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.

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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.

Zero Waste in the Time of COVID-19

By Nik Balachandran, Founder and CEO, Zabble Inc.

None of us expected the world to dramatically change within a span of a few months. Businesses, governments and people all have had to adjust to the new normal in different ways. The solid waste and recycling industry has seen its own share of changes. We have seen temporary policy changes, relaxing bag bans in grocery stores, a shift in waste volumes in commercial and residential settings and the introduction of new types of waste like PPE.

At first glance, it may seem that the amount of waste has gone down as businesses shut down during the first few months as cities and counties instituted shelter-in-place regulations. Only essential workers were allowed to continue to work at physical workplaces and the rest working from home. Commercial waste volumes did drop by up to 40% in many counties while residential and multi-family volumes increased to make up for it with more online orders.

The interesting thing to ask, perhaps, is what the per capita waste generation looks like pre-COVID and now. While the current numbers are not readily available we can look at pre-covid data. According to EPA, the average waste generated per capita in the US every day is 4.5 lbs, out of which only 35% is recycled or composted. The rest ends up in incinerators and landfills. Forty-four percent of this waste stream is made up of paper/paperboard, organics and plastics. It was pretty apparent that 5.6 million commercial buildings generated more waste annually than 136 million residential properties.

Our singular focus at Zabble is to help these organizations that operated out of commercial buildings to achieve Zero Waste. So in 2018 we developed a software paradigm to track programs that incrementally made progress (amount of waste reduction, decreased landfill waste and contamination in all streams) toward Zero Waste, because Zero Waste is as much a journey as it is a destination. We have been working with some of the largest educational institutions and corporations in helping them track and adjust their Zero Waste programs. That is, until Covid changed the landscape of waste.

Reusable and second-hand sharing practices have come to a standstill. Online shopping has almost doubled leading to increased cardboard boxes. More take-out food orders have substantially increased delivery in food containers and plastic bags. PPE litter has become the latest nuisance to plague the environment. More than 200 million masks and 1 billion gloves were ordered to be shipped by FEMA alone by June 2020. Hospitals are seeing a dramatic increase in PPE usage and disposal. “Before the pandemic, the 23 Northwell Health hospitals in New York used about 250,000 pairs of gloves a day; now, it’s 500,000 pairs”, says Chief Expense Officer Donna Drummond. One study by the American Nurses Association found that “43% of waste produced by infectious isolation procedures was attributed to personal protective equipment (PPE)”

There is a massive uptick in single-use disposables fueled by the false claim that disposables are safer than reusable options. This myth was debunked by a group of 100 experts comprising scientists, doctors, professors and epidemiologists.

So where is all this heading?

It is safe to assume the per capita generation of waste is higher now than pre-COVID. As businesses reopen the primary focus is the health and safety of its staff and customers. However, it is also a time to reflect on the new waste footprint.

    • To keep daily operations, supply chains and waste infrastructure resilient organizations must track the amount of waste, type and origin within their buildings or facilities.
    • Track unused supplies in the waste stream to excess purchasing habits and contamination to improper disposing of items (like PPE) in the right bins.
    • Use reusable options where available.
    • Constant communication with the right messaging can boost staff morale and lead to a cleaner and safer environment.

By being aware and conscious of our habits in the present, we can create a new normal that is better than the past.

For more information on Zabble, visit

Here are some recently published articles from Resource Recycling and Waste 360.