A Path to Zero Waste with Celeste McMickle

We often address large-scale sustainability issues by focusing on improving building energy use, material use, and accessibility. But what about waste? According to the EPA, the average American generates 4.51 pounds of trash each day.

To learn about strategies for reducing waste, we interviewed Celeste McMickle, Director of Client Solutions for TRUE Zero Waste certification with the USGBC. TRUE Zero Waste certification supports facilities and businesses in achieving their zero waste goals by providing a clear path to certification using a point-based rating system and educational tools, such as the TRUE Advisor program. Celeste shares what large-scale companies are doing internally to make an impact via the True Zero Waste certification, how zero waste solutions help save money, and even what “wishcycling” is.

Episode Guest: Celeste McMickle

Image of Celeste McMickle


Celeste McMickle is the Director of Client Solutions for TRUE Zero Waste certification with the USGBC. She is trained as an architect, and is a certified permaculture designer, master composter, TRUE Advisor, Green Rater, LEED-H AP, and horticulturalist. Celeste uses her background in architecture, green building, and zero-waste to improve both the natural and built environment wherever possible.


Episode Information & Resources

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Upcoming Events and Conferences

BuildingEnergy Boston

*POSTPONED until further notice* Boston, MA

The BuildingEnergy Boston Conference + Trade Show is an event designed by and for practitioners in the fields of high-performance building and design, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. The theme of BuildingEnergy Boston 2020 is Transforming Existing Buildings, with additional emphasis on decarbonization and on bringing more diverse communities into the discussion. Click here to learn more or to register.

SWA’s Robb Aldrich and Nicole Ceci will be presenting “To Electrify or Not to Electrify…?” on Monday 3/23, and we will be exhibiting at booth #32. Come visit us!

Hot Water Forum

July 20-22 Atlanta, GA

The Hot Water Forum, presented by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), is a conference that’s all about energy-efficient water heating. This year’s program will feature sessions on high-efficiency water heaters, multifamily hot water systems, smart plumbing system design, best practices for developing policies and programs, and much more. To learn more and to register for the event, click here!

SWA’s Nicole Ceci and Dylan Martello will also be presenting, so be sure to check out their session!

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About Buildings and Beyond

Buildings and Beyond is a production of Steven Winter Associates. We provide energy, green building, and accessibility consulting services to improve the built environment. For more information, visit


Robb Aldrich | Kelly Westby

Production Team

Heather Breslin | Alex Mirabile | Dylan Martello | Jayd Alvarez