Riel 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 after 5 years as the Director of Operations for a water district to become the General Manager for Athens Services in 2010. At Athens, Riel oversaw a composting operation before leading the design and build of the award-winning Sun Valley MRF. He later managed Athens’ two materials recovery facilities focused on both single stream and mixed waste processing. In his current role as Director of Resource Recovery, Riel 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 as well as the novel utilization of an auger screen to process curbside green waste. Riel has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a Master’s of Science in Environmental Sciences.