Heidi Sanborn

Heidi has been a leader in the solid waste industry for 30 years, working with industry, government, and the public to reduce waste, improve product design and recyclability, and implement cost-effective projects and policies which protect public health and the environment and support a circular economy.

Heidi began her career as a consultant working on mandated recycling goals, then became Policy Advisor to the Chair of the California Integrated Waste Management Board, now known as the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 2000-2002.

Heidi was one of the original co-directors of the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC), a non-profit formed in 2007 to change the way waste management is funded in California. CPSC gained international recognition as a thought leader and driver for producer responsibility programs.

After eight years of success in California, Heidi formed the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC) as an affiliate of CPSC and went full-time with the NSAC in 2020. Both organizations are nonprofits, although NSAC is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that will engage primarily in lobbying and advocacy work for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and a Circular Economy anywhere in the U.S. and at any level of government.

In 2017, NSAC sponsored its legislation, Assembly Bill 1158 to improve California’s existing carpet stewardship program which became law. One year later, NSAC worked with CPSC to drive Senate Bill 212 to passage, a first-in-the-nation bill that requires the producers of mediations and sharps to fund and operate a statewide take-back program in CA. In 2019, NSAC sponsored and passed two more bills, SB 726 (Caballero) to make Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) reuse easy to implement in California and AB 729 (Chu) on carpet recycling which included the first eco-modulated fee requirement in the U.S.. Heidi’s ability to educate and advocate legislators, as well as her innate skill at collaboration, negotiating, and strategy was integral in passing both bills.

She has engaged diverse stakeholder groups to create and promote best-in-class product stewardship programs for pharmaceuticals, mercury thermostats, carpets, paint, fluorescent lights, batteries, and gas cylinders. Heidi speaks throughout the world and won awards and commendations, such as the 2018 California Board of Pharmacy’s “Friend of Pharmacy” award. She has been frequently published on the topic, done interviews on National Public Radio, ABC 7 San Francisco, NBC Nightly News, and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

Heidi teaches courses to professionals in the waste industry, including Sustainable Resource Management Professionals courses. She is an active member of industry associations and serves as an elected official on the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Board of Directors on her personal time.

National Stewardship Action Council
Executive Director