2019 Conference

Each year, the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) organizes one of the most comprehensive and informative conferences dedicated to recycling and sustainable materials management in California and beyond. CRRA is well known for its training and educational offerings since the early 1970s.  The Annual Conference and Tradeshow attracts over 600 individuals annually and showcases an estimated 30 sessions each year with over 100 industry experts as presenters.

THE CULTURE OF ZERO WASTE. Create. Implement. Succeed.

Why Culture?  It's defined as the social behavior and norms found in society, the central concept in anthropology. It encompasses the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in our communities.  We are proud to share that the CRRA community is at the forefront of creating a Zero Waste culture.  Through passion and mission, our colleagues are taking action and implementing plans as well as changing behaviors and practices.  From what we do at home, at school, at the office, at the city, county and state levels, we are effecting change. Because of these efforts, California is succeeding at creating a Culture of Zero Waste.

Presentations covered an array of Zero Waste topics including:  

  • Climate Change
  • Zero Waste Programs
  • Food Rescue
  • California Mandates
  • China's National Sword & State of International Markets
  • Keeping Organics out of Landfills
  • Illegal Dumping, Stormwater and Marine Debris

The 2019 Conference was held at The Westin MIssion Hills Golf Resort & Spa in beautiful Rancho Mirage, August 11-14, 2019.  

Click here to view the photos from this year's conference.

Click here for the 2019 Economic Impact Report.





MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2019, 8:30 AM


Timothy Bouldry documents open dumpsites and the communities living from them. He works with environmentalists and humanitarians to help create cases for governmental powers to understand the changes these places need. 

Bouldry’s presentations have been given in conferences all over the world explaining dumpsites stories from countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He currently resides in Nicaragua where he is directing The ISWA Scholarship Programme. The programme includes 70 students living at two dumpsites in Nicaragua and one dumpsite in Kampala, Uganda. 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2019, 10:30 AM


Scott Smithline was appointed director at the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery in July 2015. He formerly served the department as assistant director for policy development since 2011.

Smithline was a consultant at the Smithline Group from 2008 to 2011, director of legal and regulatory affairs at Californians Against Waste from 2003 to 2008 and an attorney at Lawyers for Clean Water in 2001. He was a fellow at the Golden Gate University School of Law’s Environmental Law and Justice Clinic from 2000 to 2001. Smithline earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Golden Gate University School of Law.


Froilan G. Grate or Kuya Froi as he is commonly called, is an environmental educator and volunteer at heart.

During his time at the Center for Environmental Awareness and Education, he was first exposed to the transformative power of education, especially as a tool in making people act positively towards the resolution of various environmental issues. He went on to to work with the Mother Earth Foundation and today serves as Executive Director of GAIA Philippines and as the Asia Pacific Coordinator for the GAIA.

A passionate advocate against the use of plastic, he has not used a single plastic drinking straw or shopping bag in more than 10 years. 


Ryan Hickman is the ten year old president of Ryan's Recycling. He began recycling at the age of three, with a passion to clean up the planet.

Ryan has recycled over half a million cans and plastic bottles and he also travels around the country speaking about the importance of recycling. He's been named as one of the top 100 most influential people in Orange County and he's a recipient of the CNN Young Wonder Award.

Ryan is a youth ambassador for Recycle Across America and Busch Systems.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2019, 12:30 PM


Calla Rose Ostrander works to expand awareness, adoption and advance policy surrounding compost and carbon farming in California and the western United States.

She is a Climate Change Innovations Advisor to individuals and organizations dedicated to stabilizing Earth’s climate. She is currently working with People, Food & Land Foundation expanding compost and healthy soils adoption in California and the western United States. 

Before moving to California in 2008, she co-authored of the City of Aspen’s first Climate Action and Adaptation Plans and was a communications fellow for Rocky Mountain Institute.