In the Waste Expo exhibit hall, which opened this morning, two overriding influences are apparent: the struggling economy and the green movement. An endless array of environmentally friendly products is on display, and most of the big players are at pains to demonstrate their commitment to green principles. They are catering to an eager throng of attendees looking for ways to attract customers and do business more efficiently in the midst of a recession.
Lee Lydic, the national fleet development manager for Truck-Lite Co. Inc., a Falconer, N.Y.-based manufacturer and distributor of truck visibility products, is a good example of the type of waste professional walking the floor. Lydic said he had exhibited at past Waste Expos, but couldn’t afford to exhibit in the current economic climate. Nevertheless, he said he was very impressed with the show, noting that he was finding many products worth getting excited about, such as the new LED headlights featured on the trucks Mack was showing at its booth.
“You’ve got the top truck manufacturers, the top body manufacturers and the top container manufacturers,” said Lydic, adding that the quality of the vendors he had met with was high.
Among those exhibitors displaying on the floor is Erie, Pa.-based Eriez Manufacturing, which produces equipment for screening and separating recyclables. Eric Confer, a technical sales rep for Eriez, said that traffic so far was a little slower than in previous years, but that everyone who had stopped by the booth was eager to learn about the company’s products: “We’ll take quality over quantity any day,” said Confer. He also noted a greater interest in recycling this year, with firms looking to add recycling to their operations, or improve the efficiency of existing recycling programs.
Terry Creamer of Western Cascade Container, a solid waste container manufacturer based in Kelso, Wa., said he had already seen several interesting products, including a new backing camera, and had spoken to a range of hook-lift manufacturers. This was Creamer’s first time attending the show in 10 years, and he said he was impressed with how far the show had come in that time.
The exhibit hall will be open 10:00 – 5:00 on Wednesday and 10:00 – 1:00 on Thursday.