The Path Forward





Parallel Path VI: On the right track — Working on Reducing Contamination

     Sponsored by the Carton Council of Canada

Thursday, April 29, 1:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m.

StreamSight: Reducing Recycling Contamination through Machine LearningSam Dietrich, Prairie Robotics

Sam Dietrich is a Co-Founder of Prairie Robotics Inc., a company specializing in robotics and machine learning solutions. Prairie Robotics is accelerating the world towards Zero Waste with a current focus on reducing recycling contamination. Using their proprietary technologies both municipalities and waste haulers are enabled to track contamination at a household level and empowered to provide targeted education and outreach.

Sam previously completed his Bachelor of Applied Sciences at the University of Regina with a Major in Industrial Systems Engineering and a Double Minor in Electronics and Software Systems Engineering. During his university career, Sam represented the University of Regina in numerous exchanges, including a 9-week research internship at the India Institute of Technology Kanpur working in the Center for Mechatronics. In addition to working for Prairie Robotics he's also been employed by Vivvo Application Studios, Dot Technology Corp and Offstreet Technology Corp.

Applying Behaviourial Insights to Address Recycling Contamination Bernadette Celis-Clarke & Dennis King, Region of Peel

BCBernadette Celis-Clarke is the Advisor for Promotion, Education and Outreach within Region of Peel’s Waste Management division. Her role supports Peel in reaching 75% waste diversion by 2034 by helping residents to make positive changes in their daily lives when it comes to handling their waste, and helping the environment. Bernadette is a Senior Communications professional with 17+ years of experience within government, not-for-profit and corporate sectors. However, much of her career has been in leading numerous public education and outreach campaigns in Ontario, using solid market research to help change public perception and behaviours. Bernadette grew up in Peel and enjoys exploring in and around the region with her family.


DKDennis King is a Digital Marketing Specialist at the Region of Peel. He has over 18 years’ experience in the public sector. During this time, he had lead roles on several strategic digital transformation projects and award-winning campaigns for waste management. He’s a passionate advocate of combining data-driven insight with creative thinking to improve resident experience as well as achieve organizational goals. His specialties lie in digital advertising, email marketing, measurement and user experience, and he skillfully applies this knowledge across various digital channels. When he’s not glued to his desk, Dennis enjoys hiking and spending time with his family.

How can Psychology Contribute to Waste Reduction? — Jiaying Zhao, UBC


Dr. Jiaying Zhao is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Zhao uses psychological principles to design behavioural solutions to address sustainability challenges. Dr. Zhao is currently working on resource scarcity, recycling and composting, and climate change.