Kate Davenport, Chief Policy Officer


Kate Davenport leads the Policy Advocacy and Policy Implementation teams at The Recycling Partnership. The past few years has brought monumental change to recycling and the circular economy effort overall with the passage of significant public policy. We are at a moment to create a new paradigm and it is exciting to work on continuing the momentum and building common ground across sectors and stakeholders. Her work focus as well on how to implement this catalyzing policy to ensure the desired impacts are realized. Kate has an extensive background in environmental sustainability, previously co-led Eureka Recycling, a nonprofit recycler and zero waste advocacy organization in the Twin Cities. She has worked across stakeholder groups to bring on the ground experience in recycling to highlight the challenges and opportunities in recycling to advocate for private and public action that can exponentially expand the environmental, social, and economic benefits of recycling and zero waste strategies. She was a founding member of the Alliance for Mission Based Recyclers. Her experience spans roles at EcoVentures International, aiding microenterprise development and plastics recycling in South Asia, East Africa, the Caribbean, and the U.S. as well as working for Envirelation, one of the first organic collection companies in the US. She started her career at SustainUS, contributing to UN Environment Program negotiations on sustainability and climate issues.

Why I Care About Recycling and a Circular Economy

“Recycling is a real action that millions of individuals do every day and it is one key tool in building a more sustainable future. It has always just made sense to me. I have loved working with all the amazing and talented people that collect, sort and manufacture millions of pieces of discarded recyclables back into raw material to supply our economy instead of going into landfills or incinerators. Recycling is a complicated system that touches the lives and businesses of a wide range of stakeholders. It is inspiring to work across different perspectives to find the common bold actions to bolster recycling to contribute to a regenerative economy, supporting healthy communities, preserving natural resources, and strengthening business and the economy.”

Personal Passions and Interests

Kate lives with her wife and two boys in Minneapolis. She can be found biking, building Legos with her kids, skiing, and geeking out on any history related show or podcast. Many know Kate as Trash Assassin, her name within the roller derby community where she played with North Star Roller Derby for several years. 


  • B.A. from Tufts University
  • Fellow of the Civil Society Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • 2022 Rockwood Leadership Fellow
  • 2019 Bush Foundation Fellow
  • Board Member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable
  • Board Member of Two Bettys Green Cleaning
  • Founding member of the Alliance for Mission Based Recycling
  • Served on The Recycling Partnership Circularity Council
  • Served on the Association for Plastics Recycling Market Development Committee and Chemical Recycling Working Group
  • Served on the Advisory council for the BlueGreen Recycled Materials Standard
  • Served on the Minneapolis Workplace Advisory Committee
  • Served on the board of the Main Street Alliance of Minnesota