UC Berkeley, Master of Development Practice, 2019
Bates College, B.A. in Psychology, 2013
municipal solid waste, food packaging waste, zero waste, Berkeley foodware ordinance, school meal program waste, California plastic waste exports, China's Operation National Sword
My focus as both an academic and practitioner is on sustainable and just transitions to waste-free systems.
City of Berkeley Single-Use Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance: research the impact of the most comprehensive single-use disposable (SUDs) foodware reduction ordinance.
School Meal Program: assess the foodware packaging waste impact of transitioning a public school meal program from pre-made, pre-packaged to on-site or commissary made food.
California Plastic Waste Exports: International plastic waste trade is highly obfuscated and tumultuous, especially amid China’s Operation National Sword and the international community’s adoption of the Basel Convention. California continues to export plastic under the disguise of recycling, however, much of said material is shipped to countries with high mismanagement rates. This research quantifies these practices and provides systems-based recommendations for more sustainable and just plastic reclamation.
Operation National Sword: Has Operation National Sword launched the world’s scrap recycling policies and practices into a race to the top (the California Effect) or the race to the bottom (the Delaware Effect)?
Recycling Reckoning: Since China announced and implemented Operation National Sword in 2017/2018, the entire global recycling system has been massively disrupted. Is the US recycling system now facing a reckoning? Is it now transitioning to a more sustainable system?
Waste Management in the Navajo Nation: Only 30 of the 120 Chapters (cities/ towns) in the Navajo Nation have any sort of waste management infrastructure. The remaining 80 Chapters practice unregulated burning, open dumping in nearby culverts, and backyard landfilling. This research seeks to understand what is working in those 30 Chapters to apply them to the rest of the Nation.
Heiges, J. & O’Neill, K. (2022). A recycling reckoning: How Operation National Sword catalyzed a transition in the U.S. recycling system. Journal of Cleaner Production, 134367. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.134367
Heiges, J., Lee, D.L., Vollmer, L., Wobbekind, K., Thompson, H., Gosliner, W., Madsen, K.A., O’Neill, K., & Ritchie, L.D. (2022). Evaluating food packaging waste in schools: a systematic literature review and novel waste audit tool. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(9), 5607. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/ijerph19095607
Heiges, J. & O’Neill, K. (2022). What is wishcycling? Two waste experts explain. The Conversation. Accessible at https://theconversation.com/what-is-wishcycling-two-waste-experts-explai...
Heiges, J., Doud-Martin, D., & Bennett, K. (2021). The First TRUE Zero Waste Certified Academic Building: A Case Study. The Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Accessible at https://hub.aashe.org/browse/casestudy/25085/The-First-TRUE-Zero-Waste-C...
Heiges, J. & O’Neill, K. (2021). Packaging generates a lot of waste – now Maine and Oregon want manufacturers to foot the bill for getting rid of it. The Conversation. Accessible at https://theconversation.com/packaging-generates-a-lot-of-waste-now-maine...
Heiges, J. & O’Neill, K. (2020). COVID-19 has resurrected single-use plastics – are they back to stay? The Conversation. Accessible at https://theconversation.com/covid-19-has-resurrected-single-use-plastics...
Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellow – August 2021-May 2022
Graduate Remote Innovation Fellows Program – December 2020
Hearst Foundation’s Environmental Health Scholar, The Conversation – October 2020
InFEWS (Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems) Fellow – April 2020
Overbrook Foundation – March 2020-May 2023
Solid waste assessment and reduction specialist USDA San Francisco Unified School District research grant – November 2019
UC Berkeley’s Environmental Science, Policy, and Management 201C Starter Grant – December 2019
Ecology Center Research Grant – November 2019
SWANA Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineers Scholarship – August 2019
California Higher Education Sustainability Conference Best Practice Award – July 2019
University of California Global Health Institute Planetary Health Student Ambassador – August 2018
CACS Sustainability Award by UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability – April 2018
UC Berkeley’s Master of Development Practice Scholarship – August 2017
ESPM 197: Community Engagement in Agri-Food Systems
MBA 190.2: Food Innovation Studio
ESPM 175: Senior Thesis
ESPM 100: Environmental Problem-Solving