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

More details coming soon...


  • Monica Wilson, Policy & Research Coordinator, and Associate Director - GAIA Office U.S.


Explore the top industry trends in WasteExpo's FREE Spotlight Sessions.

Tuesday, May 7

CEO Fireside Chat with Richard Burke
Join this session for a one-on-one “fireside chat” with Richard Burke, CEO of Advanced Disposal and hear his perspective on where we stand as an industry now, what significant challenges we face, and where the industry might be headed in the future. 

Richard Burke
CEO, Advanced Disposal

Tuesday, May 7


CFO Insights: A Look at the Waste & Recycling Industry

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

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

Devina Rankin
Senior Vice President & CFO, Waste Management

Mary Anne Whitney
Senior Vice President & CFO, Waste Connections

Chuck Serianni
Executive Vice President & CFO, Republic Services

Tuesday, May 7


Navigating Technology in Waste & Recycling
presented by AMCS

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. 


Tuesday, May 7

Reducing Food Waste and Increasing Organics Recovery in Municipal, Regional, andCommercial Programs

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

WasteExpo Workshops

*Separate registration is required for each workshop. More details to come.

Thursday, May 9


Introduction to Zero Waste - Certified Training

8:30AM - 12:30PM
Instructor: Ruth Abbe, President, 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?

How to Start a Food Waste Diversion Program: for Industrial, Commercial & Institutional Generators, Organics Haulers, Composters, Anaerobic Digestion Operators, Municipalities, and Regulators.
9:00AM - 12:00PM
Instructor: Gary Bilbro, EcoSafe® Zero Waste
This workshop will teach waste characterization and diversion processes for food and other organics for any entity generating, hauling or processing organics and those that regulate the sector. Understanding feedstock materials, contamination issues, container and collection options, and BMP’s for handling food and other organic waste. Identifying the benefits to the environment and your bottom line. Anyone that wants to learn more about starting a sustainable food waste program will benefit by attending this workshop.

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