Helen Lee is a Senior Consultant at RRS with over 15 years of experience in sustainability and solid waste operations. Prior to RRS, Helen was the Environmental Program Manager for the City of Alexandria, Virginia, where she successfully led the development and implementation of the Resource Recovery division’s WasteSmart Strategic Plan. Her portfolio included Citywide residential recycling collections, curbside and farmers’ market food waste composting programs, recycling and HHW centers, monitoring and oversight of the waste-to-energy facility, and waste diversion and reduction outreach programming. She also worked on zero waste programs at the Office of Waste Diversion at the DC Department of Public Works and American University. Helen’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in her involvement in legislative liaison roles, waste diversion task forces, and her role as the Chair of the Northern Virginia Waste Management Board.

Topical Expertise

  • Municipal Solid Waste/Recycling/Composting
  • Higher Education Zero Waste
  • Solid Waste/Recycling Planning
  • Outreach & Communications


  • Masters of Business Administration, American University
  • BS, Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland College Park
  • Certified Public Manager®, George Washington University
  • LEAD, University of Virginia, Virginia Institute of Government

Recent Speaking Engagements/Awards

  • “City of Alexandria Reuse Directory and Other Initiatives” – MWCOG Dec 2023
  • “City of Alexandria’s Curbside Composting Pilot Program” NVWMB – Dec 2023
  • “Challenging Materials – How to Move the Needle and Divert More” – SWANA June 2021
  • “Plastic Bag Tax – SB 11 Basics” – NVWMB – Oct 2020
  • 40 Under 40 Recipient – Alexandria Chamber of Commerce – May 2020
  • “Glass Recovery – Purple Can Club” – State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR), Jul 2020
  • “Glass Recovery: A Regional Approach” – SWANA, Apr 2020
  •  2019 Virginia Recycling Association Award – City’s Recycle Right online sorting game
  • “Glass Recovery in Alexandria” – MWCOG, July 2019
  • “#ZeroWasteDC – How the District is Using Digital Tools to Communicate Zero Waste” – Virginia Recycling Association, Mar 2019
  • “Transforming Waste Management through Upstream Strategies” – AASHE, Oct 2015
  • “Facing of Failure and How to Use it to Work Towards your Sustainability Goals” – AASHE, Oct 2015
  • “Framework for Less Waste: Goal Setting, Strategic Planning & Collaboration” – CURC, Jun 2015
  • “Campus Waste Watching – Examining Metrics and Efficient Material Use” – AASHE, Oct 2014
  • “How to Achieve Zero Waste: Lessons from American University” – Inter-American Development Bank, Sept 2014
  • “Throw Away Does Not Mean Go Away: Achieving Zero Waste on a Campus Scale” – AASHE, Oct 2013
  • “Achieving Zero Waste: How American University is Getting There” – MD/DC Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA), Apr 2013
  • “Anaerobic Digestion and Treatment Wetland Design for Treating Source-Separated Latrine, Black Water, and Grey Water from a Medical Complex in Haiti” – American Ecological Engineering Society, May 2011
  • “The Sustainable Sites Initiative: Is it for you?” – Panel Discussion, Smart and Sustainable Campuses, April 2011
  • “Sustainability Programs in Higher Education: Finding the Common Ground” – AASHE, Oct 2010
  • “Sustainable Agriculture” – Exploring Agriculture in Taiwan Symposium, Aug 2010 (1 of 24 selected in the nation to participate).