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CRRA Honors StopWaste Recycling Veteran Tom Padia

June 19, 2018

On July 28, the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) will recognize StopWaste deputy executive director and recycling veteran, Tom Padia, at its annual Conference and Tradeshow at the Oakland Marriott City Center. 

Tom began his career on the front lines in operations for the Ecology Action in Santa Cruz and San Francisco Scavenger, and worked as a curbside driver for the El Cerrito Recycling Center. He has helped transform the recycling industry from a focus on collection and delivery to landfill, to prevention and recovery. Tom was instrumental in getting California’s landmark Bottle Bill passed in 1986 and during his tenure at NorCal Waste Systems (now Recology) managed the design and startup of curbside recycling in San Francisco.

With StopWaste for over 26 years, Tom has helped develop key policies such as the plant debris landfill ban, mandatory recycling and reusable bag ordinances, and is the lead staff person for discards management. He has also been a mentor and educator for StopWaste staff and hundreds of community educators.

Retiring in December, Tom is known affectionately by his colleagues as "Encylo-Padia" for his ironclad memory and in-depth knowledge of the industry. His knowledge is nearly matched by his kindness, humility, and generosity. 

Tom shares this award with Susan Kattchee, who retired earlier this year from the City of Oakland and who also worked at StopWaste during her long career in recycling. The annual CRRA conference, which this year will be held in Oakland in July, is one of the most comprehensive and informative events dedicated to recycling and sustainable materials management in California and beyond.