinate the procurement of compost, mulch, renewable gas, biomass-derived electricity, and recycled content paper products by Member Agencies. StopWaste could consider organizing a purchasing co-op for some or all of these products.
  • Public Education.
    StopWaste should continue and expand its public education and technical assistance programs in support of SB 1383.
  • Regional Composting Capacity
    StopWaste should continue efforts to ensure sufficient composting/anaerobic digestion capacity for organics recovered in the County.

If there is insufficient funding for such efforts, StopWaste could consider asking Member Agencies if they would be willing to forgo a portion of their Measure D funding so that StopWaste could more cost-effectively implement these SB 1383 requirements on their behalf.

Thank you for soliciting and considering our comments. Please contact me if you would like to discuss them further.

# # #

Board Of Directors Candidate Statements, 2020

Five members have submitted ballot statements to serve on the 2021 NCRA Board of Directors. There are five two-year positions to fill. Voting opens Tuesday, November 23, 2020, and ends Monday, December 6, 2020, at 11:59 pm.

Custom voting links will be emailed to members on November 23. If you do not receive our email but believe you should (i.e. your membership is current as of November 23, 2020), please contact the office and we will email the link again.


Julia Au, Member since 2018

I would be honored to serve on the NCRA Board to help our shared goals of reducing waste and making an impact in our region and beyond.

I’ve been a NCRA member since 2018, but have been involved in the waste world for over ten years from working at Californians Against Waste, to coordinating HHW programs and outreach at SF Environment and San Mateo County, where I also helped pass and enforce the County’s Bag Ban. I’m currently the Outreach and Communications Manager at RethinkWaste and a member of the NCRA DEI Committee.

If elected to the Board, I want to grow NCRA to make it more inclusive beyond the East Bay core, while also ensuring it’s a welcoming place to the diversity that the waste world in Northern California brings. This includes backgrounds, experiences, and opinions. I plan to help lead NCRA in creating additional and welcoming avenues for members to be engaged, active, and involved, while continuing to be innovative in how we do it.

We have plenty of issues to tackle for years to come, ranging from SB 1383 to social justice and climate change. I’d welcome getting to celebrate our differences while tackling the environmental issues that affect us all. I humbly ask for your vote.

Alina Bekkerman, Incumbent, Member since 2017

It has been an exceptional opportunity and an honor to serve on the NCRA board of directors for the last two years. During this time, I have taken the opportunity to collaborate on critical issues, help organize and manage events, and create programming that is both engaging and educational to our zero waste community.

During my term, I continued to serve as the liaison to the Zero Waste Youth USA, while also serving on the Members Engagement and Activities Committee and co-chairing the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee. I loved collaborating and spearheading numerous events, including the production for Virtual RU and am currently supporting the NRC in the production of the Zero Waste Conference, and a NCRA + ZWY Career Connection Forum.

I humbly request your support in my candidacy for another term on the board of directors of this incredible organization. Hope to continue to provide direction for the DEI committee, as we establish new priorities for our board and member organizations to focus on diversity and inclusion in the industry. I also hope to bring new and interesting opportunities for networking and connections, through more events and activities, be it virtual, or in-person once it is safe.

Douglas Brooms, Incumbent, Member since 2013

I’ve served on the Board for 7 years, and I would appreciate the privilege to serve again. I look forward to Board meeting deliberations and helping with and participating in events. In pre-COVID years, I represented NCRA at each “Oakland Green Expo” and other similar events.

I’ve served as Co-chair and Chair of the Zero Waste Advocacy Committee and would like to continue doing so. I’ll continue evaluating legislative Bills, drafting support and opposition letters and collaborating with the Clean Seas Lobbing Coalition and other environmental organizations.

I will strive to further engage with these groups on the unfinished business of the 2019-2020 Legislature. Many Bills were preemptively furloughed due to COVID-19 priorities. Certain other high profile Bills appeared to have succumbed more so due to nefarious lobbying. Next year, it is my hope to persuade and engage with other organizations, to use strategies to effectuate greater accountability among legislators.

I will continue with updates to the ZWAC Webpage, and work to increase its appeal and usefulness. I’ll continue promoting awareness about the annual America Recycles Day, and other means to encourage greater recycling participation. I’m still the volunteer recycling coordinator at my apartment building.

I have sustaining commitments to climate protection and social and other environmental justice. However, Zero Waste, recycling, plastics mitigation, composting and food recovery advocacy are my stronger passions, still making NCRA my favorite place. I would appreciate your vote.

David Hott, Member since 2019

As a newly certified Practitioner in Zero Waste Principles and Practices, I offer an energetic viewpoint that can enhance collaboration efforts towards Zero Waste. I began my journey into reducing GHG by being part of the beginnings of the A La Carte Program of Loaves & Fishes, which was created by my close friend Doctor Nancy Fishman the founder of Forgotten Harvest. Since the inception of the A LA Carte program, we have achieved the following results:

In FY2020, A La Carte provided 336,147 meals and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 420 metric tons. With our partners’ continued support and the Hot Meals provided by our cooking staff since March 2020, A La Carte has distributed 301,827 meals and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 374 metric tons to date.

My entry into the efforts towards Zero Waste began with a new chapter in my professional development. After many experiences and exciting opportunities within the private sector, I decided to go back to school and pursue an education focused on Human Services. It is there where I recognized my real passion; to be of service to others.

The responsibility I have in becoming a larger part of the solutions for climate change influences my decision to become an active member of NCRA. I would be humbled and extremely honored to become a member of the Board of Directors of this wonderful organization.

Jessica Jane Robinson, Incumbent, Member since 2013

I have served as Vice President for two years and Treasurer for four years. As Vice President, I have exposed NCRA to other demographics and markets. I spoke at the United Nations and represented NCRA as Vice President, along with my other titles. NCRA was a sponsor for Earth Day SF 2019 when my superhero alias, Resilience, was the event’s face and emcee. NCRA’s logo was on my superhero Earth Day SF poster that was on Muni buses, and recycle guides distributed throughout SFUSD and to the public for the promotion of the event. ABC Channel 7 interviewed me as NCRA Vice President about recycling and waste diversion in the Bay Area. As Treasurer, I helped organize NCRA’s finances and got caught up with past filing taxes. I have helped NCRA’s exposure to other demographics through various forms of media. I advised NCRA to become the first sponsor of Girls Inc of the Island City’s Ethical Fashion Show, an annual event produced by youth.

I am on a brand new NCRA committee for CA schools. I look forward to contributing to NCRA and the school committee in new ways as my career expands with new opportunities unfolding. I hope to be selected to serve another term for the NCRA board.

# # #

Board of Directors Election 2020 – NOMINATE YOURSELF TO SERVE ON THE NCRA BOARD! 

Board of Directors Election 2020


NCRA has been a Recycling and Zero Waste trailblazer since it’s inception in 1978 and we are still out front. You can help develop the cutting edge by applying to serve on the 11-person Board of Directors!

Five board positions will be open this January. We don’t know yet how many incumbents will be running. It’s a two-year working post. Attendance at nearly all ten meetings a year is required, as is between-meetings work on at least one standing committee as well as one Recycling Update committee. Currently we meet via Zoom on the third Thursday of the month. (Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings moved around the greater Bay Area – sometimes in conjunction with tours. Phone participation was possible at many locations.)

Directors discuss issues, hold debates and influence regional and national recycling strategy, such as:

    • Track and comment on legislation
    • Listen to regional industry leaders
    • Work on behalf of colleagues who need a boost
    • Tackle issues that can’t be ignored
    • Tour facilities and talk business with operators
    • Hold events and webinars on important topics

Benefits include helping NCRA protect and rejuvenate the environment and promote a waste free economy, as well as free entrance to all NCRA events. Looks good on your resume too!

To nominate yourself, submit a campaign statement of 210 words or less via our Contact page, on or before Monday, November 16 at 11:59pm. Introduce yourself, note how long you have been a NCRA member, what committees you are on and tell members why they should consider voting for you. Be sure to read the previous statements beforehand.

The Election begins Tuesday, November 23 and ends Monday, December 6 at 11:59pm.

Post-Mortem Of SB 54/AB 1080 And Others

By Doug Brooms, NCRA Board Member and Chair of the Zero Waste Advocacy Committee,  NCRA News, October 23, 2020

In the early days of September, much had been written and explanations offered in the aftermath of both SB 54 and AB 1080, gasping and dying in fleeting days and hours on the floor of the California Legislature. As such, a post-mortem is defined as “an examination of a dead body to determine the cause of death”. Naysayers made spurious claims, it was Bad Policy. Backers mused, if only we had more time, if we could have persuaded just a few more legislators, if…. How many have noticed or smelled the Elephant in the room?

SB 54 and AB 1080 Post Mortems

For the second consecutive year, both AB 1080 and SB 54, the identical Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Acts, failed to emerge from the California State Legislature. The redirection of State funds for Covid-19 relief and priorities could have been influential this year. However, for both 2019 and 2020, the problem appeared more so in the Assembly, to gain enough Aye votes for a 41 vote majority to pass. Below are the vote tallies for both 2019 and 2020, for both Bills, and in both houses, taken from the Legislature Bill Search link: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/home.xhtml.

In 2019, SB 54 had passed out of the Senate on 5/29 by 28-8-2, and subsequently was sent to the Assembly where it failed on 9/06, by 38-16-25 (Ayes-Noes-NVR).
In 2019, AB 1080 had passed the Assembly Floor on 5/30 by 44-19-17, and presumably was sent to the Senate, but never came up for a vote by 9/01.

In 2020, SB 54 did not come up for a vote in the Senate (having already passed in 2019?). However SB 54 failed in the Assembly on 8/31 by 37-18-24.
In 2020, AB 1080 had passed the Senate on Sunday 8/30 by 23-12-5, but was never sent to the Assembly with amendments to allow for any vote by 8/31 midnight.

It is noteworthy that when SB 54 was up for a vote at the end of the year for 2019 and 2020, a significant number in the Assembly had chosen to not be recorded for a vote, and were listed as NVR (No Vote Recorded), 25 in 2019 and 24 in 2020. Of these, there were 14 (names underlined) who were listed as NVR for both 2019 and 2020. Of the 14 total, 13 were Democrats and 1 (Waldron) was Republican (in italics). The vote results below were also assembled from the CA Legislature:

In 2019, SB 54 in Assembly, NVR: 22 Democrats, 3 Republicans, 25 Total
Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bloom, Burke, Calderon, Cervantes, Cooper, Daly, Diep, Eggman, Gipson, Grayson, Irwin, Limón, Low, Maienschein, Melendez, Petrie-Norris, Quirk-Silva, Ramos, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Smith, Waldron

In 2020, SB 54 in Assembly, NVR: 18 Dems, 5 Republicans, 1 Independent, 24 Total
Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Brough, Burke, Cervantes, Cunningham, Daly, Diep, Eggman, Frazier, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Low, Mayes (I), Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Rodriguez, Voepel, Waldron

It is also noteworthy that on 8/28/20, the attached 54-1080 Coalition New Opposition Floor Alert apparently was circulated, which simply stated: “Vote No on AB 1080 and SB 54” (Available is a “MS Word” version). The two pages listed the logos and names of 87 organizations, seeming as an implied ultimatum. Among them were “presumably” campaign contributors, familiar to state legislators. The timing for the release of the Floor Alert on the last Friday appeared to be strategic, as it left little time for supporters to react with any counter campaign before the Monday midnight deadline.

Was such a Floor Alert also used in 2019? Was it the intention to forewarn legislators that their recorded vote would matter during funding of their next election campaign cycle? Being on record with an AYE vote would be disqualifying for them, whereas a NO vote would be upsetting to their constituents. So it should be safer to abstain from a vote, which would effectively serve the same purpose of avoiding an AYE for their potential contributors.

Had the unfavorable outcomes for SB 54 been predestined, with enough Noes and NVRs already pocketed, prior to the Assembly Floor votes? The fate of SB 54 had been nearly identical in both 2019 and 2020. It leads to speculation that maybe the fix already had been in place. In the case of AB 1080, which had just passed the Senate on 8/28/20, what reportedly remained was for the Senate Pro Tem to return the Bill to the Assembly Floor for a vote, before midnight 8/31. However curiously that was not done. Again, could this outcome likewise have been baked into the cake, so to speak? If anyone has a more accurate accounting, please do share. 66 signatories, 66 signatories,

What can be said of the so called “Moderate Democrats”, or better “Industry Compliant Democrats” who chose the “safe” NVR option? Perhaps there are more descriptive monikers, maybe such as NVR = Not Very Reliable, at least to their constituents. But to their lobbyists, maybe NVR = Nearly Valuable Republican. Choose or make up your own, and make them wear it.

California Legislators Report Card

As a side note, the Sierra Club California annually scores the performance of legislators on environmental issues. For 2019, 34 Assembly Members and 9 Senators earned 100% scores.

The assembly members who earned perfect scores on the 2019 Legislative Report Card are:
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (Assembly District 16), Marc Berman (AD 24), Richard Bloom (AD 50), Rob Bonta (AD 18), Ian Calderon (AD 57), Wendy Carrillo (AD 51), Sabrina Cervantes (AD 60), Ed Chau (AD 49), David Chiu (AD 17), Kansen Chu (AD 25), Jesse Gabriel (AD 45), Cristina Garcia (AD 58), Todd Gloria (AD 78), Lorena Gonzalez (AD 80), Chris Holden (AD 41), Reggie Jones-Sawyer (AD 59), Ash Kalra (AD 27), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (AD 54), Marc Levine (AD 10), Monique Limón (AD 37), Evan Low (AD 28), Kevin Mullin (AD 22), Al Muratsuchi (AD 66), Bill Quirk (AD 20), Anthony Rendon (AD 63), Eloise Gómez Reyes (AD 47), Luz Rivas (AD 39), Miguel Santiago (AD 53), Christy Smith (AD 38), Mark Stone (AD 29), Phil Ting (AD 19), Shirley Weber (AD 79), Buffy Wicks (AD 15) and Jim Wood (AD 2).
Is there any expectation that two-time NVR Democrats Cervantes and Low will score 100% for 2020?

SB 246 and AB 345 Post Mortems

SB 246 (Wieckowski) Oil and Gas Severance Tax, would have brought California in line with all other 34 major oil producing states in the nation, by imposing a 10% oil and gas severance tax. SB 246 would have raised approximately $900 million per year for the general fund. See a sample support letter. In 2019, the two-year Bill had garnered the support of at least 37 grassroots non profit organizations. However on January 8, 2020, an opposition SB 246 Coalition Letter with a long list of 66 signatories, including customary campaign contributors, had been submitted to Senator Wieckowski. The copy distribution included Chair Senator Mike McGuire, Vice-Chair, and Members of the Senate Governance & Finance Committee, where the Bill resided.

Curiously, the 1/15/20 hearing on SB 246 was postponed, and removed from the agenda, effectively killing the Bill for failure to advance out of the Governance & Finance Committee before the 1/31/20 deadline. SB 246 had been the latest in a long series of failed attempts to pass a state severance tax. In all, at least 7 bills have been introduced in both the Senate and Assembly since 1990. And in 2006, a ballot measure was put to the voters to establish a tax on oil and gas being extracted in California, but was defeated after opponents spent almost $100 million in opposition. During the 2017-2018 legislative session, Western States Petroleum Association and Chevron had spent nearly $16 million and $14 million respectively, persuading legislators to vote their way.

AB 345 (Muratsuchi) would have created health and safety buffer zones, up to 2,500 feet, between communities and oil extraction activities. In 2019, Lorena Gonzalez, chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, had tabled AB 345 until the 2020 Session. Near the end of the 2019 legislative session, Gonzalez had received campaign contributions from among Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Western States Petroleum Association, totaling at least $16,100.

By 2020, AB 345 had garnered the support of over 270 environmental, labor, racial justice, public health, and faith organizations, as well as 79% of Californians, according to a then recent poll. However the Bill was defeated in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, in a 5-4 vote on 8/05. Democratic Senators Hertzberg, Hueso and Caballero joined two Republicans to oppose the bill. Senators Hertzberg and Hueso had each received $28,100 and $21,500 respectively in campaign contributions from companies that lobbied against AB 345. Hueso also has behested at least $81,000 from the fossil fuel industry throughout his political career. Senator Anna Caballero has received $15,000 from the oil and gas industry.

“The lobbying and influence campaign efforts waged by the oil industry and labor against AB 345 illustrates the difficulty in crafting climate policy and environmental protections, even in a state with a supermajority Democratic Party legislature that bills itself as a global leader on fighting climate change. A big part of the difficulty is the contradiction at the center of it all: California is the sixth biggest oil producer nationwide and the largest West Coast oil refiner.”

“Big Oil’s tentacles extend far and wide in California politics. Lobbying is just one of the methods that Big Oil uses in California to exercise inordinate influence over California regulators. Western States Petroleum Association and Big Oil wield their power in 6 major ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) serving on and putting shills on regulatory panels; (4) creating Astroturf groups: (5) working in collaboration with media; and (6) contributing to non profit organizations.” CA Regulators Issue 6 New Fracking Permits As Record Fires And A Pandemic Continue. Dan Bacher, Daily Kos, 10/12/20 […]

Looking back through the legislature graveyard, what other recent or past Bills have been dispatched by unbridled Lobby spending and tacit persuasion? Yes, California is one of 15 trifecta states with a majority Democratic legislature and governorship. Given that Democrats traditionally are far more amenable to environmental concerns, and Republicans are staunchly pro business, how can these anomalies keep happening?

For insights about this, see this passage below from the Feb. 2020 article Brace for the Deluge: Special interests are Spending Millions to Get the California Legislators They Want. […]

Picking the right “brand” of Democrat
In the most heated (and expensive) battles for California legislative seats, the key question for big outside spenders isn’t whether to back a Republican or a Democrat — but which kind of Democrat.
It’s a reflection of the Democratic Party’s dominance of state politics in California. For businesses that might have once prioritized the election of Republicans, backing a business-inclined Democrat is now often their best bet for ensuring a friendly vote in Sacramento.
“The goal is to get your particular brand of Democrat to emerge in the run off,” said David Townsend, who directs the Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, a committee that backs moderate Democrats. In races where business interests and organized labor pick different candidates, he said, “it’s an arms race. When one side spends more, you have to spend more.”
Which candidates have been propped up or targeted the most by independent expenditure groups?
The next info graphics show which legislators receive the most and the least financial support from business.

Money and Politics

In her email of 9/01/20 “CA Legislature Results”, Kathryn Phillips, Director with Sierra Club California, concluded with:
“Now the bad news: Only a handful of priority bills even got as far as the floor of the opposite house, and then only some of those passed. This year, when it was essential because of COVID that we work virtually and so couldn’t physically be present in the Capitol to remind legislators what their constituents who vote want and expect, the power of the moneyed special interests was more obvious than ever.

The lesson for me is that elections matter and elected officials need to be held accountable–including in non-election years. We’re about to launch an accountability project. So watch this space.”

Her closing statement has given rise to a number of questions and possibilities. Would such an Accountability Project amount to simply calling out the Democrats who were swayed by lobbyists, or finding more principled candidates to challenge them in the California March 2022 Primaries? If one or both 54/1080 type Bills will be reintroduced in 2021, what else can be done to avoid a repeat scenario, most likely in the Assembly? Would an accountability project be inclusive of a greater comprehensive multifaceted game plan? Foremost, how pervasive is the perceived corruption of money in CA Legislature politics? What other important Bills have been stymied, going back for how long?

If either or both SB 246 and AB 345 had passed, a net effect could have been the slowing or curbing of oil production, at least in California. The plastics industry has long enjoyed an unfair competitive advantage of artificially suppressed oil prices, given the decades of federal subsidies, and the State absence of a severance tax. Unless and until the cost of recycled plastic feedstock falls below the cost of virgin oil, there exists little if any incentive to reprocess into pellets, and to incorporate into the manufacture of new plastic products.

The Next Round – 2021?

What lies ahead for 2021? For the Plastics War, SB 54 and AB 1080 had seen rather fierce battles in California, which “Big Plastic” regards as the essential beachhead. However, with battalions of lobbyists with limitless cash ammunition and proven tactics, they have managed to hold ground in 2019 and 2020. In an analogous military sense, our two Generals, authors Ben Allen and Lorena Gonzalez and their staffs of officers and soldiers, may have been left battle weary. The amount of everyone’s time, sacrifices and distractions from other important obligations must have been inordinate.

There has been scuttlebutt that either or both are disgusted with the entrenched colleagues, and perhaps not up for another round. Would that forebode that the war is finished for now? It seemingly should be a travesty to retreat and to give up the hard fought gains made during the two years. Regardless, commendations are in order for those who fought the Right Fight, and our gratitude will endure.

Perhaps there is resignation to instead leave Recology’s California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act ballot initiative for the November 2022 elections, to take up the fight. However, if history can provide any lesson or insights, it had been Big Oil which had defeated every attempt to pass an oil severance tax in the California legislature since 1990. In 2006, when a ballot initiative was attempted instead, Big Oil had spent nearly $100 million to insure its defeat, amazingly convincing people to vote against their own best interests.

There would be nothing more gratifying to the opponents of plastics reform, than for supporters to be seen as having given up, and accepting defeat. An unintended consequence would be to reinforce and affirm the opposition’s tactics as proven successful, to be used confidently whenever needed again. Another casualty could become the ultimate captivity of the California Legislature itself. When more principled legislators witness other colleagues cashing in big on the Pay-to-Play NVR scheme without any consequences, wouldn’t that increasingly fuel the temptation to also jump in?

Most anyone who has viewed the 52-minutes PBS documentary Plastics War is likely of the resolve that defeat is simply not an option. Just as insightful and disturbing is the rather lengthy 2019 article Waste Only How the Plastics Industry Is Fighting to Keep Polluting the World. There is far too much at stake, for the preservation of our lands, the oceans and marine life, our increasing ingestion of micro-plastics and our own well being, and of the planet for generations.

Most anyone who has viewed the 52-minute PBS Frontline documentary Plastics War is likely to resolve that defeat is simply not an option. Just as insightful and disturbing is the rather lengthy July 2019 The Intercept article Waste Only: How the Plastics Industry Is Fighting to Keep Polluting the World by Sharon Lerner. There is far too much at stake, for the preservation of our lands, the oceans and marine life, our increasing ingestion of micro-plastics and our own well being, and of the planet for generations.

Imagine if another dual pronged 54/1080 type set of 2-year Bills were to be launched in January? What might become the outcome this time? Big Plastic’s playbook and tactics have been exposed. Regardless, a new $6 billion Chevron Phillips Chemical plastics factory has been built along the Texas Gulf Coast. Expect that Big Plastic will spare no expense to undermine any laws and regulations which would threaten to curb their anticipated explosion of single use plastics on America and the world. Again, conglomerates can wield their formidable power in 6 major ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) serving on and putting shills on regulatory panels; (4) creating Astroturf groups: (5) working in collaboration with media; and (6) contributing to non profit organizations.” Also, expect brutal misinformation campaigns.

The point is that if there should become a similar 54/1080 undertaking in 2021, then nothing should be left to chance. Beyond hopeful thinking, required would be an early and well planned, broad based, comprehensive strategy, for the long term, including some of the following:

      • During the remainder of 2020, supporters of 54/1080 could reach out to leaders of other failed Bills, including such as Oil Bills, SB 246 and AB 345, to find common cause, to create broader coalitions. “You support us and we will support you”.
      • Develop parallel and common game plans and timelines. Share what various organizations have learned from mistakes and how to avoid repeats.
      • What contemplation and brainstorming might be done to devise new and better strategies and tactics for the next time around?
      • Looking back, at which committee did each prior Bill encounter difficulties or obstructions, and by whom? After the Nov. 3 elections, which previous obstinate committee chairpersons or members would likely still be in place?
      • What strategies of persuasion and dissuasion could be conceived of to minimize risks of 2021 Bills being preemptively tabled until 2022?  Will the path of successive committees and rules be the same?
      • For the Oil Bills, it should be wise to continually seek expanding the numbers of legislators to take or recommit to the “No Fossil Fuel Money” pledge. See the attached list of California candidates and legislators through May 2020
      • A “No Big Plastics Money” pledge for politicians could not be found. What would it take to devise and roll out one, at least initially for California Legislators?
      • What incentives might be considered towards reaffirming and securing the support of Bills from among incumbents and new legislators?
      • What amicable approaches could be considered to reclaim particularly those 13 Democratic Assembly Members who had gotten away with the NVR ruse for the past two consecutive years, and might have the audacity to try for a third time?
      • Alternatively, perhaps a tough-love letter could be devised: Dear Member, Below is a list including you and 13 of your colleagues who chose to abstain (NVR) from voting on SB 54 in August of 2019 and again in 2020. Included are the campaign contribution totals that each received from various Plastics industry opponents, suggesting potential conflicts of interest. In the event that our 2021 Bill does not pass, our coalition members will endeavor to unseat incumbents who had not been supportive, with alternative candidates for the March 2022 California Primaries.”
      •  A likewise letter could be crafted for the attention of problematic Senators.
      • Could there be any possibilities of further refinement of social media tools to deploy with such speed, scope and magnitude, as to rival the overwhelming money advantages of Big Plastic? Imagine the impact of reaching every corner of a problem incumbent’s district with messaging, if necessary, or at least the threat, akin to a nuclear option?
      • Could there be any avenues for dissuading the customary business allies from ongoing support of Big Plastic, maybe a novel business case
      • What effective remedies have other states implemented towards getting their proposed legislation passed? According to the National Caucus of Environmental Legislation (NCEL) and their 2020 Plastic Pollution Legislation Master Sheet, the State of New York has introduced 32 pieces of legislation, compared to 6 in California. Is there anything to be learned how they deal with legislators and lobbyists to get their Bills through?

Much else needs to be planned – now, if intentions are to hit the ground running in 2021.

Thank you your indulgence. Corrections are welcome. Share with others as desired. Use any or all as you wish, and as your own for credibility.

Remember, “It always seems impossible, until it’s done” – N. Mandella

Help StopWaste Set Priorities


By NCRA Member Justin Lehrer, Operations Manager, StopWaste, 10/21/20
Every other year, StopWaste engages in priority setting to inform the Agency’s budget development, resource allocation, external fund-seeking efforts, and program selection and design for a two-year period. The agency is now engaged in the 2020 priority setting process, and will discuss a new draft set of two-year priorities at the November 2020 joint Waste Management Authority (WMA), Recycling Board, and Energy Council (EC) meeting.

A two-year priority setting process enables the Agency to be responsive to new challenges and opportunities. This ability to be nimble and adaptive has perhaps never been more important than now. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities and our work, the increasing urgency of the climate crisis, persistent social and racial disparities, new State-level requirements such as SB 1383, and the growing knowledge that we must take our work to the next level in order to achieve ambitious waste reduction and clean energy goals all point to the need for an updated set of priorities for the Agency. Updated priorities will guide the work of the Agency over the next two fiscal years, through June 2023.

StopWaste’s current priorities, presented as a set of guiding principles, have informed the Agency’s work in many important and tangible ways, including, such as:

      • FOOD WASTE PREVENTION: Increasingly high priority given to food waste prevention through projects such as the Stop Food Waste campaign, schools outreach, and assistance and tools developed to promote and enable edible food recovery and donation.
      • ORGANICS OUT OF LANDFILL: Ongoing efforts to divert organic materials from the landfill, such as through implementation of the Mandatory Recycling Ordinance.
      • CARBON FARMING: Coordination with member agencies to conduct training on compost application and to incorporate innovative carbon farming practices into city climate action plans.
      • SB 1383 IMPLEMENTATION INFRASTRUCTURE: Convening member agency staff to coordinate SB 1383 implementation efforts.
      • REUSEABLE FOOD WARE: Shift in focus from exploring mandatory food service ware policy to development of upstream pilot projects that build reusable food ware infrastructure.

At the October 15 NCRA Board meeting, StopWaste staff shared a set of considerations that are top of mind and serving as a framework for updating Agency priorities. These ideas have evolved, with input from staff and stakeholders, into the following aims:

      • SYSTEMIC CHANGE: Support member agencies and partners to make strategic policy and program interventions that create systemic change at scale
      • SOCIAL AND RACIAL EQUITY: Hold social and racial equity at the center of our work
      • COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIPS: Cultivate collaborative partnerships across issues and design programs that foster overall community and environmental well-being
      • REGENERATIVE ECONOMY: Focus resources on strategic interventions where we can support the shift towards a regenerative economy
      • SOCIAL NORMS: Change the social norms driving inefficient resource use and overconsumption
      • HEALTH INDICATORS: Evaluate success based on overall system health indicators

One important goal of the process is for the resulting priorities to reflect the full scope of the Agency’s work, including materials management efforts and the work of the Energy Council to advance clean energy solutions in Alameda County communities (previously the WMA/Recycling Board and EC have conducted separate priority setting processes).

Recycling Plan Update

The guiding principles adopted by the WMA Board are developed through a joint process with the Recycling Board. Measure D, the county charter amendment that established the Recycling Board, mandates that the Recycling Board implement a comprehensive source reduction and recycling program. This is further outlined in the Recycling Plan, which extends through 2020 and is currently being updated. While creating and updating this Plan is the legal obligation of the Recycling Board as a distinct entity, it is designed to be complementary to and consistent with the WMA’s goals, objectives and strategies and therefore it informs Agency priority-setting. The draft Recycling Plan can be found here and input may be given directly to staff by November 13, 2020, or at the December 12 Recycling Board meeting.

Between now and December, staff are facilitating a series of presentations and discussions with the WMA Board and its committees, Recycling Board, Energy Council, member agency staff, and other partners to gather input on the priorities that will guide Agency efforts for the next two years. Staff will request that the WMA Board and Energy Council consider adoption of a new set of two-year priorities at the December 16 Waste Management Authority/Energy Council meeting. NCRA members are invited to follow this process by sharing their input during the public comment period at any upcoming public Board meetings – schedules and agendas are posted online,  or via email to Justin Lehrer.

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