Laura Orlando (she/her)

Senior Scientist

Headshot of a woman standing in front of a barn door and next to a plant. She's smiling and wearing a blue shirt and a rust-colored sweater.

media inquiries:

Discussion topics

  • Sound science at Just Zero
  • Composting the right way
  • Sewage sludge: Toxic waste hiding in plain sight


M.P.A. Harvard Kennedy School
B.S.E Civil Engineering, University of Michigan

Twitter: @LFO

My career has been a voyage through the crossroads of soil health, water quality, and human health. Together, these realms engage the discovery and application of ecological practices and infrastructure. They also reveal destructive practices and technologies – including those of waste management and disposal. As an engineer and researcher, it is through the examination of our sewers that I’ve come to have a detailed understanding of what flows in and what flows out. The takeaway? The toxic mess we call waste is profoundly unhealthy – for people and the planet.

At Just Zero, in addition to leading all our sewer-related work, I help separate fact from fiction. I translate engineering plans and provide our teams with the science they need. Knowing the facts allows us to open the “black boxes” —to make visible the science and technology to show what they do and do not do— to tell the true stories of the waste stream, so that we can work alongside the public to act in the interest of community health and well-being.

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