Jam Session

Cities Sing the Plastic Blues for Marine Environments (1 CEU)
Implementing Circularity and Interception

Wednesday, August 22
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Theater & Cafe 150

Publicity about how plastics are inundating waterways and oceans abounds! Learn practical ideas for building stakeholder support for marine litter interception projects, as well as engineering considerations for project development. This session builds on a presentation and field experience from WASTECON® 2017 about the Mr. Trash Wheel project in Baltimore Harbor that inspired projects in several other North American communities.


Thomas Sprehe, Senior Vice President, KCI Technologies, Inc.

Thomas Sprehe

Thomas Sprehe has more than 38 years of experience in design, construction management and operations of solid waste facilities, water and sewer systems, and general environmental engineering. Mr. Sprehe holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and AAEES Certification in both solid waste management and water and wastewater engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in 10 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has served as manager of KCI's environmental discipline, which includes water, wastewater, solid waste and geotechnical engineering; hazardous waste and environmental compliance; and industrial hygiene services. As the director of KCI’s innovation and technology program, he is responsible for development and application of new and innovative technologies that have the potential to drive future growth of the firm. His experience also includes managing operations and maintenance of more than 130 water and wastewater facilities, and design of facility retrofits at more than 30 plants. Previously, Mr. Sprehe served as the director of the Maryland Environmental Service (MES) water and wastewater, waste management and environmental dredging programs, where he was responsible for managing funding, design, operations, regulatory compliance and construction management.

Amy Brooks, Doctoral Student, College of Engineering, New Materials Institute, University of Georgia

Amy Brooks

Amy Brooks is a doctoral student at the New Materials Institute at the University of Georgia College of Engineering. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in water resources, and has experience in agricultural and construction management. She currently conducts research in global waste management issues related to marine debris and the circular economy, and her work is driven by her interest in on-the-ground, community-based solutions to decrease plastic leakage into the environment. Her work in plastic waste issues has provided policy briefings for the US State Department and UK Government, and was shared at a recent G7 workshop in Canada. She is also currently participating in a United Nations Environment project involving the development of a framework for plastic marine debris solutions. Ms. Brooks has been published regarding challenges and solutions for African marine debris in the journal Marine Policy, and on the topic of the international trade of plastic waste in Science Advances. Ms. Brooks is a collaborator on research in Vietnam funded through a National Geographic grant program that will map coverage of the informal waste sector and apply her research interests in community applications of circular economy.

Hotel Info

SWANA has negotiated discounted hotel rates for WASTECON® 2019 attendees. Hotel reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served, space available basis. Submit your request as soon as possible for the best opportunity of receiving your hotel choice.