2023 Summit for Recycling Agenda

May 21st  |  May 22nd  |   May 23rd

Summit Presentations are linked under their sessions.

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Sunday, May 21

Policy Retreat | Burgess Creek Room

This is an opportunity for all members to learn how Recycle Colorado is a key player in Colorado’s progressive recycling and waste diversion policies. During this afternoon focused on work, members can voice their goals for future policies.

Welcome Reception | Korbel Grand Ballroom

Join Senator Dylan Roberts, Representative Megan Lukens, our sponsors, and Summit attendees for food, drinks, and live music from Chamberlin Birch!

Monday, May 22

Welcome and Keynote  | Korbel Grand Ballroom
Liz Chapman, David Fridland, and Gail Garey

John H. Giordanengo
Ecosystems as Models for Stoking a Circular Economy
Visit John's Website or read his book to learn more!

Humanity could not resolve its most basic health needs until grasping the inner workings of the human body, and the nature of pathogens that threaten it. We lack an equivalent understanding of our economy, leaving us vulnerable to social unrest, supply chain disruptions, steep declines in soil fertility, and a litany of other social and environmental challenges. Drawing from thirty years of research and practice in business, economics, ecology, and conservation, John outlines three foundational components that govern thriving ecosystems and sustainable economies—diversity, energy, and trade. The mis-management of these foundational components have systematically stymied America’s recycling industry from its inception, while undermining countless other sustainability initiatives. Can circularity succeed if we continue ignoring the foundational components of our economy? What if our economy’s very structure required a 90% recycling rate, rather than encouraging waste to be dumped into landfills?

This address presents fresh perspectives on the structure of a sustainable (circular) economy, the role of economic succession in stimulating diversity and productivity, an ecological explanation of the wealth gap, and the natural geography of our economy. John also addresses the forms of diversity that confer resilience and productivity to our economies, the ecological rationale for an energy neutral economy, and the critical influence trade has in a circular economy. Tales of economic collapse and restoration from around the globe will be sprinkled throughout, including Italy, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, and of course the US. The technology necessary to restore our economies to a sustainable state is greater now than ever before. To guide the public’s attention and resources toward building a sustainable (circular) economy, and to catalyze change, the foundation of a sustainable economy must first be understood, and the path toward economic restoration must be clearly visible.

Breakout Sessions

Korbel Grand Ballroom
Reduce. Reuse. Divert. Repeat: Breaking the Disposable Culture.
Amelia Kovacs, Beth Markham, Ryan Call, Kat Slaughter

The best way to manage waste is to reduce/eliminate it in the first place. Reusable food ware services, drop and swaps, municipal programs, and other innovative waste aversion strategies are on the rise. Join other leaders in Colorado’s “reduce/reuse” space to connect and strategize in roundtable discussions for a waste-free future.

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Burgess Creek Room
The C&D Council Presents: The Colorado C&D Policy Toolkit
Michael Port, Tessa Dieter, Jonathan Wachtel, Cody Lillstrom, Emily Freeman

In this session, the C&D Council is presenting its C&D Policy Toolkit, a resource intended to assist local government staff and policymakers as they look beyond traditional household recycling and composting to C&D materials as a significant part of sustainability and materials management planning efforts.

View Draft of the C&D Policy Toolkit
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Spring Creek Room
Organic Program Updates from Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment
Jace Driver

An update from CDPHE on the current and future work being conducted by the Department around organics waste.

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Overcoming Barriers & Finding Success in Local Organics Diversion Ordinances
Ainsley Brosnan-Smith, Caroline Mitchell, Brandy Moe

What does it take to pass a organics diversion ordinance in Colorado? Hear the City of Aspen and Fort Collins on their perspectives on the important work that was needed to pass their organics diversion ordinances. This session would be great for any audience member who wants to better understand what organics ordinances need to succeed as well as what barriers and tips Aspen and Fort Collins may have for you to help you find your own success.

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Steamboat Springs Recycle Center Tour

Breakout Sessions

Korbel Grand Ballroom
How Do Producer Responsibility and Recycling Refund Programs Work Together? A panel discussion 
Megan Daum, Megan Lane, Dylan de Thomas, Barrett Jensen, Jessica Lally

Creating a circular economy requires designing programs which utilize both the data gathered from previous programs and the specific concerns of businesses, governments, and citizens. Join us for a discussion digging into the effectiveness and considerations of both Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Recycling Refunds (aka “bottle bills'' or DRS/Deposit Return Systems). Sneak peaks of research such as the “50 States of Recycling'' (Eunomia and Ball Corporation) and The Recycling Partnership’s Guidance Document for EPR and RR Integration provide background data to inform the discussion. How do deposit & refund systems and producer responsibility programs interact? What policies maximize benefits while minimizing impacts? How does Colorado continue to craft policies which increase recycling while supporting established businesses?

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Burgess Creek Room
Managing C&D Materials from Job Sites to Infrastructure: Waste Diversion, Resource Recovery, and Colorado C&D End-Markets
Katheryn Slaughter, Laurie Johnson

Over 25% of Colorado landfilled materials originates from Construction & Demolition projects. This has led many Colorado communities to implement policies, programs, or incentives to encourage or mandate waste diversion and resource recovery at C&D projects. This session will inform of the challenges and successes of C&D waste diversion and Colorado end-market solutions.

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Spring Creek Room
Closing the Loop on Compost
Charles Duprey, BJ Juelfs, Matt Ball, John A. Miller, Clinton Sander

Compost is not just for the garden. Learn from experts in their field on the environmental and economic benefits of compost application in multiple end markets such as turf management, erosion control, stormwater management, green roof, and agricultural soil conservation.  Closing the Compost Loop  for cities, institutions, businesses, and farmers will save water, sequester more carbon, and restore Colorado soils for generations to come. 

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Breakout Sessions

Korbel Grand Ballroom
CDPHE Programs - Municipal Measurement Program (MMP) & Technical Assistance Service Provider Program TASP
Carla Bergstrom, Tay Dunklee, Juri Freeman, Laura Levesque, Randy Moorman

Municipal Measurement Program (MMP)  - Join Carla Bergstrom with Emerge Knowledge to learn more about the Municipal Measurement Program (MMP). MMP is a statewide resource funded by the FRWD Enterprise and supported by The Recycling Partnership and Re-TRAC (by Emerge Knowledge). Available to local and county government agencies at no cost, MMP collects standardized statewide data to assist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s ability to measure waste diversion performance and gain visibility into local efforts to reduce waste. The program allows data collection for calendar years dating back to 2014, and is easy to use with assessment surveys averaging 30 minutes to complete annually. We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about your solid waste and recycling programs and contribute to the statewide measurement of waste diversion.

Advancing Communities Up the Zero Waste Ladder: Actions, Leading Practices, and FRWD’s New TASP Program - The TASP (Technical Assistance Service Provider) program team will facilitate group conversations around leading practices and actions that advance waste diversion in Colorado communities.Topic areas will include: strategies for organics waste diversion, developing municipally organized recycling programs, stakeholder engagement, and approaches for ensuring access to recycling at multi-family residences. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences, concerns, and advice. Following the group discussions, guidance will be provided on how Front Range communities can access 'no cost' consulting and technical assistance through the newly implemented TASP program to advance actions locally. The session, information, and group discussions will be relevant for all conference attendees, including those not located in Colorado’s front range. TASP is a program from CDPHE and is funded by the Front Range Waste Diversion enterprise fund.

Burgess Creek Room
Enabling Circular Construction
Felix Heisel, Dave Bennink, Kinley Deller, Michael Port

In a future where C&D material reuse is maximized, we will need to scale opportunities to recirculate reclaimed materials into new construction. This session will discuss strategies and current research that will enable closing the loop from a practical and policy perspective.

Spring Creek Room
Community Composting in Colorado
Jamie Blanchard-Poling

Interested in starting composting in your community? Learn how you can be successful by learning tips and tricks from the Compost Queen herself.

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Awards Dinner | Timber & Torch

A celebration for the many people working to reduce waste and increase recycling and composting across Colorado. Check out the 2023 award winners!

Tuesday, May 23

Welcome and Keynote | Korbel Grand Ballroom
Jenifer Freeman

Colorado’s new Producer Responsibility Program: A conversation
Liz Chapman, Darla Arians, and Charlie Schwarze

Get to know the people behind the new Produce Responsibility Program. Recycle Colorado’s Executive Director, Liz Chapman,will facilitate a conversation with the Chair of Circular Action Alliance, Charles Schwarze and the Producer Responsibility Program Lead, Darla Arians from CDPHE. Circular Action Alliance is the new Producer Responsibility Organization. Information about how the program will work, the expected timeline is, and how members (both urban and rural) can interact with the new program will be part of the conversation. There will also be time for questions from the audience.

Breakout Sessions

Korbel Grand Ballroom
Recruiting Cleantech Recyclers to Colorado

Jeremy R. Norris, Kate Collardson, Aaron Palumbo, Laura Levesque

Clean energy technologies such as solar, wind, and EV will need end-of-life recycling solutions. How can Colorado recruit recyclers of these industries and position our state as a national leader in advanced technology recycling. We invite panelists to discuss recycling challenges specific to their industries and what considerations are needed to recruit companies to Colorado.

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Burgess Creek Room
Deconstruction Partnerships and Pathways
Anna Perks, Michael Port, Keith Timm, Conor Dougherty, Robb Sommerfeld, Emily Freeman

Learn from the contractors, program managers, and reuse organizations who are actively reusing and recycling building materials across Colorado. You’ll hear about how deconstruction creates jobs, job training, how to approach, start and successfully deconstruct a building, what challenges contractors and property owners face, and end market opportunities for building materials.

Spring Creek Room
Microscopy and the Soil Food Web
Lanny Ellis & Shawn Bruckman

Billions of nematodes, bacteria, fungi and protozoa lie waiting to be discovered within the soil. Take a dive into the world beneath our feet with soil Microscopist, Lanny Ellis. By using direct observation microscopy, we can detect and quantify soil food web organisms to assess the health of our soils and composts.

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Compost Processes: Adjusting Recipes for Unconventional Feedstocks
Liz Mauro & Shawn Bruckman

Discover tips for modifying composting methods based on feedstocks. Gain an in depth look at South Canyon’s composting in Glenwood Springs, a Class III facility which composts both traditional feedstocks and liquid feedstocks like grease trap waste, we will discuss the unique challenges and rewards of this process.

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Yampa Valley Recycles Depot Tour

Breakout Sessions

Korbel Grand Ballroom
Putting Circular Economies in Motion in Colorado
Eric Heyboer & Laurie Johnson

Circular Colorado has been working to build circular economy solutions for Colorado by focusing on collection infrastructure and end markets. Learn about the progress so far in fostering new market opportunities for multiple materials and the vision to create new end markets in Colorado. Find out where your business, organization, or sector fits into the model and how you can get involved. There will be a 30-minute overview of Circular Colorado’s work and a one-hour workshop style session to help Circular Colorado tap into stakeholder input as it crafts a strategic plan for Colorado and the region to advance circular economies.

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Burgess Creek Room
Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Diversion
Shelly Fuller

Boulder County’s Hazardous Materials Management Program has been tasked with protecting public health and the environment by handling safe disposal and storage of hazardous materials in Boulder County.  Come learn about the innovative programs that have evolved from the emergence of new waste streams, diverting materials from the landfill, and solutions to community needs.

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EPR Beyond Packaging
Lelande Rehard

Come get a refresher on the basics of Extended Producer Responsibility, learn about best practices for developing and implementing EPR, and how EPR can offer solutions to established and emerging materials recovery streams in Colorado. Lelande Rehard, Senior Associate for Policy and Programs with the Product Stewardship Institute will share lessons learned and opportunities for EPR to manage: Solar Panels, Battery Energy Storage Solutions, Medical Sharps, and Electronics.

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Spring Creek Room
Truth in Labeling
Alex Truelove, Jamie Blanchard-Poling, Megan Jorgensen

Colorado passed its first Truth in Labeling Bill in Colorado in 2023. Come learn about this policy and get your questions answered.

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Policy and EPR Impacts for Composters
Dan Matsch & Julie Mach

How does recent Colorado legislation impact composting? Learn about two new composting bills and get updates on how the Extended Producer Responsibility Act and End Market Development Center are progressing and how composters can engage in these efforts.

Breakout Sessions

Korbel Grand Ballroom
What is our role in the Circular Economy?
David Fridland, Chris Herr, Sarah Jones, Alexa Rosenstein, Jamie Harkins, Nina Waysdorf, Jennifer Richardson, Meghan Ibach, Charlie Schwarze, Megan Lane

Targeted toward large generators (commercial/institutional and municipal) and producers, this session will wrestle with the question: what is our role in the circular economy? Structured around leaders from these types of organizations who will have a moderated panel discussion, followed by group discussion; this session will be reflective, informative, and engaging to wrap up your summit experience.

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Burgess Creek Room
Plastic Pollution Reduction Act: Informed Solutions
Rachel Setzke & Dylan de Thomas

The PPRA (SB21-1162) went into effect January 2023. As Colorado moves towards further implementation of the Act, making data-driven decisions will allow municipalities and businesses to reduce plastic pollution in their communities. From how restaurants can replace single-use plastics to how municipalities can adopt effective legislation, this panel will share insight into the information needed to make choices to serve your community.

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Spring Creek Room
Colorado Composting Council Quarterly Meeting

Composters and those that are interested in joining the group are welcome to join for the COCC Quarterly meeting. 

WATCH the COCC Meeting Recording

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