Longtime recycling professional Steve Thompson passed away last week in Virginia. He was 66.

Thompson, who began his career in metals recycling and went on to have a leading role in the industry as a consultant, retired in 2014. He last held the position of executive director of the Curbside Value Partnership, a group that has since evolved into The Recycling Partnership, a national recycling group.

On the eve of his retirement, Thompson took part in a memorable Q&A for the print edition of Resource Recycling alongside the woman who would replace him, Keefe Harrison. Click here read the conversation.

He was born in Kentucky but lived in Virginia at the time of his death.

An obituary for Thompson in the Richmond Times-Dispatch noted Thompson “loved his family, the water, making sawdust, reading poetry, ACC basketball, good music played loudly, dancing, free thinkers, good conversation, the Golden Rule and great gas mileage.”

The Recycling Partnership issued a statement via email Monday. “In many ways, Steve was the one who raised up the rest of us,” Harrison noted in the statement. “He brought a spark and an inspired challenge to each of his relationships – warm, smart, and startlingly articulate. He helped unlock doors in individual thinking, and in our industry.”

A service in his memory was held on Monday.