Session Descriptions

The 2017 session descriptions will be available in spring 2017.

See what you missed. Below are the session descriptions at the 2016 Resource Recycling Conference.

Wednesday, August 31

Plenary Session I: Curbside Enthusiasm
8:30 – 10:00 a.m. I Grand Ballroom B

The death of recycling has been declared far and wide over the past year, from the pages of the New York Times to corporate board rooms across the nation. However, many programs continue to grow and fresh opportunities for profitable diversion are regularly arising. Energetic industry leaders explain how all the pieces of recycling are continuing to fuel advancements in sustainability. 

– Moderator: Nina Goodrich, GreenBlue

 Elisabeth Comere, Tetra Pak
 Julie Zaniewski, Unilever
– Stephanie Baker, KW Plastics
– Keefe Harrison, The Recycling Partnership

Keynote Speaker: David Steiner, Waste Management
10:45 a.m. 11:45 a.m. I Grand Ballroom B

– Moderator: Dylan de Thomas, Resource Recycling, Inc. 

Waste Management's CEO offers a broad view of current recycling realities and delivers a thought-provoking perspective on what it will take for materials recovery to remain robust through good markets and bad.


Concurrent Session A: Manufacturing Recycling Markets
1:30  3:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom A

Simply put, recycling doesn't matter unless collected materials are actually turned into new products. This session explores a variety of fresh initiatives that are helping to efficiently move recyclables down the chain and into the hands of manufacturers and other entities that can close the loop.  

– Moderator: Bob Bylone, Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center

– Gretchen Wolfe, City of Phoenix
– Julie Rhodes, Julie L Rhodes Consulting
– Steve Alexander, The Association of Plastic Recyclers

Concurrent Session B: MRF Track: Contracting Moves Forward
1:30  3:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom B

Lower prices for many commodities have upended the financial viability of agreements between materials recovery facilities and municipalities in many areas of the country.  An expert panel discusses the altered landscape and offers proposals for long-term stability that will benefit all parties at the negotiating table.

– Moderator: Will Sagar, SERDC

– Scott Mouw, North Carolina Division of Environmental Assistance & Customer Service
– Susan Robinson, Waste Management
– Mitch Kessler, Kessler Consulting
– Anne Germain, National Waste & Recycling Association


Concurrent Session C: Educate and Engage
1:30 3:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom C

The twin pillars of outreach and education can make the difference between a local program that's thriving and one that's struggling to survive.  These outreach experts discuss proven tips and techniques to grab the attention of residents and help them put the right materials into the bin.

– Moderator: Craig Cookson, American Chemistry Council

– Duncan Watson, City of Keene, New Hampshire
– Lisa Skumatz, Skumatz Economic Research Associates
– Jason Hale, The Recycling Partnership


Concurrent Session D: Picking Up The Pieces of Glass Recycling
3:30  5:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom A

In recent months, glass has been buried in news about processing challenges, and some municipalities have questioned whether to keep collecting the material. But glass is a quintessential part of the curbside mix, infinitely recyclable and a key portion of recycling rates.  Come to this session to see clearly why glass recycling is here to stay.

 Moderator: Chaz Miller, NW&RA  

– Jim Nordmeyer, Owens-Illinois
– Curt Bucey, Strategic Materials
– Kerry Getter, Balcones Resources
– Cheri Chastain, Sierra Nevada
– Scott Miller, Knauf Fiberglass


Concurrent Session E: MRF Track: The Cutting Edge of Recovery Equipment
3:30  5:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom B

This session highlights the critical technological advances that are helping to redefine the world of materials processing. Get equipment updates and trend analysis direct from representatives of the companies leading the way in recovery.

– Moderator: Jason Haus, Dem-Con

– Felix Hottenstein, MSS Optical Sorters
Pieter Eenkema van Dijk, Van Dyk Recycling Solutions
– Scott Jable, Stadler
– Ted Pierpont, BHS


Concurrent Session F: Using Data to Drive Sustainable Materials Management
3:30 5:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom C

In recent years, many recycling leaders have begun adopting key principles of sustainable materials management (SMM), a concept in which decision-makers take a holistic view of a product life cycles when making environmental choices. Some of the industry's best minds help explain how this strategy is evolving and the ways in which data can help companies and communities harness the power of SMM to reach sustainability goals and save money. 

– Moderator: Chris Ronson, Re-TRAC Connect

– Kent Foerster, U.S. EPA
– Adam Gendell, GreenBlue
– Amity Lumper, Cascadia Consulting Group



Thursday, September 1

Plenary Session II: Mapping Out Markets
8:30 10:00 a.m. I Grand Ballroom B

The business of recycling is truly a global one, with the fallout from events in one part of the world often felt throughout the rest of it. In a year that has seen the effects of economic and political turmoil on recycling companies large and small, come to this session for some market guidance to help weather this global storm. 

Moderator: Mick Barry, Mid America Recycling

– Joe Pickard, ISRI
– Dan Cotter, Cellmark
– Tonya Randell, Moore Recycling Associates


Concurrent Session G: Myths and Realities of Organics, Organized by BioCycle
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom A

Federal, state and local assessments continue to show that organic materials make up the largest fraction of landfilled MSW by weight.  While the diversion mission is clear, the path to successfully achieving organics progress is complicated, from both an economic and practical perspective. What actually works and what is just wishful thinking?  This session, organized by BioCycle, offers answers. 

– Moderator/Speaker: Nora Goldstein, BioCycle

– Scott Mouw, North Carolina Division of Environmental Assistance & Customer Service
– Samantha MacBride, NYC Department of Sanitation
– Sego Jackson, Seattle Public Utilities


Concurrent Session H: MRF Track: Best Practices Made Perfect
10:30 a.m.  12:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom B

Ultimately, communities, haulers and MRFs all need to communicate and coordinate to bolster local programs. Experts in this area discuss the proven steps to build sound working relationships. 

– Moderator: John Standish, APR

– Cody Marshall, The Recycling Partnership
– Mike Birett, Continuous Improvement Fund
– Betsy Dorn, RSE USA


Concurrent Session I: Extending the Conversation on EPR
10:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m. I Grand Ballroom C

What is the future of extended producer responsibility in North America? Is it the sweeping changes that have been seen in British Columbia, with producers paying for and controlling the recovery of printed paper and packaging? Or is it more in line with the half of U.S. states that have scrap electronics recycling laws on the books? These speakers detail and debate the current state of EPR programs and discuss the future evolution of the concept.

– Moderator: Will Burrows, Coast Waste Management Association (British Columbia)

– Dan Lantz, Green By Nature
– Allen Langdon, MMBC (British Columbia)
– Walter Alcorn, CEA
– Susan Robinson, Waste Management


Plenary Session III: MRF Track: What's Coming Down the Line
1:00 2:30 p.m. I Grand Ballroom B

As MRFs re-tool to weather current conditions, they're also setting the stage for the future. Industry insiders explore efforts to recover tough-to-manage plastics, offer details on an exciting MRF in development, and discuss sortation possibilities in robotics. 

– Moderator: Justin Gast, The Recycling Partnership

– Bridget Croke, Closed Loop Fund
– Harvey Gershman, Gershman, Brickner, & Bratton, Inc. 
– Eileen Berenyi, Governmental Advisory Associates
– JD Lindeberg, RRS