As Waste Age was going to press, Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake, likely leaving tens of thousands of people dead and the island in ruins. The almost-incomprehensible disaster makes this month's cover story ("When Disaster Strikes"), which details how haulers can prepare for disaster clean-up, heartbreakingly timely. In this piece, contributing writer Michael Fickes details how two firms — Republic Services and AshBritt Environmental — prepare for the hurricanes that hit their service areas and how they operate during those times of crisis.
We hope that you will find the examples outlined in the story useful, and please contact us if you have additional suggestions for how your fellow waste industry members can prepare for and operate in natural disasters. This is a topic that we cover regularly, and we're counting on you to pass along your best practices.
Furthermore, we hope that you will do what you can to aid the massive relief effort underway in Haiti.
As our lead Tip Off story ("Thinking Big") explains, the state of Florida is about to embark on a seemingly Herculean task: raising the state's recycling rate from its current 28 percent to 75 percent by 2020. Just after the new year arrived, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released its recommendations on how the state can reach that mark. The department was required to produce its report by the state Energy, Climate Change and Economic Security Act of 2008, which formally established the recycling goal.
Our story details the recommendations that DEP made and which will now be considered by the Florida Legislature. Count on Waste Age and WasteAge.com to fully cover what should be a very interesting story.
The new year brings with it a new monthly e-mail newsletter from Waste Age. The newsletter, titled "Waste Age Green," will debut in the early part of 2010 and will cover "green" issues such as recycling, landfill gas-to-energy projects, the use of alternative fuels and communities adopting zero-waste goals. To sign up for this newsletter, visit our Newsletter subscription page.