Our industry is embracing new technologies to improve efficiency, enhance customer service and protect the environment. This trend results from an increasingly competitive market and requires solid waste company leaders to stay at the top of their professional games by satisfying appropriate certification requirements and completing continuing education programs. The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) provide great training opportunities in a variety of formats.
WasteExpo conference education sessions are the premier educational opportunity for U.S. solid waste professionals. In May 2011, Dallas will host the three-day event. The show will feature 40 educational sessions, covering the topics of recycling, composting, collection technology, fuel management, truck technology and safety. Sessions also will involve broader business topics such as financial growth, regulatory compliance, workplace health and media relations. There will be two all-day workshops, one about current developments for landfill owners and operators and another about effective fleet management. “Lunch-N-Learn” sessions each day will cover company success stories, producer responsibility and emergency waste management in the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
This year, the Waste Training Institute and the Healthcare Waste Conference will be convened in concert with WasteExpo. The Waste Training Institute is an industry-specific training initiative intended to help waste service companies run their businesses more effectively. The Healthcare Waste Institute’s annual conference is the only annual U.S. conference devoted to healthcare waste. It focuses on the latest regulatory, legislative and technical issues affecting this sector.
With this diverse list of topics, every solid waste management professional should be able to find sessions that fit his or her needs. For those unable to attend WasteExpo in 2011, conference organizers plan to record a number of the sessions and make them available online. Learn more about WasteExpo at www.wasteexpo.com.
NSWMA Safety Program
A great way to improve productivity and reduce potential costs is to maintain the highest worker safety standards. NSWMA helps solid waste industry professionals foster safety in the workplace through seminars and a variety of DVDs and publications. NSWMA will hold its next safety seminar in Atlanta in early April. Additional safety seminars will take place in other locations later in 2011. Learn more about the Atlanta seminar and training materials at www.nswma.org.
Each year, NSWMA and WASTEC offer their members tours of state-of-the-art solid waste management facilities. These are great opportunities to see the latest equipment and technologies in use, network with peers and ask questions. The next tour is the NSWMA Chairman’s Council Tour, April 3-6, in Houston and Austin, Texas. Other tours organized by the EIA Women’s Council and the EIA Future Industry Leaders Alliance (FILA) will be held in other cities later in 2011. Learn more about the next Chairman’s Council Tour, as well as the Women’s Council and FILA tours, at www.nswma.org.
In addition, to the aforementioned continuing education opportunities, there are certification programs that exist for professionals within the solid waste industry. One example, organized by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, offers engineering professionals the opportunity to become a board certified environmental engineer. Such programs may give participants a competitive advantage among their peers. For more information and an application form, visit www.aaee.net.
Thomas Metzger is director of communications and public affairs for the National Solid Wastes Management Association. Reach him at (202) 364-3751.