Paul Connett

paul-connett-227Professor Connett has recently written a book on Zero Waste titled “the Zero Waste Solution” that was published in Italy in 2012 and in Europe and North America in 2013. Professor Paul Connett will also be the keynote speaker at this year’s Zero Waste International Alliance’s annual Zero Waste conference hosted by Zero Waste Canada and the good people of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

Former Professor of Chemistry Paul Connett’s environmental activism goes beyond his classes. Investigations into the scientific evidence against the practice of water fluoridation has become a family affair for the Connett household. His son Michael is the research director and Webmaster for the Fluoride Action Network (, and his wife, Ellen, is also involved in researching the topic. All three presented scientific papers at the 26th Conference of the International Society for Fluoride Research, held in Wiesbaden, Germany, recently. Paul Connett has received numerous awards and citations for his work, and frequently participates in community discussions on fluoridation. A graduate of Cambridge University, Connett holds a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College and joined the faculty at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY in 1983. Connett’s opposition to incineration as a method of managing solid waste, based on his chemical analysis of the byproducts of the process, has taken him to 49 US states, five Canadian provinces and 54 other countries. He has given over 2,000 public presentations, written many articles on dioxin and waste management and co-produced several videos on those topics, as a result of that research. Connett says that he has devoted a great deal of time and effort to grass-roots environmental organizations during his career, because “that is the place where we can effect genuine change.” Ralph Nader said of Paul Connett, “He is the only person I know who can make waste interesting.”


Barb Hetherington

Xmas_2005_Ma__Di__Barb_001Barbara Hetherington is part of the Gibsons Resource Recovery Center team. With her partner, Buddy Boyd, she runs the award winning resource recovery centre in BC. The most recent recognition the GRRC has received is the coveted Best Green Business Award from Small Business British Columbia.

Barb has been a Zero Waste advocate and waste reduction educator in her community for years, and introduced the Zero Waste store five years ago, which has since become a regular meeting and exchange centre for her community. In addition to diverting resources from the landfill, the Zero Waste Store provides a great service to those with limited or fixed incomes.

Barb would rather talk about Zero Waste than herself.


Jamie Kaminski

Jamie_SkywalkingJamie started out recycling at the young age of nine where he collected cardboard and paper with his father from local businesses in order to take them in for recycling. In 2001 his father Stan Kaminski appointed Jamie the General Manager of HSR Services, running the first single stream recycling facility in BC, located in his home town of Port Coquitlam. Jamie later got involved with electronics recycling, showing industry leadership by being the first private company to set up a contract with Tech Cominco in Trail, BC in order to recycle the CRT monitors from the electronics. By doing this, Jamie made sure that anything hazardous was processed in region and not shipped to developing nations.

Since then Jamie has worked on a number of projects and committees, including the Communications and Policy Committee for the Recycling Council of British Columbia as well as their EPR working group.

Today Jamie’s main focus of expertise is the commercial industrial sector, working with LEED certified facilities so they can be leaders in environmental sustainability. Jamie’s future projects include moving material up the value chain from recycling to re-use and repair.


Dirk Becker

dirkbeckerDirk has been an environmental activist for over 25 years. His primary interest is sustainability – the true definition of which is being able to engage with our biosphere in a manner that can be performed perpetually (forever). He states, “Clearly, this is not our current direction. How we consume our ecosystem like a parasite or cancer is ample evidence. The byproduct of our behaviour is what we produce, what we waste and how we waste it. What gets discarded, land-filled and burned is a metaphorical manifestation of our culture’s madness. Think 100 years into the future. How will we feel about our legacy?”

The reason Dirk chooses to make his living as an organic farmer is because he has found it to be the single most powerful tool to reach people and have deeper conversations in order to facilitate change through real action.

Dirk’s interest in “ZERO WASTE” is as a key component and tool we can employ to wake ourselves out of our coma of unsustainability and create the badly needed shift our culture must make – and quickly – if we want to survive, let alone thrive as a species.

Over 20 years as an environmental advocate on Vancouver Island and an agricultural advocate for the past seven years, Dirk Becker’s passion for creating positive change is infectious and has benefited the community in a number of ways from working to create local provincial parks to inspiring young adults to grow much of their own food. Sustainability for Vancouver Island by lowering our personal ecological footprints is a large part of his volunteer work from doing talks on rainwater collection for the RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo), and Growing Food workshops for Seedy Sundays and Saturdays.

  • Public speaker and educator on sustainability, rainwater collection and local food (
  • Currently a director of the Farmland Defense League
  • Currently sits on the advisory panel for GMO-free BC
  • Founder and past President of the Bowen Road Farmers’ Market in Nanaimo, BC
  • Named among “Nanaimo’s Top 20 Most Powerful People” three years in a row – 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • January 2009 LiveSmart BC Community Hero
  • Interviewed by newspapers over 25 times in past three years discussing global challenges, including the connection between fossil fuel, world conflict, agriculture and food
  • Founding member of many groups such as the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition, Yellow Point Community Shared Agriculture project and past board member of Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and Nanaimo Family Life
  • Co-host of “Tools for Change” radio talk show


Buddy Boyd

Buddy_the_LogbutcherBuddy Boyd founded the award winning Gibsons Recycling Depot in 2003 (which includes Going Green Business from the Town of Gibsons and the Best Green Business in British Columbia for 2013), and created BC’s first and largest non-government funded Resource Recovery Centre. Amongst his many firsts is Styrofoam® Recycling. His plans include mattress deconstruction, Textile and Glass recycling and up-cycling, organics diversion which is linked into other local businesses interested in composting and community gardens.

Buddy has learned over the years that it takes persistence and innovation to drive success in addressing solid waste management responsibly and developing financially viable solutions is critical. His centre is a successful operational model for today and tomorrow, and Buddy brings a wealth of practical, hands-on operational experience to our team.