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2020 Professional Achievement Award Winners

SWANA is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020 Professional Achievement Awards.

Association Life Member Award

SWANA confers a Life Member Award to a current member based on the member’s length of service, contributions, and commitment to the Association and/or a chapter; superior commitment and service to their employer; long-term involvement in the solid waste management, and significant contributions to the field of solid waste management.


Harvey Levitt, Retired, Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority

Mr. Harvey Levitt joined SWANA and the Georgia Chapter in 1995 and is still an active member 25 years later. As a long-time member, he served on the chapter Board of Directors for 20 years; he helped develop Georgia’s landfill operator training and certification; then he served as an instructor for about 13 years. Mr. Levitt won SWANA’s Professional Achievement Award for Public Sector Members in 2013. He is retired from the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority.

Upon being notified of his 2020 Professional Achievement Award, Mr. Levitt said, “SWANA is all about training and bonding and sharing training with your peers.”

Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award

The Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award is SWANA’s highest recognition of an individual in the field of solid waste management. This Professional Achievement Award is awarded to a member or non-member who—by his/her service to the field of solid waste management—has demonstrated unusually noteworthy achievements or highly significant contributions.


Enrique C. Zaldivar, Director and General Manager, LA Sanitation & Environment

Enrique C. Zaldivar has been at the helm of the City of Los Angeles LA Sanitation & Environment Department (LASAN) as Director and General Manager since 2007. Through his leadership, LASAN oversees the city’s Clean Water program, Solid Resources program, and Watershed Protection program. LASAN’s achievements in solid waste under Mr. Zaldivar’s direction include the recently implemented recycLA Franchise Initiative, along with the adoption of the Solid Waste Private Hauler Exclusive Franchise Initiative. Ongoing LASAN programs and initiatives include work to improve recycling markets via the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA); a commitment to electrification of the refuse collection truck fleet to move toward zero emission goals; and implementation of a long-term zero waste plan for the period through 2030.

Robert L. Lawrence Lecture Award

The Lawrence Lecture Award is given annually to an individual recognized as a leader in the field of solid waste or resource management or another aspect of environmental protection. It is awarded in recognition of substantial, significant and sustained contributions. The Lawrence Lecture is typically delivered at WASTECON®.


Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director, California Product Stewardship Council

Heidi Sanborn is an internationally recognized advocate for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and a circular economy. She is a dynamic and knowledgeable speaker who uses solid information, real-world stories and humor to share her message. National Stewardship Action Council is both an advocate and lobbyist on behalf of EPR and product stewardship at all levels of government. The council is known for support of California’s landmark 2018 medicine and sharps take-back legislation, the first law in the United States to address both medicines and needles through EPR at the state level.