National Zero Waste Conference Program

See our speaker bios.


MARCH 16, 2020 – Recycling Pioneers Tribute & Reuse Tour

7:30-9:30 pm– Urban Ore Reuse Facility – Welcome Reception honoring Recycling Pioneers and the Recycling Archives Project; with a Reuse Tour and NCRA Players songs.

MARCH 18, 2020

8:30 am – Welcome/Introductions

  • Sarah DeSouza, NRC Executive Director
  • Jesse Arreguin, Mayor of Berkeley
  • Kira Stoll, UC Berkeley Director of Sustainability

8:45 am – “Building a Circular Economy with Zero Waste”

  • Gary Liss, NRC Conference Co-Chair (Moderator)
  • Joseph Button, Straus Family Creamery
  • Mandi McKay, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • Clare Miflin, AIA, NYC “ZW Design Standards”

10:00 am – Break

10:30 am – Models of a Circular Economy – Zero Waste Campuses

  • Julie Muir, Stanford University (Moderator)
  • Danner Doud-Martin, Chou Hall, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
  • Nicole Gaetjens– HP, Palo Alto
  • Alana Levine, Arizona State University
  • Mark Funkhouser, Chumash Casino

11:45 am – International Zero Waste Hierarchy of Highest and Best Uses

  • Jamie Kaminski, Zero Waste Canada (via Zoom)

12:00 pm – Lunch (including Topic Lunches)

Concurrent Sessions

1:00 pm – A – Zero Waste for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Facilities

Moderated Discussion Panel (Interactive Discussion with Panel and Audience; 1 brief intro ppt by 1 of presenters):

  • Bob Gedert. Past President, NRC (Moderator)
  • Rodrigo Sabatini, Zero Waste Brazil
  • Stephanie Barger, U.S. Green Building Council, TRUE Zero Waste
  • Sue Beets-Atkinson, SBM Services and Chair, GBCI Zero Waste Advisory Council
  • Lin King, Cal Zero Waste, UC Berkeley
  • Angela A. Moore, Missouri Historical Society

Topics to be covered:

  • How to Recycle Right in Today’s Markets
  • Right Sizing
  • Designing it Right
  • Hard to Recycle Materials
  • Business contracts for recycling vendors
  • Liquid wastes
  • Certifications – for Events, Construction Sites,
  • Hazardous Wastes
  • Training and Leadership

1:00 pm – B – Reduce and Reuse

Moderated Discussion Panel (Interactive Discussion with Panel and Audience; 1 brief intro ppt by 1 of presenters):

  • Timonie Hood, USEPA, Region 9 (Moderator)
  • Leah Tischler, SBM Site Services
  • Emily Rusch, CalPIRG and the Repair Association
  • Dave Bennink, RE-USE Consulting

Topics to be covered:

  • Right to Repair
  • How to measure Reduce and Reuse
  • Engaging Employees to Reduce and Reuse
  • Reusable Shipping Containers
  • R&D Programs
  • Tax implications of Deconstruction

1:00 pm – C – Recycling Market Development and Infrastructure

Moderated Discussion Panel (Interactive Discussion with Panel and Audience; 1 brief intro ppt by 1 of presenters):

  • Manuel Medrano, Association of Recycling Market Development Administrators and City of Chula Vista (Moderator)
  • Wayne Gjerde, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and NRC Board
  • Susan Kinsella, Conservatree
  • Bret Biggers, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
  • Ruth Abbe, Co-Chair, Global Recycling Council, CRRA
  • Lisa Skumatz, Skumatz Economic Research Associates
  • Neil Seldman, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Topics to be covered:

  • What’s Contamination and How to Recycle Right
  • Latest Processing Improvements (e.g. more labor, slower belts, more equipment, robotics)
  • Use Materials Domestically and Bring Recycling Jobs Home from China
  • Container deposit systems to provide cleaner materials
  • Dual vs. Single Stream Collection and Processing
  • Recycling Incentives (e.g. Save as you Throw)

3:00 pm – Break

3:30 pm – A – Finding Markets for Hard to Recycle Materials

Bring your own hard to recycle materials and review with marketing experts and attendees.  Set up room like Antiques Road Show, with experts at stations for different types of materials (e.g. plastics, other packaging, metals, glass, paper, organics)

3:30 pm – B – Buy Recycled

  • Martin Bourque, Berkeley Ecology Center, Moderator
  • Nina Belluci Butler, More Recycling and NRC Buy Recycled Campaign
  • Susan Kinsella, Conservatree

Topics to be Discussed:

  • Buy Recycled, Environmentally Preferable and Sustainable Procurement Policies and Programs
  • Durable Products
  • Minimum Content Policies

3:30 pm – C – ReThink and Redesign

  • Marialyce Pedersen, GBCI Zero Waste Advisory Council and NRC Board, Moderator
  • Susan Collins, Container Recycling Institute
  • Lisa Pellegrino, Terracycle
  • Nina Goodrich, Sustainable Packaging Coalition
  • Froilan Grate, Mother Earth Foundation

Topics to be Discussed:

  • Are Compostable Products the Answer?
  • New Models for Reuse Systems
  • Adopting or Expanding Bottle Bills for Clean Materials
  • Progress in Redesign of Sustainable Packaging

5 – 6 pm – Informal Gathering in Exhibit Area- No-host bar

6:30 – 8:30 pm – Topic Dinners at Local Restaurants (for 50)

CalPIRG Student Zero Waste Forum

7 – 8:30 pm – Plastics and Climate Change

  • Valley Life Sciences Building 2060

Climate change is one of our generation’s greatest threats, in large part caused by our reliance on fossil fuels for energy. Another dark aspect of our addiction to petroleum is the use of oil-byproducts and fracked gas to produce an ever-increasing amount of plastic. We often only think about plastic’s wildlife and health impacts, but plastic’s contribution to climate change is abundant. Join your fellow students, community members, and an expert panel to learn how these issues are connected, and what we can do together to stop this travesty.


MARCH 19, 2020

8:15 am – Welcome

  • Leslie Lukacs, NRC Conference Committee Co-Chair
  • Sophie Hahn, Vice-Mayor of Berkeley
  • Kate O’Neill, Co-Chair, UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Office of Sustainability

8:30 am – “Future of Wasting Less in America”

  • Michael Sangiacomo, President, Recology

9:00 am – Zero Waste Community Plans

  • Denise Patel, GAIA (Moderator)
  • Portia Sinnott, Zero Waste USA
  • Julie Sands Tyne, San Diego
  • Esra Tat, Zero Waste Europe, Zero Waste Plans and Circular Economy

Topics to be Discussed:

  • Sample Zero Waste Community Plans
  • Model Zero Waste Master Plan
  • How to help your community get started doing Zero Waste Community Plan
  • Policies, Programs and Infrastructure Options for Zero Waste Community Plans
  • Zero Waste USA Zero Waste Community Planning Checklist
  • Zero Waste lifestyles – living the dream

10:00 am – Break

10:15 am –Zero Waste and Climate Change

  • David Krueger, Moderator
  • Maggie Clarke, Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board
  • Pal Martensson, Let’s Do It World, “Lessons from the Amazon: Lungs of the World”

10:45 am – World Cleanup Day and Plastics in the Oceans Rick Anthony, Chair, Zero Waste International Alliance and Vice-President, Zero Waste USA

11:00 am – Workers Dignity, Environmental Justice and Community Economic Development

  • Neil Seldman, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Moderator
  • Meleny Thomas, United Workers, Baltimore
  • Shashawnda Campbell, United Workers, Baltimore
  • Terry McDonald, St. Vincent DePaul Society, Eugene, OR
  • Cecilia Allen, GAIA

Topics to be Discussed

  • Workers Dignity and Living Wages
  • Equitable Siting of Facilities, Sharing benefits and challenges fairly
  • Managing Resources and converting problems into assets
  • Community Land Trusts to add value to vacant land and properties

12:15 pm – Lunch (including Topic Lunches)

1:15 pm – A – Organics and Zero Waste

Moderated Discussion Panel (Interactive Discussion with Panel and Audience; 1 brief intro ppt by 1 of presenters):

  • Ana Carvalho, Zero Waste International Alliance (Moderator)
  • Neil Edgar, California Compost Coalition
  • Matt Cotton, US Composting Council
  • Will Bakx, California Organics Recycling Council of CRRA
  • Kourtnii Brown, Sustainable Economies Law Center
  • Esra Tat, Zero Waste Europe
  • Marvin Hayes, Baltimore Compost Collective

Topics to be covered:

  • Reducing Food Wasting (e.g. Lean Path)
  • Food Donations
  • On-site composters and digesters
  • Community composting
  • Compostable Packaging
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Large-scale composting and anaerobic digestion
  • Permitting facilities and dealing with air and water regulations
  • Mandates for haulers and/or residential and commercial generators

1:15 pm – B – Zero Waste Community Planning

  • Aditi Varshneya (Moderator)
  • Kirstie Pecci, Conservation Law Foundation, Boston
  • Kate Bailey, Eureka Recycling, St. Paul, MN
  • Kate Davenport, EcoCycle, Boulder, CO
  • Caroline Mitchell, City of Fort Collins, CO
  • Portia Sinnott, Zero Waste USA

Topics to be covered:

  • Focus for Community Recycling Ordinances – Haulers, Generators, or Both
  • Best Practices for RFPs and Contracts (for communities)
  • Zero Waste Culture Change
  • Dignity and Justice in Pursuing Zero Waste
  • Resource Recovery Parks
  • Living the Dream – Zero Waste Lifestyles

1:15 pm – C – Product Policies

Moderated Discussion Panel (Interactive Discussion with Panel and Audience; 1 brief intro ppt by 1 of presenters):

  • Susan Collins, Container Recycling Institute and NRC Board (Moderator)
  • Ruth Abbe, Zero Waste USA – do intro ppt
  • Heidi Sanborn, National Product Stewardship Council
  • Robin Schneider, Texas Campaign for the Environment
  • Miriam Gordon, Upstream Solutions
  • Scott Cassel, Product Stewardship Institute
  • Clarissa Morawski, Reloop Platform

Topics to be covered:

  • Bans
  • Fees and deposits
  • Minimum content
  • Extended Producer Responsibility

2:45 pm – Break

3:00 pm – A – Upcyclers Network and NRC Buy Recycled Campaign Forum on marketing recycled products

  • Rory Bakke, Sustainable Concepts Studio (Moderator)
  • Nina Butler, More Recycling and NRC Board
  • Alicia Culver, Responsible Purchasing Institute
  • Susan Kinsella, Conservatree

3:00 pm – B – Implementation of Zero Waste Plans on Campus

  • Alec Cooley, Busch Systems, Moderator
  • Julie Muir, Stanford University
  • Nicole Gaetjens, JLL for HP
  • Kaity Robbins, Boston University

Topics to be covered:

  • Steps and strategies to turn goals and plans into institutional action
  • Involving stakeholders in the development
  • Promotions and other steps to engage people to participate
  • Coordinating zero waste planning with nearby local govt., nearby institutions

3:00 pm – C – Single-Use Product Bans

  • Kelley Dennings, Center for Biological Diversity, Population and Sustainability (Moderator)
  • Christie Keith, Break Free from Plastics Steering Committee and GAIA
  • Christine DeTournay, Berkeley Zero Waste Commission
  • Samantha Sommer, Clean Water Action and Upstream
  • Laura Anthony, Save the Albatross Coalition and Zero Waste San Diego
  • Kate O’Neill, UC Berkeley, author of “Waste

4:30 pm –Closing Plenary:

  • Leslie Lukacs, NRC Conference Committee Co-chair (Moderator)
  • Gary Liss, NRC Conference Committee Co-chair
  • David Pinsky, Greenpeace Oceans & Plastics Campaigner (invited), “Zero Waste to Break Free from Plastics”
  • Richard Anthony, Zero Waste International Alliance, “Zero Waste Pledge for Earth Day 2020”

5:00 pm – Close of Conference and Evaluations

7 – 10 pm –Dance, San Francisco (NCRA and Race to Zero Waste organizing)

OTHER ZERO WASTE WEEK ACTIVITIES

Share This