Inspiring Communities to Embrace and Achieve Zero Waste

Bios below

Board of Directors

Ruth Abbe, President                                                                     
Rick Anthony, Vice President – Advocacy, Past President, ZWIA Liaison
Gary Liss, Vice President – Educational Program

Monica Wilson, Secretary/Treasurer


Portia Sinnott, Program and Development Director, Administrator and Senior Instructor
Dr. Neil Seldman, Recycling Cornucopia Program Director
Laura Anthony, Save The Albatross Coalition Program Manager
Chris Sparnicht, COOLNow Program Manager and IT Wizard
Amanda Waddle, Training Program and Affiliate Manager


Amanda Waddle, Zero Waste Gainesville, FL *
Annemarie Sauter, Zero Waste Costa Rica *
Christienne de Tournay, Berkeley Zero Waste Commission, CA *
Elena Moreno, Zero Waste Costa Rica *
Jeremy Drake, Strategy Zero Waste Solutions and Zero Waste Montana *


Ruth Abbe, Abbe & Associates LLC and SWANA Northern California Gold Rush Chapter, Alameda, CA
Ruth Abbe is a Zero Waste practitioner with more than 25 years of experience in recycling and composting program and facility development. As the principal of Abbe & Associates LLC, she works  with municipalities across the U.S. to develop the social and physical infrastructure to achieve Zero Waste. She serves on the Board of Directors of the GrassRoots Recycling Network (Zero Waste USA), the Zero Waste International Alliance and the Gold Rush Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America. In her home city of Alameda, California she is a grassroots leader with Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA). CASA has developed an award-winning recycling and composting program for the Alameda schools (the Alameda Green Schools Challenge) and supports the “Miss Alameda Says, ‘Compost!'” program to help implement mandatory recycling and composting requirements at restaurants and multifamily buildings.

Gary Liss

Gary Liss, Gary Liss & Associates, Loomis, CA
A leading Zero Waste advocate, Mr. Liss has helped more communities develop Zero Waste plans than anyone else in the U.S., he is president of Gary Liss & Associates and a long-term Boardmember of the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA). He worked with Underwriters Laboratories to develop a Zero Waste Standard for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Co-founder, past president and long term Board Member of the National Recycling Coalition, he currently serves as Lifetime Honorary Board Member and co-chair of the 2020 National Zero Waste Conference.  He is also Program Chair of the Grassroots Recycling Network  aka Zero Waste USA. A Certified Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives (ZERI) System Designer, in 2005 Mr. Liss went through extensive training with Gunter Pauli. He served on the Town Council in his hometown of Loomis, CA and was Mayor in 2010. He has a Master of Public Administration degree from Rutgers University and Bachelor in Civil Engineering from Tufts University

Monica Wilson GAIA 2010

Monica Wilson, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Berkeley, CA
Monica Wilson is Associate Director of GAIA’s U.S. Office & Global Programs Coordinator. She has worked with GAIA since 2002. In 2012 she was honored by the California Resource Recovery Association as “Recycler of the Year” together with GAIA’s US & Canada Program.

Richard Anthony cropped

Richard V. Anthony, Richard Anthony Associates, National Recycling Coalition, Zero Waste San Diego and Zero Waste International Alliance, San Diego, CA
Richard began his career in Public Administration in 1971 as a manager of the California State University Long Beach Recycling Center. He received a MS in Public Administration in 1974. Mr. Anthony has worked his entire career in environmental program management positions. As a Manager he wrote and then implemented Solid Waste plans for Fresno (1979-87) and San Diego (1987-1998) Counties. He has participated in developing Zero Waste plans as a consultant since 1998. Richard Anthony is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of the California Resource Recovery Association, the Grassroots Recycling Network, the Zero Waste International Alliance, U.S. Zero Waste Business Council and Zero Waste San Diego.

Portia Sinnott

Portia Sinnott, Program and Development Director and Administrator, Sebastopol, CA
A Zero Waste and data management consultant, Portia co-leads national and international expert teams working with the EPA, UN-Habitat and a wide variety of jurisdictions and businesses. Favorite projects include the USEPA Zero Waste Community Assessment Framework and other components of the EPA’s The Managing and Transforming Waste Streams. She serves as Program Director for Zero Waste USA and GrassRoots Recycling Network, Executive Director and Editor of the Northern California Recycling Association and Co-Founder and Executive Director of LITE Initiatives – the Sonoma County sustainable practices group that operates Zero Waste Action and Community Bikes. On behalf of all these groups, Portia is the convener of the Zero Waste Brain Trust, which collects data on Zero Waste initiatives and organizes small group brainstorms, large stakeholder meetings and projects focused on the transition to a world without waste.

Neil Seldman, PhD, Recycling Cornucopia Program Director, Washington, DC
Neil Seldman is a Zero Waste advocate with extensive experience in the field. He co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and served as their Director of its Waste to Wealth Initiative for
48 years. He also co-founded the National Recycling Coalition,GRRN/Zero Waste USA, Zero Waste International Association and the Save the Albatross Coalition.

Seldman is known for helping organized citizens and small businesses defeat planned incinerators and then being hired by these jurisdictions to plan andimplement Zero Waste.

Prior to his career in Zero Waste Seldman was a production manager for aconsumer products factory and professor of political science.

Laura Anthony, Save The Albatross Coalition Program Manager
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Zero Waste San Diego and Principal, Richard Anthony and Associates.
Laura is a 2nd generation Zero Waste community organizer. In 2007, she helped establish Zero Waste San Diego which integrated the Zero Waste approach when handling discards for the San Diego Earth Fair. In 2016, she started the San Diego Fixit Clinic and has hosted over 300 clinics throughout the county. She graduated from San Diego State University in 2000 with a BA in Women’s Studies and from San Jose State University in 2012 with a MA in Library and Information Science.

Chris Sparnicht, COOLNow Program Manager and Web ConsultantLaughter On Water, Athens, GA
Chris provides program management, technical and website support to environmental and citizen-science nonprofits throughout the US and Canada – including Zero Waste USA and the Northern California Recycling Association. A certified Zero Waste Associate, he is a valued member of both ZWUSA and NCRA’s webinar and conference production teams. Chris has degrees in biology, horticulture and landscape architecture, and is interested in music and video production. He has been involved with the Bear Hollow Zoo in Athens, Georgia for many years and on the Friends of Bear Hollow board for the last three.

Amanda Rice Waddle, Co-Instructor and Collaborating Organization Contact, Gainesville, FL
Amanda is a Zero Waste consultant working with communities to build their Zero Waste Master Plans. Amanda lives in Gainesville, FL and has been instrumental in getting Gainesville and Alachua County on the path to Zero Waste through her volunteer work as co-chair of Zero Waste Gainesville. Amanda is also the Director of Zero Waste at The Repurpose Project, where she works with K-12 schools, small businesses, and events to get them on the path to Zero Waste. She also creates educational material on Zero Waste, plastic pollution, reuse, environmental and social justice related to plastic pollution, and Zero Waste communities.

Annemarie Sauter, Co-Instructor, Alianza Zero Waste Costa Rica/Zero Waste Costa Rica

Christienne de Tournay, Co-Instructor, Berkeley, CA
Chrise is an independent Zero Waste specialist, educator  and advocate. As the Zero Waste Commission’s Chair, she designed and facilitated the public outreach and input-gathering efforts for the City of Berkeley’s 2019 landmark Single-Use Disposable Food Ware & Litter Reduction Ordinance. This process resulted in proposing to Council key revision recommendations that were instrumental in securing a unanimous vote for passage. Other projects include County of Marin and City of Palm Springs single-use foodware reduction policy development and implementation efforts, and CARE carpet reuse studies.

Elena Mateo, Co-Instructor, Alianza Zero Waste Costa Rica/Zero Waste Costa Rica
Elena Mateo is co-director of the Alianza Zero Waste Costa Rica and has 25 years of experience in environmental education, natural resource management, conservation and sustainability. Elena is an advocate of activities that promote environmental and social awareness in the educational, public, private, NGO and community sectors. She works with schools, municipalities, and organizations in the implementation of Zero Waste policies and programs. She is a member of Zero Waste International Alliance’s (ZWIA) Board of Directors as well as Costa Rica’s Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Chamber’s (CANAECO) Board of Directors. Elena has a Master’s Degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and another Master’s Degree in International Education.

Jeremey Drake, Co-Instructor, Missoula, MT
Jeremy Drake is a Zero Waste consultant with over 10 years of experience in community planning, program planning and implementation, stakeholder engagement, and education. Jeremy was the lead author of the Missoula ZERO by FIFTY Zero Waste Plan and facilitated a Zero Waste planning process with Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) culminating in a strategic action plan and the launch of Montana’s first school-wide Zero Waste pilot program. He is now assisting with the expansion of Zero Waste programs across MCPS schools and operational sites.