From the Can: Give and Take

So much in our industry depends on effective communication with our customers and the community at large. As the National Solid Wastes Management Association’s establishment of the “Environmentalists. Every Day.” campaign illustrates, effectively conveying what we do helps foster respect for our work. Detailing the correct ways to handle recyclables and the environmental benefits of doing so boosts participation and diversion rates. And seeking input from the community when permitting new facilities or launching new initiatives helps ensure that the community will support those efforts.

In this month’s cover story, “Recipe for Diversion,” Rhodes Yepsen of Novamont North America offers guidance for waste handlers interested in introducing a residential food waste diversion program. Lessons gleaned from the establishment of food scrap collection programs in Europe may help you communicate the benefits and logistics of this service to residents.

In “How Green Was My Tally,” Waste Age News Editor Allan Gerlat confronts the growing volume of corporate sustainability reports, explaining how these evolving documents are changing the way companies look at waste while also conveying the companies’ environmental bonafides to outside observers.

A more grassroots way to get your message out is through a beautifully bedecked collection vehicle. “Pickup Artists” highlights the winners of our 2012 Equipment Color and Design Contest, which has actually lain dormant since 2008. Based on the huge number of entries we received, it has been missed. I hope you’ll take a look at these surprisingly fun and elegant pieces of waste and recycling equipment. They’re great examples of extra effort taken to engage the communities we serve.

Finally, please help me welcome our newest columnist, Darden Copeland. He will be authoring NIMBY Notes, a monthly recap of all the ways communities are reacting to the waste industry, detailing successes and failures and the lessons that can be drawn from both. Watch for him to deal with a range of issues that all have their underpinnings in effective communication.

Speaking of communication, I’m always eager to hear what you have to say. Please drop me a line at [email protected].

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