Solid Waste Advisory Committee

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.

What does SWAC do?

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.

What are SWAC’s responsibilities?

  • 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

What are the benefits of joining SWAC?

  • 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.

How do I become a member of SWAC?

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.

Can I attend a SWAC meeting as a guest?

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 is available in the SWAC Charter.

Danny Barksdale

Photo Danny Barksdale
Danny Barksdale

Danny Barksdale, FareStart
Term: 2021-2023

Danny lives near Carkeek Park in North Seattle and is the Food Recovery Program Manager at FareStart, a Seattle-based nonprofit that transforms lives, disrupts poverty, and nourishes communities through food, life skills, and job training. Through his work, Danny intervenes, upcycles, and unlocks potential in food to reduce hunger and food insecurity across our communities.

Chelsey Evans

Photo Chelsey Evans
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.

Rina Fa’amoe-Cross

Photo Rina Fa’amoe-Cross
Rina Fa'amoe-Cross

Rina Fa'amoe-Cross, Seattle Public Schools
Term: 2021-2023

Rina has been a Resource Conservation Specialist at Seattle Public Schools since 2011. In this role she is focusing on the waste streams (garbage, recycling & compost) at the schools as well as waste prevention. Rina also works with local non-profits to provide outreach and training for students and staff on proper sorting. Some of her current projects include improving recyclable and compostable packaging, increasing the use of durables (trays, utensils) and creating a restroom paper towel composting program.

Celine Fujikawa, Secretary

Photo Celine Fujikawa
Celine Fujikawa

Celine Fujikawa, Seattle Housing Authority
Term: 2021-2023

Celine works for Seattle Housing Authority as a Sustainability Analyst and plays an active role on advancing the agency’s environmental stewardship goals. In her role, she works closely with SHA staff and residents to develop equitable waste outreach plans to support the needs of the community. Celine is passionate about centering the experiences of BIPOC communities and engaging in dialogue about climate justice and resiliency.

Erin Gagnon

Photo Erin Gagnon
Erin Gagnon

Erin Gagnon, Ridwell
Term: 2022-2024

Erin Gagnon is the Washington General Manager for Ridwell, a doorstep service that helps members waste less. Prior to working at Ridwell, Erin worked as a Government and Community Relations Manager for Recology King County. She has spent over 5 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.

Michael Johnson

Photo Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson
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.

Brie Kuhn, Chair

Photo Brie Kuhn
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.

John Martin

Photo John Martin
John Martin

John Martin, DTG Recycle
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 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.

Alessandra Pistoia

Photo Alessandra Pistoia
Alessandra Pistoia

Alessandra Pistoia
Term: 2019-2022

Alessandra served as the SWAC Vice-Chair in 2019. She currently works at Microsoft's Corporate Sustainability team as their first Waste and Circular Economy Program Manager, spanning operations and products. Her charter is to help define corporate sustainability goals for waste and circularity, including events. Alessandra has expert knowledge on how to be more sustainable with waste from basic life hacks to more complex regulations around responsible materials management.

 

 

Hannah Scholes

Photo Hannah Scholes
Hannah Scholes

Hannah Scholes
Term: 2021-2023

Hannah lives in the Madrona neighborhood and is a policy analyst for the King County Solid Waste Division. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Systems from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington. Prior to her role at King County, Hannah has worked for Waste Management and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. In her free time she enjoys hiking, biking, and rock climbing in the beautiful PNW wilderness.

Adrian Tan

Photo Adrian Tan
Adrian Tan

Adrian Tan
Term: 2021-2023

Adrian works for King County in the Solid Waste Division on recycling and waste prevention issues. He holds a PhD in sustainable design methodologies from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, he spent the first years of his career designing and developing products. In the past decade he has performed numerous studies and advised the European Commission on topics related to ecodesign, eco-innovation and the circular economy. He has also helped companies such as Adidas, Michelin and Steelcase integrate sustainability and circular business models in their organization.

Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman

Photo Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman
Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman

Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, Refugee Artisan Initiative
Term: 2021-2023

Ming-Ming is the founder and Executive Director of Refugee Artisan Initiative. As an immigrant from Taiwan, Ming-Ming understands the challenges refugees and immigrants face. She wants to connect these women with the skills they have and opportunities to earn an income to provide for their families in America. RAI combines Ming-Ming's compassion acquired as a pharmacist for 24 years and her love for the circular economy. She believes the creation of jobs for refugee and immigrant women while diverting waste like textile can go hand-in-hand. Refugee Artisan Initiative has won the Audience Award for 2021 NW Circular Design Competition.

Steven Walls

Photo Steven Walls
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.

Wendy Weiker

Photo Wendy Weiker
Wendy Weiker

Wendy Weiker, Republic Services
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.

Yongkang (YK) Zhou

Photo Yongkang (YK) Zhou
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.


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