Heidi has been a leader in the solid waste industry in California for 25 years, working with industry, government and the public to reduce waste, improve product design and recyclability, and implement cost-effective projects and policies which protect the health and the environment. Collaborating with local government leaders, Heidi was one of two original co-directors of CPSC that was established in 2006 to change the way product waste is funded and managed in California; she has since become a nationally recognized thought leader and driver for innovative product stewardship programs across the country.
Heidi’s collaborative, tenacious problem-solving approach has delivered unprecedented success in developing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) public policy at national, state and local levels. She has engaged diverse stakeholder groups to create and promote best-in-class producer responsibility programs for pharmaceuticals, mercury thermostats, carpet, paint, and batteries. Nationally, Heidi was instrumental in adoption of EPR policies by the National League of Cities (NLC) and the US Conference of Mayors. Through CPSC, she successfully co- sponsored AB 2347 with the Sierra Club, creating the first EPR law in California for mercury thermostats. Heidi has also influenced the formation of product stewardship councils in New York, Vermont, and Texas which passed EPR legislation. Maybe most significantly, Heidi provided technical support to Alameda County as it adopted the first EPR ordinance in the country which was then challenged by PhRMA and two other producer associations – Alameda won in the 9th circuit and appeals courts. In December 2014, the pharmaceutical associations then filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court will decide whether the court will hear the case or let it stand. Alameda is leading the country in determining the “legal rules of the road” in regards to local government authority to hold producers of products responsible for their management at end of life. San Francisco has introduced a similar ordinance. In the California state legislature, there are competing bills supporting the EPR policy concept and undermining it with more local government mandates for household hazardous waste to be collected door to door. Which way California goes could determine the direction for the nation.
Heidi speaks throughout the world on the subject including conferences such as the International Packaging EPR conference in Brussels Belgium in 2010 and the Australian Stewardship Conference in Perth Australia in 2012. She is frequently published and recently interviewed on National Public Radio and quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle and Wall Street Journal on the subject. Heidi earned a B.A. in Political Science – Public Service from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. She lives in Sacramento with her husband Brad Sanborn and they enjoy outdoor adventures and volunteering at the animal shelter to foster neglected dogs.