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Session Descriptions

Sunday, August 13

Pre-Conference Workshop- Reducing Food Waste at Home

Monday, August 14

Breakout Sessions

Food Waste Reduction Luncheon

Tennessee Materials Marketplace Launch

Awards Dinner

Tuesday, August 15

Breakfast with Decision Makers

Technical Tour

Breakout Sessions

Break out track – Food Waste Reduction and Organics

Moderator – Shannon Jones, TDEC

10:15 a.m. Session – Nashville’s Goal to Be the Greenest City in the Southeast

Session Description - Partners from the public, private, and non-profit sectors will share how they are working together to make Nashville more livable with a focus on building a culture and infrastructure to support food waste reduction.

Erin Hafkenschiel, Metro Nashville Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Sustainability
Karl Ebert, Country Music Hall of Fame
Linda Breggin, Natural Resource Defense Council
Tallu Quinn, Nashville Food Project

1:00 p.m. Session – Schools and Parks - Models for Recycling and Food Waste Reduction

Session Description – Recycling and waste reduction doesn’t have to stop away from home.  Learn how schools and parks are using their available resources to contribute to a more sustainable practice. 

Laura McMillan, US EPA Region IV
Ryan Jenkins, Henry Horton State Park
Shannon Reese, Putnam Clean Commission

Break out track – Long-Range Planning

Moderator – Vincent Leray, TDEC

10:15 a.m. Session – The Economic Impact of Recycling

Session Description – Recycling market demand remains strong in the southeast yet costs are greatest at the point of collection. Get a closer look at the economic impact of recycling and landfilling in Tennessee and learn how rural and suburban programs can focus their efforts and budget.

John McFadden, Tennessee Environmental Council
Will Sagar, Southeast Recycling Development Council
Matt Todd, Resource Recycling Systems

1:00 p.m. Session – A Look Ahead for Middle Tennessee  

Session Description – Increasing population combined with decreasing capacity are just two of the challenges facing middle Tennessee.  Metro Nashville and Rutherford County are in the process of developing long term plans to guide decisions and waste reduction efforts for the next 30 years. The Greater Nashville Regional Council is embarking on a study to assist the 13 middle TN counties locally implement a selection of the 2025 Plan and incorporate strategies into a regional comprehensive plan.    

John Carlton, Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.
Sharon Smith, Metro Nashville Public Works
Matt VonLunen, Greater Nashville Regional Council


Break out track – Recycling Operations

Moderator – Jeremy Hooper, TDEC

10:15 a.m. Session – Making Data Driven Decisions

Session Description – Government leaders are integrating technology and data analytics to better understand needs and make more informed decisions.  During this presentation, representatives from Rubicon Global, City of Memphis and Tennessee State Parks will discuss how they use technology to optimize operations and provide robust data and analytics to develop better public policies and education efforts. 

Maui Orozco and Ryan Alexander, Rubicon Global
Joyce Williams and Amanda Fryer, City of Memphis Recycling
Sunny Fleming, TDEC Parks and Conservation

1:00 p.m. Session – Recycling Operations Safety

Session Description – The focus on safely operating a recycling program is becoming increasingly more important as collection, transportation and facilities need to become more efficient to manage evolving recycling streams and meet market demand.   Presenters will share general safety practices and more focused guidance on meeting transportation and facility operation safety standard.

Eddie Anderson, Stringfellow
John Houghton, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development 


Break out track – Education and Outreach 

Moderator – Seth Benge, TDEC

10:15 a.m. Session – Urban Green Lab’s Approach to Community Education

Sustainability education is critical during this time of blooming urbanization and changing climate in Tennessee.  In this session, participants will learn about the Urban Green Lab’s approach to ensuring everyone understands the basics of sustainable living with a focus on a new Sustainable Classrooms initiative to train teachers how to better integrate sustainable living principals – including recycling- into the classroom year-round.  Participants will also tour Urban Green Lab’s school bound Mobile Laboratory. 

Todd Lawrence, Urban Green Lab

1:00 p.m. Session – Having Fun with Education and Outreach

Reaching people on their level, even in the smallest of ways, often has a big impact when the desired outcome is increasing recycling rates or preventing litter. Participants will learn several hands-on activities such as the new and trendy rock painting craze to spread an environmental message. Other mini-lessons include making Seed Bombs to “Throw and Grow”, embracing “reuse” by creating pots from newspapers to fill with compost to plant seeds, and even playing with worms to promote food waste reduction because worms, after all, recycled long before humans thought about it! These interactive activities are fun not only for children, but the young-at-heart, and will engage almost any audience.  

Mimi Keisling, Rutherford County, TN

Reducing Food Waste at Home

In line with the conference theme of using a holistic approach to reducing waste, we are pleased to offer a pre-conference workshop that will provide participants with practical information they can use in their personal lives.

Brook Powell with the TDEC Office of Sustainable Practices and Jenny Jackson with the Wilson Farmers CoOp will lead a hands on workshop to help attendees learn how to reduce food waste at home by using time honored practices including canning and freezing.  

All the ingredients, necessary equipment and jars will be provided and you will leave with an in-season product.  Learn how to can food in our workshop so you can repeat the process at home!  Special thanks to Williamson County Extension, Williamson County Schools, and the Whites Creek Community Club for providing equipment and supplies for the event.

The workshop is designed to be fun and informative and will be a great way to meet other conference attendees.  Separate registration required.

Food Waste Reduction Luncheon

The State of Tennessee in conjunction with project partners will be unveiling a new statewide program! Learn how entities across Tennessee are coming together to reduce the amount of food that is wasted each year. Office of Sustainable Practices Director Lori Munkeboe and staff member Ashley Cabrera, along a special guest will be presenting the new initiative   Find out how you can be a part, beginning in your own kitchen.

Tennessee Materials Marketplace

In an effort to provide new tools to business and industry to meet waste reduction goals and increase profitability, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation partnered with the US Business Council to develop a Tennessee Materials Marketplace.  What better place to unveil this opportunity than the TN Recycling Coalition Conference among peers who share the same goals and stewardship for the environment! Attendees will have a chance to create the first user profiles and actually post commodities to sell or trade.

Has your company conducted a waste audit?  What materials are costing your company for disposal? Have you thought of alternative uses for these materials? The Tennessee Materials Marketplace is a free resource hosted on the award-winning Materials Marketplace and this online tool will enable you to easily post available or wanted materials, identify reuse opportunities, and exchange underutilized materials. 

TRC Conference attendees will have unique access to explore the functionality of the platform and spend time with experienced users who will share their expertise on using the marketplace.  The session will be presented in two parts to provide both an overview of the system and time for a hands-on test drive with experiences users to share insider tips. 

A formal “Tennessee Materials Marketplace” session will serve as the closing plenary session on Monday afternoon.  Panelist include Pat Van Ryckeghem with GM who has successfully used the national marketplace, Lamont Price from the Department of Economic and Community Development explain how the platform can serve as a recruitment tool, Joseph Klatt from Ohio who launched a similar program, and Andy Mangum from USBC to describe the new Tennessee platform.

An informal “Meet the Materials Marketplace” in the afternoon will provide a time for attendees to network, ask questions, and actually test-drive the marketplace in a casual and relaxed setting.  Attendees can prepare for the session by bringing photos and descriptions of materials available or wanted.  Helpful information to include in the description includes material composition, quantity, frequency, and location.  

Facilitator Lori Monkeboe - TDEC Office of Sustainable Practices

Andy Mangan - United States Business Council for Sustainable Development

Pat VanRyckeghem - General Motors

Joseph Klatt - Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

Lamont Price - Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development

Awards Dinner

Each year the Tennessee Recycling Coalition honors outstanding individual and organizations for their contributions to advancing recycling and waste reduction in Tennessee.  The event will begin with thirty minutes of casual networking followed by a formal dinner and presentation of the Recycler of the Year Awards.  A ticket is required for this event.

Breakfast with Decision Makers

The TRC conference program will conclude on Tuesday morning with a special breakfast that brings together coalition members with key decision makers to encourage continued investment in recycling and waste reduction.  Invited panelists representing industry, local government, institutions, academia will discuss the factors that motivate them to support waste reduction activities in their organizations and the associated dividends from their investments.  Attendees will gain a greater understanding of the key elements in making a pitch to leadership and how to navigate the decision making process.

Technical Tour

Relax as the motor coach takes you from the hotel to Second Harvest Food Bank and the Compost Company.  The two sites make an interesting pairing showing how food donation is an important step in the reducing wasted food, but also how food waste can be composted and used to grow better crops to provide more food for donation.  It's a true demonstration of how "Recycling Comes Full Circle."  Lunch and transportation is provided.  Space is limited be sure to secure your ticket for the tour.

Working together to promote reuse and recycling activities in Tennessee.

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