It’s spring, and the waste and recycling industry’s conference season is in full bloom.
WasteExpo 2014 in Atlanta has gone into the books, and the mood was good. Exhibitors were generally pleased with the floor traffic at the expo, and content like the Investor Summit and the organics session tracks helped make attendees a little smarter about their business.
The general feeling is that economic conditions for the industry, while not going gangbusters, continue to improve at a promising pace. For coverage of the conference, click here.
One of the centerpieces of WasteExpo is always new equipment and technology. An increasingly common theme at the expo is the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) in vehicles, and as such, there were many CNG-powered trucks on display this year.
CNG currently powers only 10 percent of all waste and recycling trucks, but many within the industry believe that the fuel is well on its way to replacing diesel as the energy of choice for our industry. Granted, with its high initial cost and single-source engine supplier, CNG is not without its challenges. Nonetheless, CNG has proven in a very short time to be a perfect fit for our industry, with its locally-driven vehicles that are best served by being refilled every night. The environmentally-friendly nature of CNG also suits our industry, which wants to promote the fact that it is on the frontlines of the green movement. I take a look at the increasing use of CNG in waste and recycling transportation in our cover story.
Technology and research are at the heart of one of the next big waste and recycling shows—the Global Waste Management Symposium, to be held June 22–25 in Orlando, Fla. The keynote speaker at that event is Heijo Scharff, research and development manager for NV Afvalzorg of the Netherlands. In this issue, David Bodamer, Waste360’s executive director of content and user engagement, conducts a Q&A with Scharff. Scharff gives his take on getting organics out of landfills, presents some of the Dutch efforts on landfill management and discusses the differences between the American and European approaches to landfills—some of which may surprise you.
I hope to see you soon—on a show floor or in a session room—as we continue our education about how to strengthen and grow our industry.