Grow Smart CLT


We are excited to introduce our new monthly event series, Grow Smart CLT! Mingle + Drink + Think with Sustain Charlotte! 

As Charlotte grows (44 people move here each day), it's critical that we grow smarter. To help, in February we launched a new monthly event series called Grow Smart CLT. These fun, yet informative events explore the multiple sustainability challenges that Charlotte faces due to our rapid growth.

Each month we focus on a different issue that is being impacted by our growth. Our goal is to ensure that you not only walk away with a better understanding of the challenge but also at least one action you can take to help put Charlotte on a smarter path.

Join us for our next event on Waste! Scroll down to see recaps of our past events!

Food will be provided by Empanada Queen and is sponsored by Rivendell Farms! If you aren't familiar with Rivendell Farms of the Carolinas, they encourage regular folks across the Carolinas to experience the JOY of our vibrant community through sharing good food, living healthy lifestyles and supporting local farmers.

We are proud to partner with Crown Town Compost to make these events zero waste.

Wednesday, November 14 at Free Range Brewing (2320 N. Davidson St.) from 6-8 p.m.  

Tickets are $5 for non-Sustain Charlotte members (donate at least $5/month or $60/year) and free for members. Interested in becoming a member to attend the events for free? Click here.


Innovative Solutions to Waste Reduction. As Charlotte’s population grows, so does the need to find creative ways to reduce our waste, including food and yard waste. Locally, both the public and private sectors are tackling this issue, and we’re excited to hear from local innovators about some new solutions to waste reduction that are being implemented right here in Mecklenburg County. Join us as we mingle, drink + think about sustainable solutions that can reduce our waste.

See participating panelists below.


David Valder
David Valder, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Crown Town Compost

Crown Town Compost is a food waste diversion company in Charlotte, NC offering food waste collection and composting services for businesses, restaurants, and residences in Charlotte. Valder is also the Director of Energy and Sustainability at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC).


Jeffrey Smithberger, Director of Solid Waste Management for Mecklenburg County

Smithberger has over 34 years of experience in management and leadership of complex Solid Waste Management Systems. He previously worked as the Director of Solid Waste in Fairfax County Virginia, where he retired from after 28 years of service in 2011. Both jurisdictions are the most populous regions in their respective states. He is well versed in working with industry on the complexities of solid waste management. Seeking local ordinances that increase recycling and sustainability, but are also workable in the community.

Damon Barron, Founder of Treecycle America

Treecycle America is a collaborative network of certified architects, designers, developers, municipalities, arborists, sawmills, woodworkers, and makers embracing the common goal of using urban trees to their fullest potential.


Marc J. Mataya, Founder of Leaf Burrito

Mataya owns multiple patents on a reusable yard debris bag called Leaf Burrito®. Originally invented for the ease of use by the homeowner to avoid bagging leaves, Marc discovered that this product has a much greater purpose around the globe of eliminating plastic film used for yard debris.


Victoria Johnson, Director of Solid Waste Services for the City of Charlotte

Johnson leads Solid Waste Services (SWS) as the director in its mission of partnering with the community to deliver competitive and quality solid waste services that promote an attractive and healthy environment. In this capacity, she manages more than 300 employees; oversees a budget of approximately $63 million and is responsible for the city’s solid waste collection program, which serves more than 800,000 city residents. Johnson will sharing information on the City's new Green Seal program.



Click the topic for a link to the recap if the event has passed!

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