The Heap
Memories of WasteExpo

Memories of WasteExpo

WasteExpo wrapped up less than two weeks ago and I’m still trying to shake the hangover of another spin through Vegas and the sprawling cross section of our industry that the show represents. Here are a few highlights of my WasteExpo experience. Please be sure to comment with a few memories of your own!

The Looooooooooooong Hall

I had forgotten how long the Las Vegas Convention Center is. I was doing okay making my way across the show floor — until I got to the steps and realized I was only halfway through the hall.

Heil’s “Box Booth”

img_0271.JPGWe were impressed by Heil Environmental’s unconventional booth, which at first glance appeared to consist of artfully assembled refrigerator boxes. The company took the “Environmentalists. Every Day” theme of the show to heart. The only promotional materials handed out were impregnated with flower seeds, designed to be planted or composted rather than thrown away. Everything else was displayed and distributed electronically to conserve paper and packaging. The company sent 50 percent less staff to man the booth compared to last year and reduced the amount of equipment on display by 80 percent to conserve resources (and no doubt money) that might otherwise be burned to transport and house them. Perhaps most impressively, nearly every material used in the booth, from the cardboard walls and benches, to the soy-based seating pads, was made from recycled materials and would be reused or recycled again after the show. The only component that could not be recycled — the cushiony artificial turf that lined the floor of the booth — was donated to a Las Vegas school for underprivileged children, for use on their playground.

What Happened Last Night

The staid Inspirational & Awards Breakfast got a welcome jolt when one Driver of the Year honoree, impressed by the number of wives accepting awards on their husbands’ behalf, admitted that he had just gotten hitched the night before. He didn’t appear to be joking (and I later spotted him on the show floor with his blushing bride in tow); truly a man that took full advantage of his Vegas trip. Does the Mack Driving Skills Safety Challenge count as a honeymoon?

img_0272.JPGBruce Parker Tees Up

The Waste Age booth was located next to a vendor hosting a continuous putting contest, which seemed to be quite popular (not least because of the attractive models managing the putters). Even National Solid Wastes Management Association president and CEO Bruce Parker got into the act (he missed).