3 Visionary Women Who Have Changed the State of Waste


Yesterday, on International Women’s Day, we were thinking about how much the waste and recycling industry has evolved in the last few years. Once a heavily male-dominated industry, it now features many great female leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and policymakers.

We’d like to take this opportunity to tip our hats to three remarkable women in particular:   

Mitch Hedlund: Inventor of the Universal Recycling Labelling System and Founder of Recycle Across America  

In the early 2000s, she identified how the confusion around ‘what to recycle where’ was leading to contamination and setting recycling efforts back. At the time, there was no universal recycling labeling system in place… So, she made one! In 2009, she came up with the only society-wide standardized labels for recycling.

She also founded Recycle Across America has since partnered with others to present a strategy at the United Nations SEA of Solutions Conference, aimed at solving plastic pollution at source and combatting the problem of waste in the ocean.  

Faith Zydowsky - VP of Sierra Container Group and President of the National Waste & Recycling Association Women’s Council

With over a decade of experience in waste, starting in sales and working up to Vice President of Sierra Container Group, Zydowsky is a woman who has broken ground in the industry.

As President of the NWRA’s Women’s Council, she continues to empower women in the industry by facilitating the council’s mission to provide education, professional development, volunteer opportunities, and academic scholarships.

Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel – Marine Biologist and CEO of ECOncrete

Dr. Perkol-Finkel invented ECOncrete, a unique concrete mix that helps to preserve and encourage healthy marine ecosystems. Her passion, dedication, and leadership lead to ECOncrete being used around the world and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 best inventions of 2019.

Sadly, she passed away a few days ago in an accident. Her legacy, however, will live on and the trail she blazed will always be a shining example of what brilliant, passionate, women can do.

That’s all for today.

Happy International Women’s Day! How did you celebrate?

We love hearing from you so please let us know what you think 😊


Liza and Johanna