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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. 


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

"As an early 20-something, it's difficult envisioning a career in an industry often lacking female representation at the highest levels of leadership. I joined Women's Council in hopes of connecting with women who have built their careers in waste/recycling and whose personal and professional successes could validate a future for me me in the industry. I'm happy to say I have gained such connections-or role models rather-and then some. Women's Council has introduced me to strong, intelligent, kind and motivated women who graciously welcomed me into their community and are determined to elevate the careers of all females in waste. I highly recommend membership with this unique organization and am honored to be contributing to the network's continual growth and development."

-Tate Moeller, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Organix Solutions

“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


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. Click here to register.

Conference Registration Fee:  $250.00

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.

Academic Scholarships

NWRA Women's Council Scholarship Application

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the NWRA Women’s Council will be awarding $35,000 in scholarships for 2019-2020 academic year.  Since 2007, $190,000 has been awarded to 43 students.  Women’s Council Scholarships are offered to NWRA member company employees and their dependents who wish to use their education for a career in the waste and recycling industry.  Eligible candidates may be male or female, be a part-time or returning to school student, a trade or community college applicant or a student for a university/college. 


Meet the 2018 Women's Council scholarship recipients.

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


  • NWRA Women’s Council WasteExpo Highlights, View Here.
  • 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
  • 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