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Sunset over Poppy Field



One-Day Conference Program: Engaging Communities in Recycling and Waste Management

Morning Session: Setting the Stage

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM: Registration and Networking

  • Participants arrive, register, and network with peers, exhibitors, and sponsors.

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM: Welcome Address

  • Introduction to the conference objectives and a brief overview of the importance of community involvement in recycling and waste management.

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM: Keynote Speaker:  Mike Learakos, Chief Executive Officer - Abound Food Care

  • Creating healthier communities through the elimination of food insecurity and a reduction in the impact of landfills on climate change.

Morning Session: Innovations in New Infrastructure and in Community Programs

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Presenter: Tom Koutroulis, Director – OC Waste & Recycling

  • The evolution of OCWR’s new composting infrastructure, transparent community outreach, and education initiatives to bring clarity to residents in the community.


11:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Presenter: Glenn Acosta, P.E. Senior Engineer | Public Information Officer – Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts

  • Successful community engagement utilizing strategies to engage citizens: Clear Water Project


11:30 PM - 12:30 PM: Lunch and Networking

Afternoon Session: Showcasing Best Practices and Innovation

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM: Presenter: Rachel Otair-Parris, Director of Operations – Abound Food Care

  • Tracking and Reporting to maximize the effectiveness of benefits of food recovery programs


1:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Presenter: Bradley J. Cea, Corporate Sales Director Public Sector - Waste Management

  • Innovations in Community Recycling Programs Utilizing AI. Technological innovations and creative initiatives that enhance community involvement in recycling and waste reduction.


1:30 PM - 2:00 PM:  Overcoming Challenges in Community Engagement

Presenter: Pamela Quick Staff Analyst II, The Town of Apple Valley.  

  • Community Engagement, actions taken, challenges, and lessons learned

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