Jessica Heiges

My pursuit as both an academic and practitioner is to help create sustainable and just transitions to less wasteful systems.

I am a PhD candidate in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley. Based on community-driven development, I focus my contributions on how I can bring my resources to best serve a community to realize their waste reduction goals. This has been in foodware, infrastructure, school meal programs, state policy, and international trade with the methodologies of audits, interviews, focus groups, quantitative surveys, landscape analyses, pilots, and program development.

Some recent projects include:

  • Researching the infrastructural, political, and financial barriers and opportunities to waste management projects in the Navajo Nation
  • Assessing California’s scrap plastic exports, which include the amounts, types, destinations, end fates, finances, and policies
  • Assessing the impact of the City of Berkeley’s groundbreaking Single Use Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance
  • Co-founding the Zero Waste Lab on UC Berkeley’s campus, which engages ~50 undergraduates in zero waste research each semester
  • Co-founding Dispatch Goods, a reusable food container service provider
  • Co-leading the efforts to make a building on campus the first TRUE Zero Waste certified academic building in the world