Republic’s Ragland-Castaneda Talks Organics Diversion, Food Recovery
Tania Ragland-Castaneda has always had a passion for the environment and learning about how the world takes care of its resources, so it’s no surprise that she has taken that passion and turned it into a successful career at Republic Services.
Ragland-Castaneda, who was recently promoted from organics program manager to a municipal relationship manager, has covered a lot of ground since joining the industry about five years ago. She’s taken on tasks focused on organics diversion, food recovery and legislative and regulatory compliance, just to name a few.
We recently sat down with the Waste360 40 Under 40 award winner to discuss her career, Republic Services’ food recovery and organics diversion efforts and what she thinks the biggest challenge is with organics waste diversion.
Waste360: What brought you to the waste and recycling industry?
Tania Ragland-Castaneda: I’ve always loved the environment, and I’ve always been interested in environmental studies and sustainability. I’ve always believed that we live on one planet and that we have to take care of it. That means taking care of our resources and recycling, which is really a no-brainer.
There are many ways one can make a career out of helping the environment, and I felt what most resonated with me was how we handle waste and how we manage our resources at the end of the day.
I found myself wanting to study about recycling, and in my early 20s, I came across a program at Santa Monica College that offered vocational training and education. It was one of those things where it was a perfect fit and the right timing.