Conference Program Overview

WasteExpo’s conference program is your professional development opportunity of the year! The education and training that you’ll receive is guaranteed to sharpen your skills to help you do your job better. WasteExpo’s conference program is unparalleled.

  • Automated Collections
  • Anaerobic Digestion
  • Big Data Collection Trends
  • Bioplastics
  • Composting
  • Curbside Recycling & Public
  • Education Programs
  • Driver Recruitment/Retention
  • Data Security – Are you at risk?
  • Ebola Updates
  • Equipment Leasing & Financing
  • Fire Safety in Waste & Recycling
  • Fleet Maintenance Best Practices
  • Food Waste Reduction & Recovery
  • Industry Trends in Waste & Recycling
  • International Waste & Recycling Trends
  • Leachate
  • Managing Contamination
  • MRF Safety
  • New Safety Technologies
  • Odor Control at Organics Recovery Facilitie
  • Operating Landfills
  • Organics Management
  • Organics Recycling
  • Organics Equipment & Technologies
  • Roadside Inspections
  • Zero Waste Strategies & Best Practices

NEW! Nothing Wasted! Talks, Spotlight Sessions & Workshops

With Nothing Wasted! we're creating an open forum for new ideas. So, get ready to hear inspired talks from a wide array of thought leaders and visionaries! In each session, you'll hear from three to four thought leaders, visionaries, seekers and seers—who'll share impactful, inspirational, influential, or even provocative ideas. You'll walk away with powerful ideas and perspectives that will make you a more thoughtful and creative problem-solver on the job. Don't miss this chance to think about the waste industry in brand new ways!

Tuesday, May 7
10:30AM – 12:00PM

Industry Visionaries Discuss Solutions to Food Waste

In this session, you’ll hear from thought leaders who will share their ideas about Solutions to Food Waste and Wasted Food - Prevention, Loss, Recovery, and Achieving a Sustainable Food System in the U.S.


  • Darby Hoover, Senior Resource Specialist, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Food & Agric. Program. “Waste Not: The Problem of Prevention”
  • Dr. Stephen Hamilton, Professor of Economics, California Polytechnic State University. “Keeping Food out of Landfills”
  • Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Food and Hospitality Management and Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University. “From Cost to Revenue: The Food System Sensitive Model for Keeping Nutrition Out of the Dumpster.”
  • Komal Ahmad, CEO, Copia. “How can we Solve the world’s dumbest problem?”


Wednesday, May 8

1:45PM - 2:45PM

Pioneers & Visionaries

Presentations & Speakers include:

  • Monica Wilson, Associate Director, GAIA U.S. Office
    Zero Waste Cities: Revolutionary solutions to plastic waste in the global south
    Southeast Asia is often portrayed as the epicenter of the plastic waste crisis. But the story is more complex. Large scale centralized waste systems don’t work in this region. Instead, decentralized, community-led zero waste systems are transforming cities, saving money, and keeping plastic out of the ocean. Groundbreaking new data from zero waste cities uncovers the true culprits behind the plastic pollution crisis.
  • Eric Randall, Director of Recycling & Founder, Bryson Recycling
    An Emerging UK Multi-Stream Approach Could Replace Single-Stream Comingling
    Eric Randall from Bryson Recycling in Northern Ireland will outline how a new approach to domestic collections of recyclables that generates high quality materials, results in low overall costs; avoids the export of recyclables; generates hundreds of manufacturing jobs and results in tens of £millions of added value to the local economy.
  • Lisa von Sturmer, Founder & CEO, Growing City
    Adventures in Compost: Turning a Passion for the Environment into a Growing 7-figure Business
    After a successful career as an editor in the professional MMA sports & television world, Lisa decided to follow her passion for the environment into a completely new direction - corporate composting. Ten years and tens of millions of pounds of waste later, she proved to naysayers that the world was ready for mainstream organics recycling. Join her as she shares her story of taking a mini-van and a $15,000 loan and turning it into a seven-figure business that has seen double digit growth for over the past 5 years.
  • JD Lindeberg, President and Managing Partner, Resource Recycling Systems
    Solving the Recycling Crisis in the U.S.
    Recycling is under fire in the US because of the impact of Green Fence and National Sword. Yet, at the same time it is one of the most beloved environmental activities of participants across the country AND it provides a practical way for individuals and families to do something tangible about climate change. JD Lindeberg will argue that instead we should resist the urge to cut back on programs and the industry and local units of government should instead take the opposite tack and reinvest in a strong infrastructure, focus on local markets, and improve material quality. The economy and the environment will benefit.

FREE and open to ALL!


The WasteExpo Spotlight Sessions are some of the most attended sessions at WasteExpo – why, you may ask? Because of the insight-packed sessions that allow attendees to explore top industry trends for FREE! And that’s why we’re bringing four new exciting sessions to WasteExpo on Tuesday,  May 7 all in Room S233.

CEO Fireside Chat with Bill Caesar

10:15am - 11:00am

Join Bill Caesar, CEO of WCA Waste Corporation for a one-on-one interview with NWRA’s Darrell Smith as he shares his insights into leadership, workforce challenges, the future of recycling, and much more. Get the perspective of a top CEO from one of the leading waste management companies  during this informal fireside chat. 

Bill Caesar
CEO, WCA Waste Corporation

CFO Insights: A Look at the Waste & Recycling Industry
11:10am -  12:20pm


NWRA Women's Council leverages unique access to bring together the most influential chief financial officers in waste & recycling. Leveraging their collective knowledge, this panel will share perspectives on what financial challenges and opportunities may arise over the coming years. This can't-miss session provides a rare opportunity for attendees to participate in an engaging discussion with the industry's top finance leaders.

Speakers will include:

Dianna Cervantes
CFO, WCA Waste Corporation

Devina Rankin
Senior Vice President & CFO, Waste Management

Ned Coletta
Senior Vice President, CFO, Casella Waste Systems, Inc.

Mary Anne Whitney
Senior Vice President & CFO, Waste Connections

Chuck Serianni
Executive Vice President & CFO, Republic Services

Reducing Food Waste and Increasing Organics Recovery in Municipal, Regional, and Commercial Programs
1:00pm - 2:30pm


Moderator: Evan Edgar, Edgar & Associates, Inc.

  • Finding Pathways to Food Waste Diversion: How to Scale Programs No Matter the Infrastructure. Madisen Gittlin, Global Green. NY
  • Cost Effective Food Scrap Recovery Models for Residential and Commercial Programs and Zero Waste Events – a Rural Case Study. Elisa Seltzer, Director, Emmet County Dept of Public Works. MI
  • Building a Regional Food Waste and Organics Recovery Program. Jon Koch, Director Water & Resource Recovery Facility, City of Muscatine. IA
  • Compostable Bioplastics: An Important Enabler to Food Scrap Collection, Richard Lombardo, Natur-Tec® - a division of Northern Technologies Intl. Corp., MN

Madisen Gittlin

Elisa Seltzer

Jon Koch

Richard Lombardo

Navigating Technology in Waste & Recycling 
3:30pm - 4:30pm


In today’s climate, agility is critical for companies to stay competitive - you must be able to use technology to make real-time decisions and operate your business efficiently. Software, hardware, smart sensors, mobile devices - how do you navigate the technology that is best for your operation? Join this session to learn the steps you can take to not only implement the right technology, but also how to utilize it to make your operations more efficient. 

Presented by:

Mark Vescovi
Chief Information Officer,
Liberty Tire Recycling

Thomas Toscano
President & CEO, Mr. T Carting

Dr. Armin Vogel
Executive Vice President, Plastics,

Brian Giambagno
The Action Environmental Group

Evan Schwartz
Head of Technology, North America, AMCS Group

WasteExpo Workshops

*Separate registration is required for each workshop. 

Thursday, May 9


Introduction to Zero Waste - Certified Training

8:30AM - 12:30PM
Instructor: Richard Anthony, VP, Zero Waste USA
Are you interested in learning how Zero Waste has become a key component of community and business sustainability efforts across the US and the globe? Want to know more about the connections between Zero Waste and climate change, Highest and Best Use of discarded materials and green jobs, as well as other benefits to business and communities pursuing Zero Waste? Curious about Zero Waste planning and infrastructure as well as community and business Zero Waste facility certification? This lively interactive class if for you!

NWRA Safety Symposium
8:30AM - 12:30PM
Participants in this half-day safety symposium featuring former U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary for OSHA, David Michaels. As one of the top 5 most dangerous professions in America, safety is the number one priority for the waste & recycling industry. This comprehensive safety workshop will go in-depth, covering everything from new safety solutions, regulatory updates, proven industry safety programs, OSHA compliance and more.

Recycling Myths, Legends and Pseudoscience: Understanding Objective Realities in Materials Recovery
8:30AM - 12:30PM
"Recycling is good, all the time... and all the time, recycling is good." This adage represents a viewpoint that has permeated our society for the last 40 to 50 years. But, is this perspective built on sound science, or have myths and pseudoscience propped up the message? What is reality when it comes to recycling? When is recycling good? And, are there situations when recycling may be bad?

This workshop will take a provocative look at recycling and attempt to address some of these questions. Using current science and data, various topics will be explored to evaluate if claims about recycling pass the test, or are simply contamination. Example topics include:

  • When I was your age, we recycled whether we liked it or not...why do we recycle?
  • Wishcycling (and other recycling fantasies)
  • Navigating the pseudoscience: a skeptics guide to recycling
  • Perspectives on recycling policies and goals: are they achievable?
  • Recycling makes sense, except when it doesn't - a synopsis of what LCA can tell us
  • The end (market) game - challenges and opportunities
  • Choose wisely: is human behavior the holy grail of recycling?

Composting and Organics Diversion Programs for Food Waste Generators
9:00AM - 12:00PM
Instructor: Gary Bilbro, EcoSafe® Zero Waste
This will be a full-scale workshop on how to start a successful composting program for all waste generators including municipal, educational, health care, hospitality, food service and many more. This workshop will cover all aspects of successful organics diversion programs. Attendees will learn all they need to start and maintain a diversion program where they live and work. The environmental and economic benefits of organics diversion will be reviewed. The financial benefits related to waste diversion and organics recycling will be explained. This workshop should be attended by anyone interested in organics diversion, composting and zero waste to landfill.

Exhibit Hall Hours

May 7 & 8: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
May 9: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
(2nd level opens at 9:30am)

Co-located Conferences