PROFILE: Flow Control Is Key For Future

She previously was executive di-rector for Metro Waste Authority (MWA), Des Moines, Iowa, and was awarded the first MWA "Frank J. Sudol Environmental Leadership" award.

Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa So-ciety of Solid Waste Oper-ations, the Solid Waste Association of North Amer-ica's Interna-tional Board and is a member of the National Solid Waste Management Associa-tion.

WW: What have you learned as MWA's executive director that you can apply to your new county manager position?

TCJ: As MWA's executive director, I managed the steady and progressive growth of Iowa's largest solid waste management system.

During my tenure, the organization evolved from a landfill and transfer operation to a fully integrated solid waste management system comprised of multiple facilities, programs and services.

I'm excited to now have the op-portunity to transfer the capabilities, strengths and expertise that contributed to the professional milestones at MWA to my new position as county manager.

During my years at MWA, we were required to deal with any number of issues at the local, state and federal levels relative to solid waste management. Dealing with the needs of the electorates, as well as those of the public, were very critical. In many respects, the same types of issues, problems, concerns and challenges will be faced [with my new duties].

WW: What key issues will the in-dustry face in the next five years?

TCJ: The primary issue that both public and private solid waste professionals will need to address is flow control. However, there are also other issues that will impact the industry as we approach the new millennium. These include: meeting the various recycling and reduction goals that have been established; identifying how to compete with privately-owned facilities; responding to ever-changing government regulations; continuing to test the limits of technology; and developing markets for recyclables.

WW: Give a brief waste profile of your service area?

TCJ: MWA is a quasi-independent governmental entity that provides regional integrated solid waste services to 20 municipalities and the unincorporated areas of Polk County. We manage approximately 400,000 tons of waste each year. MWA's service area encompasses 115,000 single-family households, or 386,000 residents. Currently, MWA has been able to divert 35 percent of its service area waste stream from the landfill.

WW: What do you see as the future role of municipal solid waste (MSW) managers?

TCJ: The role of MSW managers is more critical than ever. They're responsibility is to keep interest in solid waste management programs and services so that momentum is not lost in the future.

MSW managers will need to grow existing programs or establish new ones in order to achieve mandatory recycling or waste-reduction goals. The challenge will be to finance these programs cost effectively. Also, MSW managers will have to make difficult decisions related to capital projects that rely on flow control for financing.

There are many challenges facing municipal solid waste managers as the end of this decade draws near. The leaders will recognize the need to remain competitive, as well as the value of public/private partnerships, in order to achieve success.