Bruce Olszewski


Director of the Center for the Development of Recycling

M.S., Environmental Studies, San José State University



Bruce Olszewski (Ol-chef-ski) earned San Jose State University’s (SJSU) first MS in Environmental Studies, twice led the Environmental Studies Program including co-leading it to Department status, was the first Environmental Specialist with the City of San Jose, designed the city’s first city-wide water conservation program, founded the Center for the Development of Recycling (CDR), the Santa Clara County Recycling/Reuse Hotline and Household Hazardous Waste appointment center, the website for the counties of Santa Clara and San Mateo, and created courses in service learning, Sustainable Materials Management, Globalization and the Environment, and was recognized as a “Hidden Treasure of SJSU” (1997 SJSU Tower Awards).

As founding Director of SJSU’s Center for the Development of Recycling (CDR) he has managed 1000+ service-learning students who have worked on 60+ contracted projects.  CDR’s students operate the recycling hotline and website and have responded to over 3 million recycling/reuse information requests. As it was designed, 100’s of students have used their CDR experience to earn environmental internships and nearly 100 CDR students have become sustainable materials management (recycling/reuse) professionals.  The California Resource Recovery Association recognized CDR with the 2014 Outstanding Waste Prevention Award. 

Bruce has worked in the fields of energy efficiency, urban water conservation, recycling, urban planning, academia, non-profit management, and has been a community board, foundation, and commission member.  A member of the Environmental Studies faculty at San Jose State University (SJSU) since 1989, Bruce teaches Introduction to Environmental Issues, Sustainable Materials Management, Global Trade and the Environment, and Special Projects.  He chaired the City of Campbell’s Planning Commission, was President of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, a board member of the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation, the Silicon Valley Industry Education Advisory Board, the Walden West Environmental Education Program, the South Bay Water Recycling Project, and is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee to the Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission of Santa Clara County.  

Research Interests

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Integrated Waste Management
  • Materials Conservation (Recycling)
  • Urban Water Conservation
  • Urban Design and Environmental Quality
  • Environmental Policy