Women and Waste

IN ITS FOURTH YEAR, the EIA's Women's Council embraces the diversification and challenges of the solid waste industry. The council's goal is to realize the full potential of female waste industry professionals to benefit the industry as a whole. We are focused on educational programs and networking opportunities for all members of the waste segment.

The Women's Council is dedicated to skill building in financial and business practices and leadership. We sponsor seminars, engage speakers, network and hold teleconferences during the year on a variety of topics. Our members are a very diverse group and represent expertise from all industry disciplines.

For 2006, the council already has many great programs and resources planned for its members. Through financial support provided by numerous companies in the industry, the following resources and programs are possible:


This free resource allows members to contact their peers via e-mail and provides another avenue for female waste industry professionals to share ideas and seek input. ListServ also can be used to request information, send invitations for meetings and conferences, conduct surveys, and relate information about a successful program, service or product.

Lunch and Learn

Three or four times per year, the council has a 60-minute teleconference, which also is free to members. Guest speakers are invited to talk about their area of expertise. A lively discussion and question-and-answer session follow the presentation. On Jan. 17, Michele Nestor, president of Nestor Resources, will address the topic, “How to Hire and Keep Good Employees.” In September 2005, Will Flower, vice president of communications for Republic Services Inc., presented “Talking Trash — The Important Role of Communications in Managing Society's Waste.”

Site Visit

For the second year, Women's Council members will have an opportunity to visit a waste industry operation to learn more about equipment and facility operations. In March 2006, the council will meet in Phoenix for a two-day educational tour that starts on March 6 at the John Deere Sacaton Proving Grounds.

Members will attend a demonstration by John Deere training staff on operating the company's heavy equipment, just before climbing in the cab for a test drive. John Deere's dozer, crawler, loader, excavator and backhoe will be part of the demonstration. Xenya Mucha, EIA Women's Council chair and product marketing manager for the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division, organized the event.

The two-day tour concludes on March 7 with a visit to Waste Management Inc.'s San Tan Transfer Station in Mesa, Ariz. Waste Management is hosting this site visit of its fully enclosed transfer station facility. “The tours of the Proving Grounds and the San Tan Transfer Station enable members to get a view of solid waste management equipment and operations that they otherwise may not have an opportunity to see,” Mucha says.

In June 2005, Ellen Harvey, founder and past chair of the EIA Women's Council, hosted a two-day site visit to her company's facility — E.L. Harvey & Sons — in Westborough, Mass. The group visited all areas of the full-service facility and was provided with detailed information on each of the waste hauling, transfer and scrap recycling operations. A bus also took the group to a tour of a nearby waste-to-energy plant.

Women's Council Coloring Book

The Women's Council is very excited about the first edition of an industry-information coloring book that will be launched in 2006. The 48-page coloring book is intended to educate children about the waste industry, including equipment, processes and terminology. The book will be distributed for free to attendees at WasteExpo 2006 and will be available at other industry shows and meetings. Proceeds will fund council programs.

Becoming a member of the council provides many opportunities to become involved in the future of the waste industry. If you are interested in more information about the council, please visit EIA's Web site at www.envasns.org and click on “EIA Women's Council.” The membership application form is posted on the site. You also may call Peggy Macenas, NSWMA's Midwest region manager, at (800) 679-6269 or Xenya Mucha, John Deere, at (309) 765-0254.

Peggy Macenas is NSWMA's Midwest region manager.