Welcome to the 42nd Annual WSRA Conference! We can’t wait to REUnite with you May 15 – 18th, 2022.

Sunday, May 15, 2022



Ongoing Activities

Art Gallery

Between breakout sessions, enjoy unique artwork in the Recology AIR Gallery outside of the San Juan Ballroom. The Artist in Residence (AIR) Program at Recology is a unique art and education program that provides King County artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a studio space at the Recology recycling facility. By supporting artists who work with recycled materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.

Game & Puzzle Swap

Pack a board game, puzzle, or similar activity to swap with others! 


10:30am – 2:00pm

Loomis Golf Course

Golf at Loomis Golf Course

Chris Piercy will lead an informal group of golfers with a 10:3am tee time at Loomis Golf Course. Details about this activity will be sent directly from Chris. 


2:00pm - 4:00pm


Scavenger Hunt

This exciting and memorable scavenger hunt will randomly bring groups together, where you will discover not only new surroundings but new WSRA members as well. Download the App, grab your individual picnic box and away you go! This may be a game changer, don’t miss out! Prizes will be provided! Further detailed information will be provided at registration.


5:00pm – 6:00pm

Stars Terrace

First Time Attendees Activity

Join us for the First-Timers Activity if you’ve never been to conference before!


6:00pm - 8:00pm

Stars Terrace

Conference Welcome Celebration Dinner

Join us for the first night in Semiahmoo before the conference kicks off in the morning. Meet attendees in an informal setting out on the Stars Terrace.

Monday, May 16th, 2022


7:30am - 8:30am

Semiahmoo Ballroom Pre-Function Area

Networking Breakfast -& Exhibitors Open

Breakfast to-go boxes allow you to eat where you please – outside on the front lawn on one of the many tables, inside the dining tables, or in the comfort of your room.


8:30am - 9:45am

Semiahmoo Ballroom

Keynote Address

By Senator Mona Das

Senator Mona Das will share her inspiration and motivation to focus on waste reduction and pollution prevention policies. Senator Das will explain how she pulls together different perspectives across private, non-profit and government sectors to inform, empower, and achieve shared goals, particularly when it comes to solid waste issues. She will share her vision for how Washington will achieve true sustainable materials management, through partnerships with diverse communities and a dedication to reduce our environmental impact.


10:00am - 11:15am

A Session: Semiahmoo Ballroom; B Session: Lopez / Pender, C Session: Saltspring / Saturna

Breakout Sessions

1A. Boosting Recycling in Washington with EPR: The Story of Paint and Mattress Recycling

By: Alex Erzen, King County Solid Waste Division; Rick Gilbert, Kitsap County Solid Waste Division; Kim Harless, PaintCare; Nick DiBartolo, PaintCare; Fabio Scaldaferri, Mattress; Mike O’Donnell, Mattress Recycling Council; Terry McDonald, DR3; Mike Zachman, Recycle Warehouse

Washington has Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws for electronics, mercury-containing lights, medicine, paint, and solar panels. While paint is the most recent EPR program to launch in Washington, Oregon just passed a new mattress EPR law in March. We start the story with Washington’s PaintCare program that will be told from the perspectives of a local government and the paint industry. The story’s second act is about mattress recycling along the West Coast and its potential in Washington to provide more accessible recycling services, recover valuable materials, and create local jobs across the state. Based on the lessons that you will learn from both industries and our neighbors in Oregon and British Columbia, you decide how the story ends.

1B. The Future is Reusable: Growing a Culture of Reuse & Repair in the PNW

By: Liz Start, Start Consulting representing City of Portland; Chris Diplock, The Thingery; Christy Chow, Cascadia Consulting Group; Jocelyn Gaudi Quarrell, GO Box PDX; Kami Bruner, Zero Waste Washington

The reuse, repair, and share economy is alive and flourishing across the PNW. In this session, you’ll hear from innovators in WA, OR and British Columbia who are working to shift both deep cultural norms and pandemic-accelerated consumption and disposal habits to more sustainable models. Panelists will share how they’re working to embed reusable food ware systems, lending libraries, and repair into the infrastructure of our economy and the fabric of our society. Find out what’s happening and what you can do to help it thrive in your community through cross-sector collaboration and bold commitments!

1C. Meaningful Multicultural Outreach & Engagement

By: Preston Peck, City of Tacoma Solid Waste; Josh Christy, City of Tacoma Solid Waste; Joel Kohlstedt, WM; Laura Tatiana Areiza Serna, City of Tacoma

In this session, speakers will discuss the importance of cultural competency, equitable engagement practices, and popular education as tools for partnering with residents on waste reduction and recycling education, while building relationships in the community. Hear about how they adapted proven practices for educating residents in diverse communities through trusted ambassadors, program challenges, and opportunities. This session will also dive into unique outreach methods to better connect with your target audience – be ready for some engagement!


11:30am - 1:00pm

Semiahmoo Ballroom Pre-Function Area

Lunch, Exhibitor Tradeshow & DEI Meetup

To-go boxes available for lunch to eat outside, in a networking session, or if you need to take a break elsewhere.

DEI Informal Meetup

WSRA has developed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee that will serve as a new and permanent  branch of the organization. WSRA is beginning this DEI journey knowing it will not be easy and it will not be quick, but that it is crucial for the long-term health of our organization and the industries our members represent. As we kickoff these efforts, the WSRA wants to hear from you! Join us for an informal lunch for a short overview of the DEI committee’s vision. We will then host a group discussion to hear your ideas on WSRA’s role in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.


1:15pm - 2:30pm

A Session: Semiahmoo Ballroom; B Session: Lopez / Pender, C Session: Saltspring / Saturna

Breakout Sessions

2A. 2022 Legislative Bills: Success, Challenges, and Lessons Learned

By:  Heather Trim, Zero Waste Washington; Paul Jewell, Washington State Association of Counties; Carl Schroeder, Association of Washington Cities; Julie Robertson, WA State Department of Ecology; Adrian Tan, King County Solid Waste Division; Preston Peck, City of Tacoma; Ashley Evans, King County Hazardous Waste Management Program

A panel presentation followed by Q&A from the audience discussing the 2022 legislative session, including what bills were introduced and how they fared along with barriers and opportunities, and a look towards the 2023 legislative session. Presenters will also discuss the implementation of laws that have passed in the past few years.

2B. Innovative Approaches to Contamination Reduction

By: Stacey Auer, City of Redmond; Logan Harvey, Recology; Erin Gagnon, Ridwell

Non-traditional programs are needed more than ever to lower contamination rates. Learn how to effectively reduce contamination through innovative slotted lid programs, COVID-friendly virtual workshops, and doorstep collection events. Government, hauler, and private sector panelists will discuss how they’ve found success in thinking outside the box. Session attendees can bring a bag of plastic film or textiles (common MRF contaminants) for recycling through Ridwell.


2C. New Market Development Opportunities

By: Andy Smith, King County; Robert Duff, WA Department of Commerce; Erin Adams, Seattle Good Business Network

Hear about recent developments that provide support for a more circular economy in Washington State for recyclable materials. Presenters will describe NextCycle Washington, Industrial Symbiosis, Washington’s Materials Marketplace, and circular business design for innovations in recycling and markets.



3:00pm - 5:00pm


Facility Tours

Choose from Tour #1: Lautenbach Recycling or Tour #2: Re Use Stores in Bellingham

Tour #1: Lautenbach Recycling
Join Lautenbach Recycling and SSC Inc. for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Slater Road MRF that handles all of Whatcom County’s residential curbside recycling and much of its commercial recycling. We’ll view raw collected materials and see how they’re processed and baled at the facility and talk about the domestic markets that purchase the materials to transform them into new products. We look forward to a Q&A discussion with tour participants along the way.

Tour #2: Re Use Stores in Bellingham
The RE Store is a non-profit program with a retail location in Bellingham, WA. They exist to divert reusable building materials from the landfill and they do this with a focus on reuse, community, and resilience. On the tour, you’ll learn about the various programs that occur at The RE Store. This includes Salvage Services, Manufacturing Waste Diversion, the Community Jobs Training Program, the Revision Division workshop and gallery, and of course, the store containing reclaimed building materials, vintage décor, and home furnishings.

Ragfinery is a nonprofit retail store and collective in Bellingham dedicated to educating the community about textile waste, creative reuse and mending. Donations and purchases of fabric, supplies, and products from their retail shop help divert waste from the landfill, support local jobs, and promote a sustainable local economy. You will tour their shop’s operations and hear about how Ragfinery obtains unwanted textiles and upcycles them via a training business that provides transitional jobs for low income clients of partner social service agencies and schools.  




Dinner on Your Own

Tours will be stopping in Bellingham for dinner-on-your own.

Attendees that do not go on tours have several options on site for dinner at the resort, or can go into Birch Bay or Blaine for several options on your own.


8:30pm - 9:00pm

Sunset Happy Hour for Scott Campbell

Join us at the fire pits closest to Packer Bar & Grill to raise a glass to Scott! A passionate supporter of the recycling industry and its people, Scott served on the Washington State Recycling Association Board from 2002-2018. He is dearly missed by his WSRA and Waste Connections families. Grab a nightcap from the bar, roast s’mores over the bonfire, and enjoy the sunset (8:48 PM) over Semiahmoo Bay.

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022


7:45am - 9:15am

Semiahmoo Ballroom Pre-Function Area

Networking Breakfast & Exhibitors Open

Breakfast to-go boxes allow you to eat where you please – outside on the front lawn on one of the many tables, inside the dining tables, or in the comfort of your room.


9:15am - 10:15am

Semiahmoo Ballroom

Recycler of the Year Awards

Presented by WSRA

Join us for the Recycler of the Year Awards.


10:30am - 11:45am

A Session: Semiahmoo Ballroom; B Session: Lopez / Pender, C Session: Saltspring / Saturna

Breakout Sessions

3A. Refocusing on Reduction: Waste Reduction in Schools and Food Waste

By: Heather Church, Washington State Department of Ecology; Jade Monroe, Washington State Department of Ecology; Kris Major, City of Spokane

This session will discuss waste reduction efforts occurring around the state through the Waste Not Washington School Awards and the Use Food Well Washington Plan. Local governments and businesses are crucial partners for waste reduction efforts in schools and in communities addressing consumption concerns. Similarly, we all have the obligation to use food well and to reduce wasted food and food waste. Join us to hear what programs are in place, opportunities to explore, and key recommendations for reducing waste in your communities.

3B. Overcoming Public Recycling Barriers with Nonprofit Partners

By: Faith Wimberley, Washington State Department of Ecology; Brandi Hutton, Toward Zero Waste; Sarah Jo Lightner, Methow Recycles; Xenia Dolovova, Zero Waste Washington

Partnering with nonprofit organizations is one strategic way waste management companies and governments can solve otherwise intractable obstacles to meet their business objectives. Presenters highlight innovations in rural, suburban, and urban settings, including Methow Recycles’ maximizing on food bank delivery routes for recycling collection; Sustainable Connections’ niche role between restaurants and local governments; and Zero Waste Washington’s double win repairing damaged furniture for use in refugee resettlement. This session introduces environmental nonprofit organizations in Washington and how nonprofits’ agile organizational structures and connections to hard-to-reach community groups make them excellent partners for recycling initiatives.

3C. Deconstruction to Reconstruction – Circular Economy in the Modern Age

By: Theresa Blaine, US Environmental Protection Agency; Dave Bennink, Re-Use Consulting; Katie Kennedy, Seattle Public Utilities

Materials from existing buildings slated for removal can be used as a valuable resource in future building projects. Rather than sending those materials to a landfill or a recycling facility, deconstruction techniques can help preserve those materials to be reused in another structure. These reclaimed materials from deconstruction can reduce waste-related costs, help pass along affordable building materials in a future building and reduce environmental impacts from the production and distribution of new materials.


12:00pm - 1:30pm

Semiahmoo Ballroom

Lunch & WSRA Annual Meeting

WSRA Annual meeting recapping the previous year of the organization.


2:30pm - 3:45pm

A Session: Semiahmoo Ballroom; B Session: Lopez / Pender, C Session: Saltspring / Saturna

Breakout Sessions

4A. Workshop: Building Partnerships for Waste Reduction & Sustainability

By: Kari Ann Elling, Pierce County Planning & Public Works; Nicole Avendano, Pierce County Planning & Public Works

Participants should come prepared to brainstorm, network, and re-envision how they do their education and outreach. They will be guided through several examples of how to create and leverage partnerships (internal and external to their organizations) to reach new audiences, create efficiency, and show unity in values and messaging to their residents/customers. Examples will include partnering to teach and provide waste reduction services in schools including providing professional development clock hours for teachers, educating residents on local issues (i.e. waste, climate change, organics management), and partnering to help community members increase their food resiliency by growing and maintaining edible gardens. We will additionally share our approach to operationalizing equity and how we can better center it as we continue to foster these partnerships and relationships.

4B. Achieving Equity in Multifamily Recycling Education

By: Erik Makinson, Resource Synergy; Asami Tanimoto, The Recycling Partnership; Sam Lake, City of Tacoma

More than 22 million American households live in multifamily properties, and more than half of those households do not have on-property recycling that is on par with their trash service. Multifamily recycling programs often rely on individual private property owners to prioritize recycling services and to educate the residents, who frequently come from more culturally and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds. Effective strategies are needed to reach beyond single-family homes to tackle this challenging sector. Come learn what communities in Washington, Oregon, and California are doing to improve recycling for all multifamily residents.

4C. 20/20: Recycling Markets Variety Show!

By: Aidan Mills and Gord Johnson, Northstar Clean Technologies; Erin Gagnon, Ridwell; Jeffrey Eis, Nucor; Tom Vaughn, DTG Recycle; Pete Moe, Orcas Recycling Services; Cat Gowan, King County

Brace yourself for a fast-paced, engaging, and highly informative dive into the recycling process of a variety of tough-to-recycle materials. Six presentations will follow a 20/20 format, showing 20 slides for 20 seconds each, with 15 minutes at the end of the session for questions. Industry experts will speak about the collection, recycling process, and end markets for asphalt, plastic film, steel, polystyrene, glass, and biosolids.


5:30pm - 7:00pm


Pre-Banquet Reception

The Pre-Banquet reception includes appetizers, silent auction, and the wine pull!


7:00pm - 8:45pm



Gala Awards & Live Auction

The Gala will take place under the stars this year out in the tent pavilion. We will acknowledge our Hall-of-Fame Awards and have the live auction. 


9:00pm - 12:00am



President’s Reception

We will conclude the evening with the Presidents Reception immediately following the live auction including music and dancing. The party will trickle over to the dedicated bonfire pits and decks on the waterfront.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022


8:30am - 9:30am

Stars Terrace & Victoria Courtyard

Networking Breakfast – To Go Boxes Available

Breakfast to-go boxes allow you to eat where you please – outside on the front lawn on one of the many tables, inside the dining tables, or in the comfort of your room.


9:30am - 10:30am

Semiahmoo Ballroom

Nancy Lee will share 10 Social Marketing Success Stories for Protecting the Environment. Each story will demonstrate the Social Marketing framework, describing the environmental issue being addressed, priority audiences, desired behaviors, audience insights and marketing intervention tools that contributed to their success.



Semiahmoo Ballroom

Closing Comments & Adjourn

Our final farewell!