Recycling Council of Alberta Celebrates Christina Seidel’s 32 Years of Visionary Leadership

The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) expresses its heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation to Christina Seidel for an extraordinary 32 years of leadership, dedication, and hard work. Christina’s journey began in 1991 as a board member before assuming the pivotal role of Executive Director in 1994. Her impact on the waste and recycling landscape in Alberta and Canada cannot be overstated.

In her three decades at the helm, Christina guided the RCA through significant shifts in recycling practices, circularity, and environmental stewardship. From championing Extended Producer Responsibility to promoting municipal composting and organizing the annual RCA conference, her contributions have left an indelible mark on the industry and Alberta as a whole.

Sharon Howland, RCA Board President from 2012-2016, also expressed deep appreciation saying, “Words can’t adequately convey the depth of my gratitude for your mentorship, your friendship, your unyielding dedication, and the profound impact you’ve made on me, the recycling industry, and the lives of countless Albertans. Your legacy will continue to inspire those that come after you, steering them toward a greener, more conscientious future”.

Under Christina’s leadership, the RCA navigated significant changes in waste management, influencing manufacturers to take the lead on recycling, promoting municipal composting, and championing Extended Producer Responsibility. Her passion for recycling and waste reduction is surpassed only by her dedication to everyone’s favorite event: the RCA’s annual conference, especially the costume party where attendees wonder how she will outdo her previous year’s costume.

Leah Seabrook, RCA Board President from 2017-2018, remarked, “Christina has been such a foundational force in the recycling industry not only in Alberta but across North America. Over decades, her expert contributions and passionate voice have only been outdone by her sharp wit and bold costumes… she’s a legend!”

In addition to her legendary status in all things recycling, her knack for outlasting everyone at evening RCA conference parties is equally renowned. Pity the person who attempts to keep up with her—an endeavor made even more impressive by the fact that she is also the first person awake each morning!

Dan Zembal, RCA Board President from 2007-2008, said, “There is no one out there in the recycling world who is more dedicated, respected, trusted, connected, well-informed, and passionate than Christina. Christina could always be counted on to cajole the most money out of sponsors and then provide the biggest value for those hard-earned sponsorship dollars. And who else can keep the networking (partying) going way past our reasonable bedtime!”

Christina poured her entire focus, commitment, energy, and knowledge into everything she did, whether it was revolutionizing waste management, transforming the conference into the highlight of the year, dazzling attendees with her costumes, or staying up later than most mere mortals. And those who disagreed with Christina’s vision of a waste free world would experience that determination in other ways finding themselves gently, or not so gently convinced that she was right—and more often than not, she was!

Guy West, RCA Board President from 2005-2006, reflected, “Having known Christina for over 30 years, I can honestly say that she is one of the most passionate advocates for improving recycling standards and performance, not only for Albertans but anywhere she has been. She is also a good listener and is always willing to consider anyone’s perspective – before politely informing them that they are wrong, and they need to get their act together and do what she says!”

Jodi Tomchyshyn-London, RCA Board President from 2018-2021, added, “Christina is an advocate, a leader, an instigator, a co-conspirator, a mentor, and a good friend to all who share and can expand upon her vision. The RCA has been lucky to harness her expertise for as long as we did, and we look forward to supporting her in the next phase of her career.”

Holly Brockmeyer, RCA Board President from 1994-2005, reflected on Christina’s impact, stating, “I was there when it all began. Hiring Christina as the ED was the single most pivotal decision the RCA made for its long-term success. When I think of Christina, I marvel at her ability to balance many agendas and keep so many balls in the air so successfully. Her dedication and strong convictions are her superpower. She was the only one who could have ever talked me into wearing a tire recycling superhero costume on short notice. That’s Christina, ever persuasive and focused on what needs to get done. I’ve always admired her tireless commitment to the continued battle for the betterment of this planet.”

Expressing deep gratitude for her time with the RCA, Christina herself stated, “I am happy and thankful for all the great accomplishments we were able to achieve in my years (so many!) with the RCA. Who knew this fledgling organization would become known for the best waste conference in Canada? And we may be one of the last jurisdictions, but so gratifying to have played a part in the adoption of EPR in Alberta (thanks, Jason Nixon for recognizing the need and opportunity). But, the most memorable outcome was the lifetime friendships I have made. You are truly a dedicated and fabulous group and I want to continue to have a beer with you on a regular basis. RCA was truly my passion project, and I would gladly do it all again. I may be riding off into the sunset, but I plan to stay personally connected to you and continue to stay involved in our important work. There is always a seat at my table.”

A celebration to honor Christina’s extraordinary contributions will take place at a special reception on Wednesday, October 30, as part of the 2024 RCA Conference in Banff, Alberta.