In recent months, a number of news stories in publications such as Waste Age and various local newspapers have included a common element: that the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) is advancing the interests of the private-sector solid waste industry and helping protect the interests of our member companies.
An example of these stories includes the unrelenting efforts of NSWMA’s Texas Chapter to fight the illegal and unfair flow control law that was passed in Dallas. NSWMA fought the law when it was proposed and debated by local officials. NSWMA organized grassroots opposition to the proposed law and communicated about the problems with the legislation.
After the law passed despite those efforts, NSWMA filed a lawsuit on the behalf of its Texas members. In January, a federal judge issued an injunction that prevents Dallas officials from enforcing the law. The result demonstrates how the tenacity of NSWMA and its members can be rewarded.
In addition to fighting flow control laws in Texas and other states, NSWMA is engaged on a variety of issues that could negatively impact the solid waste and recycling services industry.
In each of these efforts, the NSWMA chapters have the full resources of the association at their disposal to engage in local, state and federal legislative advocacy.
NSWMA regularly comments on regulatory matters with federal and state regulatory agencies that affect our industry. Such regulations can seem very technical in nature, and the parts of them that affect the solid waste industry may involve only a few lines in documents that are hundreds of pages in length. It’s vital to the private-sector solid waste industry and its manufacturers that NSWMA and its sister organization, the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC), are vigilant and successful in this area. NSWMA and WASTEC commented on more than 45 regulations in 2011.
Proposed regulatory changes during the last year have involved a variety of efforts to reduce to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve employee and commercial truck safety, and make trucks more fuel efficient and less polluting.
In addition to its legislative and regulatory efforts, NSWMA works to influence the overall discourse involving issues of importance to the solid waste and recycling services industry. NSWMA recently announced a new policy on product stewardship. NSWMA’s release of its zero-waste policy garnered a good deal of publicity last year.
The NSWMA and WASTEC “Environmentalists. Every Day.” public education program targets relevant media, officials and citizens with information to help them understand the essential nature of the work done by our industry, explaining how we help keep communities healthy and clean, and why it’s in the best interest for communities that our industry should thrive.
It is worthwhile for our industry to make its voice heard by making such statements, because they impact public discourse, which ultimately affects future legislation and regulation.
All of these activities are steered by NSWMA’s network of state chapters, a number of issue-steering groups, and a group of very committed industry leaders serving on the NSWMA and WASTEC boards of trustees and governors, working with NSWMA and WASTEC staff in the national office in Washington, D.C., and regional offices in Massachusetts, Georgia and Illinois.
If your company is an NSWMA or WASTEC member, and you would like to participate in these important advocacy efforts, reach out to NSWMA staff today. If your company does not currently belong to NSWMA or WASTEC, these programs are additional reasons to join today. For more information about NSWMA and WASTEC membership, visit www.environmentalistseveryday.org/membership.