Vice President of Resource Recovery, Athens Services
Riel Johnson started his career in the solid waste field in 1990, where he was involved in landfill operations as well as managing green waste and construction debris recycling. He returned to the solid waste industry in 2010 after 5 years as director of operations for a water district to become the general manager for Athens Services. At Athens, Johnson oversaw a composting operation before leading the design and build of the award-winning Sun Valley material recovery facility. He later managed Athens’ two MRFs focused on both single-stream and mixed waste processing. In his current role as director of resource recovery, Johnson leads research, development and strategy for the company’s processing operations with a key focus on implementing the latest technologies in materials recovery. Recent examples include the installation of one of the first robotic quality control sorters for PET plastic; a first-of-its-kind screw press to harvest organics from mixed waste; and the novel utilization of an auger screen to process curbside green waste. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in environmental sciences.