WRS Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Palm Springs, CA | The Western Regional Symposium hosts hundreds of solid waste industry experts for three days of presentations, events, trade show and networking opportunities. Put your company’s name and logo in front of this important audience with a level of sponsorship that’s right for you — May 21-24, 2018 at the Palm Springs Hilton. There are eighteen sponsor packages available including Keynote Address, breakfast, lunch, Monte Carlo Night, and Banquet Hall refreshments. The Palm Springs Hilton Resort has made available a block of rooms and suites at a special rate for SWANA attendees. These rates are guaranteed through March 1, 2018. Contact the Palm Springs Hilton Resort at (760) 320-6868 and be sure to mention 2018 SWANA Conference to receive the single/double rate of $150.00 per day.


Next So Cal Workshop June 8, 2017

Buena Park, CA | New exciting technologies continue to revolutionize the solid waste industry, tremendously improving diversion and public outreach. In addition, it is imperative to stay up-to-date with the growing number of solid waste legislation which impacts our local jurisdictions and communities. The June 8 SWANA workshop touches on several key topics, including successful recycling programs, key state legislation, and emerging technologies.  This workshop is structured into two tracks (Room A and Room B).

Topics include:

  • The Art of Venue Event Recycling
  • Food Finders: keeping good wholesome food out of the landfills, feeding hungry people, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Big Data
  • Mobile Apps
  • Anaerobic and Aerobic Digestion
  • Cal Recycle Legislation
  • Stormwater Compliance

  • Lunch: Keynote Speaker Lori Baker – Schena, MBA, EdD ~  Crisis Communications

  • Secondary MRF
  • Textile Recycling
  • A Hot Ticket – OC Landfill Tours Program
  • Workshop Summary and Raffle

Change of January 19th Workshop Topic


The new topic will concentrate on the contributions Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts (LACSD), SWANA and the Solid Waste Industry, have made to greenhouse gas reduction for decades, as well as their continued support of state and national climate change goals. This will be a presentation that will be approximately one-hour, by Frank Caponi of LACSD.

The change has been made out of respect for many SWANA members that have expressed concerns over the timing of the previous topic at a time when the state is moving forward with an aggressive climate change agenda.


The solid waste management industry has been at the forefront of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions long before the term climate change was ever used.  LACSD have pioneered the management of solid waste as a resource and worked with industry and regulators to further the development of resource recovery in a manner that also reduces GHG and criteria pollutants.  SWANA has also worked to support these goals locally through its chapters, and both nationally and internationally.  LACSD, SWANA and the industry now work to further solid waste management by maximizing recycling and diversion of organics from landfills, and in cooperation with regulators, break down the barriers that enable biogas use to be expanded to include natural pipeline injection and directly as a transportation fuel.  This presentation will provide a historical perspective of solid waste management as a resource, the development of regulations that promote GHG reduction, and the significant contributions solid waste management programs have to climate change goals.


SWANA Founding Chapter Board is very excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. Visit our new website at http://socalswana.org/. The site’s homepage features bright colors and an uncluttered design. We wanted to make the new website faster, easier to navigate, have better tools and more user-friendly.

It’s important for us to make information regarding memberships, training, safety, legislative updates and any solid waste services and trends easily accessible for our current and prospective members. As we endeavor to provide our members with the most accurate, up-to-date information, we made the site much easier for finding and sharing resources.

Reflecting on our long-standing commitment to learning and continuous improvement, we welcome your feedback as we continue to improve this site. Please email your feedback to: info@socalswana.org

SoCal SWANA Board Election Results

SoCal SWANA is proud to announce election results for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

2016 ~ 2017 Board Election Results |

President: Brad Gust, Rehrig Pacific;

Vice President: Dylan Wright, OC Waste & Recycling;

Secretary: Mary Valerio, City of San Diego;

Treasurer: Susan Moulton, Waste Management |

Public Directors:

Jeff Southern, OC Waste & RecyclingKim Braun, City of Santa Monica;

Kim Braun, City of Santa MonicaDiko Melkonian, City of Long Beach;

Diko Melkonian, City of Long Beach;

Khalil Gharios, City of Los Angeles;

Frank Caponi, LACSD |

Corporate Directors:

Laith Ezzet, HF&H Consultants, LLC.;

Pete Woodfill, CH2M Hill;

Jim Kuhl, (City of Long Beach Retired);

Michelle Leonard, SCS Engineers

SWANA’s Membership Swells to Record Levels

Silver Spring, MD | As of April 1, the Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) membership enrollment surpassed its goal for the end of fiscal year 2016, and reached its highest levels ever. More than 8,400 industry professionals have chosen the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) as their leading source for education, advocacy and research in the solid waste industry.

“Solid waste professionals are joining SWANA in record numbers”, offered Estela Martinez, SWANA’s manager of membership and chapter Services. In February and March 2016, SWANA had two consecutive months with 200 plus new members joining the first time that milestone had been achieved in five years.

Martinez added, “critical priority in SWANA’s Strategic Plan is to increase membership, and we are executing on that objective”.

Professionals working in the solid waste and recycling industry in the United States and Canada are looking for the most efficient and economical ways to increase their networking abilities and obtain timely information both at the national and local levels. SWANA’s events, rapidly growing safety program, and online forums for specific areas of interest, combined with its renowned industry-leading education and certification opportunities, make SWANA membership the best means to advance one’s career.

Michelle Leonard, SWANA president and longtime SWANA member says, “SWANA’s membership is at an all-time record high! We now have more than 8,400 solid waste professionals as part of this organization, adding 208 new members in February and 200 new members again in March. This is a team effort involving engagement by staff, SWANA’s International Board, chapter leaders, ‘and members all working together to grow SWANA for the overall benefit of the industry”.

SWANA extends its thanks and appreciation to each of its members for your support in the continued growth of the association. Through your membership, commitment to education, communication, advocacy, and determination to stand as a unified group of individuals working within the solid waste profession, you keep the industry strong, safer and viable.

SWANA invites those who are not current SWANA members to join us! Membership features a selection of robust benefits that will maximize your opportunities for career success and professional development. For complete details on membership benefits, please visit our website www.SWANA.org .


About SWANA:

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 8,400 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 50 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses. For more information, visit www.SWANA.org .

Carton Council Unveils Tools for Teachers: Carton Recycling at School and Home

Denton, TX | Every day in schools across the country, there is an opportunity to educate and empower the nation’s youth around recycling. Today, thanks to a partnership between the Carton Council of North America and Young Minds Inspired (YMI), a new set of teaching materials is available to help educators reach students with important recycling
information and hopefully inspire them to take the message home.
“Milk and juice cartons are consumed at very high rates in our schools and by giving them the right information, we can
unlock the potential of our youth to recycle them,” said Derric Brown, vice president of sustainability for the Carton Council and director, sustainability, Evergreen Packaging. “We have a great opportunity to engage today’s students in creative ways. Educators can utilize these new materials in their elementary school classrooms to help today’s youth develop
lifelong recycling habits”.
Through a colorful set of activity guides aligned with Common Core State Standards for Language Arts and Math for grades 1-5, and Next Generation Science Standards, educators can teach students the importance of carton recycling in a way that informs and engages them. Included in the carton recycling educator materials are:

  • One-page teacher’s guide
  • Two reproducible student activity sheets (grades 1-3 and grades 4-5)
  • Reproducible parent take-home letter to carry the learning into the home

“We know that today’s students are interested in recycling and that they welcome information and tools that can help them be better recyclers,” said Dr. Dominic Kinsley, editor-in-chief of YMI. “Even our youngest citizens care about protecting the environment, and so do their parents. We are thrilled to be able to partner with the Carton Council to develop and distribute these valuable, standards-based math, science and language arts activity sheets that we think will serve to start a conversation about recycling in school and beyond, and hopefully help cement a commitment to lifelong recycling”. The Carton Council has long served as a resource to schools across the country, helping them establish and maintain carton recycling programs as part of its ongoing national commitment to supporting local community recycling efforts. Currently 7,317 schools, impacting more than 7.7 million students across the U.S., have formal carton recycling programs in place, with more joining every day.

The teaching materials can be downloaded for free.