Tuesday, October 23

9:00 – 10:00 A.M. l Grand Ballroom DE
Keynote: From the Diamond to the Curb – Joe Abernathy, St. Louis Cardinals

In many ways, a Major League Baseball stadium is the perfect testing ground for cutting-edge waste recovery and measurement strategies: Stadium managers control what materials are in use, what collection infrastructure is available, and what messaging is leveraged to inform the audience. With this being the first time the Resource Recycling Conference has come to St. Louis, it's fitting we begin with a keynote from Joe Abernathy of the hometown Cardinals. He'll offer an exclusive look at how the ball club has become a leader in integrating materials recovery with event operations – and how the wider recycling industry can benefit from the lessons learned. Abernathy is the Cardinals' vice president of facility planning and engineering and has worked with the organization since 1995. He also serves on the Stadium Operations Advisory Committee for Major League Baseball, a role in which he spearheads the benchmarking of sustainable operations metrics for all MLB facilities.

Plenary Session I: Kicking Contamination Out, organized by The Recycling Partnership
10:45 A.M. – 12:15 P.M. | Grand Ballroom DE

As China and some Southeast Asian countries have moved aggressively to limit recovered-material imports, stakeholders back in North America have come to realize contamination in curbside recycling must be reduced. But how do you do it? An energizing workshop-style session led by the staff of The Recycling Partnership offers discussion, tools and strategies that can help local programs clean up their streams quickly and in a cost-effective manner.

– Moderators: Cody Marshall and Scott Mouw, The Recycling Partnership

Concurrent Session A: Planning for Disaster Debris Recycling and Composting, organized by the National Recycling Coalition
1:30 – 3:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom D

In the last few years, natural disasters have devastated urban areas in different parts of North America. The events have made clear just how important it is that municipalities have the resources they need to respond to post-disaster waste concerns in a methodical manner. In this session, hear about the materials management challenges that occur after devastation from three speakers with on-the-ground experience.

– Tony Rios, Puerto Rico Solid Waste Authority

– Stephen Bantillo, Recycling Certification Institute

Concurrent Session B: Driven By Data
1:30 – 3:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom E

Experienced industry professionals know that reliable numbers are often the bedrock of solid program planning. This session looks at a handful of projects that are collecting valuable data sets to help push forward individual materials recovery initiatives or help shape strategy for the wider industry. Attendees will walk away with a greater understanding of how to harness data and tabulate recycling's future.

– Moderator: Colin Staub, Resource Recycling

Launch of a New Municipal Tool
– Rick Penner, Re-TRAC Connect  

Takeaways From the EnergyBag Program
– Dale Gubbels, Firstar Fiber Corporation 

Using Data to Bolster Public-Space Recycling
– Lisa Skumatz, Skumatz Economic Research Associates

Why Measurement (Still) Matters
– Ron Vance, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Concurrent Session C: Creating Success on Your Own Terms, organized by the Missouri Recycling Association (MORA)
1:30 – 3:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom F

What does it take for a city or organization to develop a successful program? It may require cooperation, outreach and patience. But above all, it takes community. In this informative lightning round session, hear from a number of recycling pros from Missouri who created far-reaching, effective programs across the Show Me State. They'll share a variety of tips, tools, and tricks that can be used within many other materials recovery efforts, and they'll outline the integral role residents, policymakers and others have played in their initiatives. 

– Moderator: Jennifer Mackey, Missouri Recycling Association

– Jenn DeRose, St. Louis Earth Day

– Cheryl Hanks-Sinecki, City of St. Peters, Missouri

– Jean Ponzi, Missouri Botanical Garden EarthWays Center

– Patrick Geraty and Sara Koziatek, St. Louis Composting

– Bob Henkel, St. Louis Earth Day 

– Sunni Hutton, Dutchtown South Community Corporation

– Elysia Musumeci, Brightside St. Louis

– Kim Petzing, Madison County, Illinois

– Todd Ware, St. Louis County Department of Public Health

– Jennifer Wendt, City of University City

Concurrent Session D: Behavior Change for Waste Diversion Programs, organized by the National Recycling Coalition
3:30 – 5:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom D

What does it take to fundamentally shift the societal mindset when it comes to producing less waste? Ultimately, the role falls on policymakers to create successful waste diversion programs, but it’s up to communities to make individual initiatives stick. In this session, hear from industry veterans who have led successful campaigns as they describe what to do before, during and after program implementation to help alter the actions of waste generators for years to come.

– Moderator: Leslie Lukacs, Sustainable Material Management and Zero Waste

Concurrent Session E: Connecting Communities, MRFs and Haulers, organized by The Recycling Partnership
3:30 – 5:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom E

Recycling doesn't happen with just one stakeholder – and, unfortunately, three of those most integral parties are too often disconnected. The community, the hauler and the MRF all have needs, but all must share in the risks and rewards of materials diversion. To help lay the groundwork for better partner dialog nationwide, this session will bring together representatives from the municipal, processing and hauler spheres to openly address concerns and find ways to work together to achieve more, better recycling.

Moderator: Rob Taylor, The Recycling Partnership

Concurrent Session F:  In the Stream … and on the Rise?
3:30 – 5:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom F

In recent years, glass has been a cause for concern for many communities due to contamination problems and limited downstream markets in some regions. But the material remains an iconic recyclable, and a number of companies and groups have made major strides to collect and process the material more cleanly and efficiently. This session features some of the most innovative recent efforts. 

Moderator: Ellen Martin, Closed Loop Partners

Refillable Bottle Initiative
– Jim Nordmeyer, Owens-Illinois (O-I)

Innovating Glass Processing
– George Valiotis, Pace Glass, Inc.

Wednesday, October 24

Plenary Session II: Feeling the Paper Cut
9:00 – 10:00 A.M. | Grand Ballroom DE

As National Sword has rolled forward over the last year, paper markets have encountered unprecedented turmoil, with huge price swings and ongoing uncertainty about which grades would be accepted in different markets. To help industry leaders get a firm grasp on the issue and plan for the years ahead, the conference's annual market panel this year focuses exclusively on fiber, offering perspectives from a range of experts.

– Moderator: D.J. VanDeusen, WestRock Company

Exploring Mixed-Paper Market Development
– Bill Moore, Moore & Associates

Not All Doom and Gloom
– Scott Byrne, The Carton Council

The Nation's Largest Processor Weighs In
– Brent Bell, Waste Management

Concurrent Session G: The Far Reach of Reuse, organized by the National Recycling Coalition
10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom D

Sometimes it really is true that one person's trash is another's treasure – and that entire populations can benefit in the process. In this panel discussion, various reuse innovators will explain how they and others are capitalizing on discarded materials and boosting local sustainability footprints. Additionally, panelists explore the ways reuse efforts intersect with issues related to community social justice, job creation and more.

– Moderator: MaryEllen Etienne, Reuse International

Deconstructing the Process
– Dave Bennink, Reuse Consulting

Concurrent Session H: Hacking Recycling, Part Deux, organized by The Recycling Partnership
10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom E

At last year's Resource Recycling Conference, one of the most talked-about sessions explored simple but impactful ideas from a range of local-program stakeholders. The goal was to look at inexpensive, easy-to-implement steps, or "hacks," that can help recycling programs move forward fast. This sequel will keep the conversation going, offering some shortcuts to success on route management, customer engagement, social media and more. 

– Moderators: Dylan de Thomas and Chris Coady, The Recycling Partnership

Concurrent Session I: Growing Recycling Funding Through Portfolio Approach
10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. | Grand Ballroom F

The business case for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry to increase support for recycling is stronger than ever today, with market challenges, marine plastic concerns and aggressive circular economy goals all affecting brand owner priorities. A variety of industrywide and company-specific initiatives have sought to strengthen recycling, but critical gaps in funding and related activities remain. This session will present new Carton Council research and provide a framework for new potential paths for industry-sponsored funding that could complement existing public and private funding programs. The goal is to identify pragmatic approaches to increase funding for recycling that can be supported by the CPG industry and other public and private recycling stakeholders to effectively move the needle on materials recovery.

– Moderator: Betsy Dorn, RSE USA

Snapshot of Funding Needs
– Jeff Meyers, The Recycling Partnership

Plenary Session III: From Recycling to Resilience
1:00 – 2:30 P.M. | Grand Ballroom DE

In an effort to prepare for potential economic and environmental challenges in the years ahead, major metropolises around the globe have joined the 100 Resilient Cities network. The Rockefeller Foundation-backed initiative helps these municipalities develop and implement solutions for the wide range of factors that threaten the well-being of their populations. How is materials recovery being woven into these plans? Representatives from cities that are part of the movement offer examples and outline opportunities. 

– Moderator: Chaz Miller, Consultant

Sustainability Efforts in the Big Peach
– Michelle Wiseman, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, City of Atlanta