CRI - Staff & Consultants
Founded in 1991, CRI has become recognized as the expert source for information on container recycling and container deposit systems, and plays a vital role in educating policymakers, government officials, and the general public regarding the social and environmental impacts of the production and disposal of one-way beverage containers. CRI also works to debunk myths about container recycling promoted by the beverage, retail, and container manufacturing industries.
Susan V. Collins, President
Ms. Collins became the President of the Container Recycling Institute in 2009. She leads the Institute’s research projects and works with environmental organizations, businesses, and state and federal governments throughout the United States and around the world to educate the public on the benefits of packaging recycling. Prior to 2009, Ms. Collins was a consultant for 20 years and assisted over 80 public agencies with their solid waste and recycling programs. Ms. Collins served on four CalRecycle advisory groups, including the subject of waste accounting. Ms. Collins served on the Board of the California Resource Recovery Association for nine years, and was on the board of the National Recycling Coalition from 2010 to 2015, and again from 2018 to 2021. She holds degrees in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University and Business Administration (MBA) from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
Ms. Collins has testified before the legislatures of California, Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, Vermont, Minnesota, Maryland, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. She has been quoted in news stories on National Public Radio, PRI’s The World, BBC radio, KNX radio, KCET’s SoCal Connected (TV), Maryland Public Radio, KQED radio, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Boston Globe, Resource Recycling, Waste 360, Plastics News, and Beverage World, among others.
Mara Lam, Environmental Associate
Mara assists CRI President Susan Collins with legislative testimony and analysis, research, and donor relations. They also ensure regular updates to CRI's Bottle Bill Resource Guide, providing the latest information on deposit programs around the globe. Originally joining CRI as an intern in 2019, they graduated from UCLA in 2021 with a BA in Geography and minors in GIS & Technologies and Public Affairs.
Pablo Nocera, Environmental Associate
Pablo earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He previously interned at the UC Santa Cruz Kapuscinski-Sarker Lab Group (on use of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems to grow rainbow trout for a digestibility trial) and at the USC Biomechanics Lab (on the effect of wheelchair configurations on secondary complications for patients).
Madeline (Maddie) Walker, Environmental Associate
In her role as Environmental Associate, Maddie focuses on legislative bill analysis and testimony, policy research and donor relations. Maddie is a recent graduate from CU Boulder’s Masters of the Environment Program, where she studied Environmental Policy with a focus on food policy. She previously worked with the City of Boulder’s Office of Climate Initiatives, helping to administer a grant program to residents facing environmental disasters. Additionally, she has worked with food hubs, composting companies and school garden initiatives.
Jason Medbury, Webmaster
Jason has spent the last five years as Technical Director for the educational company Freshi Media, which brings digital media literacy to children around the world. A graduate of UCLA and partner in the Media Barons Creative Services, Jason has worked on projects and programs with Monster Digital, Grand-Am and ALMS Series Racing, Movies with a Message and the International Family Film Festival. Jason is excited to work with CRI and extend his knowledge and skills to the organization and its message.
Mindy Berman, PR and Media Consultant
Mindy, the owner of Mindy F. Berman Communications, focuses on environmental and energy issues, developing communications programs and materials that help organizations build sustainability awareness and action. Her work includes providing CRI with copywriting, proofing/editing, media relations and other public relations and marketing services. Mindy received her BA in journalism from California State University, Northridge, and her MBA from Pepperdine University.
Makenna Cavanaugh, Environmental Intern
Makenna is a Master of Public Policy candidate at UCLA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Boston College, with a study abroad term at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. Makenna previously worked at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office (in Boston) and for U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.). In addition to her current CRI and academic work, Makenna volunteers at local beach cleanups.