From the Can: Collecting Ourselves

From the Can: Collecting Ourselves

Sept. 11. In some ways it seems ages ago, an event now primarily confined to staid PBS documentaries and moments of silence at sporting events. But simply endeavor to think about where you were that morning and it’s easy to call back the horror, the grief and the uncertainty of that day and those that followed.

It took a long time for us to recover the sense of normalcy that we are once again blessed to be able to take for granted. One of the first steps toward finding our way back was to do what people have always done in the wake of disaster: clean up. And it was sanitation workers, street sweepers, landfill managers, hazardous waste processors, steel recyclers and the rest of our brethren who led the charge.

In “Day of Debris,” author Allan Gerlat (more on him below) talks to many of the waste service workers who took on that fraught mess, beginning that very morning. Much ink has been spilled about the firefighters, police and other first responders on Sept. 11, and rightfully so, but these workers, who confronted many of the same perils and bear many of the same emotional scars, also have stories worth hearing.

On a happier note, I am thrilled to announce that Allan Gerlat has now joined us full time as News Editor for Waste Age,, WasteExpo and the rest of Penton’s waste properties. Allan was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for 16 years and in recent months has served as one of our primary contributing writers. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have him on our team. If you know his work (and if you follow this industry, it’s almost certain you do), then you how much stronger Waste Age is with him onboard. Please help me welcome him!

Steven Averett, Editor

Please e-mail [email protected] to pass along feedback or suggestions.

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