Solid Waste Advisory Committee

Members of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, wearing hardhats and high-visibility vests, pose in the Education & Viewing Room of the North Transfer Station.
SWAC Members Tour the North Transfer Station, March 1, 2023.
From Bottom Left: Chelsey Evans, Quinn Apuzzo (SPU Staff), Brie Kuhn, Wendy Weiker. From Top Left: Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, Michael Johnson, Erin Gagnon, Steven Walls, Rina Fa'amoe-Cross, Danny Barksdale

The Purpose of SWAC

Seattle Public Utilities' Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) is an advisory body mandated by RCW 70A.205.110 to provide recommendations and informed advice to the Utility regarding solid waste management issues.

Description

SWAC members work with SPU’s Solid Waste team to provide recommendations, feedback, and share community insights into programs, policies, and outreach objectives around recycling, compost, garbage, and waste prevention. SWAC members also assist in the review of programs and policies concerning solid waste handling and disposal. In addition, members review and comments upon proposed plans, rules, policies, or ordinances prior to their adoption. SWAC members bring expertise from their communities and organizations, with different professional and life experiences, to ensure SPU can make Seattle the best place to live for everyone. SPU is especially interested in members who can actively partner to uphold our commitments to Our City Values and Social Justice.

Responsibilities

  • Represent community and organizational interests in making solid waste recommendations
  • Write letters to support SPU’s goals, such as moving toward Zero Waste
  • Comment on the Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan and Annual Waste Prevention & Recycling Report
  • Review SPU programs and policies for customer impact
  • Work collaboratively with other members of differing viewpoints
  • Attend monthly meetings and participate in group conversations on solid waste topics

Qualifications

  • Interest in SPU’s solid waste services, policies, and programs
  • Ability to represent community interests in recommendations
  • Experience collaborating with teams
  • Desire to improve government services through lived (e.g., BIPOC, low/fixed income) and/or professional expertise.

Benefits

  • The ability to influence SPU decision making around Solid Waste services, policies, and plans
  • Advocate for one’s specific community interests and share perspective
  • Learn and hear perspectives of different community members and the impact of city services
  • Have an active role in local government with a diverse group of community members

Contact Quinn Apuzzo with questions or for more information at quinn.apuzzo@seattle.gov or (206) 507-1485.

SWAC members work with SPU’s Solid Waste team to provide recommendations, feedback, and share community insights into programs, policies, and outreach objectives around recycling, compost, garbage, and waste prevention. SWAC members also assist in the review of programs and policies concerning solid waste handling and disposal. In addition, members review and comments upon proposed plans, rules, policies, or ordinances prior to their adoption. SWAC members bring expertise from their communities and organizations, with different professional and life experiences, to ensure SPU can make Seattle the best place to live for everyone. SWAC members also actively partner to uphold our commitments to Our City Values and Social Justice.

  • Represent community and organizational interests in making solid waste recommendations
  • Write letters and statements to support SPU’s goals, such as moving toward Zero Waste  
  • Comment on the Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan and Annual Waste Prevention & Recycling Report
  • Review solid waste programs and policies for customer impact
  • Work collaboratively with other members of differing viewpoints
  • Attend monthly meetings and participate in group conversations on solid waste topics

  • The ability to influence SPU decision making around Solid Waste services, policies, and plans
  • Advocate for one’s specific community interests and share perspective 
  • Learn and hear perspectives of different community members and the impact of city services
  • Have an active role in local government with a diverse group of community members

Contact Quinn Apuzzo with questions or for more information at quinn.apuzzo@seattle.gov.

Each spring and/or as members term off SWAC, we will hold an open recruitment process to fill vacant seats. More information about the recruitment process is outlined in the SWAC Charter. In order to apply for SWAC you must live or work in the city of Seattle. Other qualifications might include:

  • Interest in SPU’s solid waste services, policies, and programs
  • Ability to represent community interests in recommendations
  • Experience collaborating with teams
  • Desire to improve government services through lived (e.g., BIPOC, low/fixed income) and/or professional expertise.

Yes, and we welcome you to do so. Guests are encouraged to attend meetings to listen to members conversation and there may be opportunities to participate in discuss as well. Our meetings are currently being held virtual through WebEx, which you can attend on a computer or via phone. To be added to our notification list, please email Quinn Apuzzo at quinn.apuzzo@seattle.gov.

Committee Members

Terms & Charter

Committee members are appointed for a two-year term, with approval by the SPU General Manager. Members can serve up to four years before reapplying. More details on terms and committee operation are available in the SWAC Charter.

December 2023

November 2023

October 2023

  • October 4: SWAC Field Trip to Recology Materials Recovery Facility

September 2023

August 2023

July 2023

  • No meeting

June 2023

May 2023

April 2023

March 2023

  • March 1: No Meeting – SWAC Field Trip to North Transfer Station

February 2023

January 2023

For more past meeting information, visit the Meeting Archive page.

Joe Camero

Joe Camero, WM
Term: 2023-2025

Joe lives in Pioneer Square and is a Public Sector Manager for WM (formerly Waste Management). He manages the solid waste collections contract between the City of Seattle and WM. An award-winning Public Relations manager, Joe previously worked for WM in Oakland, Cox Communications, and The California Endowment. He received his bachelor’s in communications from San Diego State University. You may bump into Joe around town either taking photos of the city or volunteering at a local nonprofit including the Pioneer Square Residents’ Council and the Filipino Community of Seattle.

Photo Chelsey Evans

Chelsey Evans
Term: 2022-2024

Chelsey leads circularity and marketplace sustainability for Etsy, Inc., where she creates strategies for e-commerce packaging sustainability and recyclability. She also advises on more sustainable materials for sellers, including recycled and upcycled content, and consults on regulation such as extended producer responsibility. Chelsey previously led sustainability at Nordstrom, where she developed the company's 2025 environmental goals and launched the award-winning BEAUTYCYCLE program. Closer to home in West Seattle, she volunteers with the Delridge Farmers Market. Chelsey holds a Master of International Business from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Photo of Erin Gagnon

Erin Gagnon, DTG
Term: 2022-2024

Erin Gagnon is the Chief of Transformation for DTG, an integrated recycling service for commercial, industrial, and construction clients. Prior to working at DTG, Erin spent time as a General Manager at Ridwell and a Government Affairs and Community Relations Manager at Recology. She has spent over 6 years in the sustainability field after graduating from Saint Martin's University with a Bachelors in Business Administration. She is passionate about buying everything second hand, baking homemade treats, and spending time outdoors.

Photo of Aleema Gray

Aleema Gray, Individual Representative
Term: 2023-2025

Aleema Gray oversees Amazon's long-term waste reduction roadmap for Worldwide Sustainability, including companywide waste diversion and waste prevention programs. She is responsible for establishing the standards and methods used to measure and predict waste across all company divisions, as well as implementing companywide processes, tools, and strategies to accomplish waste-related objectives. Her focus on making sustainability resonate with individual people has led to systematic changes in recycling and procurement programs across Amazon's last-mile fulfillment network.

Prior to Amazon, she had a decades-long international career of management and leadership roles in the digital and tech industries. She has also served in numerous professional volunteer and advisory projects focused on social impact and sustainability. She holds bachelor's degrees in both economics and anthropology from Binghamton University, and a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD. She also received an Executive Certificate in Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies from the University of Cambridge.

Photo Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson
SWAC Secretary
Term: 2022-2024

Michael lives in West Seattle near White Center and works as a Regional Commercial Claims Manager with Progressive Insurance Corporation. He brings a wealth of experience engaging with marginalized communities to ensure their voices are heard. His charter is to help with food waste prevention in the local communities and surrounding areas. Prior to his role with Progressive Corporation, Michael spent years in the US military working in various locations. Michael’s commitment to SWAC is founded on the principle that we must represent the communities in which we serve. He is committed to a sustainable future and to improving the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the community.

Photo of Brie Kuhn

Brie Kuhn
SWAC Chair
Term: 2020-2022

Brie lives in Capitol Hill and works as a Business Development Manager with WasteXperts, Inc where she works directly with multifamily dwellings to meet sustainability goals for solid waste. She attended Antioch University where she received her undergrad degree in Leadership and Sustainable Business. She dedicates her work to educating and engaging others on sustainable initiatives to create systematic change.

Photo of John Martin

John Martin
Term: 2022-2024

John is in-house counsel at DTG Recycle with a demonstrated history of contributing to strategic growth in a highly regulated industry across a range of matters, including M&A, intellectual property, licensing, regulatory compliance, and government affairs. He also leads their internal and external development efforts, including developing DTG’s Beyond Recycling Innovation Center (BRIC) to create end markets for difficult to recycle plastics.

Prior to joining DTG Recycle, John managed the personal IP of ski movie legend Warren Miller, including negotiating a feature-length biographical documentary. As an associate attorney at Williams Kastner, he focused on business transactions, admiralty and maritime, and fisheries matters. He lead a startup he founded in law school through a Seattle accelerator program and before that accrued over eight years of experience in construction and refit, compliance, and operations of commercially operated yachts.

Photo of Caitlin Singer

Caitlin Singer, Individual Representative
Term: 2023-2025

Caitlin is the Sustainability Manager at Georgetown Brewing and a West Seattle resident. She leads projects related to solid waste, resource efficiency and recovery, and renewable energy. She holds a BS in Biology and a MS in Environmental Social Psychology. Prior to her work at Georgetown, she was farming in Skagit and Whatcom counties. She is passionate about helping Seattle cultivate a more circular economy. Her hobbies include gardening, tending to the homestead, and has recently picked up cycling.

Photo of Steven Walls

Steven Walls, Metropolitan Improvement District
Term: 2022-2024

As a native of Mississippi, Steven relocated to Seattle in 1998 following his enlistment in the United States Navy. For the past 22 years, Steven has overseen the day-to-day operations of the Metropolitan Improvement District’s 79 Cleaning Ambassadors who are responsible for maintaining a high level of specified cleaning standards in public realms to ensure the cleanliness of Downtown which includes daily sidewalk litter and leaf pickup, graffiti removal, sidewalk pressure washing, storm drain debris removal, alley cleaning, and biohazard waste removal and sanitation. In his current role as the Director of Cleaning Services, Steven has adopted many successful programs in an effort to reduce the Clean Team’s environmental footprint. A few of the notable eco-friendly programs are the recycling of cigarette butts and waste, leaf composting, and the implementation of a trike program used to respond to cleaning requests which significantly reduces the use of gas-powered vehicles.

Photo Wendy Weiker
Wendy Weiker

Wendy Weiker, Republic Services
SWAC Vice Chair
Term: 2022-2024

Wendy is the Republic Services Customer and Community Outreach Manager for Western Washington. She is responsible for building and supporting partnerships in local communities to enhance recycling and waste disposal systems. Her public outreach efforts include promoting beneficial public-private partnerships and personal actions consumers can take to support cost-effective, environmentally responsible disposal of the materials they buy. In addition, her policy work includes partnering with public agencies to support the development and effectiveness of our circular economy and zero waste policy implementation.

Before joining the Republic Services team, Wendy worked in similar customer and community engagement roles at Puget Sound Energy, Washington Mutual, and Microsoft. Wendy holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the UW Evans School of Public Policy. In addition to serving on SWAC, she also serves on the Solid Waste Association of North America – Evergreen Chapter Board, King and Snohomish Counties Solid Waste Advisory Committees, Washington Organic Recycling Council, Association of Washington Cities Board, and the Sound Cities Association Board.

Photo of Yongkang (YK) Zhou

Yongkang (YK) Zhou, Chinatown-International Business Improvement District
Term: 2022-2024

Yongkang works as the Clean & Green Program Manager for the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Area (CIDBIA), a non-profit organization in the C-ID. He holds a B.S. in Public Health from the University of Washington. He has extensive roots and relationships with many of the stakeholders and organizations within the C-ID and is keen on ensuring that the C-ID is well represented in the advisory of solid waste & sustainability efforts. He has been assisting SPU with sanitation efforts within the community and manages the CIDBIA's sanitation contractors. Yongkang aims to provide valuable insight and perspective to SWAC.

Meetings

This committee usually meets every 1st Wednesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. SWAC does not typically meet in the month of July. These meetings are open to the public and have web-link and call-in options. To join a SWAC meeting, please contact Quinn Apuzzo to get on our notification list.

Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000
SPUCustomerService@seattle.gov

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.