Thursday August 18, 1:00pm – 2:30pm EST

How Recycling got it’s Groove Back: Turning Up the Quality

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Listen closely. Do you hear that?

The recycling stream is skipping a beat. Amid the bottles, cans, containers and paper that the system relies on, there are scores of misplaced materials creating problems for recycling operations nationwide. This would be cause for pause in normal times, but factor in poor markets and it becomes a call to action.

The good news? Turning up the quality knob in your program is easier than you’d think, and a number of communities have already done just that. In a shining example, The Recycling Partnership recently joined forces with MassDEP and communities across Massachusetts to diagnose the root causes of contamination, then build out and vet tools to eliminate the issues at their core. After nearly a year of development and piloting, the results are in, the tools are tested, and the on-the-ground lessons and resources are ready for you.

On August 18 join representatives from local programs, a hauler and MRF, MassDEP, and The Recycling Partnership as they outline their winning approach to dialing up quality. Hear the outcomes, share in the stories, and walk away with tangible tools – ready-to-implement task lists, printable graphic files, curbside SOPs, and the data to back it up – to get your stream back in tune.


Keefe Harrison, Executive Director, The Recycling Partnership

KeefeKeefe leads The Recycling Partnership, a dynamic industry collaboration transforming recycling in communities across America. Formerly, Keefe served as: a team leader for sustainability consultancy RRS, director of communications for the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, project director for the Southeast Recycling Development Council, and as a local government recycling consultant for the State of North Carolina. Keefe has worked in the recycling field since 1998, and is an active national speaker and published author on recycling and sustainability issues. She lives with her husband and two children in Walpole, NH.

Janice Paré, Municipal Recycling Analyst, MassDEP

JaniceJanice Paré is a Municipal Recycling Analyst in the Municipal Solid Waste Reduction Branch at the Massachusetts Dept of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Prior to her current position, she served in the waste ban enforcement program at MassDEP. Janice gained her solid waste management experience while working with the Town of Westwood DPW and the Town of Hingham BOH. She has a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and was the project coordinator for EPA’s first Health Impact Assessment during her time as a Public Health Fellow at EPA Region 1. One of her many projects at MassDEP includes working closely with The Recycling Partnership to develop a Quality Toolkit that will help municipalities reduce contamination in the recycling stream.

Patrick Mallalieu, Operations Supervisor, Republic Services

PatrickPatrick has been in the waste industry for 16 years. In that time has run residential subscription and contract routes, as well as roll-off collection. Currently he serves as an Operations Supervisor with Republic Services, handling 8 municipal contracts and 22 subscription routes. One of his key responsibilities is working with towns to promote safety and increase recycling.

Rob Colson, DPW Director, West Springfield MA

RobLike many in the recycling industry, Rob serves a host of functions simultaneously. As Director of Public Works for a town of 28,000 residents, he oversees the maintenance and repair of all Town owned parks, streets, sidewalks and trees, water treatment and distribution, and the collection of recyclables, solid waste, yard waste and bulky items. In recent months the quality of West Springfield’s recycling stream has become a key issue that he has personally addressed through a number of targeted initiatives.

Gunther Wellenstein, Solid Waste Manager, Lowell MA

guntherGunther is an effective municipal material management professional of nearly ten years, working to maximize recycling in a multi-cultural city of 106,500 residents. A proven project leader, he has implemented automated MSW (3/2009) and automated single stream recycling (1/2015), and his actions have reduced Lowell’s curbside disposal by 20,000 tons (annually), doubled recycling tonnage from 3,000 to 6,000 tons annually, and ultimately increased the city’s curbside recycling rate from 6.5% to 28%. Beyond bolstering traditional recycling tonnage, he works on contamination mitigation and food recovery – both curbside and on campus.

Jason Hale, Communications Lead, The Recycling Partnership

JasonJason brings two decades of recycling experience to the table, having worked across the industry in the public, private and nonprofit sectors at the local, state and national level. Throughout his career he has built upon skills gained through a marketing degree from the University of Virginia. Currently he’s part of the skilled communications team at The Recycling Partnership, forwarding the cutting edge of carts, communications and quality.