From the Can: The Good Fight

It’s been five and a half years since I first walked through the doors of the Waste Age offices. In that time, I’ve witnessed a lot of changes, both here at the magazine and in the waste and recycling industry in general.

Despite a few recessionary bumps in the road, the nation’s embrace of recycling continues unabated. Waste disposal and processing methods are cleaner and more efficient than they have ever been. New technologies are making it possible to divert more and more material from the waste stream, turning it into a resource. Unfortunately, I also still see plenty of “greenwashing”: cynical attempts by companies and politicians to polish their environmental bona fides with little action to back it up.

But on balance, I’m excited about where this industry is headed. Two of the most rapidly evolving corners of the waste industry relate to the handling of e-waste and food waste. In this month’s cover story, contributing writer Jennifer Grzeskowiak looks at how Seattle and other communities are developing new ways to divert and reclaim food waste.

In July, EPA, the White House and several industry leaders formally unveiled a federal e-waste strategy. I tend to side with those who say it doesn’t go far enough, but it at least confirms that the issue is part of the national agenda.

Waste Age has been staffed by a long line of insightful, funny, idealistic folks, traits that I see reflected in the industry at large. My pride in that fact may be getting the better of me, or perhaps I’ve watched one too many episodes of “Game of Thrones,” but as I take the helm of Waste Age, I feel compelled to issue a call to arms: To those who collect, process, regulate and analyze waste and recyclables every day: Do your best work. Help keep our communities and the environment strong while discerning and implementing the wisest, cleanest, most productive uses for the waste we collect. Fight the good fight.
Steven Averett, Acting Editor

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