Blogs

Featured

Zero Food Waste Forum – Presentations, Program Guide, and SB1383 Summary

Thank you Zero Food Waste Forum Attendees, Speakers, Volunteers and Sponsors!

Your presence helped to make this event a great success and your enthusiasm and positive spirit helped make our time together both productive and fun.  We wish you all the best and hope that you continue to be engaged with ensuring food goes to its highest and best use and organics stay out of landfill.  Stay tuned for upcoming events from NCRA and please consider becoming a member.

As promised, we have linked here the presentations, the Program Guide, and the Summary of SB1383.

1 – MartineBoswell

2 – JustinMalan

3 – MelissaRomero

4 – BarbaraHamilton

5 – IeshaSiler-AlysonSchill

6 – RobinMartin

7 – AnnalisaBelliss-NancyDeming

8 – DanaFrasz

9 – DarbyHoover

10a – WendyShafir

10b – WendyShafir

11 – NateClark

12 – StevenFinn

ZFWF Program Guide

SB1383 Summary

Rancho Mirage Revisited

RANCHO MIRAGE SUPREME COURT RECYCLING CASE REVISITED
By John D. Moore, NCRA Vice President and Legal Counsel
28 years ago, the cities of Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs, and their franchise hauler, Waste Management of the Desert, sued to enjoin Palm Springs Recycling Center from collecting bottles, cans, and paper in those cities. The local court granted the injunction, the Court of Appeal reversed the trial court , and then in 1994 the California Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals in what became the landmark California case interpreting what materials may lawfully be within a public entity grant of an exclusive solid waste franchise. The industry knows this as the “Rancho Mirage case” establishing the “fee for service” test of whether material is solid waste or not. The validity of the Rancho Mirage ruling has been called into question by a case now pending before the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In 1989, the California legislature passed the landmark AB 939 (the Act) which reworked the regulatory structure of garbage collection and established the infrastructure for California’s recycling industry that exists today. This Act stated as a matter of policy that landfilling materials was environmentally harmful because of the toxicity of landfills and the exhaustion of finite virgin resources. The Act created an express hierarchy with the 3 Rs, stating that post-consumer material should be reduced, reused, and recycled so that only the residue should be considered solid waste, the gentrified term for garbage. The Act imposed a mandate for 50% diversion of materials from landfill by 2000 and authorized $10,000/day penalties for noncompliant public entities. The Act carried over from former law the right of public entities to comply with their health and safety mandates by entering into garbage collection franchises. The Act granted discretion to public entities to grant exclusive solid waste collection requirements only if “the public health and welfare so require.”
Although the Act contains a definition of “solid waste” that may (not shall as some cities argue) be part of an exclusive franchise, disputes immediately arose between the franchised haulers, like Waste Management of the Desert, that preferred a broad definition consistent with former law, and recyclable collectors like Palm Springs Recycling Center, that interpreted AB 939 to mean that materials that went through the 3R hierarchy and were recycled, never became solid waste. “It’s not waste until it’s wasted” was a clever way to describe this point of view. Recyclers at the time viewed the Act as critical to their ability to create an economically sustainable industry.
The Court of Appeal found that the position of the franchised haulers lead to an unconstitutional taking of property rights. The state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. California’s recycling associations and major businesses at the time participated in this important case by submitting amicus briefs. The amicus briefs of NCRA, CRRA, and Urban Ore, among others, supported the recycler and argued that under AB 939, solid waste was a residual category of materials that were not recovered by the 3Rs- in other words, if it went to the landfill it was waste; if it was recovered and did not go to landfill, it was not solid waste. CRRC, supporting the franchised haulers argued that if someone paid to have post-consumer material taken away, it was solid waste. The cities of Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs, and WMD, did not make this fee for service argument.
The logic of the fee for service test, adopted by the Court, perplexed many in NCRA. Although seemingly absurd, a competing garbage hauler theoretically could pay $1 for anyone’s discards and undercut the franchise hauler. Metals, which had enough value to be purchased by collectors, immediately became immune from franchises, to the pleasure of ISRI, that also filed an amicus brief. On the other hand, materials like wood and cardboard, with fluctuating markets, would be recycled by the collector, but were not valuable enough to offset the collection cost of driver and vehicle. These so-called negative material materials, often in mixed C&D became the friction point of the last 25 years between franchised haulers and non-franchised mixed C&D collectors.
The state Supreme Court decision was not a model of jurisprudence. Although the Court was purporting to interpret a state statute defining “solid waste” which the litigating parties argued was ambiguous, it did not follow state law in its method to resolve statutory ambiguity. State law precedent requires that a court interpreting a statute first look at its “plain meaning”, and if that was ambiguous, to be guided by the legislative purpose. But the Court did not cite any of the stated legislative purposes of AB 939. The Court did not cite the public policy of landfill avoidance. The Court did not cite the mandated hierarchy of resource recovery that put landfilling last in line. The Court did not cite the legislative command to develop markets for recovered material. State law is also clear that if the plain meaning of the statute is ambiguous and the legislative intent does not clarify the meaning, only then may the court resort to dictionary definitions. The Court used dictionary definitions of “discard” and “dispose” to justify its reasoning, but it selected one of many definitions found in the dictionary for these terms that helped its argument, ignoring others, and the definitions used by the court can no longer be found in published dictionaries today. The Court cited a District of Columbia case to support its conclusion but that case actually held the opposite. The Court did not address the Court of Appeal finding that the position of the cities and WMD was unconstitutional.
So while some recyclers were glad that the Court recognized that exclusive franchises could not cover all material, the recyclers that had to charge a collection service fee were faced with seemingly insurmountable legal problems in jurisdictions where the broadest possible franchise was granted.
An aggrieved recycler could file a state court case, but a trial court and a Court of Appeal were required to respect the Supreme Court precedent. A recycler could file a case and be resigned to losing in the trial court and court of appeal, in an effort to reach the Supreme Court again and request reconsideration. But the state Supreme Court is not required to hear all cases and in fact accepts less than 4% of those state cases that it is asked to review. One recycler in San Marcos tried this route and the Court would not hear the case.
An aggrieved recycler could try to file a federal law claim in federal court, but federal courts are required to defer to precedent established by a state Supreme Court deciding an issue of state law.
An aggrieved recycler could try to ask the state Legislature to change the statute to undo the state Supreme Court holding. Right after the Rancho Mirage case was decided, a waste hauler sponsored bill, SB 450, was introduced that would have allowed for exclusive franchising of all materials. NCRA and others mobilized to fight this bill and narrowly succeeded to defeat it. It was out of the question to think the Legislature would pass a recycler-supported bill to undo the Rancho Mirage case.
So mixed C&D recyclers were stuck. They could lobby local government politically to grant non-exclusive franchises that included C&D, like cities such as Oakland had. Local waste haulers often wielded a lot of local political clout. Political efforts to keep mixed C&D collection nonexclusive in Sonoma, San Mateo, and Contra Costa Counties failed.
Creative litigation strategies were tried. Since the legislature had declared landfilling harmful to the environment, the grant of a franchise inclusive of mixed C&D could be said to result in more landfilling and therefore environmental review under CEQA was required. This approach worked in Mendocino County. The threat of it worked in Napa County.
A Portland, Oregon, attorney specializing in transportation law argued successfully in the local federal court that a federal transportation statute, the FAAAA, preempted local exclusive franchises that included C&D (asbestos shingles in that case). But the Ninth Circuit reversed that case on procedural grounds. A California court of appeal case considered the same issue but the Court found that there was no preemption. The recycler in that case testified at deposition under oath with minimal preparation that what he hauled was “solid waste”, not recyclables, and that was enough for the Court.
An Alameda County fee for service paper collector defeated a challenge by a franchised hauler on the basis that the paper collector provided service – shredding- in addition to collection. Other C&D haulers looked at this possible way around the Rancho Mirage decision and found that the litigation cost and the uncertainty of success was not worth the fight. Deconstruction companies were not challenged to the best of the author’s knowledge. 1-800-Got-Junk franchises did not get targeted. The bait to get targeted by an exclusive franchisee was a roll off or debris box with signage listing the owner.
And so hope dimmed for C&D recyclers. Then, in 2010, the United States Supreme Court opened a door. In a plurality decision where there was a majority vote for the outcome but less than a majority approved any of the several grounds for the outcome, stated that a state Supreme Court, like any other government entity, could be found to act unconstitutionally where it impinged established property rights. This part of the decision was written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, respected as a scholar even by his political opponents, and was joined by 3 other justices. If this was theoretically possible, then a federal court might be able to judge the constitutionality of a state Supreme Court action without being required to defer to it, if the decision impaired property rights that had been established previously. However no federal court so far has ever found that a state Supreme Court acted unconstitutionally in this manner.
Premier Recycling is a mixed C&D collector that has a fully permitted C&D recycling facility in San Jose. San Jose allows open competition for C&D while many of the smaller surrounding cities like Sunnyvale and Mountain View have exclusive franchises that cover C&D. It is difficult for a business to grow where it is limited geographically. It is like a plant in a planter box. Sonrise Consolidated was an early C&D collector in Alameda County that helped promote the mandatory C&D recycling laws passed in that County only to be forced out of business by a checkerboard of cities within the County where it was blocked from doing business by an exclusive franchise. Licensed contractors required by their building permit to document diversion could be tempted by a service provider that understood diversion to document it. Franchised haulers were not always as flexible about box delivery and pickup times as desired by the contractors.
Premier began to be targeted by cities within Santa Clara County for administrative fines where the city, acting for the franchised hauler, presented its case to a hearing officer employed by the City. Sunnyvale, whose SMART recovery center is a direct competitor of Premier’s C&D facility in San Jose, brought some of these actions.
Sunnyvale’s ordinance requires a permit to collect certain materials, C&D probably, but not clearly, among them. The ordinance speaks in terms of multiple licensees. Premier applied for a permit and was denied on the basis that Sunnyvale has an exclusive permitee. AB 939 allows exclusivity only where public health and welfare so require. The Sunnyvale City Council never made a public decision that the public health and welfare in Sunnyvale require exclusivity.
Premier filed suit in federal court asserting that its constitutional rights were deprived by Sunnyvale’s refusal to issue it a permit. Premier argued that Sunnyvale never made the finding required by law to grant exclusivity and that any action to grant exclusivity was void in light of the unconstitutionality of the Rancho Mirage decision as applied to a C&D fee for service collector in 2017. The District Court dismissed the case finding that Premier had not properly alleged a cognizable claim. Premier appealed. Squarely before the Ninth Circuit is whether or not the Court in Rancho Mirage ignored clearly established law and impinged on established property rights. While it is hard to predict that the Ninth Circuit will void a 25 year old state Supreme Court decision, Premier, never a party in the original Rancho Mirage case, at least will get its say about the jurisprudence of the case. Premier could also prevail on the issue that Sunnyvale never made the required finding before it granted an exclusive. Review of documents as part of a Public Records Act request makes clear that the exclusivity decision was made by staff working with the local hauler, not made by the City Council as required by the Brown Act.
`

Member Interview – Kerry Parker, 2/2019

courtesy of Ruth Abbe
Kerry Parker, of Alameda’s Public Works Department, holds a sign as Samantha Sommer with ReThink Disposable and “Bag Monster” look on during the 2017 Art & Wine Faire.

KERRY PARKER, NCRA MEMBER SINCE 2007
Program Specialist II, City of Alameda Public Works Department, hired in 2003
In an island city with a small staff, I do a bit of everything that has to do with trash and recycling. As many are aware, I now find myself an officer of the straws and plastic foodware police (armed with reusable straws); and as the coordinator of Coastal Cleanup Day for 9 years running, this just feels like the closing of a loop. I am the designer and implementer of myriad programs that range from untwisting difficult accounts with ACI – Alameda County Industries, to C&D project monitoring, to managing used oil collection in Alameda’s marinas, to greening city offices via the Green Business Program. For several years a few of us – including NCRA VP Jessica Robinson, performed “The Lunch Monitors” to assemblies of Alameda students to show them how to recycle their lunches properly.

I have a BA from UC Santa Cruz in Sociology and Women’s Studies, which I received while working full time as a Montessori teacher. I have certificates in Zero Waste Principles and Practices, and Managing Recycling Systems from SWANA, I took a whole bunch of trash 101 courses from CRRA eons ago and am a USGBC LEED Green Associate.

My earliest defining moment was my personal tour of Davis Street Transfer Station 12 years ago with Rebecca Jewell. That day of looking at how people tend to sort their stuff, I learned they don’t – much – and that made a huge impression on me. Also, RJ’s use of f-bombs was eye-opening.

More recently, I realized that the impossible can happen as I followed a group of 3 brilliant Alameda High School students into the bubble tea shops of Alameda, and watched them influence the shop owners to use less single-use plastic by incentivizing reusable bottles and steel boba straws. The students pointed at me when they said, “if you remain out of compliance, your business could receive fines.” I nodded authoritatively.

I am an Oakland native and have tons of friends and family all over the area. I love the beach, playing with my dog Butternut, and I can crochet anything. I’m currently trying to figure out how to crochet a curbside cart. Those edges, tho.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I was a Montessori pre-school teacher for 10 years.

What inspires you? Kids. Example: The kids that wrote letters to the city council to ask that plastic straws be restricted are my heroes.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world where would you go? I have been dreaming of a trip to Easter Island to see the Moai, or giant stone heads. I think it would be breathtaking.

FAVORITES

Book: Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy. I am an avid science fiction/dystopic novel reader, but this one is feminist utopian – and I love it. Especially significant is the discussion of colorful, fluffy and semi-transparent clothes created for party-goers called “flimsies” that you simply throw in the compost after the party. If textile recycling were only so easy…

Restaurant: I am a foodie, and am super sad to hear that Oakland’s Camino closed because it was a favorite. I heard they have another restaurant called The Kebabery, so now I have another restaurant to check out!

Person: Barack Obama

Recycled Product: I am really in love with the custom receptacles that CleanRiver makes – out of 95% post-consumer HDPE. I suppose that sounds geeky.

Song, Movie or Show: The Book of Mormon

Technology: Any software that helps me get my job done. I love tech.

Time Management Technique: I am a slave to my Outlook appointment calendar. If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening.

If you could invite any three people to dinner – dead or alive, who would you invite and why?;

Oh shoot, I just want my NCRA friends to come over for dinner (you know who you are!). Any celebrity alive or dead would make me too nervous and I’d clam up.

Question of Your Choice: What’s my dream job? Solid Waste Manager of [Insert City Name Here]. 😉

Recycling Update 2019 Speakers Announced!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SB 1383 Is Moving Forward

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

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

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

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