Waste360 Sustainability Talks

The tsunami of plastics is here, what now? Amazon has forever changed the waste stream, how do we evolve with it? Textiles and food waste are filling up landfills and causing climate change at a staggering rate.Beyond recycling…how can we all do our part and lead this charge? Landfills alone won’t do the trick. Who’s ready to innovate toward a sustainable future?

Join us for real talk as the waste and recycling industry takes on plastics, packaging, and other environmental challenges – and our role in building a sustainable future.

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Sessions & Speakers

Monday, May 1
8:00 am – 9:15 am
Room 289
Session Number: MST1

Scope 3 emissions are defined as emissions caused by indirect impacts from your operations. Hence, the concept of waste diversion falls into Scope 3 territory for companies and represents opportunity for our industry. Notably, Scope 3 also specifically includes GHG emissions reduction efforts.

Nerd-out with us as we explore the Scope 3 approach to project work and how our industry can directly help companies deliver on their emissions goals. We’ll learn about prioritizing efforts on minimization and reuse. You can expect to hear more on this and also:

  • The best GHG impact for disposal – hint: it’s almost always not landfill/incineration.
  • Mapping out a zero waste event.
  • Examples of where and when GHG calculations trump weight-based zerio wste operations.
  • Location, location, location – why distance is often the differentiator.

Let’s look at this together with a different lens. It’s about stepping outside of immediate profits to prioritize future emissions benefits.

Monica Rowand, Sustainability Consultant, WM

Monica Rowand
Sustainability Consultant

Monday, May 1
9:45 am – 11:00 am
Room 289
Session Number: MST2

There’s impact and then there’s unique and extraordinary impact. In Philadelphia there’s an unlikely relationship between the for-profit C&D recycling company, Revolution Recovery (RR), and the art & culture nonprofit, Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR). By existing in the same space, RAIR’s creativity is a deep a source of pride for RR and in turn, RR gives artists an immersive experience in the waste stream.
A truly unique enclave for arts & culture.

Hear how this 10+ year partnership, with international recognition, is demonstrating how the juxtaposition between art and industry, with functionally different organizations, can be mutually beneficial and stronger in surprising ways.

This session will show how embracing creativity can spur a larger dialogue on, and unique diversion methods for the waste industry. It will also:

  • Demonstrate how for-profit/nonprofits partnerships multiply impact.
  • Show how creativity opens dialogue and inspires behavior change at the individual, organizational, and community scales.

Join us, if like these companies, you’re willing to think differently, find common ground, and have a desire to help change the way people think about waste.

Billy Dufala, Co-founder and Director of Residencies, Recycled Artist In Residency
Fern Gookin, Director of Sustainability, Revolution Recovery

Billy Dufala
Co-founder and Director of Residencies
Recycled Artist In Residency

Fern Gookin
Director of Sustainability Revolution Recovery

Monday, May 1
11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Room 289
Session Number: MST3

If every home in the U.S. had adequate access to recycling, we would STILL lose more than half of all residential recyclable material – that amounts to roughly 15 million tons of economic value and environmental benefit lost each year. Our industry know why - Americans are confused about what and how to recycle and lack confidence in the processes. If we want to improve recycling, and ultimately mobilize household participation in the circular economy, we need to help strengthen recycling behavior in homes.  

In this session, The Recycling Partnership will share their new research from The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact that will help shed light on how we can help communities optimize recycling, including:

  • Consumer segmentation and ethnographic research that document resident barriers and sentiments towards recycling.
  • Insights from research - residents motivations, challenges, and systems for recycling; areas where we can better assist.
  • Learnings from 19 different intervention strategies – what worked, what didn’t.
  • Measuring the impact of programmatic and educational programs effectiveness.

Charlotte Pitt, Director of Grant Development, The Recycling Partnership
Louise Bruce, Managing Director, Center for Sustainable Behavior and Impact, The Recycling Partnership

Charlotte Pitt
Director of Grant Development
The Recycling Partnership

Louise Bruce
Managing Director
Center for Sustainable Behavior and Impact, The Recycling Partnership

Monday, May 1
1:45 pm – 3:00 pm
Room 289
Session Number: MST4

Join us for a frank and transparent discussion on how TerraCycle has embraced and continues to support each aspect of the waste hierarchy – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Tom Szaky, CEO and founder, will bring us through a holistic overview of TerraCycle's various business units and the community and corporate partnerships that enable them to thrive. Tom will highlight the collection options that citizens, facilities and businesses can engage with and/or sponsor to drive recycling efforts for traditionally non recyclable products and packaging, highlighting how products travel through the supply chain from start to finish. He will also discuss the transition to a circular economy and their work on closed loop solutions, innovative end-products and reuse (and refill) opportunities. Hear how some of these unique offerings and partnerships have developed, some out of necessity, some organically (pun intended). Bring your questions, Tom will leave ample time at the end for audience Q&A.

Tom Szaky, CEO, TerraCycle

Tom Szaky
CEO & Founder

Tuesday, May 2
8:00 am – 9:15 am
Room 289
Session Number: TST1

Why do we recycle or recover materials? What are some specific reasons we should recycle and how to we quantify those efforts? It’s surprising how many corporate and personal goals are set around increased recycling, but the explicit benefits aren’t that well understood. In many cases, the justification for recycling never actually makes it into established policies.

This session will include results from a number of studies and analyses that explore the critical nuances in aiding in decision-making when considering where recoverable materials should go upon discard. Insights provided in this discussion will highlight:

  • Current circular economy and policy frameworks (e.g. EPR) and the intersection of waste
  • What is possible and not possible when it comes to recycling and organics diversion
  • How to measure sustainability and environmental benefits (or burdens)
  • Challenges to the material recovery efforts, such as: PFAS, MRF Fires, packaging/labeling, and contamination

Bryan Staley, President and CEO, Enrivonmental Research & Education Foundation


Bryan Staley
President & CEO
Environmental Research & Education Foundation

Tuesday, May 2
9:45 am – 11:00 am
Room 289
Session Number: TST2

The EPA and states are proposing new regulations for PFAS in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and biosolids, all of which will impact daily landfill operations. With new regulations coming, landfills operators need new solutions for combating PFAS. Though debates over how to manage PFAS have been ramping up for years, operators need to take action now, even as major questions about how to manage, treat, or destroy the substances remain. Leading landfill operators have expressed a hunger for reliable PFAS management techniques. Hear from their landfill executives how together with a leading PFAS solution provider, they are taking a paradigm shift that will change the industry landscape “forever”.

Kurt Shaner, Vice President Engineering and Sustainability, Waste Connections
Martin Bureau, Vice President Innovation, ALTRA
Stephanie Bolyard, Senior Engineer to the Assistant Secretary, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

Kurt Shaner
Vice President Engineering and Sustainability
Waste Connections

Martin Bureau
Vice President Innovation

Stephanie Bolyard
Senior Engineer to the Assistant Secretary
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

Tuesday, May 2
3:00 pm – 4:15 pm
Room 289
Session Number: TST3

A circular economy is like mom and apple pie. It’s fundamental to materials management, everyone supports it and we can’t have a circular economy without recycled content. So, minimum content should be easy peasy. During this session, you’ll hear about the barriers that are keeping this from crossing the finish line.

Andy Moss, Government Affairs Manager, Waste Connections
Christopher Mikulewicz, Environmental Specialist II, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Sustainable Waste Management, Bureau of Solid Waste Planning and Licensing
Vita Quinn, Public Sector Group Leader, SCS Engineers
Megan Fontes, Executive Director, NERC
Bill Keegan, President, Dem-Con Companies

Bill Keegan
Dem-Con Companies

Andy Moss
Government Affairs Manager Waste Connections

Christopher Mikulewicz Environmental Specialist II
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of
Sustainable Waste Management, Bureau of Solid Waste Planning and Licensing

Vita Quinn
Pubic Sector Group Leader
SCS Engineers

Megan Fontes
Executive Director

Wednesday, May 3
8:00 am – 9:15 am
Room 289
Sesion Number: WST1

A behind-the-scenes look at what’s needed to enable the reuse economy to become mainstream. Leading experts from three different sectors will discuss the current state of reuse infrastructure and what is required.

  • Jacqueline Ebner, Sustainability Advisor, CEO of Re:Dish, will focus on industrial-scale washing solutions for reusable food packaging.
  • Anita Schwartz, VP, WSP USA, will discuss the infrastructure needed to recapture commercial products for reuse that would otherwise go to waste.
  • Mike Newman, CEO of Returnity, will discuss the building blocks needed for your audience to develop scalable packaging reuse programs.

Attendees can expect to:

  • Understand the complex system behind scaling a reuse economy.
  • Gain in depth understanding of challenges and opportunities experienced by leaders in the world of reuse.
  • Confirm how the zero waste hierarchy plays an important role in the overall mission to repurpose materials and reduce waste.

Jacqueline Ebner, Sustainability Advisor, CEO, Re:Dish
Anita Schwartz, Vice President, WSP USA
Mike Newman, CEO, Returnity

Celeste McMickle, Director - TRUE Certification, US Green Building Council

Anita Schwartz
Vice President

Jacqueline Ebner
Sustainability Advisor, CEO

Mike Newman

Celeste McMickle
Director - TRUE Certification
US Green Building Council

Wednesday, May 3
9:45 am – 11:00 am
Room 289
Session Number: WST2

Last year, we agreed that business can make the world a better place. This year, we’ll continue our conversation about one powerful tool that inspires individual and industry-wide change: carbon labeling.

Transparency is the foundation of ESG, and carbon labeling can provide a standardized method for comparing the environmental impacts of products. The auto industry labels vehicle emissions and food and CPG businesses voluntarily detail, and display the carbon footprint of their products.

Discover why product labels can better our planet; get inspired by fresh perspectives from industries pioneering product transparency. Join the discussion on how the waste industry can standardize carbon labels. Don’t miss this session - so unique you can’t google it.

Just a bit of what you can expect:

  • Learn how product-level carbon footprints foster transparency and accountability.
  • Hear how other industries are faring with adoption, authenticity, and overcoming challenges.
  • Discuss how the waste industry benefits from carbon labeling.                                                                                                  

Kristin Kinder, VP of Research and Waste Stream Sustainability, Wastequip
Michael Rosen, Consultant / Managing Principal (retired), PRR

Kristen Kinder
VP of Research and Waste Stream Sustainability

Michael Rosen
Consultant/Managing Principal (retired), PRR

Wednesday, May 3
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Room 289
Session Number: WST3

Most discarded textiles end up in landfills but don’t readily degrade, accounting for 8% of annual municipal solid waste in the U.S. The value of these waste textiles has steadily increased as portions of the textile industry push to make more clothes from recycled materials. These waste fabrics are estimated to be worth $10.5 billion annually.

However, recycling options are limited due to the highly variable waste stream, consisting of many different fiber types and chemical additives like dyes or finishes. Presented here is a methodology that introduces one pathway for textile circularity through enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic textiles. Using cellulase enzymes, 100% cotton fabric pieces were degraded into valuable waste fractions that have use in composites, as feedstock for anaerobic digestion, or as feedstock for fermentation into biofuels. An emphasis was placed on degrading realistic textile waste, including fabrics that have been dyed or finished. In addition to 100% cotton fabrics, a 50/50 polyester/cotton blended fabric was tested. This session will include details on this methodology and potential findings thus far.

Jeannie Egan
PTR Baler & Compactor/Reithmiller Scholar, Environmental Research & Education Foundation

Jeannie Egan
PTR Baler & Compactor/Reithmiller Scholar
Environmental Research & Education Foundation

Wednesday, May 3
1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
Room 289
Session Number: WST4

Join this session to hear more on how innovative textile collection and recycling programs can support circularity for fashion brands.

Textiles make up a whopping 13% of our wasted material stream and cause a lot of operational challenges at MRFs when consumers mistakenly place them in the curbside recycling bin. Join CEO of SuperCircle, Stuart Ahlum and CEO of WasteZero, David Bryla as we dive into textile recycling in a technologically advanced world. In this session we will be discussing solutions across the supply chain to capture more textile supply at the curb and deliver excellent recycling results for brands wanting to improve the circularity of their products.

Dave Bryla, Chief Executive Officer, Waste Zero
Stuart Ahlum, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, SuperCircle
Rachel Oster, Owner & Principal, Diversion Strategies

Rachel Oster
Owner & Principal
Diversion Strategies

Dave Bryla
Chief Executive Officer
Waste Zero

Stuart Ahlum
Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer