A conversation with Stuart Buckner - President of Buckner Environmental Associates, LLC

Stuart is the Conference Chair for the Annual Composting & Organics Recycling Conference & Food Recovery Forum at WasteExpo.

Stuart is the Conference Chair for the Annual Composting & Organics Recycling Conference & Food Recovery Forum at WasteExpo.


1.   What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

For the past 30 years, the focus of my career has been on Organics Management - composting, anaerobic digestion (AD) and organics recycling. Sustainability is at the core of organics management. Emphasis is put on diverting organics, like yard trimmings and food scraps, from landfills to produce renewable energy and compost that create high-quality soil amendments for growing healthy plants and crops. 

To broaden the scope of this work, I’ve developed large-scale conferences that unite industry experts to discuss these issues and provide solutions. The Food Recovery Forum was created to compliment my client’s Organics Recycling Conference at WasteExpo (Penton Media, now Informa). Now in its third year, the Food Recovery Forum focuses on Solutions to Food Waste Prevention, Reduction & Recovery. (Editor’s Note: Compass Group’s Amy Keister will be speaking)

2.   Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

I have many food waste heroes who have inspired me through their dedication to solving the various food waste issues that are prevalent in this country. These include many of the leaders of charitable, nonprofit, academic, private and public sector organizations who are doing great work on a local, regional, and/or national stage. Just look at this year’s Food Recovery Forum Program (track 2), and for the past two years, for the names of some of my food waste heroes.

3.   What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

Paying more attention to buying what we need, using what we buy, and giving anything that is not being used to our local food bank.

4.  What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

It will take a greater understanding of the needs and better education at the consumer level.  In addition, it will take an even greater commitment, increased education and funding at every level of government.

5.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Plan well. Buy only what you need and use what you buy. Regardless, there will always be pre- and post-plate food waste that cannot be salvaged, so make sure these materials are used to generate renewable energy and compost to build healthy soils