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June 4, 2015
WasteExpo 2015 wrapped up on Thursday. Here are some final takeaways from sessions and meetings that took place on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Environmental Research and Education Foundation's (EREF) Annual Charitable Auction took place on Wednesday afternoon. The raffle prize was a 1954 Chevrolet 3100 1/2 Ton Pickup. Overall, 33 items were available in the silent auction and 31 lots were auctioned as part of the live event.
Scotland has an ambitious zero waste goal, Elidth Brunton of the United Kingdom’s Vegware told a morning organics session audience. The country, with 5.2 million people and 20 million metric tons of waste generated annually, aims to get to 70-percent recycling by 2025, and a maximum of 5 percent to the landfill by then. By 2020, no biodegradable waste should go to the landfill. After some initial resistance, response in the country has been generally very positive, she said.
Steve Sutta of Green Planet emphasized the economic benefits of aiming for zero waste. His organization focuses on food processing plants, and he reports 100-150 success stories. “Sustainability is good business,” he said. But buy-in from upper management is critical.
At the mixed waste processing luncheon session, Steve Miller, CEO of Bulk Handling Systems, characterized the approach as a way to lower labor costs. More than 50-percent of waste management costs, he pointed out, are collection related. A mixed waste processing program can run well concurrently with a single-stream effort. But getting at the organics fraction of the waste stream is key.
Bradley Kelley of the environmental consulting firm Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc. discussed a study that broke down a mixed waste stream. He characterized it as 30-30-30 breakdown, of organics, paper, and plastics/metals/glass, with the last 10 percent being a wild card. He characterized mixed waste processing as a material recovery facility (MRF) of the last resort. But all agreed it’s a viable option in the arsenal of waste management.
Preventing crime at your business was the focus of a talk by Daniel Katt, Rumpke Consolidated Companies corporate loss control manager and a former longtime policeman. He advised attendees to take a look at their properties in a new way–from the perspective of a criminal and how easy it is to steal assets and convert them to cash. Katt suggested five strategies to be proactive about crime: Make it harder to get to the goods; increase the risks of getting caught; reduce the rewards of getting away with it; reduce the provocations or frustrations that could prompt a crime; and remove the excuse for it happening.
Risk liability in waste and recycling can be a huge concern, depending on circumstances, said attorney John Cruckshank at a session on the topic to close the day. The legal system is all about making money, he stressed. Plaintiff attorneys go after cases where they have a chance to prove direct negligence. There’s negligent hiring, retention and entrustment, with the including responsibility for proper vehicle maintenance as well as the employee. This is where plaintiffs can bring the company’s entire decision making into question. And businesses get little sympathy from the judicial system when it gets to this point, he said.
PC Scale has rebranded as AMCS US. Over the last 16 months AMCS has more than doubled in size. In addition to significant organic growth the company has completed a number of major acquisitions including the US market leader PC Scale and Danish-based route planning and optimization systems provider, Transvision.
Waste360’s next big event will be the first ever Waste360 Recycling Summit that will take place from September 9 – 11 in Chicago.
WasteExpo 2016 will return to Las Vegas. It will take place next year from June 6 through 9. Mark your calendars!
News Editor, Waste360
Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.
Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.
Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.
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