Our team

Meet the leadership team committed to evolving recycling systems and advancing the circular economy.

Allen Langdon

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Allen is responsible for leading Circular Materials through the development of Ontario’s new blue box recycling system while expanding the organization’s operations into other provinces, starting with New Brunswick. His mission is to support producers with a robust not-for-profit service offering that advances the circular economy, delivers national harmonization of extended producer responsibility (EPR) services and harnesses competitive procurement to provide the best value for producers.

Prior to joining Circular Materials, Allen served as the President and CEO of Return-It, British Columbia’s very successful used beverage container management program in Canada. In this role, Allen oversaw the modernization of Return-It’s collection network, which consists of more than 170 collection sites, including Return-It depots, Express Plus and Express & GO stations. Return-It has routinely exceeded a 75% recovery rate for used beverage containers in British Columbia, and its network has supported the collection of new materials, including waste electrical and electronic equipment.

Allen also served as the Managing Director for Recycle BC, the first 100% EPR program for paper and packaging in North America where industry assumed full financial and managerial responsibility for the residential recycling system.

Allen currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Washington State Recycling Development Centre.

Baljit Lalli

Chief Communications Officer

Baljit Lalli leads Circular Materials’ communications and marketing strategy, including advancing corporate marketing, customer relations and stakeholder relations strategies in support of the organization’s goals and objectives. Prior to joining Circular Materials, Bal was the Vice President of Corporate Communications and Stakeholder Relations at Return-It, where she oversaw the stakeholder relations, corporate communications, and customer relations strategy and led the development and ongoing implementation of the organization’s social purpose of fostering a world where nothing is waste. Bal has extensive experience in advancing stakeholder partnerships and leading media relations, corporate communications, crisis communications, and global rebranding initiatives.

Prior to Return-It, Bal worked in the beverage and natural resources sector creating and delivering a wide range of innovative initiatives that protect and enhance corporate and product reputations. Bal has extensive experience in advancing stakeholder partnerships and leading media relations, corporate communications, crisis communications and global rebranding initiatives.

Bal serves as a board director of Burnaby Family Life and is a council member of Salvation Army Harbour Light in Vancouver. Bal has a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (honours) from Simon Fraser University and holds an executive certificate in general management from the University of British Columbia.

Elena Zevakhina

Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Elena provides executive leadership and leads the organization’s financial management and administrative operations. Elena is responsible for implementing data-driven strategies and processes to ensure compliance with legal, accounting and treasury policies and supports Circular Materials’ fiduciary responsibility.

Prior to joining Circular Materials, Elena was the Chief Financial Officer at Return-It, British Columbia’s successful used beverage container management program. In this role, Elena led the organization’s financial reporting, planning, budgeting, information technology and risk management strategy.

Elena has a Master of Business Administration from Laurentian University and holds the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

Nicole Gourley

Chief Operating Officer

As COO, Nicole Gourley leads the development and implementation of the organization’s operations strategy. In her role, Nicole is responsible for implementing the procurement strategy, managing stakeholder relationships, and designing and continuously improving the collection and post-collection systems for residential blue box materials in each jurisdiction in which Circular Materials is active.

Prior to joining Circular Materials, Nicole was the Chief Global Membership and Marketing Officer at Foresters Financial where she was responsible for securing global partnerships and providing leadership and operational oversight for three million members. Nicole was also a senior executive at GS1 Canada where she managed a client base of over 20,000 members and managed their multi-site operations, as well as the launch and maintenance of GS1 Canada’s industry managed services.

Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from McMaster University.

Paula Rietta

General Counsel

As Circular Materials General Counsel, Paula Rietta provides strategic guidance and oversees the legal affairs of the organization, including corporate and commercial matters, privacy, and risk management issues.

Prior to Circular Materials, Paula was the Group General Counsel at Cox Automotive Canada Company where she was responsible for the provision of legal services to the company’s multiple business units, including commercial transactions, business operations and overall compliance for both Canada and Brazil.

Prior to joining Cox Canada, Paula was Vice-President, Legal for Ford Credit Canada Company and oversaw all legal matters for the organization on a national basis, including key strategic business and law reform initiatives on behalf of the company.

Paula serves as a Board Director for the Ontario Chapter of Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada and for Osteoporosis Canada. Paula has a Bachelor of Law from the University of Windsor and a Master of Arts from the University of Toronto.

Alexander Ishankov

Chief Technology Officer

As CTO, Alexander leads the development and implementation of information technology strategies and supports Circular Materials’ in providing best-in-class technology services that increase efficiencies, enhance security and maintain technological sustainability.

Throughout his career, Alexander has provided strategic leadership and managed many aspects of information technology, engineering and operations. Prior to joining Circular Materials, Alexander held previous roles as the Chief Information Officer at Trade X, Chief Technology Officer at Cox Automotive Canada & Brazil, and the Director of Engineering at Rogers and Bell.

Alexander holds a Master in Computer Science degree from Bauman State Technical University in Moscow.

About Circular Materials

We are committed to accelerating a circular future for people and the planet. 

More about us