Debra Darby

Debra Darby

Debra Darby

Speaker | Tetra Tech

Gloucester, MA |

Ms. Debra Darby is Tetra Tech’s Organics Sustainable Solutions Manager. She has 14 years of organics experience within the solid waste industry. She has garnered a reputation as a leader in her field through her extensive background working with organics and compostable materials and assisting clients through the design and implementation of organics diversion programs and management technologies. She is a U.S. Composting Council Certified Composting Professional (CCP) and has 20 years of experience in environmental marketing and has served as a strategic advisor in the public and private sectors. As part of Tetra Tech’s solid waste solutions team, Ms. Darby is involved with consulting, compliance, permitting, and developing composting operations.

Session Code: 4D

Track: Operations

Session Name: Using Technology: AI, GIS, DNA for Odors, Marketing and Quality

Session Time: Wednesday, January 26, 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM

Presentation Title: Estimating the Market Potential of Food Waste Generation Using GIS

Presentation Description: Solid waste facilities are coming under pressure to adapt to organics legislation seeking to divert organics (predominantly food waste) from the municipal solid waste stream.  Food waste recycling can create economic benefits in addition to environmental ones. Most organics legislation puts the burden for source separation and organics diversion on the food waste generator. Tetra Tech has developed a geographic information system (GIS) to perform food waste generation market analyses to help assess the feasibility of such programs. These analyses provide valuable information for investors, solid waste facilities, and waste haulers to assess the potential impact to their operations and direct strategic planning. Food waste generators can use the GIS mapping for locating recyclers or to demonstrate a lack of relevant options under an organics diversion law.

GIS-based applications and queries can be customized to meet the needs of a facility planning to incorporate organics recycling. These tools can estimate market potential based on site-specific generator data. Many solid waste facilities are located within or near disadvantaged communities and are looking for ways to be a good neighbor through job creation, clean energy use/generation and reducing emission. Queries can be formulated to focus on specific generator categories, including waste hauling route efficiencies, or reflect legal settings such as waste flow regulations and environmental justice considerations, among other challenges. This presentation will demonstrate the implementation of GIS tools and showcase several potential applications for a variety of stakeholders, including organics recycling facilities, waste haulers, operators of solid waste facilities, generators, regulators, and local and regional planners.

Tetra Tech will present a case study of a solid waste facility where the site operator wanted to understand the landfill gas/organics tonnage they could potentially lose with the new commercial organics ban and evaluate the potential benefit of developing an onsite organics recycling program.