• June 8, 2017
  • 9:00 am
  • Los Coyotes Country Club

Southern California SWANA Chapter Workshop
Join SoCal SWANA on June 8, 2017, at the Los Coyotes Country Club
8888 Los Coyotes Drive, Buena Park, CA
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

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). The schedule is as follows:

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. ~ Track 1: Room A

The Art of Venue Event Recycling

Speaker: Eric Ritz, Global Inheritance
See how Global Inheritance, a non-profit organization, incorporates art in their large venue event programs at popular events, including the “TRASHed – Art of Recycling” cart-design program at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.

Food Finders: keeping good wholesome food out of the landfills, feeding hungry people, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaker:  Diana Lara, Vice President of Operations Food Finders
Food Finders rescues good, wholesome food from 600 plus donors in LA County, Orange County, and San Bernardino County and provides that to over 300 partner agencies. In 2016 Food Finders provided enough food for more than 7 million meals.

9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. ~ Track 2: Room B

Big Data

Speaker: Alfonso Limon, UC San Diego
“Bypassing the hype to successfully implement your next machine learning project.”
There is a ton of hype about how machines have learned to learn. We will parse out what this means, what type of problems are amenable to these techniques and how to best use these new methods to answer data intensive questions.

Mobile Apps

Speaker: Ben Lucha, City of Palmdale
Hear the success story of an informational app (MyWaste) and how it is helping municipalities.


11:00 a.m. – Noon ~ Track 1: Room A

Anaerobic and Aerobic Digestion

Speaker: Mike Silva, CR&R
Learn about the largest anaerobic digester currently operational in Southern California.
Speaker: Robert Gates, ORCA
See how new technology can digest waste within 24 hours inside restaurants, hospitals, schools, hotels etc.

11:00 a.m. – Noon ~ Track 2: Room B

Cal Recycle Legislation

Speaker:  Mallory Burden – Cal Recycle
Updates on AB 1826, AB 901 and AB 1383.

Storm water Compliance

Speaker: Jonathan Meronek, QISP ToR, CPESC, QSD, SCS Engineers
Is your Industrial Generator facility compliant?


Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch: Keynote Speaker Lori Baker-Schena, MBA, EdD ~  Crisis Communications
Navigating the media landscape is incredibly complex in 2017. Are you ready to deal with reporters when they come knocking at YOUR door for a “comment” about a “situation” on a solid waste project you manage? Don’t be caught off guard. Media consultant Dr. Lori Baker-Schena will focus on crucial ground rules when working with the media while helping you develop effective messaging. About the speaker: Dr. Lori Baker-Schena, MBA, EdD, is a leadership consultant with an extensive background in media relations, crisis communications and reputation management. She brings to her clients 35 years in healthcare public relations and marketing, and 25 years as a professor of public relations and journalism.


1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ~ Track 1: Room A

Secondary MRF

Speaker: Mike Centers, Titus MRF Services
Can you get more recycling out of your residuals?

Textile Recycling

Speaker: Christine Wong, USAgain
Don’t trash your old clothes, linens shoes, handbags etc. See how programs are being set up for residences, multi-family facilities and businesses.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ~ Track 2: Room B

A Hot Ticket – OC Landfills Tour Program

Speakers: Weena Dalby & Ruth Wardwell, OC Waste & Recycling
Learn how OC Waste & Recycling elevated its Landfill Tour Program to support the agency’s Good Neighbor Program and engage citizens in environmental stewardship as well as the County’s process of providing the essential public service of solid waste disposal.  

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. ~ Track 1 & 2: Room A

Workshop Summary and Raffle

Speaker Bios:

Eric Ritz, Global Inheritance
Eric Ritz is the Executive Director and Founder of Global Inheritance. After being inspired in college to produce benefit concerts and fundraisers to support the community, Eric spent the next 25 years developing innovative environmental + social campaigns in an effort to make a global difference. While developing his vision for what would become Global Inheritance, Eric got his start in band management (Blink-182) and concert promotion (Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Stadium) in Southern California and Australia. Eric went on to work in fashion at JNCO (second largest jean company in the United States at the time) and helped launch an ad agency (A.D.D. Marketing) landing clients like The Truth Campaign, Sobe, ESPN, Playstation, EA Sports, Razor Scooters and Levi’s. In 2002, Eric left the advertising world to start the 501c3 nonprofit Global Inheritance, working with the biggest festivals and events in the world, including The Super Bowl, SXSW, Grammy Awards, Sundance Film Festival, Indy 500, Lollapalooza, EDC, X Games and Outside Lands.

Global Inheritance produces original environmental programs seen in every corner of the world empowering people to take action to solve our biggest environmental and social challenges. To spread the message, Global Inheritance leveraged partnerships with major companies that include The Discovery Channel, Vice, Prius, North Face, Participant Media, Jansport, Vans, Apple and Burton, to name a few. Eric and Global Inheritance are most widely known for creating major installations at the Coachella Music + Arts festival every year since 2003. This includes designing and executing such high-profile programs as Carpoolchella, Energy Playground, TRASHed: Art of Recycling, Energy FACTory, 10 4 1, Oasis Water Bar, Recycling Store + many others.

Diana Lara, Vice President of Operations Food Finders
Diana Lara is the Vice President of Operations. She has been with Food Finders for 9 years. Previously she was a National Purchasing Manager for The Perrier Group. She finds great satisfaction knowing Food Finders is reducing green house gas emissions and feeding people struggling with food insecurity.

Alfonso Limon, UC San Diego
Before joining Noumenon Multi-Physics, Alfonso Limon served as the Director of Research at Intersection Medical. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. in Applied Mathematics and Ph.D. in Computational Science. Alfonso has taught at Harvey Mudd and Pomona College, and published papers and patents in diverse fields.

Ben Lucha, City of Palmdale
Benjamin started with the City of Palmdale in 2007. Prior to arriving to the City, he worked for the City of Santa Clarita for over six years, working primarily on Solid Waste related issues.  Benjamin has almost nineteen years of experience in the environmental field, with seventeen years working in the public sector.  Much of Benjamin’s environmental experience has been focused on Solid Waste, but he also works on renewable energy and energy efficiency along with other environmental projects. Benjamin has a B.S. from the University of California, Riverside in Environmental Sciences, with a focus on the Natural Sciences.

Mike Silva, CR&R
Mike Silva is currently in charge of CR&R’s anaerobic digestion projects.  The CR&R AD facility in Perris is one of the largest anaerobic digestion plants in the country, handling some 335,000 tons per year and generating in excess of 4 million gallons of renewable carbon negative fuel. Mr. Silva has more than thirty years senior level solid waste management experience with expertise in technology development and construction management.  His team developed the 3 cart fully automated collection system for the City of Temecula, which has since become the “gold standard”.  Mr. Silva assisted in the design and construct the first solid waste processing facility in the country, back in 1992.  Mr. Silva has since built several transfer stations and material recovery facilities.

Robert Gates, ORCA
Robert Gates is the West Coast Director for Totally Green. Totally Green is the manufacturer of the ORCA machine, an on-site, aerobic digester that can digest up to 2400lbs of food waste per day.

Previous to his role in SoCal, Robert has been involved with Totally Green as a field operations manager in both Canada and the East Coast of the United States.

Recently, Robert has also led the expansion of the ORCA technology into the Asian market and is helping customers achieve compliance and their sustainability goals in Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand.

Mallory Burden – Cal Recycle
Mallory Burden is an Environmental Scientist for CalRecycle.  As staff lead of the organics team at CalRecycle, Mallory has worked on projects including food waste diversion in state prisons and providing assistance to cities interested in providing organics diversion opportunities to their businesses and residents. Mallory earned her B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from California State Polytechnic University Pomona and a Certificate of Specialization in Recycling and Resource Management from Golden West College as well as a M.S. in Green Technologies from the University of Southern California.  When Mallory isn’t working she is an avid home gardener and composter, and enjoys her efforts at reducing plastic pollution on Algalita’s Board of Directors.

Jonathan Meronek, QISP ToR, CPESC, QSD, SCS Engineers
Mr. Meronek has been with SCS Engineers Northern California Office for over fourteen (14) years, and is a current State of California Industrial Storm Water Qualified Industrial Storm Water Practioner (QISP) and a QISP Trainer-of-Record (ToR) under the new Industrial Permit (IGP).  Under the 2015 IGP, Mr. Meronek has performed Site BMP and Pollutant Source Assessments, written SWPPPs, and implemented Monitoring Implementation Plans (MIPs) for over fifty (50) Facilities throughout California.  He has performed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water services for state, municipal and private clients. Mr. Meronek has successfully worked with Companies, Facility managers, and attorneys to comprehensively review and re-evaluate Facilities for NPDES compliance including technology-based BPT/BCT/BAT implementation for control of pollutants in stormwater discharge.

Lunch Keynote Speaker: Lori Baker-Schena, MBA, EdD
Dr. Lori Baker-Schena, MBA, EdD, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker who works with individuals, academic institutions, small businesses and large corporations to strengthen their management and team-building skills. Her goal is to help clients achieve high levels of excellence, productivity and profitability by reclaiming passion and expertise in their industries.

Dr. Baker-Schena brings to her clients 35 years as a healthcare public relations and marketing consultant, and 25 years as a tenured university professor teaching public relations and journalism. Dr. Baker-Schena holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a MBA from California State University, Northridge, and a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne.

Dr. Baker-Schena’s website, www.doctorbs.net, supports her motivational speaking, executive coaching and team-building efforts, and features several inspirational videos on both personal and professional topics. As a professional speaker and trainer, Dr. Baker-Schena brings both inspiration and clarity to clients – especially those who feel “stuck.” Her specialty is helping identify passions, and then sharing the steps necessary to make those passions a reality. Whether life coaching individuals, providing workshops for small groups or delivering keynote speeches to large conferences, she provides concrete ways to move lives forward. She is currently writing a book “Why Not Me? A Practical Path To Joy” that is filled with both personal and professional advice.

Mike Centers, Titus MRF Services
Mike Centers is acting CEO, CFO and president of Titus MRF Services. Mike is a 1982 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY with a concentration in Operations Research. Upon Graduation Mike flew CH-47 Chinook Helicopters in Germany and transitioned to civilian life via an MBA from Harvard Business School graduating in 1989. Mike holds two patents: Titus Glass cleaning systems (see Separation system for single stream compressed recyclables US 7,188,730 B2 and secondary separation system for recyclables US 8,813,972 B1. For more information go to Titusservices.com. Prior to starting Titus, Mike spent 8 years with Strategic Materials, Inc, the largest glass recycler in North America and ran the Western Region as Senior vice president Western Region.

Since 2001, Titus MRF Services specializes in design build for material recovery facilities. We employ 48 full time people in the state of California and 21 temps. Titus is an S corporation established in California.

Over the past 10 years we have designed, built and installed over 25 glass cleaning systems based on the Titus Patent. Titus has also retrofitted over 10 Material Recovery facilities sorting C&D, MSW, Glass (Beneficiating to cullet) and Single stream curbside material. Titus customers include: Waste Management, Republic Services, Recology, Allan Company, Waste Connections, California Waste Solutions, Re-community, Strategic Materials, Inc, and many independent MRF operators.

Titus Secondary MRF Services consults to packaging manufacturers and Material Recovery System operators on laws, regulations, and equipment trends. We also conduct studies on cost to recycle and best practices to recycle packages put in the blue bin. Through the Titus Secondary MRF in Los Angeles, CA, we provide R&D support as well as data on how to recycle various packages by material type. Our LA MRF represents recycling from the blue bin for 196,000 homes and approximately 686,000 people.

Christine Wong, USAgain
Christine Wong has been with USAgain for six years.  She started with the company as their Expansion and Sales Manager and is now currently the Southern California Division Manager.  She finds it very rewarding to be able to work with local businesses, schools and communities in reducing the carbon footprint by reusing and recycling textiles.

Weena Dalby, OC Waste & Recycling
Weena Dalby has 17 years of experience as a plant restoration biologist. She began her career as an environmental consultant with BonTerra Consulting and has served as a biologist and natural resources manager for OC Waste & Recycling since 2007.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of California, Riverside and has been a long-standing member of California Native Plant Society. Ms. Dalby manages more than 300 acres of open space at Frank R. Bowerman Landfill and several closed landfills in Orange County, some of which are home to sensitive, threatened, and endangered plant and wildlife species.

With every new development project at the landfills, Ms. Dalby’s role is to coordinate with natural resource agencies to foster the sensitive native resources and restore the disturbed earth with self-sustainable plant cover. She also assists with any California Environmental Quality Act assessments that are required by the landfills.

Ms. Dalby lives in Irvine, California with her husband, James, and their two young girls, Autumn and Lauren.

Ruth Wardwell, OC Waste & Recycling
Ruth Wardwell is a veteran communications professional with experience in corporate, agency, non-profit, higher education, and local government settings. In her role as strategic communications manager for OC Waste & Recycling, she coordinates the agency’s corporate voice and visual identity and leads external and internal communication planning and execution. She manages a team that is responsible for a wide range of strategic and tactical activities and programs in areas of public information, media relations, public affairs, educational outreach and internal communications.

A relative newcomer to County government, Ms. Wardwell specialized in higher education for more than 20 years. She worked at Chapman University for 14 years, eight at Whitman College and one at Scripps College, serving media relations and communications management roles prior to joining the County of Orange in 2013. She holds her bachelor’s degree in education from Western Illinois University, a certificate in marketing communications from the University of California, Irvine and a certificate in leadership from Walla Walla Community College.

Over her career she has earned 25 awards from professional associations, including PRSA, IABC, OC Press Club, CAPIO and ACC-OC.


Registration Information


To pay by check, please download the registration form, fill it out and mail it with your check to:
SWANA Founding Chapter
21520 Yorba Linda Blvd., Ste. G-428, Yorba Linda, CA 92887


Purchasing tickets online:

Purchase your tickets using the link below. Please provide name, e-mail address and company name for each ticket during check-out. Tickets will be emailed directly to designated attendees.


Questions? E-mail us at info@socalswana.org

Registration Policies: Payment must be received prior to start of event to be admitted. We no longer accept purchase orders for payment.
Payment Policy: SWANA accepts cash, checks, and money orders, Visa or MasterCard for payments of all events. Note: There is a $75 processing fee on all returned checks.
Cancellation/Refund Policy: Cancellations must be submitted 14 days prior to the event in writing.