Heather Trim

Heather Trim

Heather Trim

Speaker | Zero Waste Washington

Seattle, WA | heather@zerowastewashington.org

Heather Trim, Executive Director.  Heather has more than 25 years of experience in environmental work ranging from zero waste to toxic chemicals and habitat issues. At Zero Waste Washington, her focus has been on reducing upstream sources of waste and addressing downstream impacts, getting toxic chemicals out of products, eliminating plastic pollution, and building on the organization’s signature producer responsibility policy initiatives. Previously, at Futurewise, she worked to prevent runoff from entering our waterways and improve shoreline management practices and policies. Heather was at People for Puget Sound for over ten years where she focused on protections for the marine environment. Earlier, she was staff scientist for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council and worked for the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board on water quality standards, regulatory permits, pollution assessments, greening the LA rivers and habitat renewal.

Session Code: 3B

Track: Advocacy and Policy

Session Name: State Action; Zoning Guidelines

Session Time: Tuesday, January 25, 4:15 PM to 5:45 PM

Presentation Title: Expanding Organics Management in Washington State: Challenges and Opportunities

Presentation Description: Like in other states, almost 30% (by weight) of the disposed load in Washington is organic material. As Washington takes major steps to enact climate change policy, diversion of this landfill load to avoid generation of a super emitter gas – methane – is now under serious consideration.  The imperative to address food waste has particularly caught the attention of decision-makers.

In 2020, Zero Waste Washington interviewed 63 organic waste agency and industry staff and researchers from Washington. Based on those interviews, literature review and assessment of current data, we produced a report identifying existing organic waste flows, barriers and opportunities for management and concluded with 37 policy recommendations for Washington. The identified barriers to expanding organic waste management ranged from logistical challenges (including apple maggot quarantine restrictions) and business models that depend on external factors to tipping fees, regulatory interpretations, air quality emission factors (based on California’s conditions), and knowledge disconnects.  We also reviewed organics management legislation in the US and abroad, including implementation, so we can benefit from lessons learned.

A stakeholder process was initiated in July 2021 and continued through December, to work through technical issues and regulatory and funding questions for a Washington-tailored major policy directive for landfill diversion, edible food rescue, and infrastructure expansion. This talk will highlight the results of the study and the current status of the stakeholder discussion results as we coalesce around significant policy to be introduced in early 2022.