WSRA's 38th Annual Conference and Trade Show

Conference Schedule of Events - Subject to change, check back often for updates! 

  • View our 2018 Conference Brochure (PDF)

  • View and download an abbreviated schedule of events HERE(For government employees, this also lists meals included in full conference registration.)

  • SWANA CEU's - WSRA's 2018 Conference Programming has been approved for 8 SWANA CEU's. 
    Download the form HERE or find it at the registration desk during the Conference. 

  • Session Themes - We have a few themes in our content this year: Diversity and Inclusion, Markets, Innovation and Technology, Food Waste, and Collaboration. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018


11:00 - 4:00 
Loomis Trail Golf Club

Annual Golf Scramble "Weapons of Grass Destruction"
Presented by Waste Connections, Inc. 
Register for the Golf Scramble when you register for the conference or you can register for just the scramble on its own here

12:00 - 4:00

Meet at the Hotel Entrance

Bike Ride to Birch Bay State Park - Join Rodd Pemble of Sanitary Service Company for a 19 mile round-trip ride and explore the beauty of Semiahmoo, Blaine, and Birch Bay State Park! Road bikes are perfect here, all paved trail and wide shoulder. Ride will leave from Semiahmoo and will be sprinkles or shine (cancelled if heavy rain). Participants should bring water and snacks, or even sack lunch for the beach! There is also a stop planned for an ice cream cone (or two!). View the ride map HEREInterested? RSVP to Rodd Pemble at [email protected] or 360-815-1098.  Want to drive a SAG support car for the ride instead of peddling? Ask Rodd for more information. 

Looking to Ride Friday, Saturday or during the Conference? The Mt Baker Bicycle Club website is a great resource for anyone who’d like to ride before the conference activities begin, or staying after.  Lovely back roads in several directions from the resort.   

2:00 - 5:00

Lawn off the Seaview Terrace

Lawn Games at Semiahmoo Resort
The Conference Committee chairs invite you to come
network with fellow attendees 
and have some fun
playing Bocce Ball, Croquet and more while enjoying the
beautiful scenery of the Semiahmoo Resort.

Birding Walk on the Semiahmoo Spit Trail 
Join local bird watching experts on a bird watching trail walk
on the beautiful Semiahmoo Spit Trail. See the beautiful flora and
fauna that this area has to offer!

Lawn off the Seaview Terrace

First Time Attendee Meet and Greet
Whether you’re a first-time attendee, a student, new professional, or a new member of WSRA, come meet some of your fellow attendees! 

Resort Pavilion
Welcome Celebration Dinner at Semiahmoo Resort
**Dinner included with Full Conference Registration and
with Monday Single Day Registration, Additional Tickets Available
By Contacting WSRA Staff

Monday, May 21, 2018

7:30 - 8:30  Networking Breakfast
8:30 - 9:30 
Semiahmoo Ballroom

Opening Keynote Address:
Allen Langdon, Recycle BC

Allen has been Recycle BC’s managing director since its inception in 2014 and
has led the creation of a province-wide recycling program that efficiently manages residential packaging and printed paper recycling in BC. 
As the Managing Director for Recycle BC, Allen oversees the first 100% Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program in North America where industry has assumed full financial and managerial responsibility for the residential recycling system.

Recycle BC services over 98% of British Columbia through curbside, multi-family or depot collection, ensuring that over 185,000 tonnes of packaging and printed paper are collected from households and depots and recycled.

Allen will kick off the conference programming by diving into how Recycle
BC redesigned curbside recycling!

9:45 - 10:15 

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening & Break
10:30 -11:45  Concurrent Sessions

Successful multicultural engagement - How do you do it? Audience research, community engagement strategies and sound cultural competency principles,
so let’s get started!

Speakers: Michelle Metzler, Waste Management NW; Socorro Medina, Seattle Public Utilities; Eugenia Bogazzi, ECOSS 

Solid waste specialists face big challenges in increasing recycling, composting
and waste prevention behavior change in audiences who are linguistically
isolated because they speak a language other than English in the home or
at work. Our panel will discuss audience research techniques and results,
outreach tactics in single family households and multifamily complexes, successful engagement practices and tools for outreach and cultural competency principles to help you implement this emerging type of outreach in your jurisdiction.

Session Theme: Diversity and Inclusion


Beyond Waste Prevention: Advancing Sustainable Consumption
Through Product Repair

Speakers: Babe O'Sullivan, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality;
Tim Asp, The Repair Association; Kris Beatty, King County Solid Waste Division

Innovative upstream strategies that can shift consumer practices have the
potential to decrease environmental impacts, reduce waste, and promote
sustainable use of materials across their life cycle. These strategies focus on
the production and consumption processes, rather than end of life, touching on
important topics such as product design, consumer choice, and innovations in
local economies. Extending the useful life of products through repair is one
example of how to help reframe consumption. Join leading experts to learn about…

  • sustainable consumption, and what it suggests for more efficient ways to
    meet our materials needs and shift away from the type of mass consumption
    activities that define modern life; 
  • how local and state governments can advance sustainable consumption in their jurisdictions; and 
  • national advocacy organization—the national repair industry
    trade association that advocates for right-to-repair, and the organization’s
    efforts across the country and in Washington State to advance
    right-to-repair legislation.

Session Theme: Innovation and Technology


Commercial Food Waste Prevention – Feeding People and Our Soils,
Not Landfills

Speakers: Domenic Calabro, US EPA Region 10; Zach Hensley, 
Seahawks/First & Goal, Inc; Cindy Spiry, Snoqualmie Casino;
Wes Benson, Taco Time Northwest

This panel will teach attendees about the environmental and social impacts of
wasted food and show them how entities as diverse as a grocer, a sports and
entertainment venue, and a large university are all preventing wasted food, donating edible food to feed hungry people, creating energy and fertilizer from food waste, and creating compost from inedible food waste to feed our soils.  

Session Theme: Food Waste

12:00 - 1:00 
Semiahmoo Ballroom
Lunch and WSRA Annual Meeting
The WSRA Board of Directors and staff will share highlights
of the past year’s activities and achievements, and give you a
sneak peek of what’s to come.

1:15 - 2:30 

Concurrent Sessions

Looking Ahead - Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Cities and Refuse Collection
Speakers: Don Diego Padilla II, FleetMind Solutions Inc.

Put simply, IoT is about connecting and controlling the different objects in our world with the help of the Internet to create Smart Cities. With proliferating IT analytics, cloud computing, smart devices and apps, IoT is rapidly connecting businesses, processes and people on a scale that was previously inconceivable.

Included within a Smart City’s mandate is waste management and the fleets that
collect and dispose of this waste. With strained budgets and growing populations, being smarter about all aspects of waste management is becoming a growing priority. As a result, the waste sector is increasingly embracing IoT thinking. This presentation will examine how waste management organizations globally are now progressively deploying industrial IoT systems to monitor trash, vehicles, drivers and customers to optimize many elements of the essential services offered.

Session Theme: Innovation and Technology


Household Behavior and How to Change it: Cart Studies and Program
Results from across the Country 

Speakers: Cody Marshall, The Recycling Partnership; Michelle Metzler,
Waste Managment NW; and McKenna Morrigan, Cascadia Consulting Group 

How do you get people to recycle more? How can you get households to start
diverting their food scraps? What does it take to reduce contamination? How much more recyclable material can be captured through curbside programs? Local and national experts will answer these questions and more through insights from recently completed behavior change research, pilot programs, and capture rate studies in Washington State and around the country. 

Session Theme: Collaboration


Culturally Competent Education—Inside and Out(reach)
Speakers: Sara Gersten-Rothenberg, Triangle Associates; Patricio Ku,
Triangle Associates; Hannah Scholes, Waste Management NW

The demographics of the communities we serve are rapidly changing and
becoming ever more diverse. What does it mean to be culturally competent in
our work and workplace? Triangle Associates and Waste Management examine
this question by sharing their own experiences exploring diversity, equity and
inclusion (DEI). This session will address the importance of a multifaceted
approach that includes internal diversity, equity and inclusion work, along with
external culturally competent outreach.

First, join Triangle as they share their story as a small business, diving head first
into diversity, equity and inclusion within their organization. They’ll share their
ongoing journey of lessons learned, along with concrete take-aways for bringing
this lens to WRR outreach education. Next, learn how Waste Management works to ensure that their outreach meets the needs of the diverse communities.
They will share insights from specific work on diversifying their Recycle Corps
internship program, multicultural event outreach, door-to-door outreach to
multifamily residents, a bilingual storytelling program and a Spanish language
outreach campaign.

Session attendees will walk away with a framework for DEI in the workplace, as well as concrete take-away strategies for culturally competent outreach and education.

Session Theme: Diversity and Inclusion

2:30 - 3:00 
Break in the Exhibit Hall
  Tours and Onsite Workshops
2:45 - 5:15 

Facility Tour | Alcoa Intalco Tour

WSRA will be touring Alcoa Intalco’s aluminum smelting operations at their
Ferndale location. We’ll also hear about their commitment to sustainability
and their industry leadership in land management, emissions management,
recycling, energy and resource conservation, and workplace safety. 
**This tour is SOLD OUT**

Theme: Innovation and Technology 

3:00 - 5:00 


On-site Workshop | No Waste Cooking Workshop

Join national Sur La Table chef, Joel Gamoran for an onsite workshop focused 
on creating meals, using food waste and scraps. A Seattle native, Joel also 
hosts cooking show SCRAPS for FYI network
**This workshop is $40 - There is limited availability, please contact WSRA Staff**

Theme: Food Waste 

3:00 - 5:00


On-site Workshop | How Did We Get Into This Mess
& What Can We Do About It?

Join Dave Claugus, VP of Pioneer Recycling Services, for a stimulating, provocative & educational discussion of past, current and future recycling markets and how the changing markets are likely to impact our programs and responsibilities.

This workshop is open to all Full Conference and Monday Only Registrants. 

Theme: Markets


6:00 - 8:15 
Semiahmoo Ballroom

Silent Auction Soiree and Supper 
Join us to support WSRA through our Silent Auction and to enjoy dinner and
networking with your fellow attendees! Bid on great packages, and of
course items and gifts made from recycled materials. All silent
auction tables will be closing during this time. Funds raised from the
silent auction will support WSRA.   

**Monday's dinner is included in full conference registration. For additional tickets for guests/spouses or Additional Booth Personnel, please contact WSRA Staff at [email protected]** 

8:30 PM


20/20 Re-Slam 

The second annual 20/20 Re-Slam is a purely social gathering to exchange ideas, energy and share your commitment to recycling! Members of the recycling community show 20 slides, and talk about each for 20 seconds.

Stories are shared and connections are made in this fast-paced slam! The
beauty of 20/20 Slam is that you never know what to expect or what you’re going to learn about, but you know that you’ll be introduced to interesting people. The sky is the limit! 

Have something you want to share? Find out more details HERE
and then send your 2-sentence proposal
to: [email protected]

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

7:30 - 8:30 Semiahmoo Ballroom Networking Breakfast
8:30 - 9:45 
Semiahmoo Ballroom

Plenary Session -
Emerging Waves: Sustainable Materials Management 
Featuring Ron Vance, US EPA and Martin Brown, OR DEQ

Join national and regional leaders to discuss the ins and outs of Sustainable Materials Management (SMM). We will learn from experts on how this
framework has been adopted throughout the region and across the country,
how it advances environmental outcomes and how it impacts the recycling industry. Attendees will also learn how SMM is being incorporated in the
long-term planning of programs in Washington.  

9:45 - 10:15 
Break with Exhibitors
10:15 - 11:30 Concurrent Sessions

“How They Hangin?"– A Market Update
Speakers: Dave Keeling, Steel Recycling Institute; Matthew D. Zwicker, Strategic Materials; Terry Webber, American Forest and Paper Association; Emily Tipaldo, American Chemistry Council

The markets for recycled material are volatile enough without the threat of
government policy initiatives such as the announced bans by the Chinese
Communist Government. Come find out how the domestic markets for various
materials such as plastic, paper, glass and steel will withstand the potential return of this additional supply of materials. The panel will also provide information on best practices for their respective materials. The panel looks forward to fielding your questions about these materials.  

Session Theme: Markets


Exponential Community Outreach Success Through Partnership MAGIC!
Speakers: Jennifer Goodhart, CIty of Bellevue; Sam Wilder,
Wilder Environmental Consulting; Patrick Malloy, King County
Housing Authority; Ken Nsimbi,King County Housing Authority;
Nicole Jackson, 
Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue

Learn about the “Greener Living Challenge” issued by City of Bellevue, Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue and King County Housing Authority.  The Greener Living Challenge was a six week program where local experts taught 200 students in-depth, interactive lessons about waste reduction and recycling, surface water pollution, water conservation and energy conservation.  Participants were in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue after school programs in King County Housing Authority Properties. Students were challenged weekly to bring topic related tools and information home to teach to their families in their household language. Participate in some of the interactive activities students were engaged in. Find out how these agencies maximized success by working together. Gain tools to create your own effective community challenge and identify partners in the WSRA community.

Session Theme: Collaboration


ReMaking Recycling
Speakers: Nikyta Palmisani, Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District (LSWDD)

The “maker” movement took off with the advent of the internet allowing for
open source sharing of previously patent protected designs in technology.
Makers use technology to innovate and invent new solutions to current challenges.

What if current materials we view as recyclables were repurposed for better,
broader uses in concert with Maker spaces and emerging technology? In this
workshop LSWDD proposed to discuss how current makers are using
new technology to localize recycling and manufacturing. On Lopez Island, the
community has created a ReMake Lab which allows community members to
shred plastic water bottles and extrude the material into 3D printer filament
for use in 3D printers. Come learn about how additive manufacturing is
changing the world, and see all three machines live and in action in this
innovative and interactive workshop. Also learn about the possible future
of ReMaking materials locally into value added and usable goods.   

Theme: Innovation and Technology 


11:45 -1:15 
Semiahmoo Ballroom

Lunch and Plenary Session: Awards Lunch & Presentations
by Award Recipients

Join our outstanding 2018 Recycler of the Year Award recipients
to discuss their accomplishments, challenges, and plans for recycling
success. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from,
network with, and celebrate some of the best in the industry!

1:20 - 5:30  Tour

Facility Tour | Recycle BC Tour 
After we hear an overview from Keynote Speaker Allen Langdon on Monday,
get an inside look and tour Recycle BC’s post collection system run by Green
by Nature just across the border in Surrey BC on Tuesday afternoon. We’ll tour
co-located facilities. First we’ll visit the Container Recovery Facility where the
3-dimensional materials are sorted by over 10 optical sorters into various plastics and metals steams.  Then we will follow the plastics next door to the Merlin Plastics recycling facility where the plastic containers are turned into recycled plastic resin pellets and flake. **This tour is SOLD OUT** 

**This tour will leave immediately after lunch. A valid Passport is REQUIRED.**

1:30 - 2:45

Afternoon Breakout Session


The Nexus of Governments and Non-Profits in the Quest for Reducing Food Waste
Speakers: Greg Gachowsky, WA Dept. of Ecology; Mark Peterson, Sustainable Connections

Food is the single-largest item by weight going to landfills throughout the state
yet one in six families struggle with access to food each month.  Learn about
existing and past models that use innovative partnerships with non-profits to
rescue surplus edible food from going to the landfill from businesses and
institutions to instead feed those in need.  Presenters Greg Gachowsky of
the Department of Ecology and Mark Peterson of Sustainable Connections will
each share real world knowledge and examples from both the governmental
and non-profit perspectives. The session will explore the opportunities,
barriers, and benefits surrounding this work.

Session Theme: Food Waste

2:45 - 3:30


Exhibit Hall Closing Celebration and Networking Social
3:30 - 6:00  Free Time
6:15 - 7:00 
Prefunction Space

Pre-Banquet Reception and Wine Pull
Start off an evening of fun and celebration with hors d’oeuvres 
and beverages with your fellow attendees. Participate in the Wine Pull 
to support WSRA. For $20 you may “pull” a numbered cork from 
the basket and win the bottle (ranging in value from $10 - $100) with the
corresponding number.

7:00 - 9:00 
Semiahmoo Ballroom

WSRA Annual Banquet & Live Auction
Presented by Waste Connections, Inc. 
Join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding 
Recyclers of the Year and honor longtime recyclers as they are 
inducted into WSRA’s Recycling Hall of Fame. Bid on items in our 
Live Auction (to support WSRA) and Raise the Paddle (to support 
The Recycling Foundation) as we continue to celebrate “Navigating the
Waves of Change”. This is an evening not to miss. Semi-formal attire 
is encouraged.

**Additional tickets for guests/spouses can be purchased by
contacting WSRA Staff.** 

9:00 - 12:00 
San Juan Ballroom
President's Reception

Join WSRA Board President Dustin Bender for dancing and
fun following the banquet!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

8:30 - 9:30 
Semiahmoo Ballroom
Networking Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 
Semiahmoo Ballroom

Closing Keynote Address:
Climate Change - Education, Empowerment & Change 
Kelsey R. Ternes and Wendy Dubrow, Climate Reality Project

Two of former-Vice President Al Gore’s renowned Climate Reality Leaders, 
Kelsey Ternes and Wendy Dubrow, will give an engaging and inspiring presentation that addresses three fundamental questions about climate change: 1) "Must We Change?" What is climate change and its impacts? 2) "Can We Change?" Do we have the technology and resources to transition? Lastly, 3) "Will We Change?" Evidence of change, on large and small scales. And how you can be a part of it!!  Let's explore how can the recycling industry make an impact and what have we already accomplished!

10:00 AM  Closing Remarks and Adjourn
11:30 AM

Visit and Tour Bellingham's RE Store
Bellingham's RE Store will be offering a behind-the-scenes tour for WSRA attendees as they head out on their way on Wednesday 5/23 at 11:30 AM. The RE Store is a reclaimed and used building materials retail store in Bellingham, WA. They are a program of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. Re Store offers the community, the opportunity to reuse through their retail store, as well as actively reclaiming materials through their salvage services, and upcycling material through their Revision Division handmade furniture operation. This tour is a free option for all Conference attendees and we ask that you please, RSVP to Anne Piacentino at [email protected].

Tour Info: Transportation is not provided for this tour. This tour will be moving in and out of doors, so proper weather attire is encouraged. 
The RE Store | 2309 Meridian St, Bellingham, WA
Directions from Semiahmoo Resort
Details and parking map can be found HERE