RAM/SWANA 2021 Fall Webinar Series


The Annual RAM/SWANA Conference has move to spring 2022, so RAM and SWANA are teaming up again this fall to bring you a fall webinar series along with some additional in-person events. We hope that you will join us!


Save the Dates! Thursdays (and 1 Tuesday!) from September 16th to November 4th at 2 pm
Webinars will last approximately 90 minutes


Webinar Dates and Topics:

Date Title Speakers (Click below for speaker bios)
September  16th,  
2 pm
Embracing Equity and Social Justice

Mark Monteiro, King County, WA
Pat McLaughlin, King County, WA

This webinar will look at King County, Washington, as an example of implementing equity and social justice in the solid waste and recycling industry. King County is one of three counties in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area. The King County Solid Waste Division has had a long-standing commitment to equity and social justice (ESJ) initiatives as a local service provider. Over the past few years, they've been focused on the internal aspects of their workforce and how they can develop a strategy to bring clarity and direction of these important ESJ efforts, along with a strong alignment with the broader King County ESJ goals.

Some of their challenges have been in how ESJ is perceived, delivered, and digested amongst the diverse incumbent workforce. Their journey continues to be one where they strive to accept all perspectives; whether the message is well received or unpopular, they continue to embrace and believe in ESJ.

September 22nd,
2 pm
IN-PERSON tours in the Brainerd Lakes Area

Green Forest Recycling or Crow Wing County Landfill

RAM and SWANA are joining SWAA to offer tours ahead of the annual SWAA Conference. Registrants can choose to tour either Green Forest Recycling or Crow Wing County Landfill, both located in Brainerd. This is a FREE event, but registration is required and space is limited.

Click here to register for the tours

*The event organizers are monitoring the COVID-19 data and may request or require masks at this event as recommended by local, state and national health officials. Please plan accordingly and thank you in advance for your understanding. 

September 22nd,
3:30 pm
IN-PERSON Social Networking Happy Hour in Baxter hosted by RAM, SWANA and SWAA  

Come catch up with your colleagues face-to-face at this happy hour prior to the Annual SWAA Conference! Registration to this event is FREE and you do not need to be attending the conference to join. 

*The event organizers are monitoring the COVID-19 data and may request or require masks at this event as recommended by local, state and national health officials. Please plan accordingly and thank you in advance for your understanding. 

September 30th,
2 pm

Extended Producer Responsibility: Successes, Challenges and What it Means for Minnesota

Heidi Sanborn, National Stewardship Action Council
Garth Hickle, Garth Hickle Consulting

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a hot topic in both mainstream and industry news recently due to new legislation in Maine and Oregon, as well as the growing concern over management of materials that are hard to recycle. In this webinar we'll hear national and local insights into this movement, learn more about the various legislative proposals, the response from producers and what we might see in Minnesota.
October 7th,
2 pm

Solid Waste Policy: Metro Waste Policy Plan and Driver Shortages

Peder Sandhei, MPCA
George McMahon, Minnesota Teamsters

During this webinar, Peder Sandhei will dive into the Metro Waste Policy Plan, including challenges faced due to Covid, social unrest, and employment. The Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Policy Plan establishes the plan for managing the Metropolitan Area’s solid waste. The policy plan is prepared every six years with input from state agencies, county staff, and a variety of stakeholders: representatives of the waste industry, environmental groups, businesses, and citizens. The conversation will then shift to the topic of driver shortages in the waste industry, an issue many are facing due to increased competition for drivers in other services. We will explore the challenges, stories, and solutions to this pressing issue. 

October 14th,
2 pm
Recycling Markets in 2021

Chaz Miller, 40-Year Recycling and Waste Industry Veteran
Jim Frey, RRS and NextCycle Michigan

For the first time in several years, speaker Chaz Miller has some positive words about the markets for recycled material. Miller, a prolific speaker, writer and advocate in the waste and recycling industry, will bring a little bit of silver lining to our year by discussing some of the driving forces in today's markets and his outlook for the near future.

All of that is good news for Jim Frey, CEO of RRS, who wants to attract and grow the supply chain and end markets for recycled materials through the project NextCycle Michigan. Jim will tell us about NextCycle Michigan and how they brought together an impressive array or partners with the goal of being an incubator for circular economy initiatives in their state.  

October 26th (TUESDAY),
2-3:45 pm
Hazardous Waste Part I: MPCA Hazardous Waste Regulatory Updates and MPCA/Minnesota’s Toxics and Pollution Prevention Program

Josh Burman, MPCA
Al Innes, MPCA

Please join us for part I of our 2-part hazardous waste week to hear Al Innes, MPCA, present on the work of the Minnesota Chemicals in Products Interagency Team (CPIT), made up of representatives of the Department of Commerce, Department of Health and the Pollution Control Agency. This team has been conducting product testing to encourage compliance with the state’s statutes restricting toxic chemicals in children’s and other manufactured products. Mr. Innes will be followed by Josh Burman, MPCA, providing hazardous waste regulatory updates from MPCA and US EPA.

This is a 2-part series, but you are welcome to register for either session on its own or both!

October 28th,
2-3:45 pm

Jamison Reginek, Veolia Environmental Services
Robert Servian, MN Dept of Labor & Industry/MN OSHA Consultation
Cheryl Lofrano-Zaske, Stantec

Part II of our hazardous waste week presents an industry perspective as to what is creating the backlog of getting hazardous waste scheduled for hazardous waste incineration across the country and creating storage time limit exceedances for so many hazardous waste generators.  We will also be hearing from several speakers discussing alternate strategies for achieving regulatory compliance to include use of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 auditing to MN OSHA’s Consultation Program to developing your own internal regulatory audit program.

This is a 2-part series, but you are welcome to register for either session on its own or both!

November 4th,
2 pm
Reducing Food Waste in Minnesota and Nationwide 

Jean C. Buzby, PhD, US Department of Agriculture
Tim Lundell, WLSSD
Rebecca Richert, UNFI

It is our pleasure to welcome Dr. Jean Buzby, the USDA Food Loss and Waste Liaison in the Office of the Chief Economist, to talk to us about activities at the national level to address food waste. Dr. Buzby is an internationally-know economist who has worked for the USDA for over 25 years.


CEU Info

The RAM/SWANA Webinar Series organizers are seeking approval for 1 contact hour per webinar towards an MPCA Type II or Type III solid waste landfill operator recertification. CEUs will be given to anyone who correctly answers the short attendance quiz after watching either a live webinar or the recording on YouTube.




  1 Webinar 2 Webinars 3 Webinars 4 Webinars  5 Webinars  6 Webinars  7 Webinars
Member Rate
(Member of RAM or SWANA)
$50 $100  $125 $155 $175  $190  $200
Non-Member Rate $70 $140  $188  $230 $265 $287  $300


Thank You to Our Sponsors! 








Interested in sponsoring the 2021 RAM/SWANA Webinar Series? Click here for a summary of the sponsor opportunities