New SWS Director Announced

California Resource Recovery Association boss Robert Gedert to run recycling

Gedert: The man to drive the MRF?
Gedert: The man to drive the MRF?

After six months with an interim boss, the City of Austin has announced that California Resource Recovery Association Executive Director Robert Gedert will take the reins at Solid Waste Services, starting Feb. 1, 2010.

Running an environmental non-profit like the CRRA gives him good green credentials, but he's also good some more direct experience of municipal waste management. Previously the Chief of Recycling Operations for the City of Fresno, Calif., as well as running state and county recycling operations in Ohio and Indiana, Gedert is also highly connected in groups like the National Recycling Coalition.

More relevantly for current needs, in his memo to staff City Manager Marc Ott notes that he has "designed and operated several materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in Cincinatti, Hillsboro and St. Mary's Ohio."

When asked for comment, Solid Waste Advisory Commission Rick Cofer said "I think the best compliment I can pay is that Bob Gedert will do for Solid Waste what Roger Duncan has done for Austin Energy, which is bring it into the 21st century, and make it a leader, not just in Texas or the country, but the entire world."

Full press release below:

After a nationwide search, Austin City Manager Marc Ott has selected Robert Gedert, a recognized national leader in solid waste management research, analysis and planning, to lead the City of Austin’s Solid Waste Services Department.

Gedert, a former Source Reduction and Recycling Branch Chief for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, was most recently the Executive Director for the California Resource Recovery Association.

Throughout his career, Gedert has been responsible for designing, developing and operating solid waste and recycling programs at a City, County, and State level. He is an accomplished professional with more than 30 years experience in recycling collection and solid waste facilities.

Gedert has designed and operated several material recovery facilities (MRFs) in Ohio in the cities of Cincinnati, Hillsboro and St. Mary’s.

"Mr. Gedert brings vast experience in the solid waste and recycling industry," City Manager Ott said. "I am confident as we move forward with the Solid Waste Master Plan for the City of Austin, his background will help ensure that we provide effective and efficient solid waste services that focus on meeting our Zero Waste goals."

Gedert, who begins Feb. 1, will oversee a department of 398 employees with a budget of $66 million. Solid Waste Services provides integrated waste management services including Pay As You Throw garbage, recycling, brush and bulky collection. The department will lead implementation of the Zero Waste Plan.

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City Manager, Environment, Solid Waste Services, Robert Gedert

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