Conversation – RECYCLE – It Makes Cents (2:00pm)

We all know the catchphrase “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” But did you know it takes the same amount of energy to produce ONE new soda can as is does to produce TWENTY recycled soda cans? This demonstration will show you why the three Rs are so economical for the economy, how it can save YOU money, and how easy it is to make the three Rs part of your life. Compost demonstration included.

Bob Gedert

Bob Gedert, Director, Austin Resource Recovery

Bob is the Director of the Austin Resource Recovery Department for the City of Austin (formerly named the Solid Waste Services Department). He is responsible for a 400 employee operation that provides direct services to Austin citizens, including trash, recycling, and yard trimmings collection, street sweeping, litter and dead animal pickup, household hazardous waste, and the implementation of the Austin Zero Waste Plan.

Formerly, Bob operated the residential and commercial recycling service for the City of Fresno Department of Public Utilities, providing services to all single-family, multi-family and business customers within the City of Fresno. He led Fresno from a 29% recycling diversion rate in 2003 to a 75% recycling diversion rate in 2008 through the expansion of recycling and composting services to residents, businesses and schools.

Bob was the Chief of Recycling for the State of Indiana under three governors, and has written many state statutes in Indiana and Ohio supporting recycling efforts. He is considered a leading national expert in Zero Waste program implementation. Bob is nationally recognized amongst his peers in the National Recycling Coalition as pioneering cost efficiencies in trash collection systems through the implementation of zero waste programming.

He has taught environmental ethics in several universities as a visiting guest lecturer, including most recently Yale University. He co-authored the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, outlining the implementation roadmap of Austin’s approach toward Zero Waste.

Robin Schneider

Robin Schneider, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund, Electronics TakeBack Coalition

Under Robin’s direction, Texas Campaign for the Environment took a leading role in the campaign to close the Grandfather Loophole in the Texas.

Clean Air Act, for which she was dubbed the “Best Advocate for Breathers” by The Austin Chronicle.

She is a Vice Chair of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and played a key role in successfully convincing Dell, Apple, Samsung and other TV companies to support and start producer takeback recycling programs. She is a leading voice for producer takeback and recycling issues at the Texas State Capitol.

In 2004, TCE won a second “Best of Austin” award (in conjunction with Dell) for “The Best New Partnership” from The Austin Chronicle. Robin was named a “Green Giant” by Austin Monthly in April 2007.

Under Robin’s direction, TCE has also been working with landfill neighbors to impact local trash and recycling issues and statewide legislation. In addition, she was an early advocate for Zero Waste policies and helped shepherd the adoption of Austin’s Zero Waste goal and plans. Robin is also the Executive Director of TCE’s sister organization TCE Fund. She serves on the Board of Earth Share of Texas for TCE Fund.

DustinFedakoDustin Fedako, Founder and CEO, Compost Pedallers

Dustin is the founder and CEO of The Compost Pedallers, a bike-powered compost recycling company that collects organics from Austin homes & businesses and connects them to a network of urban gardens to grow food, instead of landfills.  By approaching Austin through the lens of as an urban ecosystem, the Compost Pedallers have built an innovative closed loop model for organic resource management, diverting 500,000 pounds from the landfill, saving 31,619 gallons of diesel fuel, and donating over $12,000 of compost to local gardening initiatives.
A proponent of rewiring the food system and supporting urban agriculture, Dustin sits on the Sustainable Food Policy Board for the City of Austin and has served on the board of The Food is Free Project since 2012.
He is passionate about building market-based, paradigm-shifting solutions that address pressing social and environmental challenges, and has helping launch four impact organizations since grabbing his B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011.

Greg Anderson, Director of Operations at Austin Habitat for Humanity, ReStore

 Greg joined the Austin Habitat team in January 2015 after spending five years at City Hall as Policy Director for Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole. He has more than 15 years of experience in real estate development, including the 360 Condominium Tower and the Austin Habitat for Humanity Community Home Center. Greg is the Vice-Chair for the Dawson Neighborhood Planning Contact Team, serves on the Airport Advisory Commission and the Bike Austin Board. Greg brings a strong business background to Austin Habitat and is tasked with expanding our product line to include multi-family and live-work properties and furthering the ReStore’s mission of being a recycling hub. Greg received both his MBA and his undergraduate degrees in Urban Studies and Geography and the Environment from the University of Texas at Austin.