An Educational Buffet

WASTE EXPO 2004 is quickly approaching. The event always has provided a forum to help waste management professionals prep for the future, learn from their colleagues and, most importantly, improve their business and environmental-compliance savvy. Furthermore, the educational sessions will prove useful as we move forward through a changing business climate and you look to stay ahead of the competition.

This year's program will help attendees stay informed about the latest changes affecting compliance, technology and business development. Industry leaders have pooled ideas to ensure the program is constructed with the most useful sessions to assist professionals at all levels of their careers.

The program consists of more than 40 educational sessions broken down into 12 tracks, plus a two-day landfill workshop and three boxed-lunch sessions. WasteExpo's boxed-lunch topics will focus on taking pride in the waste industry, professional and industry image, and a contest for the most extreme customer service story. Thursday workshops will address route auditing and fleet maintenance. Both industry experts and a group of peers who are eager to impart their knowledge will lead these sessions. The sessions are full of information that will enable waste professionals to do their best and stay ahead of the competition.

If you are seeking technical education, look to the sessions under hauler issues, recycling, driver training, safety and facilities management categories. These sessions will address such issues as environmental standards for trucks; the best practices of using automated collection; trends in urban recycling; the profitability potential of e-waste; and reducing fatalities and improving safety.

The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) has placed emphasis on management issues that should be beneficial to everyone in the waste industry, regardless of career level. Whether your professional focus is human resources, contract negotiations or financial and benefits management, tracks will be relevant and available for you to explore. Cross-career session topics include: employee retention; first-time managers; diversity in the workplace; flow control; health plans; borrowing money; Wall Street's view of the industry; and pricing and technology for collection routes.

In addition to broad business courses, WasteExpo will be providing education with a specific focus. Session topics will include:

  • Working with local governments;

  • Special considerations facing Texas waste disposal operations;

  • Functioning fairly in a family-run business;

  • The importance of developing a crisis-management plan;

  • The effects of product makers taking responsibility for the end result of their products' disposal; and

  • How waste is managed for large-scale special events, such as the Olympics and the Super Bowl.

Finally, a number of courses will tackle personal development, such as targeting ways to manage stress and how to communicate most effectively with men and women in the workplace.

In 2004, the Waste Tech Landfill Technology Conference and Medical Waste Conference will be co-located with WasteExpo. If you want to learn more about bioreactor landfills and landfill gas or management of chemotherapy waste and blood-borne pathogens, be sure to check out these events as well.

WasteExpo will be held at the Dallas Convention Center from May 17-20. For more information on WasteExpo 2004 and the landfill and medical waste conferences, visit or call (800) 559-0620.

Mark Glazer is the manager of education at the Environmental Industry Associations, Washington, D.C.

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