Speeches from national and international environmental leaders will provide a glimpse into current and future issues of the waste and recycling industries at a major environmental conference running Monday through Thursday (December 5th–8th ) at the San Diego Convention Center. Nena Shaw, Acting Director of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Resource Conservation and Sustainability Division, will speak about waste-related initiatives and grant programs included in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as review a proposed National Recycling Strategy.

Carlos Silva Filho, the President of International Solid Waste Association, will address the global role of the waste sector in addressing a triple planetary crisis of increased population, biodiversity loss, and global warming. He is also the CEO of ABRELPE, the Brazilian Association of Public Cleaning and Special Waste Companies.

Shaw and Silva, among many other speakers are participating in the 60th Anniversary WASTECON 2022, the annual conference of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). WASTECON 2022 is being hosted by SWANA’s three California—Northern California Gold Rush, Central California Sierra and Southern California—Founding Chapters. San Diego City Council Member Joseph LaCava will present WASTECON 2022 opening remarks Monday at 5:00 p.m. LaCava chairs the City’s Environment Committee and is an active community leader on climate change and infrastructure.

WASTECON 2022 will bring together more than 1,500 leaders and innovators in the solid waste and recycling industry to address the toughest challenges and discover the most promising opportunities. Current industry challenges include labor shortages, new environmental regulations, and finding ways to increase waste diversion and recycling.

The SWANA-ISRI MRF Summit, co-produced by SWANA and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI), runs concurrently with WASTECON to provide updates on the latest technologies, financial issues, and operations related to the evolving area of materials recovery and scrap recycling. Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director of the National Stewardship Action Council, presents the keynote, speaking on “Using Policy to Catalyze the Shift to A Circular and Equitable Economy.” Sanborn has been instrumental in the passage of extended producer responsibility bills in California in recent years.

WASTECON 2022 also features the SWANA Safety Summit, an ongoing discussion about opportunities to improve safety in materials collection, processing, and disposal. Collecting solid waste and recyclables at curbside is the sixth most dangerous job in the United States. SWANA’s new Strategic Plan has a goal of getting the industry off the national list of ten most dangerous jobs.

For more information, visit wastecon.org.