Ruth Abbe, Vice President for HDR Engineering and international practice leader for Zero Waste Planning led a Zero Waste Planning Session for Schools for teachers and student leaders in the Service-Learning Waste Reduction Project. Ms. Abbe encouraged schools to move beyond recycling to consider all factors that lead to consumption and disposal choices at schools which can negatively impact the environment. She highlighted the 4Rs hierarchy- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot- as a way to make decisions that reduce the amount of energy that is lost when we throw something "away."
Ms. Abbe also shared career path insights and green job information with attendees. She highlighted multiple points of entry for students interested in working for international engineering organizations and reminded the audience that all jobs can be green jobs, if the worker brings a viewpoint of sustainability to the job.
In her work with HDR Engineering Ms. Abbe consults with large businesses and cities as they develop zero waste plans. She has advised the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Austin in their waste reduction efforts. In addition to her work at HDR, Ms. Abbe was on the Measure D committee that passed legislation calling for 75% diversion of Alameda County Waste, she served as the president of the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board, is a board member of SWANA's Gold Rush Chapter (The Solid Waste Association of North America), CAW (Californians Against Waste), Altamont Education Advisory Board, and NCRA (the Northern California Recycling Association)