Sustainable Oregon 2024

Kate Bailey

Kate Bailey | Chief Policy Officer, The Association of Plastic Recyclers

Kate Bailey is the Chief Policy Officer for the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the only North American organization focused exclusively on improving the recycling of plastics. Kate leads APR’s advocacy in U.S. states to drive significant new legislation to increase plastics recycling, improve material quality, and expand recycled content markets. She is also actively engaged with U.S. federal agencies and the UN global plastics pollution treaty to scale up plastics recycling as a solution to both reduce plastic waste and carbon pollution. In her previous role, Kate successfully worked with governments, consumer goods companies, NGOs, and other stakeholders to pass several leading local and state-level policies to improve recycling, including Colorado’s Producer Responsibility for Packaging program in 2022. She is based in Colorado. 

Denise Barnes

Denise Barnes | Education and Outreach Coordinator, Rogue Disposal & Recycling

Denise has worked for Rogue Disposal for 39 years and is the Program Director for the Jackson County Recycling Partnership, formed to address and comply with County-wide solid waste and recycling issues and mandates. Denise grew up in a small rural town on the Big Island of Hawaii where conservation, waste prevention, and reuse were a way of life. 

Tracie Bills

Tracie Onstad Bills | West Region Waste Business Development Leader, HDR

Tracie Onstad Bills has been in the environmental and resource material management field for over 25 years. Her expertise spans across many services including commercial recycling technical assistance, organics programs, environmental purchasing, large venue and event zero waste programs, research and sustainability planning, garbage hauler franchise compliance and review, construction and demolition program/ordinance analysis and writing, climate inventory compilation, research and feasibility studies to help clients with comprehensive waste prevention, and zero waste programs. Tracie is also the Executive Director of the California Resource Recovery Association. 

Dr. Anja Brandon

Dr. Anja Brandon | Associate Director, U.S. Plastics Policy, Ocean Conservancy

Dr. Anja Brandon is the Associate Director of U.S. Plastics Policy at Ocean Conservancy working to advance policy solutions to eliminate plastic pollution at the source. Anja has helped draft landmark state and national legislation regulating plastic pollution, including as part of the team of environmental advocates that helped draft and pass the strongest plastics legislation in the country, SB 54 in California, for which she was named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People 2023. Prior to joining Ocean Conservancy, Anja was the AGU/AAAS Congressional Science Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), where she was the lead policy advisor on issues including plastics, ocean and water pollution, and toxic pollutants. Anja holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and science from Stanford University where she was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her research on plastic waste management challenges and novel methods to break down common plastics. 

Ali Briggs-Ungerer

Ali Briggs-Ungerer | Producer Recruitment & Communications, Circular Action Alliance

Ali Briggs-Ungerer is a member of several project teams at Circular Action Alliance, including producer recruitment, communications, and Oregon/RMA implementation. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the recycling industry and during that time has worked with the Association of Plastic Recyclers, Resource Recycling, Free Geek, Community Environmental Services, and on the Oregon E-Cycles program. Ali lives in Oregon and is a karaoke fanatic. 

Bryan Catello

Bryan Catello | Director, Business Development, Universal Recycling Technologies

Bryan first joined URT as a regional account manager in 2015 with responsibilities of working with business-to-business customers as well as managing the Oregon E-Cycle customer network. He has since moved to Tallahassee, FL where he focuses on multiple state covered electronic programs, national accounts, and URT sales development education. 

SB Collins

SB Collins | Senior Solid Waste Planner, Metro

SB Collins is a senior solid waste planner working for Metro on the Community Stewardship group. SB’s primary focus is the development and implementation of RID Patrol’s Solid Waste Workforce Transition Program. The program provides jobs for people who have had systemic barriers to employment such as being justice involved, being in recovery from substance use disorder, people who do not have a high school diploma or GED, or someone who is housing unstable. The program provides a three-year supported employment program that provides an opportunity to build the skills needed to become a valued employee in the solid waste industry through on-the-job and classroom training. SB grew up in Eastern Washington, lived in Seattle and Portland, as well as Missouri, Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland, and currently lives in Vancouver, WA with their partner and two dogs. 

Travis Comfort

Travis Comfort | Municipal Contract Administrator, Republic Services

Travis Comfort has been the Municipal Contract Administrator for Republic Services since 2019. As part of his role, Travis works closely with 14 municipalities and four counties, ensuring compliance with the State's mandated Opportunity to Recycle requirements. He also helps Oregon cities understand the Recycling Modernization Act (RMA) and meet its deadlines. Previously, Travis spent 10 years working in various capacities for the Oregon Judicial Department. Outside of work, Travis has completed the Dopey Challenge five times, a feat that involves running a series of races organized by runDisney and fundraises for the Dragon Master Foundation, an organization dedicated to medical research into childhood cancers

Noelle Dobson

Noelle Dobson | Program Manager, Metro

Noelle Dobson (she/her) has worked in a variety of roles at Metro and currently manages a Community Enhancement Grant Program funded by transfer station fees. These grants fund locally-based community projects across the Metro region. Noelle’s other areas of work at Metro have included food waste prevention, construction workforce, public engagement, affordable housing and public transit. She is actively engaged to advance equity throughout her work and in partnership with her colleagues. Previous to her time at Metro Noelle’s work focused on public health advocacy to create healthier environments for people to live, work, learn and play. This is Noelle’s second year on the AOR Conference Planning Committee.

Kate Eagles

Kate Eagles | Program Director, The Association of Plastic Recyclers

Kate Eagles serves as Program Director for the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), the only North American organization focused exclusively on improving the recycling of plastics. Kate is part of the APR’s legislative and regulatory team, with specific focus on recycled content and West Coast states. She also manages the APR Market Development Committee, Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Sub-Committee, and Chemical Recycling Research Working Group. Kate has worked in plastics recycling roles since 2005, at Moore Recycling Associates, NAPCOR, and RRS prior to the APR. She based in Northern California.

Tom Egleston

Thomas Egleston | Policy and Program Development Manager, Metro

Thomas currently serves on the AOR Board as your Legislative Chair. In this role, he works with membership, the legislative committee, and AOR's lobbyist, Chris Parta, to support legislative priorities and efforts in Salem. Thomas also works at Metro as the Policy and Program Development Manager, supporting legislative and policy efforts on behalf of community members that live throughout the Metro region. He enjoys leaning into relationships to bring together various perspectives needed to tackle tough challenges.

Justin Gast

Justin Gast | Natural Resources Specialist, Oregon DEQ

Justin Gast is a natural resources specialist with Oregon DEQ’s Materials Management program, currently working on implementation of the Recycling Modernization Act. In addition to his time at DEQ, Justin has spent his 19 years in the industry working at the local and national levels for the likes of Resource Recycling, the Washington County (OR) Solid Waste & Recycling Program, and The Recycling Partnership. Justin lives in North Portland with his wife of almost 22 years, Terra, their 2.5-year-old daughter, Birdie, their eight-year-old Goldendoodle, Alice, and their flock of chickens.

Damian Hayes

Damian Hayes | District Chief Ranger, Bureau of Land Management

Chief Damian Hayes Hayes currently serves as the District Chief Ranger for the Bureau of Land Management, Northwest Oregon District. He has over 24 years of law enforcement experience working for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources (DCNR), the National Park Service (NPS), as well as the Bureau of Land Management Phoenix District Office. He has specialized experience in dealing with issues on public lands in/near heavily populated urban areas, including illegal dumping and it's impact on the those lands.

Kim Holmes

Kim Holmes | Technical Advisor, Circular Action Alliance

Kim Holmes is the owner and principal consultant of 4R Sustainability, a consulting firm dedicated to working with the industry to advance recycling and sustainability goals. Kim works with clients to drive innovation to meet voluntary sustainability goals. Where regulations or mandates exist, 4R works with clients to ensure they comply with the changing legislative landscape. Kim currently serves as a technical advisor to the Circular Action Alliance, leading the workstreams on local government engagement and PRO depot development. In her free time, she enjoys paddleboarding, hiking, and biking with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

Monica Kelly

Monica Kelly | Public Trash and Special Events Coordinator, City of Portland

Monica Kelly is the Public Trash and Special Events Coordinator at the City of Portland Oregon, where she responds to public reports of illegal dumping, organizes special collection events, and pilots additional resident waste services. 

Ame LeCocq

Ame LeCocq | Regional Environmental Compliance Manager, Recology

Ame LeCocq is the Regional Environmental Compliance Manager for Recology’s Pacific Northwest Region, overseeing transfer stations, material recovery facilities, compost sites, and waste hauling operations in Washington and Oregon. She has worked in the environmental and safety field for more than 25 years, and specializes in stormwater, wastewater, hazardous waste, and solid waste compliance. Before joining Recology, she started her career in the used oil industry and continued as an independent EH&S consultant for waste handling and manufacturing operations. Ame is also a board member for the Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association. In her current role, Ame oversees all permitting and environmental compliance needs for 26 facilities, three of which are compost operations in Oregon.

Dan Leif

Dan Leif | Policy Implemetation Director, The Recycling Partnership

Dan Leif is a policy implementation director at The Recycling Partnership, with a focus on his home state of Oregon. In this role, Dan works to bring the Partnership's expertise in recycling outreach, infrastructure development, data analysis, and more into the Oregon materials management ecosystem as the Recycling Modernization Act rolls out. Prior to joining The Recycling Partnership, Dan was the editor of Portland-based industry trade journal Resource Recycling.

Pierce Louis

Pierce Louis | Swiss Army Knife, Dirt Hugger

Pierce Louis is a co-founder at Dirt Hugger, a commercial composting business located in the Columbia River Gorge. Dirt Hugger processes over 60,000 ton per year of organics into over 40,000 yards per year of OMRI Listed compost. Dirt Hugger employs over 30 professionals with the goal of creating positive environmental impact through world-class composting. Pierce also happily serves on the board of the US Composting Council.

Josh Mulhollem

Josh Mulhollem | Waterways Stewardship Program Manager, Oregon Department of State Lands

Josh has been leading the Oregon Department of State Lands' Waterway Stewardship Program since it was created in 2023. The program is tasked with ensuring that state-owned submerged and submersible lands are managed for the public interests in fishery, navigation, commerce, and recreation, and it is primarily focused on clearing the state's waters of abandoned and derelict vessels and other unauthorized structures and anthropogenic debris. Prior to this position, Josh served as the Environment and Policy Program Manager for the Oregon State Marine Board, where he was also involved with the removal and disposal of hazardous boats. In his work with both state agencies, he's encountered the challenges associated with not only the complicated process of salvaging and removing sunk and deteriorating vessels, but also the disposition of the physical material associated with these vessels, much of which is not easily or inexpensively recycled.

Everett Owen

Everett Owen | Assistant Community Stewardship Planner, Metro

I grew up in Portland and love living here. My first job working with garbage was as a seasonal maintenance worker with Portland Parks and Recreation, emptying trash cans in Forest Park. Since then, I have worked as a RID Patrol crew lead, cleaning up dumped garbage from around the region. I currently support the Community Stewardship team as an assistant planner. I am dedicated to advancing equity through public service and am grateful to work on a team that has such a positive impact on the place that we live.

Michelle Parkins

Michelle Parkins | Public Space Team Incident Commander, City of Eugene

My career with the City of Eugene began over 10 years ago doing park maintenance work. I have since moved on from field work to supervision and management. My current role is the manager over all the operations around the City's efforts responds to the various needs of the unhoused and the community stakeholders. 

Stephanie Rawson

Stephanie Rawson | Community Stewardship Manager, Metro 

Stephanie currently manages Metro's Community Stewardship Program, which works to address the problem of dumped garbage on public property across the greater Portland area and provides other cleanup services through partnerships and its workforce transition program that offers job opportunities to people experiencing systemic employment barriers, focusing on those impacted by incarceration. She has 20 years of public sector experience at the state and local level working primarily on garbage and recycling matters including regulation, enforcement, management, disposal, and identifying and reducing barrier s to garbage services.

Anallely Rodriguez

Anallely Rodriguez | Multifamily Outreach Manager, Trash for Peace 

My name is Anallely Rodriguez, and I am originally from Mexico. I came to the United States when I was 16 years old and I realized that this country would offer me many opportunities to grow professionally and personally, and so on. Since 2019 I have been working with the Portland, OR community and I discovered that this is what I am most passionate about: being surrounded by people and helping them with all or some of their needs, as it fills my heart with great joy. Working at Trash for Peace has been a great blessing, since I have the opportunity to continue working with the community doing outreach, educational workshops about recycling, participating at community events, and collaborating with our city partners like Portland and Gresham. 

Ricardo Salas

Ricardo Salas | Lead Worker #3, City of Eugene 

I have worked for the City of Eugene since May 2017. I started as a street sweeper operator in the Stormwater Team, and continued in the same team in a different role, performing cleanup work since March 2018. I lead a small team that does a lot of different tasks, especially in the public right-of-way and multi-use paths. As a lead worker, I make judgments and decisions to respond to concerns and situations in the field and typically function as a continuous lead worker in a team situation, providing training and direction and overseeing duration tasks in the workplace. 

Christina Seibert

Christina Seibert | Executive Director, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County 

Christina Seibert is the Executive Director for the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC), an intergovernmental agency comprised of 23 municipalities in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She has 24 years of experience in the solid waste and recycling arena and is the Vice President of the Illinois Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Co-Chair of the Illinois Task Force on Recycling Contamination Solutions, Chair of the Illinois Electronics Recycling Task Force, and Chair of the Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment Advisory Council. 

Paul Seitz

Paul Seitz | Solid Waste District Manager, Lincoln County Solid Waste District

Paul Seitz has worked for local government for 30 years. He started in urban solid waste education programs in the early 90s (back in the days of source separated recycling) and also co-founded the Oregon Green Schools Association. After a number of years on a hiatus from solid waste doing government financial analytics, he returned four years ago to solid waste managing the District in rural Lincoln County.

Peter Spendelow

Peter Spendelow | Waste Reduction Specialist, Oregon DEQ 

Peter Spendelow has been a waste reduction specialist at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for 39 years. He started his career at DEQ helping to implement the then-new Oregon Recycling Opportunity Act in 1985. Since then he has overseen nine full waste composition studies as well as helped analyze data for the annual Oregon Material Recovery Survey since 1992, and worked on many other policy-related issues including on teams developing the 2050 Vision for Materials Management in Oregon and helping to implement the Oregon Recycling Modernization Act. 

Arianne Sperry

Arianne Sperry | Recycling Program Implementation Lead, Oregon DEQ 

Arianne Sperry is leading implementation of the Recycling Modernization Act for the Materials Management team at DEQ. She brings over a decade of experience in the materials management field and a deep understanding of Oregon’s recycling system from her previous role on the Waste Collections Team at the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Arianne developed policy and programs and coordinated major changes, including delivering weekly food scrap collection to Portland residents in 2011 and leading efforts to advance equity and diversity in Portland’s waste collection system. 

Colin Staub

Colin Staub | Associate Editor, Resource Recycling 

Colin Staub is an associate editor at Resource Recycling, Inc., reporting on the municipal, plastics, and electronics recycling sectors for the company's three trade publications. He first joined the publication as a staff reporter in 2017, and works out of the company's Portland, Oregon headquarters. 

Carin Stuart

Carin Stuart | Steward Relations Manager, Call2Recycle 

Carin Stuart has spent 25 years working in government affairs and compliance within the electronics and battery industry. She worked for Energizer Holdings for 11 years overseeing their compliance and safety programs for batteries and electronic devices. In early 2022, she joined Call2Recycle as the Steward Relations Manager overseeing the steward program as well as government relations. She has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Taylor Cass Talbott

Taylor Cass Talbott | Co-Director, Ground Score Association 

Taylor is the Advocacy and North America Coordinator for the International Alliance of Waste Pickers (IAWP). She is also a co-director and founding member of Ground Score Association, a democratic organization of waste pickers in Portland, Oregon. Taylor has worked at the crossroads of waste reduction, job creation, and social inclusion for almost 20 years, as a project manager, organizer, dumpster diver, and artist. She is originally from Portland

Ryan Torgerson

Ryan Torgerson | RID Crew Lead, RID Patrol

I started working for RID Patrol as a contracted employee from Central City Concern five years ago. I'm proud to say that I am a product of Central City Concerns' programs to help people find recovery from homelessness and drug addiction. I am going on three years of being a full-time Metro employee now and am grateful to have over seven years in recovery. 

Barbra Weber

Barbra Weber | Co-Founder/Co-Executive Director, Ground Score Association

Barbra (Barbie) Weber is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director for Ground Score Association, a waste picker organization in Portland, Oregon. Barbra organizes with various local, national, and international organizations. Barbra is a second generation waste picker, a villager in a self-governed informal settlement, and a committed advocate on issues regarding hygiene access, environmental justice, worker rights, systemic poverty, and systemic racism. Barbra believes in inclusive community collaboration. She is a gifted public speaker, experienced organizer, and is well-respected in her community. Her artistic endeavors include playing guitar in public and painting pottery for charity. 

Danielle Womble

Danielle Womble | Western Region Recruiter, Waste Connections

My name is Danielle Womble and I am a Western Region Recruiter for Waste Connections (2022-current), previously the Commercial Recycle Coordinator for our Vancouver District since 2014. I have served the last three years as the Conference Chair/Co-Chair on the AOR Board of Directors and have been a volunteer with the Conference Committee for the two years prior to that. I also volunteered as a Conference Committee member for WSRA for two years. I am a Master Composter/Recycler (2015) and received my Recycling 101 certification in 2014 through OSU/AOR. I have a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from Oregon State University (2012), a Women in Leadership certificate from Cornell (2021), Servant Leadership certification from Cornell (2024), and recently graduated from the Leadership Clark County class of 2024. I live in Vancouver with my husband of 16 years and my two teenage daughters, three cats, and two dogs. I love learning about historic architecture, gardening, home projects, kayaking, hiking, and volleyball. I am always on the go to school sporting events with my kids, and as a family we love to attend concerts and hockey games.