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Global Waste Crisis Plenary

10:00 – 11:30 am
Temple University Mitten Hall

This plenary covers the basic components of the waste crisis, from global to local scales. Speakers will discuss plastic pollution, the planned obsolescence economy, inadequate waste management infrastructure, and inequitable food distribution, and how these topics contribute to a changing climate. Focused on the “Problem”, this plenary will prime attendees to explore innovative solutions and tangible actions to address waste.

Case Study Sessions

11:45 – 12:15 pm

Re-Cycling: Creating Student Powered Waste Solutions

Room 100 Ritter Hall
Hannah Tizedes, Raisa Lenau

The Re-Cycling Program was implemented to manage a portion of MSU’s solid waste through student powered sustainable initiatives, innovations and collaborations. This program reduces the amount of trucks on campus routes while simultaneously decreasing carbon emissions and curating efficiency. A small number of students cycle campus routes in order to collect campus generated waste within specific buildings. We are currently expanding our program to pick up larger quantities of materials, largely encompassing compost collections. This case study will inform students of our continuous efforts and vision to help lead MSU towards a future of zero waste. The possibilities are endless with student powered initiatives and a couple of bikes!


Campaigning Against Coffee Cups

Room 101 Ritter Hall
Molly Reetz

The goal of this session is to give others an idea of how to educate students at their universities on the wastefulness of coffee cups, by explaining in detail how we did it. I will discuss the campaign Western did (The Coffee Cup Challenge) to encourage students to use reusable mugs instead of paper coffee cups. It involved tabling and a prize raffle. We used an art installation of 2,500 coffee cups that we collected as our educational piece during tabling, this is the number of cups we use each day on our campus. We will discuss the planning and implementation process of the whole event from working with university departments to advertising and getting prizes from local businesses. I will create an event planning worksheet activity for a learning takeaway. The presentation will last 15-20 minutes with 10-15 minutes left for people to work through the worksheet and ask questions.



3D Glasses Required

Room 102 Ritter Hall
Alex Greanias, Trent Werner

Zero Waste events can be difficult. How can your program assist both small and large events to divert materials from the landfill? Learn from our Zero Waste Coordinator student employee on best practices and lessons learned. Topics include starting with purchasing the best materials for your campus waste streams, 3D signage, Zero Hero tents, and training the trainer. We’ll provide lots of visuals along with discussion of how not to get stuck pulling trash bags at events.


The Ups and Downs of Banning Plastic Bags from Campus Eateries

Room 103 Ritter Hall
Catherine Chervenak, Heather Eby

We will cover how our group conducted research, coordinated with stakeholders, promoted infrastructure change, and motivated student consumers in order to prevent the waste of 3,750 bags per week from two campus dining locations. Some of the specific steps we will cover include observational studies, campus PR campaigns, meeting with campus dining services, and surveying students. The goal of this session is to share our experiences with removing plastic bags from campus locations and to communicate the lessons we learned about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to implementing behavior and infrastructure changes. We will engage the audience by covering the process in segments and stopping after each segment so that people can work in groups to speculate what they would do next. We would then go over what our group chose to do next and how this worked or did not. The mode of presentation will involve the audience in the troubleshooting process and work to spur fresh ideas.


Plastic Material Recovery at UC Berkeley

Room 105 Ritter Hall
Scott Silva, Jenny Chiu

The Zero Waste Research Center at UC Berkeley is working to create the first Materials Recycling Facility at UC Berkeley. This facility, located at the Global Bay Campus in Richmond, will process the University’s plastic and recycling waste through proper collection, sorting, and redistribution. This project will allow for the University of California, Berkeley to expand recycling and reuse programs, reduce its carbon footprint, and create research and education opportunities for its students and the community of Richmond. we are working to incorporate 3-D printing into the project by reprocessing our plastic waste into 3-D printing filament. We have finished applying for a CalRecycle Grant in the recent months. This project will be one of the first of its kind, and will greatly improve recycling efforts on university-wide and local levels. We will present visual examples of the materials recovery process, and will have hand on activities and discussions on waste management operations within universities.


From Falling Racks to Giving Back: a Campus Thrift Store’s Story

Room 109 Ritter Hall
Emily Messer, Maura Kay, Forest Goebel

We plan to present a tutorial about opening a campus thrift store, and lead a critical discussion about how to engage students who are not especially passionate about sustainability. Our goal is to show how a door open approach to environmental practices can lead to small but steady progress. By incorporating all of the pillars of sustainability, we present a model that can be personalized and molded into any zero-waste initiative. The presentation will consist of the process of opening a store, operations, and engagement. 30 minute presentation, 20 minute Q&A.


Tracking Trash in Haiti

Room 107 Ritter Hall
Lisa Willey, Nathan Cronauer, Thanex Louis

“Tracking Trash in Haiti” is a multi phase project which grew from a visit to a friend’s family in Haiti.  While in Haiti, we conducted water quality research in our friends hometown. We were very concerned not only by the lack of proper waste disposal but also by the results of our water testing. In response, we started an organization called Konbit for Sustainable Development which embodies the spirit of Konbit, a Haitian word meaning “to come together”.  When you do Konbit, you are working cooperatively to achieve a common goal, such as planting a field.  We are working cooperatively here and with friends and family in Haiti to follow the waste stream in Haiti through technology to educate ourselves and Haitians about waste disposal alternatives, and to also continue water quality research, while hopefully finding connections between poor water quality and waste disposal.


Move Out Programs: How UMass New2U Turned a Mess Into Success

Room 111 Ritter Hall
Arianna Moscone

In 2013, Campus Sustainability Fellows at UMass Amherst saw just how much waste can be generated when over 13,000 students move out, and were horrified to find perfectly usable items overflowing in trash rooms and dumpsters. This group of students decided they needed to create an innovative solution to this problem, and so the idea of New2U was born. Through strategic planning, collaborating with campus administrators and stakeholders, and a robust group of passionate dumpster divers, New2U has grown into a campus-wide program and a Sustainability Point of Pride for the University. Come learn about how New2U turned a mess into success, and how you can do it, too!


U of R Queer and Trans Clothing Exchange

Room 108 Ritter Hall
Andie Burkey


Skills Building Workshops

1:30 – 2:20 pm

Beyond Recycling 101

Room 100 Ritter Hall
Gwen Larned

We all know the basics (or think we do) but the world of recycling can quickly become complex. This workshop will cover the basics of how materials are designed, sorted and remanufactured. Attendees will be able to look at an item and assess whether or not it’s truly recyclable and most importantly WHY. From paper vs receipts, soup can lids, bottle caps, CD’s, to this plastic bag vs that plastic bag. All your burning recycling questions, answered.


From Ideas to Change

Room 109 Ritter Hall
Andrej Patoski

Want to create a positive change but not sure how? Have an idea but wondering where to start? Join us in looking at how to get inspired by your everyday environment. We will go through process of project management from inception to implementation, with a particular emphasis on research. This workshop will prepare you for being successful when facing the challenges of the real world by fostering the your understanding of the tools of successful project management.


Community Based Social Marketing

Room 101 Ritter Hall
Aaron Witham, Melissa Shepard

Too many zero-waste initiatives suffer by not utilizing psychology and sociology research to effectively change behavior. The methodology of community-based social marketing, proposed by Doug McKenzie-Mohr, tackles behavioral change strategies using techniques that have been proven to work in multiple sustainability initiatives across the United States and Canada. In this workshop, attendees will receive a crash course on community-based social marketing and will workshop a behavioral change they would like to implement on their own campus.


Get in Where You Fit In: Building our Collective Steps Toward Liberation

Kiva Auditorium Ritter Hall
Ansley Pope

Come join us for a deeper dive into PLAN’s Theory of Change and Points of Intervention philosophy and how we can use these as a framing to challenge systems that are impacting our people and our environment. Outcomes of this workshop will give participants skills and knowledge to understand their role in this movement and inspire them to intervene in creative and innovative ways.


Procurement for a Plastic-Free Campus

Walk Auditorium Ritter Hall
Annie Davis, Doorae Shin, Guayaki

Campus procurement rules and systems can be mystifying, and often cause roadblocks for students as they plan projects and push for material bans. During this panel, we will discuss the ins and outs of campus contracts (with haulers, vendors, etc), Group Purchasing Organizations, and the best way for students to make their voices heard in decisions that are “above their pay grade.”


Creating Space: Using Anti-Oppression Practices in the Zero Waste Movement

Room 111 Ritter Hall
Felicia Teter

We live in a country founded on genocide, built on slavery, and continued through capitalism enforced by racism. We have been brought up in a social system where sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, misogyny, classism, racism, ableism, and other -isms are the norm. Yet in our fight for social justice, we must strive toward making these practices the exception. Come learn how to seek out & center marginalized voices & experiences, creating space for all to learn and thrive within the Zero-Waste Movement.


Talking the Talk: Navigating Conversations Across Different Perspectives

Room 107 Ritter Hall
Sonya Buglion Gluck

This workshop focuses on how we (as waste conscious people) talk to less waste-minded people about zero waste. We will begin with a brief overview of problematic trends in the zero waste movement, including racism and classism in zero waste media, self righteousness, and the incommensurability of personal and societal change. We will practice working across difference in various waste management conundrums through role play and discussion. Finally, we will reconvene to share what we’ve learned and one step we can take to more effectively, conscientiously and thoughtfully work across difference in the ways we talk about trash.


Understanding Hauling Metrics: A Student’s Perspective

Room 113  Ritter Hall
Hazel Chew

Zero Waste by 2020, 90% diversion rate. Where are all these numbers coming from? In a world where data and numbers are so important in tracking progress, I will provide the rundown on how waste is broken into digits. Everything from who are haulers to actual calculations will be introduced and demonstrated. Come learn about waste and numbers, and how it will benefit in the progress towards a zero-waste campus!


Resource Recovery

Room 108 Ritter Hall
Emily Anne King, Allegra Nolan

We will cover the basics of recovering resources in a few different ways in a 10-15 minute presentation on dumpstering and maximum waste diversion tips. Then we will break out into groups. Break out groups may receive a list of items found in a dumpster and be asked to come up with a plan for diverting as much as possible from the landfill. Or they may receive a bag of trash to sort through and carry out this plan (depends on if situation allows dumpstering). At the end, we will leave time for anecdotal sharing so that we can hear creative solutions others have come up with. Aside from verbal sharing, pro-tips could be written down and posted somewhere as a permanent resource after the workshop.


Messaging Through Art

Room 105 Ritter Hall
Jackie Fawn


Zero Waste Events

Room 110 Ritter Hall
Phoebe Parker and Scott Silva



Room 102 Ritter Hall
Merrilee Schoen


Solidarity in the Movement

Room 103 Ritter Hall
Ahmina Maxey


Solutions Panels

3:00pm – 4:15pm

Zero Waste Beyond Campus

Walk Auditorium Ritter Hall
Mary Ann Boyer, Felicia Teter, Nic and Philabundance, Jackie Fawn

Wondering how to you pursue your passions for Zero Waste after college? This panel convenes individuals who are fighting waste through various disciplines and vocations, from consulting with businesses and local government, to community organizing and activism, to art & education. Join the panel to explore how to create a path that addresses waste amidst your other passions and skillsets!


Business Innovation: Restructure and Redesign

Kiva Auditorium Ritter Hall
Annie Davis, Jeff Betts, Alex Danovitch

While it’s true that the greed of mega-corporations hold much fault in the waste crisis, many businesses are also acting as a force for good. This panel will explore the ways that innovative companies and organizations are rethinking products, packaging, materials, and company structure to build systems with a positive impact.


Campus Wide Zero Waste Planning

Mitten Hall
Chris & Morgan, Jennifer Allott, Bo Solomon, Maggie Kraft

This panel will cover all of the logistics to take into consideration when incorporating Zero Waste into campus-wide operations. We will start by discussing models through which to assess existing waste management operations, identifying successes and gaps for improvement. We will then discuss ways to fill this gaps, including how to prioritize with food service providers and other vendors on campus, close the loop on campus through Surplus operations, and unite all your initiatives through an education and outreach campaigns.

Networking and Activity Break

4:15pm – 5:00pm

Zero Waste Period Alternatives

Mitten Hall
Maya Critchfield

Have you ever wondered if there were less wasteful, healthier, and cheaper ways of dealing with your period than pads and tampons? There are! Come learn about menstrual cups, cloth pads, period panties, and more during the Networking Break! Are you already hooked on one of these products? Come join the discussion! All are welcome.


Dear Discarded Object, What’s Your Story

Mitten Hall
Kira Hegeman, Abigail West, Lucia Thome, Billy Dufala

This installation will take place throughout the conference day. The goal of the installation is for participants to view and interact with found objects that have been thrown away or left behind. Through the installation, visitors are invited to “adopt” a discarded object, which they can choose to take home or leave as part of the installation. In adopting an object, participants are asked to give the object a name, date and place of birth, and origin story or biography. Through this, we hope that participants will think about these discarded trash items as more than consumables to be thrown away, recognizing their history and connection to people’s lives and local environments.


Action & Implementation Sessions

5:00pm – 5:50pm

#WearWeShare: Host a Clothing Swap on Your Campus

Room 100 Ritter Hall
Timi Komonibo

I would like my session to be a combination of a (Action and Implementation) workshop and a demo. In my workshop, I will teach students how to host a closet swap on their college campus. During the convergence, after my session, they will have an opportunity to participate in an actual swap. I will teach the audience what a clothing swap is- an event where a group of people swap clothes, accessories (hats, scarves, jewelry), shoes. In my session, I will cover the social, economical, environmental, and philanthropic advantages of swapping. The goal of this session will be to present a model of the sharing economy that can be adapted for any college campus or community. The audience will walk away with a digital guide on how to host their own campus swap event. I will go through the steps of planning, promoting, and implementing the event. To add some engagement during the session, I will borrow Nim Dhillon’s idea to have a mini zero waste swap during the session. I’ll use this to demonstrate the concept that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. I will also demonstrate ways to restyle and reuse second-hand items.


Moving Out Without Throwing Out

Room 100 Ritter Hall
Paul Henjes

This workshop focuses on both move-out and back-to-school sales and how they can become less wasteful and more sustainable. Looking at Tufts University, this workshop will examine successes and challenges the university has faced in implementing a sustainable move-out and back-to-school sale. Considering the social element of sustainability, this workshop will also ask the question: how can we reduce waste through sustainable move-out while also improving social campus climate?. The workshop will consist of a presentation with opportunities for sharing of ideas, experiences, and questions.


How Waste Reduction Initiatives can Address Wasted Potential

Room 102 Ritter Hall
Andie Burkey, Mars Ballantyne

This workshop will focus on getting the most out of our waste reduction initiatives. I will discuss waste reduction initiatives that students are doing and pinpoint on how they can expand to provide support for vulnerable groups on campus and in their communities. I will be using my personal experience with the Queer & Trans Clothing Exchange to talk about listening to the needs of others & expanding waste reduction initiatives accordingly. I will highlight what steps I took to make this happen, as well the leadership skills that helped me get there (spoiler: a lot of networking was involved). In addition, I would like to provide some general tips and resources for others. Afterwards, I’d like to hear about the waste reduction initiatives that students are working on and break up into small groups for a more program-specific discussion. These discussions will be facilitated by pre-prepared questions (work in progress) to help students brainstorm & stay focused. We will then get back together & share our outcomes with the whole group to find any overarching themes. By the end of the workshop, students should feel empowered to go back to their campus and engage & support one another.


Campus Surplus Programs

Room 103 Ritter Hall
Hannah Tizedes, Raisa Lenau

Surplus programs on college campuses are an example of how recycling can capture materials beyond the traditional paper and plastic. Not only can they facilitate an increase in campus diversion rates but they can also provide a means for programs to be financially independent; which is valuable when navigating the volatile market of selling post consumer materials. Michigan State University has had a successful surplus program for several years now. We will go into depth on funding, diversion, market possibilities, benefits and difficulties when creating your very own surplus program.


Implementing and Operating a Thrift Store

Room 105 Ritter Hall
Emily Messer, Maura Kay, Forest Goebel

We plan to present a tutorial about opening a campus thrift store, and lead a critical discussion about how to engage students who are not especially passionate about sustainability. Our goal is to show how a door open approach to environmental practices can lead to small but steady progress. By incorporating all of the pillars of sustainability, we present a model that can be personalized and molded into any zero-waste initiative. The presentation will consist of the process of opening a store, operations, and engagement. 30 minute presentation, 20 minute Q&A.


Reduce Your Environmental Footprint: One Bite at a Time

Room 108
Mary Ann Boyer, Carie Szalay

Using a case study, this interactive session focuses on ways schools can decrease waste. Focusing first on consumption and waste can often be an effective strategy to inspire a school to address a wider array of sustainability practices. Presenters will share ways to redesign a cafeteria to reduce waste at the source by eliminating single-use disposable products, among other strategies. Presenters will also share simple steps for creating a green school initiative, from launching a green team to receiving awards and recognition.


From E-waste to Zero-Waste: USD's Donation Center Turned Thrift Store and More

Room 109 Ritter Hall
Arthur Atkinson, Ashton Chacon, Qineng (Tim) Zing, Chen (Travis) Shen

The University of San Diego’s Electronics Recycling Center (ERC) realized they could go beyond simply recycling e-waste to create a process for refurbishing and selling electronics that are not ready for end of life. In this session we will discuss the action that students took to open the ERC, how it has evolved, and offer suggestions in how to implement similar programs on other campuses in an effort to generate funding for zero waste initiatives.


Building a Successful Organic Waste Program

Room 110
Allegra Nolan, Ella Denham-Conroy, Evan Zachary

We will cover information all about the campus composting programs at New College of Florida and RIT , including their beginnings, funding, and daily functioning and maintenance. We will engage the audience with questions, rather than providing all the answers right away. We will cover a variety of composting options and approaches, as well as obstacles. We will show photos of the program in action. We will encourage students to question us further and share about composting initiatives that exist on their campus, if any.


Waste Characterization Studies and What's in the Trash

Room 113 Ritter Hall
Davis Saltonstall, Tessa Rosenberry, Aryn Aiken

Return Recycling has been doing waste characterization studies with schools in New York City. Our workshop will introduce the mobile web-app that we developed in order to help student groups across the country streamline their waste characterization process and gather meaningful data that can enable them to target specific producers that are responsible for waste generated on campus. We will dig through several samples of garbage and encourage our audience to do the same with us.


Dear Discarded Object: A Workshop

Outside of Ritter Hall
Kira Hegeman, Abigail West, Lucia Thome, Billy Dufala

The workshop will build off our our interactive installation taking place throughout the day. We will begin by sharing our Athens Home for Discarded Objects project, which invited participants to engage intimately with trash objects through crafting object stories on the University of Georgia Campus. Members of RAIR, The Revolution Recovery Artist in Residence Program, will then share some of their projects connecting local artists and scholars with materials and events at the Revolution Recovery waste and recycling site.. Following these short presentations, we will facilitate a design workshop where participants will develop a creative or artistic initiative to address a sustainability related initiative. The session will wrap up with a discussion of these ideas and a take-away resource to help participants identify their own local and campus resources for implementing some of these project ideas.


Break Free - a Training Session to ReThink Plastic

Room 111 Ritter Hall
Dr. Sandra Curtis, Plastic Pollution Coalition

Learn about health hazards from the chemicals in plastic; how to limit your exposure through food purchase, preparation and storage; and develop skills to share the information within your campus community.