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Women's Council
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The National Waste and Recycling Association Women's Council was established in 2003 and is celebrating their 15th anniversary throughout 2018.

The Women’s Council fosters the professional development of women in the waste industry while striving to increase their business, financial and leadership skills through education, workshops, mentoring, and networking. In addition, the Women’s Council offers scholarships to students in pursuit of a career in the environmental industry.


NWRA takes great pride in its Women's Council. Women's Council President Carmen Smothers shares how this group is improving the lives of people in the waste and recycling industry. 


NWRA Women’s Council Carts on Display 2018
Congratulations to all the entries in this year’s Carts on Display Art completion with theme “Rockin It Since 1968” in celebration of WasteExpo’s 50th Anniversary. 

NWRA Women’s Council WasteExpo 2018
Take a look at some other sights from WasteExpo.  Our members were very busy.

Women’s Council had a very successful WasteExpo.  Did you miss the highlights?  Check them out here:  NWRA Women's Council Expo 2018 Highlights

Our members were very busy during the show. Here are some more pictures including the Reception at Stifel (Thank you Michael Hoffman), the NWRA Women’s Council Reception and Raffle Pull in the NWRA booth, and some education programs featuring Women’s Council Members.NWRA Facebook - Women's Council Expo 2018

Congratulations to all those who entered the Carts on Display Art Competition.  Check out these beauties:  NWRA Facebook Women’s Council Carts 2018



To apply to be a member of NWRA's Women's Council please fill out our application and send to Peggy Macenas at

Member Testimonials

“I have been employed in the waste industry for 22 years and a member of the NWRA Women's Council since 2010. The Women’s Council has allowed me to expand my professional network and industry knowledge, forge amazing relationships and establish wonderful friendships along the way. Participating in the Women's Council has allowed me to expand my professional network and industry knowledge, forge amazing relationships and establish wonderful friendships along the way. The ability to work alongside the members of the Women’s Council to bridge those with industry knowledge with those new to the industry has been extremely rewarding. I am very proud of the Women’s Council and what we have accomplished over the years and look forward to continuing to serve the industry!"

- Tammy Holtzman, Waste Connections


NWRA Women’s Council WasteExpo Highlights, View Here.

NWRA Women’s Council Board and Membership Meeting at WasteExpo 2018 Meeting Notes, View Here.

Women's Council Presidents Tour

2018 NWRA Women’s Council President’s Conference:  Chattanooga Here We Come!

The 2018 NWRA Women’s Council President’s Conference begins Tuesday, November 13, 2018 and goes through Thursday, November 15, 2018.   Women’s Council President, Carmen Smothers, will host the members at Environmental Solutions Group (ESG) in Chattanooga, TN.  This is a Women’s Council member only conference that will focus on making connections, leadership skills, team building and a tour of the Heil plant.

Conference Registration Fee:  $250.00

Hotel Information:
The Westin Chattanooga
801 Pine Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Tel: 423-531-4653

Please make your hotel reservations before the cut-off date of Friday, October 19 to get the negotiated room rate of $159.   Let the hotel know you are with the NWRA Women’s Council Conference.

Make your flight arrangements to arrive at the hotel on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 in time for dinner at the Southside Social at 6:30 p.m. and depart after 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2018.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Southside Social

6:30 p.m.

Members will gather for a get-to-know-you dinner and social event including a friendly competition of bowling, pool, darts, skeet ball and corn hole.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

7:15 a.m. Please meet in the lobby at 7:15 a.m. - the bus will depart the hotel promptly at 7:30 a.m. for the ESG corporate offices.

The Environmental Solutions Group brings together several industry-leading product brands — Heil, Marathon, Bayne, The Curotto-Can and 3rd Eye — respected throughout the solid waste industry for their quality, durability, reliability, and unmatched service. With their extensive in-house engineering and manufacturing capabilities, a wide-ranging service network and years of industry expertise and leadership, ESG offers customer solutions through environmentally responsible products and world-class support.

8:00 a.m.  Leadership Training / Educational Session: 

Members will learn skills and discuss various approaches to management challenges. 

Members will also have access to a photographer to take professional headshots!!

12:00 p.m. Lunch will be served on-site.

2:00 p.m. Team Building Event:  plans are underway for the Women’s Council members to work as a team and share services with a community group.

4:30 p.m. Return to the Westin Chattanooga.

6:30 p.m. Dinner – Departing from the hotel, members will gather for a closing dinner of fellowship.

Thursday, November, 15

7:15 a.m.  Please meet in the lobby at 7:15 a.m. - members will promptly depart the hotel for Ft. Payne.

7:30 a.m. Heil Plant Tour, Ft. Payne

Garbage 101 – Members will take part in an informational session on refuse equipment, try their skills with the Curotto Simulator, and drive the test track. Closed toe shoes are required.

  • Curotto Can Simulator – see how well you can operate an Automated Carry Can in the Curotto simulator
  • Have you ever wanted to ride in a refuse truck – take a spin on the Heil test track and see what’s it’s like from inside a refuse truck.  

12:00 p.m.      Lunch will be served on-site.
1:00 p.m.        Depart Ft. Payne for Chattanooga.
3:00 p.m.        Arrive Chattanooga – drop off at Airport.
**do not schedule flights out of Chattanooga before 4:30 p.m. ET**

SPONSORSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE!!!  Please contact Peggy Macenas at 630-848-1101 or

Academic Scholarships

Meet the 2018 Women's Council scholarship recipients, see scholars here.

The NWRA Women’s Council established an educational scholarship program in 2007 to assist qualified individuals in their pursuit of an education that will lead to productive careers in the environmental industry. Over $155,000 in scholarships have been awarded. All Association member employees and their dependents are eligible to apply.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors five scholarships in the amount of $7,500 each were awarded in 2018.

Watch for the 2019 Applications beginning in the Fall of 2018

For more information about the Women’s Council Scholarship, contact Peggy Macenas at


  • NWRA Women’s Council WasteExpo Highlights, View Here.
  • NWRA Women’s Council Board and Membership Meeting at WasteExpo 2018 Notes, View Here.
  • NWRA Women’s Council Receives $100,000 Donation For Academic Scholarship, Read Here.
  • NWRA Women’s Council Will Award $30,000 In Scholarships and Host Art Show at WasteExpo, Read Here.
  • NWRA Women’s Council Past President, Tammy Holtzman interviewed by Waste Today Magazine. Watch Here.
  • NWRA Women’s Council Board and Membership Meeting at WasteExpo 2017 Meeting notes: 2017-WC-WasteExpo-meeting-notes-rev.pdf
  • NWRA Women's Council 2017 Scholars: Watch Here 


Carmen Smothers
(Environmental Solutions Group)


Vice President

Cheryl Waite
(Perkins Manufacturing)

Dianne Cervantes

Kate Kanabay
(Horwood Marcus & Berk Chartered)
Scholarship Chair

Faith Zydowsky
(Sierra Container Group)
Fundraising Chair

Kathy Trent
(Waste Management)
Professional development Co-Chair

Katie Evans
(Best Way)
Professional development Co-Chair

Colleen Reilly
(Rehrig Pacific)
Membership/Marketing Chair


Tammy Holtzman
(Waste Connections)
Past President

Peggy Macenas
Staff Liaison