Keynote Session

Megacities Solid Waste Leaders

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
9:30 – 10:30
Convention Center


Kathryn Garcia, Commisioner, New York City Department of Sanitation

Kathryn Garcia

Appointed in March 2014 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Kathryn Garcia leads the nation’s largest municipal waste management agency and its 9,700 uniformed and civilian employees. Under her direction, they keep New York City healthy, safe and clean by collecting, recycling and disposing waste, cleaning streets and vacant lots, and clearing snow and ice. After her appointment as the Department’s 43rd commissioner, Commissioner Garcia set an ambitious long-term goal for New York City: send zero waste to landfills by 2030. From promoting electronics and textile recycling to enhancing composting programs that eliminate food from the waste stream, the Department of Sanitation is a leader in helping New York City achieve the City’s sustainability goals. A lifelong New Yorker, Commissioner Garcia launched her career as an intern at the Department of Sanitation. Before returning to the Department as commissioner, she served as Chief Operating Officer at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, where she was responsible for the operation of the city’s water, water supply, sewer system and wastewater treatment plants. Prior to her service at DEP, Garcia was vice president at Appleseed. Commissioner Garcia earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin.

Jim McKay, General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services, City of Toronto

Jim McKay

Jim McKay is the general manager of the City of Toronto’s Solid Waste Management Services Division. He is responsible for all of the solid waste management programs and services for Canada’s largest city, serving a population of approximately 2.8 million people. Mr. McKay is a recent addition to the City, coming from the consulting industry where he has a long history of working with municipalities across Canada and the United States on some of North America’s largest and most innovative solid waste projects and programs. Jim has an Honours Bachelor’s degree in human geography from Brock University and an Executive Development Series Certificate he received from Queens University School of Business.

Bruno Covas, Vice-Mayor, São Paulo, Brazil

Bruno Covas

Bruno Covas of São Paulo, Brazil, is grandson of Mario Covas, his greatest inspirer in politics and the former governor of São Paulo. He is a lawyer who graduated from Largo São Francisco Law School (University of São Paulo) and an economist with a degree from PUC-SP. He was the state president and national youth of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). He held positions in the State Executive and today is Secretary General of the PSDB/ São Paulo. In 2006, senhor Covas was elected state deputy. In the Assembly, he was the chairman of the Finance and Budget Commission and author of more than 60 bills, including the Administrative Responsibility Law, which prohibits work and programs from being stopped at management changes. Senhor Covas was the author of the law that made Virada Cultural mandatory in all regions of the state and rapporteur of bills, such as the Nota Fiscal Paulista, which returns tax directly to the citizens. In 2010, he was considered by the Conscious Vote Movement to be the most active member of the legislature (2007/2010). In 2011, senhor Covas was appointed Secretary of the Environment by Governor Geraldo Alckmin, a post in which he sought to ensure preservation and sustainable growth. Among the main actions he carried out were the revision of state environmental legislation, reducing by 68 percent the number of resolutions; the creation of conservation units; the increase in the number of green areas; the implementation of new air quality standards and the reduction of the average time of analysis for licensing from 329 days in 2011 to 128 days in 2013. His office developed actions aimed at animal welfare and awareness campaigns against the abandonment of domestic animals. He began the tests to clean the Pinheiros River and implemented the Rural Environmental Registry.