2018 Call For Session Proposals


38th Annual WSRA Conference & Trade Show

“Navigating the Waves of Change”

May 20-23, 2018 | Semiahmoo Resort, Blaine, WA

Submissions are no longer being accepted, the Conference Committee is currently in the review process and will be sending out notifications of acceptance or regret in late November/early December. 

The organizers of the 2018 Washington State Recycling Association’s Conference & Trade Show invite proposals for presentations.

About the Conference

The WSRA Conference and Trade Show is a showcase for the latest recycling, re-use, and waste reduction programs and technology and brings together over 300 industry leaders to learn, connect, inspire, and be inspired. We are now accepting proposals for breakout session presentations.

The theme and vision of this year’s conference is “Navigating the Waves of Change”. WSRA’s conference provides stakeholders in Washington’s recycling and waste prevention community with the knowledge and resources to address current challenges in the recycling industry, implement and improve recycling programs, advocate for policies and initiatives that advance recycling and waste prevention, and support the development of a generation of professionals for whom sustainability is a core tenet of their work and life philosophy. 

Please read the instructions below or the full proposal packet for more details.

Breakout Session Specifics

Session Lengths: 

  • Full Breakout Session: 60 minutes, 15 minutes of Q&A/Discussion time. Shorter presentations 20-30 minutes in length are also accepted. The WSRA conference committee will combine proposals that address similar areas and topics to form a full 75-minute session.
  • 20/20 RE-Slam Style (PechaKucha Style): Presentations are 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds with slides advancing automatically. Presentations will be image focused with limited text.

Session Location: Breakout rooms and general session room at the Semiahmoo Resort
Size: Rooms will hold 40-60 people; depending on the set-up

We are seeking enthusiastic and dynamic presenters that can share ideas and innovations in the recycling, waste reduction, and resource and materials management industry. What can you share to inspire others in this industry? What do you see as the next horizon in recycling? What challenges lie ahead for all of us? What new ideas or innovations have you found to be more effective in your work? We are seeking conference breakout sessions that are interactive, inspiring, informative, and memorable. 

Proposals for presentations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 13

Suggested Session Topics and Concepts:

  • Markets
  • Industry Challenges and Barriers
  • International and Diverse Perspectives
  • Facility and System Operations
  • Relationship to Manufacturing
  • Policy and Government Relations
  • Industry Funding
  • Materials and Resource Management
  • Compost and Recycling Stream Contamination
  • Reuse and Repair
  • Food Waste and Recovery
  • Organizational Partnerships
  • Reducing Consumption
  • Diversity, Inclusion, Equity

Presentations should:

  • Describe innovations, ideas, and projects related to influencing people to increase recycling, composting, waste reduction and reuse efforts
  • Focus on key insights. The goal is to share that “ah-ha!” moment.
  • Highlight tangible results. Use real-world examples.
  • Provide a take-away solution that could be applied by other attendees.
  • Think outside the box! Be captivating and engaging for the audience. We want presenters to think about TED/TEDx style talks. They should be entertaining as well as informative. We are not looking for the standard conference presentations.
  • Compelling visuals are highly encouraged. Multi-media presentations are great but are subject to the technology limitations of the venue.

Presentations should not:

  • Present detailed case studies.
  • Describe ongoing activities.
  • Promote a business, organization, product or service.
  • Use a lot of PowerPoint slides with heavy text.

If you can craft an hour-long session that will actively engage participants, deliver a solid message about a key issue facing the industry, and send attendees away with identifiable lessons learned, then we invite you to submit your proposal!


Proposals will be evaluated based on their overall alignment with this year’s conference theme and provide new and innovative content to attendees. In addition, proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Does the proposal include tactical and relevant information for an hour-long presentation to an audience of recycling and solid waste industry professionals?
  • Are there ample opportunities for discussion and interactivity among participants?
  • Are the presenters knowledgeable in the topic area?
  • Does the workshop represent a diverse experience, point of view, or somehow draw on the perspective of communities not represented in other workshops?
  • Will the presentation deliver tangible learning takeaways to participants in a fun and engaging format?
  • Does the presenter avoid self-promotion, negatively portraying specific members of the industry, and selling of products?

 Presenter Benefits and Responsibilities

  • $100 discount on full conference registration OR free admission to the conference (including lunch only) on the day of your session
  • WSRA is not responsible for speaker travel and accommodation costs.
  • If a confirmed presenter is unable to attend the conference, they are responsible for notifying the WSRA office at the earliest opportunity and for finding a replacement with similar skills and qualifications.


 Proposal deadline  

  • Complete proposals will be given priority.

October 13, 2017
by 5:00 p.m

 Notification of Acceptance/Regret      

Mid-November to Early December

 Speaker Materials Due:

  • Speaker agreement form, headshots
    and short (1-paragraph) bios  

December 13, 2017

 Final Deadline for AV Requests  

April 6, 2018

 Slides and/or multi-media due                            

April 27, 2018

 Date of Presentation            

 May 21 or 22, 2018


Contact Anne Piacentino at apiacentino@wsra.net or call (206) 244-0311.