Recycling Update March 2020 – Speaker Bios and Presentation Synopses


Speaker List, in Alphabetical Order:

Genevieve Abedon, Ecoconsult

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. At Ecoconsult, she represents the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition, a coalition of non-profit organizations dedicated to source reduction solutions to the plastic pollution crisis.

Synopsis: Description of the Clean Seas Lobbying Coalition that NCRA has joined, what we do and what we have accomplished. I will give an overview of our statewide legislative priorities are for the year and deep dive into a few of them including SB 54/AB 1080 and The California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act of 2020 ballot initiative. I will touch briefly on local ordinances/efforts, and close with how NCRA members can support our efforts.

Clytie Binder, Brisbane City Council, Australia

Clytie Binder is a Waste Educator with Brisbane City Council, helping schools, community groups, businesses and individuals to reduce their waste. In this role she has designed and delivered the Community Composting Hub program which has seen the establishment of 25 community composting hubs across the city. In 2019 she presented at the Coffs Waste Conference on community composting and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to travel to the USA, Canada, and Cuba to explore education methods and partnership models to support community composting. Clytie is passionate about sustainability and the power of community to bring about change.

Synopsis: Brisbane City Council, Australia, has been developing a network of community composting hubs since 2016. While this program has diverted a large amount of organic waste from landfill community composting has also ignited a passion about composting in the hearts and minds of Brisbane residents. This is expressed through the development of income-generating opportunities, a surge in new urban food growing initiatives, a conduit for supporting and connecting passionate people and groups, a sense of excitement around the topic of composting, a gradual shift as composting moves into the mainstream and a sense of empowerment among the community in being part of the solution.

Michael Bisch, 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.

Synopsis: Poverty-stricken Yolo County is in crisis: 34% of households do not earn enough to cover their basic household expenses (impacting +50% of school children).  YFB’s response is to transform itself from struggling nonprofit to high-performing change agent leading all of Yolo County on a mission to EndHungerYolo.

Our leadership has focused on the “Sustainable Management of Food” approach prioritizing wasted food recovery:

  1. Source Reduction
  2. Feed Hungry People
  3. Feed Animals
  4. Industrial Uses
  5. Composting

Rescuing wasted food is a quadruple win: it’s good for the economy, for our community, for the environment and for our vulnerable neighbors. 

José Bravo, Just Transition Alliance

José Bravo is a long-time leader on just transition, climate justice and chemical policy as they relate to communities fighting for Environmental Justice and Labor Justice (Organized and Unorganized). Born in México and brought to the U.S. as a child, José’s work in social justice issues is rooted in his upbringing in the Southern California avocado fields alongside both his parents. Since 1991, José has gained recognition as a national and international leader in both the Environmental Justice and Climate Justice movements. Over the past 30 years as a community organizer, José has worked on numerous campaigns in the U.S., Puerto Rico and in México.

Synopsis: This Just Transition Alliance presentation covers how environmental justice (EJ) communities are disproportionately impacted in every part of the plastics lifecycle – from the extraction of oil for plastics to plastic in the ocean. EJ communities bare the burden of toxic chemicals in plastic products and the disposal of these products at hazardous facilities such as incinerators. This Environmental Justice Lens on the Lifecycle of Plastics is important to understand that communities have been left out of the environmentalism discussion, and explains how to bring our communities to the forefront of the conversation.  

Laurenteen Brazil, City of El Cerrito Environmental Services Division

Laurenteen Brazil has over 18 years of experience in the recycling industry. She serves as the Waste Prevention Specialist at the City of El Cerrito where she provides educational outreach to the community and works directly with businesses for legislative compliance. Over the course of her career, she has also served on both the NCRA and CRRA Boards. She is a 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 home church. She enjoys outdoor activities and aspires continually to be impactful.

Synopsis: The Chinese Sword has caused the City of El Cerrito to adjust operations based on marketability. The first adjustment happened in April of 2018 with major changes effective May 15th and July 1st in 2019.

The one-stop-shop recycling center is still resourceful to the community we serve but, we have been constricted by marketability and we’ve decided to make it an education opportunity as well.

Derek Crutchfield, City of Vallejo

Synopsis: In an effort to reduce recycling contamination, the City of Vallejo Recycling Coordinator, Derek Crutchfield implemented a year-long Recycling Rewards incentive program. This citywide incentive program required residents, multi-family dwellings and businesses to recycle (and recycle properly) in order to be eligible to be rewarded. The program gave participating residential garbage customers an opportunity to possibly be rewarded with one of twelve “packages” of a year of free garbage service. In addition, multi-family dwellings and businesses were eligible to receive $1,000 off their garbage bill.

Jill Donello, GreenEducation.US

As the education manager at for the previous 3 years, I’ve worked closely with students and instructors in providing online education in sustainable resource management. Our students include recycling coordinators, public works department managers, facilities managers, consultants, waste haulers and others. I was a founding member of the US Zero Waste Business Council and have several decades of public speaking experience. With a Masters in Educational Technology, I look forward to bringing new methods for knowledge sharing to the field of SRM.

Synopsis:  As California aggressively seeks to reduce waste to landfill and build a more sustainable future, an understanding of the “zero waste fundamentals” is needed by a growing number of employees and leaders in both the private and public sector. Solutions require collaboration across the supply chain. Training and education programs aim to support a shared vision, vocabulary, and base to ensure the workforce is ready to lead the changes to come. Let’s talk about the role of training and education in building zero waste leaders across the state!

Jeff Donlevy, Mings Resources

Bio: 25 years’ experience in the recycling industry. With experience in the design, construction, start-up, and management of recycling facilities ranging in size from a few hundred tons per month up to 10,000 tons per month. He has managed recycling and logistics contracts for large customers including Anheuser Busch, DST, California State Department of Corrections Facilities, and Bay Area News Group. The Ming’s Hayward facility handles over 2 BILLION CRV containers per year.

Magdalena Donoso, GAIA Latin America and the Caribbean

Magdalena Donoso is the Coordinator for GAIA Latin America and the Caribbean. She 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.

Synopsis: Informal recyclers (wastepickers) have long been the unsung heroes of zero waste and faced environmental injustice, but that is changing. As a result of their long struggle for recognition, cooperatives of wastepickers/recyclers are now running city-wide collection and sorting programs in multiple capital cities in Latin America. Because of their on-the-ground knowledge, waste pickers are uniquely positioned to inform sound zero waste policy and defend against incineration and other obstacles to success. Embedding wastepickers in key decision-making is not only critical to social justice and equity, it’s also the best chance cities have to achieve zero waste.

Miriam Gordon, UPSTREAM

Bio: 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.

Synopsis: Plastic pollution is everywhere- in the air we breathe, water we drink, and food we eat. Communities and their governments are responding with bans on plastic items-like straws, containers, and bags. But allowing other disposables like paper, aluminum, bioplastic and fiber to take their place just transfers the harm to climate, habitat destruction, and resource depletion. We can’t recycle and compost our way out of this problem. There’s a better way than throw away! Resusables are better for the planet and save businesses money. UPSTREAM brings reuse into food service through policy and business innovation. New policies- like the Berkeley foodware ordinance- and innovative business models are transforming the Throw Away Culture. Learn how you can join the REUSE REVOLUTION!

 Lawrence Grown, Metro Lighting

I founded Metro Lighting in 1993 to fulfill a need for architectural lighting–fixtures designed to complement unique architectural environments. I earned my architecture degree in 1990 from the acclaimed program at the University of Cincinnati. My passions are for product development, sustainable design, and organic architecture. I am a charter member of Buy Local Berkeley, the Founder/Executive Director of the West Berkeley Design Loop, and founder of Commotion West Berkeley. I previously served on boards for many years at my three daughters’ schools. And in 2018 I designed and produced a large scale environmental art project for Burning Man called the Chilopod, which is my biggest lighting “fixture” to date.

Synopsis: Metro Lighting manufactures lighting fixtures in Berkeley. Our showroom is 100% solar powered. And we’ve developed a line of lighting glass made from post-consumer liquor and wine bottles. We are making use of their embodied energy used to create them.  They are beautiful, sustainable, and handcrafted. I also pick up repurposed metal components and build other fixtures with them, mostly floor lamps and bicycle rim chandeliers. 

Mitra Gruwell
, Saint Vincent de Paul of Lane County

Mitra Gruwell is a second-generation craftsperson, sewist, and upcycle fashion designer from Eugene, Oregon. She has been redesigning clothing for 20 years. She is the lead designer and manager of the ENVIA upcycled fashion brand- a project of thrift store non-profit St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. Mitra is the founder of several fashion-focused companies in Eugene, including Bricolage LLC and Eugene Fashion Week. She also teaches art-focused business workshops for The Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene (ABAE) and does mentorships and apprenticeships with local youth.

Synopsis: Being the upcycling department for thrift store non-profit St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, we get a lot of opportunities to work with local and national businesses’ waste. In response to this, and to maximize reciprocal benefit, we have come up with protocols in working with these businesses that encourage not only an ongoing partnership but also that have the potential of shifting the industry perception of “waste”. Our Go Green Program does this by offering to take on business’ post-manufacturing and post-consumer discards, and using all methods available to us (including retail sales, wholesale sales, recycling and upcycling) to avert the expense of disposal for the business, while also reducing expense to our environment. In some cases, we have even been able to upcycle the business’ waste and sell it back to them in the form of upcycled products, shifting their perception of value of these discards from “expense” to “asset,” with the potential of earning income while adding to the rich story of the business’ investment in environmentally responsible practices.  

Tony Hale, San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Science Center

As SFEI’s Program Director for Environmental Informatics, Dr. Tony Hale 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.

Synopsis: Each year, tons of trash sail down tributaries into the San Francisco Bay. Yet understanding the true scale of the problem eludes us. If we could achieve a bird’s-eye view, perhaps then we could capture a more expansive view of the landscape. Furthermore, if we could take that image and process it automatically, then perhaps we could better quantify this elusive challenge. Our presentation describes a project, funded through the California Ocean Protection Council, to develop a new trash-detection method that uses drone imagery and AI to affordably expand the spatial range and temporal density of current trash monitoring.

Nick Harvey, Bay Area Redwood

Nick graduated from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara with a degree in chemistry and biochemistry, then headed to the Bay Area to work in sustainable lighting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a staff scientist. Concurrently, Nick worked at LLNL and pursued a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Davis before dropping out to work in Tech, Shortly thereafter, Nick struck out on his own to pursue entrepreneurial ventures: was founded serendipitously when Nick saw trees being thrown away while riding his bike. Nick leverages his background in chemistry and materials science in this current venture.

Synopsis: BayAreaRedwood was founded on the premise that we should not waste trees removed from urban environments; the status quo sees urban trees mulched and then typically burned producing copious amounts of CO2. In contrast, our processing method creates carbon sinks. Here at BayAreaRedwood, we specialize in upcycling urban redwood trees into usable timber commodities including live-edge slabs, siding, beams, and other custom milled products. In addition, we fabricate and assemble this wood into solid-wood furniture products.

The presentation will discuss the current challenges in the industry, how we are solving them, and what we create by doing it.

Brock Hill, Premier Recycle Company

Brock Hill is Vice 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.

Synopsis: Monopolies created by exclusive franchising limit resource recovery and are bad for the local economy.

Steve Lautze, Resource Revolution

Bio:Long time member and former board member and President (1993-95) of NCRA whose recycling career detoured for 20 years into green economic development for the City of Oakland, including administering that city’s Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ); recently retired from city government to focus more intently on recycling market development issues as an independent consultant. President of Calif. Assn. of RMDZs (2003-2019); co-founder, Recycling BIN (Build Infrastructure Now) Coalition; board member, East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse; advisor to Upcyclers Network.

Synopsis: The QUALITY of what we collect is as important as the QUANTITY, and that focusing on CONVERSION of these materials deserves increased attention, as opposed to simply maximum DIVERSION from landfills.  Focusing on facility development and closed-loop manufacturing requires more attention and resources than California’s traditional approaches to these issues; such efforts are by definition less government based, and more entrepreneurial.  Messages to the public should be more oriented to capture materials that manufacturers and compost facilities can use to make products, rather than methods that reach towards the highest level of “diversion”, truly closing the loop will take new tools and new approaches to materials management.

Taumra Lawrence, City of Oakland

Taumra Lawrence is the Executive Assistant to the Director of Oakland Public Works, and also acts as one of the lead team members working to implement the City of Oakland’s race and equity mission within the Public Works Department. The team supports the mission of the City of Oakland to transform practices in City government to promote inclusion and full participation by a broad representation of residents and to end racial inequity.

Synopsis: How Race & Equity Can Make a Vast Difference in the Zero Waste Movement – By supporting capacity building, the development of race and equity outcomes, and tools across the industry’s activities, the Recycling and Zero Waste industries can experience much greater participation from diverse communities. I will cover how your organization can begin to implement the tools necessary to reach a wider citizenry, therefore experiencing greater success in our efforts to reduce, if not end, waste.

Leslie Lukacs, Zero Waste Sonoma

Leslie Lukacs is the Executive Director of Zero Waste Sonoma formally known as the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency. 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. Leslie also had her own consulting company for 7 years. 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.

Synopsis: Last September, Zero Waste Sonoma’s Board of Directors requested staff research the viability of accepting compostable plastics and products as a feedstock for a new organics processing system. We produced a white paper that outlines the pros and cons of feedstocks and cost analysis of the options. The presentation will provide the white paper results, uncover the truth that the majority of compost facilities that accept compostable plastics are screening them out for landfilling, 

John Moore, Law Office of John Douglas Moore

Although John is not a zero-waste professional, he 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.

Synopsis: Many Supreme Court decisions have been found by history to be wrongly decided. While a CA Supreme Court case permits (but does not mandate) local governments to grant exclusive garbage collection franchises, local governments should choose not to use exclusive franchising which,  in fact, increases landfilling and takes money and living wage jobs out of local communities. Premier Recycling chose to challenge this practice in the US Supreme Court and it will now explain why.

Monaliza Noor, HF&H Consultants, LLC

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.

Synopsis: Monaliza Noor will provide an overview of newly developed SB 1383 Implementation Tools produced for CalRecycle by HF&H Consultants, in conjunction with Diversion Strategies and Debra Kaufman Consulting. The SB 1383 tools include: a model franchise agreement; a model mandatory organics disposal reduction ordinance; a model organic waste product procurement policy; and, a model edible food recovery agreement. Each tool provides example provisions for use by jurisdictions and other entities to develop new agreements, ordinances, and/or policies, or to amend existing ones. The presentation will highlight key provisions of each tool and describe how users can navigate and customize each model tool.

Veronica Pardo, California Refuse Recycling Council, Northern District

Veronica Pardo has served the Northern District California Refuse Recycling Council’s governmental affairs program since 2013 where she monitors the numerous regulatory agencies that impact the waste and recycling industry, ensuring that industry needs are communicated during regulatory rulemakings and state policy development. Ms. Pardo works on a diversity of issues ranging from organics management to renewable energy production. She holds a master’s degree in Community Development from UC Davis and a bachelor’s degree in French and English from UCLA.  

Synopsis: This presentation will highlight the differences and similarities of the waste management system of 3 distinct regions: Japan, Germany, and California.

Having lived in Japan, Germany, and California, I will provide a personal view of waste sorting and expectations at the household level. The presentation will also address recycling rates, specific programs, and incineration and landfill use within these regions.

Ultimately, the audience will learn that each region has a unique approach to waste management. This perspective will help inform the larger discussion of how to realize our significant global and regional waste diversion goals. 

Wanda Redic, City of Oakland

Wanda Redic has 25 Years of experience in municipal solid waste and recycling; currently focused in community outreach and developing public engagement strategies, advancing social equity in ethnic communities, developing waste reduction strategies and managing elements of franchise agreements and current lead staff for SB 1383 implementation.

Synopsis: My presentation briefly will provide information about Oakland’s path to edible food recovery and distribution. I’ll share Oakland’s collaboration with other government agencies and with the community of food distribution stakeholders as we chart a path towards reducing food surplus and increasing food recovery which can have potential impacts beyond our borders.

Jessica Robinson, Resilience Birthright Inc

Jessica Jane Robinson is known as superhero Resilience, Recycle Woman, and Miss Alameda. Ms. Robinson is a Zero Waste practitioner with more than a decade of experience in implementing recycling and compost programs. She works with businesses, organizations, school districts (throughout the Bay Area), principals, faculty members, teachers, students, and community members in engagement projects, implementing cultural and social change programs to improve zero waste and climate protection goals. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Northern California Recycling Association since 2013, serving as treasurer from 2013-2016, and now as Vice President. 

Synopsis:  The Earth Warrior Carbon Calculator is a zero-waste tool that helps address climate change by guiding people toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For people not familiar with the zero-waste lifestyle, this website will help them slowly get accustomed to the behaviors and lifestyle without going “cold turkey.” The user will be able to track their daily actions based on sustainable lifestyle choices, such as walking, carpooling, composting, recycling, and reusing. The website calculates the activities as the equivalence of carbon metric tons avoided in the atmosphere, then simplifies those metrics with tangible analogies such as saving trees or removing cars off the road. 

Karen Strolia, Downtown Streets

Bio: After graduating from UC Berkeley’s Psychology Dept, Karen joined Downtown Streets Team (DST) as a Case Manager in Marin County in 2016 where she worked to connect unhoused individuals to critical resources. After being promoted to Project Manager, she created positive visibility in the greater community for those who often feel marginalized. As a Director, Karen launched Marin County’s only shower program, Marin Mobile Care, with a focus in meeting people where they are to serve a basic need – a shower – to those living “off the grid”. She is currently working to expand DST into Sonoma County’s Petaluma.

Synopsis: In 15 Northern CA cities, Downtown Streets Team (DST) provides a path to recover from homelessness through community, motivation, and hope. Unhoused “Team Members” clean up business districts, neighborhoods, encampments and waterways as they work their way out of homelessness. The Organization’s model has been lauded as one of only five evidence-based best practices by the League of CA Cities and the CA Association of Counties’ Homelessness Task Force. Come learn about the model, service philosophy and 15 years’ experience engaging local unhoused residents in community cleanups.

Wes Sullens, U.S. Green Building Council

Wes Sullens, LEED Fellow, leads Materials & Resources activities at the 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.

Synopsis: Update on waste, recycling and circular economy recognition for construction and building projects in LEED. The presentation will focus on project waste management and diversion (reuse, C&D), as well as product procurement (recycled content, designed for circularity, environmental product declarations). Updates will focus on the newest version of LEED: version 4.1. 

Peter Schultze-Allen, EOA Inc.

Peter Schultze-Allen is a Senior Scientist at EOA Inc. providing 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 that was adopted in March of 2019.

Synopsis: How do the worlds of stormwater and zero waste intersect and why should you care? I will give some examples and ways that people and organizations are taking action on these topics: plastics, PFAS, cigarette butts, EPS (Styrofoam), shopping bags, extended producer responsibility, marine debris, litter, foodware, compost use and specifications, mulch, green stormwater infrastructure, roadway design, sustainable landscaping, carbon sequestration, regenerative agriculture, erosion and sediment control, street trees and building demolition!

# # #

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

Board Meeting – Thursday 11/21/19 – San Francisco Dept. of Environment


BOARD MEETING – THURS November 21, 2019

San Francisco Dept. of the Environment, 1455 Market Street, Suite 1200, SF

Dinner at 6, Meeting at 6:30

RSVP is required to attend Board Meeting, as there is a security desk

If you need help getting into the building please call Hilary’s cell: 510-333-4163
The call-in number is 415-554-8755

Draft Agenda – 11/21/2019

Board Of Directors Candidate Statements, 2020

Eleven (11) NCRA members have submitted ballot statements to serve on the 2020 NCRA Board of Directors. There are six (6) positions to fill. Voting opens November 15, 2019, and ends December 4, 2019, at 11:59 pm.

Custom voting links will be emailed to members on November 15th. If you do not receive our email but believe you should (i.e. your membership is current as of November 15, 2019), please email the office and we will email the link again.


Susan Blachman (Incumbent), member since 2011

I am running for re-election to the NCRA board in order to help NCRA better support our members, further promote zero food waste and generally serve this great organization.

I arranged for NCRA to receive assistance from UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School’s Berkeley Board Fellows (BBF) program, which matches graduate-level students with relevant non-profits. We are working with our two BBFs to refine their scope of work focused on evaluating how NCRA can better serve our members and expand our outreach. I am the primary board mentor to our Fellows and would appreciate your vote in supporting my continued commitment to this effort.

In 2014, inspired by the Zero Food Waste Forum, I helped establish NCRA’s Zero Food Waste Committee, contributed to producing the Commercial Food Waste Reduction in Alameda County report, and in 2018 led our Zero Food Waste Committee in organizing the second Zero Food Waste Forum. This year Portia Sinnot and I hosted NCRA’s first-ever Zero Food Waste Webinar. If re-elected, I will continue to support NCRA’s zero food waste education programming, including sharing local jurisdictions’ SB1383 best compliance strategies.

Thank you for allowing me to serve on the NCRA board; I would be honored if you would vote for me.

Tim Dewey-Mattia (Incumbent)

I’m happy to submit my statement for reelection to the NCRA Board.

I was first elected to the NCRA Board 4 years ago, and I kindly ask the membership for a chance to serve another term.  I’m the Recycling & Public Education Manager for Napa Recycling & Waste Services. Napa Recycling is the local franchise hauler in Napa, as well as the operator of Napa’s Recycling & Composting Facility (come visit if you’ve never been!).

I got my start in Zero Waste over 20 years ago – first with the Middlebury College recycling program, and then for non-profit recycling organizations in San Francisco.  I’ve been at Napa Recycling for 14 years and work on all aspects of program development, implementation and outreach…plus I talk about earthquakes, chickens & fires at Recycling Update.

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

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

Alexandra Hoffman-Bradley (Incumbent)

My passion for recycling ignited when I won a school contest for the launch of CRV recycling in the ’80s.

Since that time I’ve sought to spark that passion in others.

I began my Zero Waste career as a Recycling Coordinator for Waste Management in 2008. I later worked in electronics recycling, then for a non-profit working on getting textiles out of landfill. I’m adept at grant writing. I was awarded and then managed two SFE Zero Waste grants totaling $100,000. This year I achieved my dream of getting a position in public service, working for the County of Alameda’s Zone 7 Water Agency where I manage strategic communications, education and public outreach. I’m excited to transfer my skills in communication and community engagement to help widen NCRA’s message to a greater audience.

I’ve loved serving on the board the past 4 ½ years. I’ve served on the ZW Advocacy Committee and I’m the Co-Chair of the Activities Committee playing a large role in organizing mixers, mentorships, tours, and RU. I ensure everyone is fed and happy at our events.

I appreciate your continued support and faith in my ability to represent you through my service on the Board.

Jim Knight

I humbly submit my candidacy to join the NCRA Board, in service to expand and broaden your educational outreach and also help grow your current NCRA members and future new partnerships.

As a Zero Waste advocate and online educator, I bring the ability to help you educate young and old alike regarding the importance of not only recycling but doing it in all the right ways using instructional videos and other educational content.

Retired K12 Teacher and CoFounder of Digital Learning Tree in Silicon Valley

I would appreciate the chance to offer my extensive background and experience as an educator and entrepreneur to your NCRA board as an experienced, passionate, creative person to help you in any way I can expand your outreach and educational needs moving forward.

If elected to your Board  my goals would be to:

  • Expand your Education and Training Outreach with my Online Course Development Skills and background and CoFounder of Digital Learning Tree.
  • Facilitate new and creative ways the growth of your membership with my Business Skills and background in Silicon Valley.
  • Develop new partnerships with related organizations to deepen and expand your current outreach and membership.

David Krueger (Incumbent)

I am submitting my candidacy for the NCRA Board of Directors.  It has been an honor to serve on the Board since 2015, contributing first as the Treasurer and this year as the President.  I have nearly 30 years of professional experience in the recycling industry, having worked for a college recycling program, local governments, consulting firms, and a private recycling facility.  I am currently the Environmental Programs Manager for the City of San Ramon where we are implementing a new franchise agreement that will provide organics recycling services to all generators and aims to be one of the first SB 1383 compliant programs in the State.

I welcome the opportunity to help build upon NCRA’s successful history as leaders in the Zero Waste movement.  NCRA has increased its reputation and influence over the years and built strong alliances with like-minded organizations.  The next step for NCRA is to become even more effective at advocating for laws and policies that reduce waste, such as the elimination of single-use disposable plastics. NCRA already provides excellent educational, information-sharing, and networking opportunities to its members, and I will work to expand those, such as NCRA’s co-sponsorship of the 2020 National Zero Waste Conference in Berkeley. I am committed to NCRA being an open, growing, inclusive organization that welcomes diversity of all kinds, including diversity of opinion. I will work with the Board to find more ways to actively involve our membership, and to support NCRA members in obtaining the knowledge, tools, and contacts they need to further their Zero Waste goals,  One of my goals is to expand NCRA geographically beyond it’s East Bay core and sponsor more activities for our members throughout all of Northern California. I look forward to continuing working with you all in our shared commitment to Zero Waste. I humbly ask for your vote.

Shova Ale Magar

I am submitting my candidacy for the NCRA board. I have six years of experience in the waste reduction field, ranging from working for an electronics recycling startup to the largest waste hauler in the country, and serving the County of San Mateo as a Sustainability Specialist to increase their waste reduction efforts.

One of my projects at the County of San Mateo is exploring proper disposal methods for difficult to recycle items such as solar panels.  Effective January 1, 2020, all new homes in California are required to be equipped with a solar electric system. The average lifespan for solar panels is 10 – 15 years; however, there is currently no infrastructure for recycling these panels, resulting in the stockpiling and illegal disposal of them.

We need a policy change and market to properly recycle solar panels. The way to get there is by connecting producers, policymakers, consumers, and recyclers. As a board member, I will start conversations on solar panel recycling at NCRA events including the annual RU conference. Success means keeping toxic materials from entering landfills and reusing valuable resources.

Public agencies like NCRA are in a unique position to bring diverse groups together to solve environmental issues. I see this every day in my work as a Sustainability Specialist on the County of San Mateo’s Waste Reduction Team. I am excited to bring my skills, experience, and network to the NCRA board.

John Moore (Incumbent)

In my 12 years on the Board, I have consistently advocated for a younger leadership group. Watching the third-grade class from Oxford School in Berkeley tell the City Council how much they personally reduced their waste ( one half mason jar per class per year)tells me we are on the right track. But we need to do more advocacy and engage more members to help reduce and reverse climate change and plastic pollution. If elected, that is what I will work on. John

Nicole Panditi

With gratitude, I submit myself for consideration for the Board of Directors. I hope to bring energy, diligence, and a fresh perspective to the important duties involved. Although I just recently made my membership official, you may remember me from the 2018 Recycling Update conference, where I presented about my initiative to recycle 3D printing waste at the UC Berkeley Zero Waste Research Center. After graduation, I continued to push for positive waste-stream change. In my current role as a Technician at the campus maker space in Jacobs Hall, I am spearheading efforts to introduce reusable, green and recyclable materials for students’ projects. Outside of work, I have served as the Waste Manager for several housing co-ops. In all, I am familiar with both the micro and the macro experience of waste stream management.

If elected to the Board, I would:

  1.   Prioritize waste reduction efforts, as reducing waste is almost always lower-impact than processing it later. This may include letters to decision-makers and industry players expressing support for waste reduction measures.
  2.     Support environmental justice and equity
  3.     In recognition of recent shifts in recycling infrastructure, and the resultant public confusion, support efforts to clarify the recycling process and educate the public. Thank you.

Kerry Parker

I would be honored to be considered for a term on the NCRA Board to lend a hand in our work toward source reduction in the region.

For almost 13 years I have been a NCRA member whilst working as a zero waste specialist for the City of Alameda, running myriad programs to change habits and minds of how to consume less and reuse more.  Over the years I’ve found myself figuring out how to track Alameda’s construction and demolition (C&D) debris better, designed an internal program to certify Alameda’s city facilities as Green Businesses, and led the team that updated Alameda’s Zero Waste Implementation Plan in 2018.

I rewrote Alameda’s 2008 polystyrene ban in 2017 with a plan to simply reduce the use of plastic straws in the Island City and instead found myself on a regional team of brilliant minds working to figure out how to talk Californians out of their disposable addictions.

I geek out on the ins and outs of reusable infrastructure, co-conspire to outlaw cigarette butts, and am constantly dreaming of new and approachable ideas of how we can respond to zero waste issues regionally.  I would be thrilled to perform this role for the NCRA Board.

Annette Poliwka

San Francisco’s goal of Zero Waste was the reason why I moved here right after college. Through AmeriCorps, I dedicated a year of driving a truck, picking up recyclables, sorting them, and selling them back on the market.  This hands-on and dirty experience was probably my favorite job of all time.

Since then, I’ve worked for SF Environment on both the School Education and Commercial Zero Waste teams. At the USEPA in both Washington DC, I focused on international sustainability & e-waste, and while in New York City (Region 2), for the political appointee, launching Trash Free Waters.

Since returning to the SF Bay Area, I’ve Chair-ed the California Sustainable Business Technical Council for CRRA, was a juror for Think Beyond Plastic, an accelerator to harness innovation & entrepreneurship to address global challenges with plastic pollution, and am on the Berkeley Zero Waste Commission, serving on the Single-Use Disposables, Education & Outreach Subcommittees.

I want to serve on the board to foster interest and further development and implementation of zero waste principles and best practices, as the Bay Area has long been a leader and trend-setter for recycling, regeneration, and innovation.

Portia Sinnott, member since 1980

I believe NCRA’s close-knit progressive membership, innovative programming, legislative efforts and its willingness to rock boats are some of the reasons California leads the country in high diversion and Zero Waste.

In the last decade we have made great organizational strides – attracting a younger and more diverse board and membership, developing an eye-catching user-friendly website and newsletter and expanding from Recycling Update to Zero Waste Week, as well as improving our methods of operating, staffing and outreach. I am proud to say that I had a hand in all of these efforts.

Important innovations continue to be needed – such as developing meaningful social justice and DEI policies and procedures, getting our mentorship program rolling, holding meetings to discuss and debate new and controversial topics, expanding committee membership (yes you!) so the Board can organize less/lead more, and to systematically reach out to entry-level recycling and reuse workers.

A long-term advocate-consultant and non-profit director, I was the NCRA president during much of the 1980s. I rejoined the board in 2010, became the NCRA News editor and webmaster in 2011 and served as VP from 2012-2015. I currently co-teach Introduction to Recycling and co-lead the new DEI Committee.

Ready to serve again, I would appreciate your vote.


Be at the heart of a thought-leading recycling organization! NCRA has been a leader in zero waste thinking for 40 years and is still leading and inspiring innovation in our industry. YOU can help develop the cutting edge of recycling, while getting to know many of your regional recycling colleagues, by serving on the Board of Directors.

Six (6) Board positions will be open in December. It’s a two-year working post. Attendance at nearly all ten meetings a year is important, as is working between meetings on at least one committee. Meetings move around the greater Bay Area. Phone participation is possible at most locations, but not all, and may be especially difficult at tour sites. Directors discuss policy issues, hear debates, and influence regional and national recycling thinking. They track and comment on legislation; listen to leaders in the regional industry; work on behalf of colleagues who need a boost; tackle issues that can’t be ignored; tour facilities; and talk business with operators. Benefits include free entrance to the annual Recycling Update.

Notify NCRA staff by NOVEMBER 5, 2019 that you want to run.  To run, tell us you’re a candidate, and then submit a campaign statement of up to 200 words. Say who you are and why you’d like to serve. Please include your LinkedIn profile link. PLEASE read last year’s statements.

Help build your industry! Have fun with your colleagues! Get your statement in!