2022 Food Waste Solutions Summit

May 10-12, 2022 | Minneapolis, MN





Joe Burke




As CEO, Joe oversees all aspects of VIRESCO’s operations, partners closely with the Executive Chairman to develop and formulate business strategy, and has primary responsibility for executing most of this strategy. Joe’s early leadership work in operations, engineering and process excellence revealed a passion for innovative problem solving and constant quality improvement. His rare combination of technical expertise, humility, leadership skills, and extreme commitment to excellence and innovation gave him the foundation to create meaningful impact.

Joe was drawn to the challenge of creating a sustainable technology and building a renewable energy business by an investor in his former employer, Novus Energy, where Joe served as COO and then CEO. Until Joe joined the company, the promise of having a positive impact by reliably and cost-effectively converting low value, organic waste into higher value, renewable energy was mostly aspirational.  As CEO Joe developed a close working relationship with Mike Colby, a former board member, sustainability investor, and the financier of what would become the VBCTM technology. In 2018, shortly after VIRESCO was formed, Joe agreed to partner with Mike as CEO of the new company. Together they have led what’s become a vibrant commercial enterprise and Innovation Center that excels at transforming various organic waste streams into energy and providing customers with innovative service solutions.


Joe plays a central role in the development and commercialization of VIRESCO, working tirelessly to help reshape how companies view and handle their waste streams. The VIRESCO team provides complete customer solutions that encompass waste collection and handling systems, carbon and nutrient recapture, and sustainability impact reporting on greenhouse gas avoidance and waste reduction. Joe has seven patents, has advised USDA Secretary Vilsack’s Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Initiative, and served on the Advisory Board for the Masters of Energy Management at the University of Tulsa.

Joe can be reached at 612-325-6465 or [email protected]


Thursday, May 12th

10:30am - 11:30am

Breakout Sessions (Running Concurrently)

Johnson Great Room

Turning Waste into Value: New Frontiers in Recycling

What can be done to ensure we’re finding the highest and best use for any food or scraps that remain? Almost any scenario to decrease the amount of food that ends up in waste streams requires organic recycling, yet the industry faces barriers like insufficient processing capacity and unfavorable economic conditions. Dive into these challenges and discover “what’s next” for food recycling, through case studies of successful recycling models, like composting, insect farming, and more. 

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