The Long and Winding Road to Sustainable Materials Management

Zero Waste as a Climate Game-Changer

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Convention Center A5

Moderator: Barry Shanoff, General Counsel, SWANA

The hot topic (pun intended) in environmental management these days is climate change: what causes it and what to do to manage it. From tools to measure and track greenhouse gas (GHG) savings from recycling and composting, to communicating the benefits of recycling through print, apps and social media, the experts in this session demonstrate easy and effective ways to help you position your zero waste program as a leader in the climate change action arena.


The Road to Zero Waste is a lonely road unless your community is on board with you. Research shows that regular communication is the best way to continually improve participation, but communication is hard to do well, especially with limitations on time and budget. In this session, two seasoned experts reveal the simple do-it-yourself tricks of the trade that will allow you to breathe new life into your recycling communication, with minimal time and effort.

Following the presentation, the audience will be able to:

  1. Immediately increase the effectiveness of their communications around recycling
  2. Identify common pitfalls they may have fallen into, and how to navigate their way out
  3. Apply the 3 Rs not just to materials but to communications strategy and content as well


Emily Coven, Founder, Recyclist
Emily Coven

Recyclist founder Emily Coven is a veteran digital communications innovator whose career highlights include creating PBS’s first community outreach platform, executing strategic public education campaigns on local and national levels, and producing web and mobile apps for TV/news networks and others, including MTV, KQED, Current TV, UC Berkeley, and the author Michael Pollan. A Yale graduate with degrees in biochemistry and creative writing, Ms. Coven ran her own successful media agency, Flax Media, for ten years before founding Recyclist in 2014. A triple-bottom-line company with equal emphasis on environment, social and financial outcomes, Recyclist aims to leverage smart communications strategies and creative solutions to divert as much unnecessary waste as possible from landfill, including source reduction. Ms. Coven will retire when the entire country (or maybe just California) achieves zero waste.

Elizabeth Roe, President, EcoPartners, Inc.
Elizabeth Roe

For nearly three decades, Elizabeth Roe has been helping public agencies and private companies communicate with the public about recycling, waste reduction, water pollution prevention, sustainability and more. Ms. Roe has led sessions on communications planning and messaging across media channels at state, regional and national conferences. Ms. Roe’s firm is devoted to providing high-quality, cost-effective customized local newsletters designed with residents in mind. In addition, Eco Partners has produced many other types of print communications, as well as online companions. Nationally, she is involved with SWANA, where she serves as the director of the Communication, Education & Marketing Technical Division, and the National Association of Government Communicators.

Pitkin County has embarked on a multi-media campaign to encourage moving beyond just recycling, but to think more about reducing, reusing and flat out refusing items that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

Following the presentation, the audience will be able to:

  1. Think outside of the box and find creative, fun ways to encourage waste reduction in their own solid waste systems
  2. Walk away with knowledge on financing a multi-media ad campaign
  3. Develop effective working relationships with consultants and contractors on developing public outreach campaigns


Cathleen Hall, Solid Waste Manager, Pitkin County, Colorado
Cathleen Hall

Cathleen Hall has 23 years of experience in the solid waste industry. In February 2013, she was hired as Pitkin County’s solid waste manager. She is responsible for a $6.5 million integrated solid waste management system that includes a landfill, recycling operation, a year-round household hazardous waste and e-waste collection facility and composting operation. Previously, she worked as a project manager for nearly 10 years with SCS Engineers in its Reston, Virginia, office. She also was a program manager for SWANA headquarters from 1999–2003. Ms. Hall is a certified Manager of Landfill Operations, Manager of Composting Programs and is a Board Certified Environmental Scientist in the specialty of solid waste management with the American Academy of Environmental Scientists and Engineers.

The Region of Durham’s Waste Management Division has identified the need for a convenient, cost effective, communication tool to augment our existing communications to residents that increasingly rely on the use of mobile phones, tablets and computers for information consumption. Engaging residents on their time and making it easier for them to access the information they need is key to increasing service efficiency, reducing costs and meeting the Region’s waste diversion goals.

Following the presentation, the audience will be able to:

  1. Embrace new ways that technology can improve resident engagement including web & mobile functionality, automation and self-service
  2. Improve data management and analytics
  3. Improve community outreach using insight-driven marketing

To prepare for this presentation, review the Durham Region’s waste app. Go to the app store for your device, and search for “Durham Region Waste”. Download the app and use these mock addresses for collection as a demonstration to review the app’s features.

111 Cromwell Avenue, City of Oshawa
31 Prospect Street, Bowmanville
2353 Prestonvale Road, Courtice
1797 Eastbank Road, City of Pickering
75 Haskell Avenue, Town of Ajax


Peter Veiga, Supervisor of Waste Operations, Regional Municipality of Durham
Peter Veiga

Peter Veiga has an Honours Bachelor’s degree in environmental science and environmental management from the University of Toronto and a Master’s certificate in municipal management from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He has a 19-year background in planning and operating waste management programs. Mr. Veiga has been instrumental in developing several leading waste diversion initiatives, including early testing of automated collection systems and implementing of one of North America’s first green bin curbside organic waste diversion programs. He has expanded Blue Box recycling programs and developed waste management plans and has presented internationally on these programs and plans. As part of the Regional Municipality of Durham waste management team, Mr. Veiga is continuing to develop Durham’s long-term organics management strategy and is implementing several initiatives that will help Durham reach its 70 percent waste diversion goals and manage capacity at Durham Region’s new energy-from-waste facility.

Globally and locally, increasing emphasis is on one key performance metric: reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But most climate action plans aren’t even measuring the GHG savings from recycling and composting—they’re only tracking landfill methane emissions. Zero Waste has been left out of the climate discussion because of shortcomings in how we measure GHG emissions. Using new climate accounting tools, we can reposition Zero Waste as one of the fastest, easiest solutions to reduce local and global emissions.

Following the presentation, the audience will be able to:

  1. Work with climate staff to include recycling and composting as critical GHG reduction strategies
  2. Discuss the pros and cons of different GHG accounting methods with their local decision makers
  3. Champion Zero Waste strategies as one of the fastest, most cost-effective, ready-to-implement solutions to reduce GHG emissions


Kate Bailey, Eco-Cycle Solutions Director, Eco-Cycle
Kate Bailey

Kate Bailey is the director of the Eco-Cycle Solutions project. Ms. Bailey is a leading authority on Zero Waste best practices with more than 10 years of experience in policy analysis and research. She creates national reports, websites, webinars and tools to empower citizens, government staff and elected officials to adopt Zero Waste solutions.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Agru America, Inc
Air Liquide
ALS Environmental
Aria Energy
Bomag Americas, Inc
Cabot Norit Activated Carbon
Carlson Software
Civil and Environmental Consultants, Inc
D-A Lubricant Company Inc
EarthRes Group, Inc
Elkins Earthworks
ENERGYneering Solutions, Inc
EPG Companies Inc
Golder Associates
Governor Control Systems, Inc
Granite Fuel
Great Lakes Fusion, LLC
Guild Associates, Inc
Haldor Topsoe, Inc
HALLCO Industries, Inc
Hoffman and Lamson, Gardner Denver Products
Hub Industrial
Impact Plastics
ISCO Industries
John Zink Company, LLC
LFG Parts Supply
Lone Star Blower, Inc
LSC Environmental Products, LLC
Memorial Machine
Moby Dick Wheel Washing Systems
Morrow Renewables, LLC
MRU Instruments
MSW Consultants
MV Technologies
Neptune Automated Wash Solutions
Paradigm Software, LLC
Perennial Energy, LLC
Pioneer Air Systems
Process Combustion Corporation
PumpOne Environmental, LLC
QED Environmental Systems, Inc
SCS Engineers
Solberg Manufacturing, Inc
Sulzer Turbo Services, Inc
Tarpomatic, Inc
Tetra Tech, Inc
Vilter Manufacturing LLC
Willexa Energy

Hotel Info

Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel

1550 Court Place
Denver, CO, 80202
(888) 627-8405

Anyone who calls in and mentions SWANApalooza will receive the group rate of $189.