Steven Averett, Content Director, Waste Group

October 28, 2011

2 Min Read
From the Can: Going Back to Cali

Love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that California tends to lead the nation when it comes to progressive waste handling. There are a few exceptions of course, with other states and municipalities taking bolder steps every day (see “Solar Synergy” for Republic Services’ innovative landfill solar project in Georgia). But by and large, we look to the West Coast to see the future of waste.

Now, with the passage of two new laws California is pursuing a 75 percent diversion rate goal. The move was at least partly motivated by Florida’s recent adoption of its own 75 percent recycling goal. The big difference between the two is likely to be the contentious point of waste-to-energy. Florida counts it as recycling, making its goal much more easily obtainable. Though I can’t say for certain, I feel safe in predicting that California will not count waste incinerated for energy as part of its diversion rate.

That makes it a much tougher road to hoe. Still, the state has a roadmap to follow right in its own back yard. San Francisco has long outpaced every other city in the country with a diversion rate already eclipsing 75 percent. A big part of that success has been the city’s primary waste handler, Recology (formerly Norcal Waste Systems). With a range of progressive programs, such as food waste collection and cutting edge single-stream recycling, it’s helped San Francisco work around a serious lack of landfill space, while making it one of the greenest cities in the world. Discover all of the varied components that make Recology unique by reading our profile of the company.

In December, Waste Age and will be resurrecting our popular Truck and Container Design Contest. If you’ve got custom decorated vehicles or containters in your fleet that you would like to see highlighted in our pages and online, send high-res photos of them to me at [email protected]. We’ll pick our favorites and show them off to the rest of the industry!

Steven Averett, Editor

Please e-mail [email protected] to pass along feedback or suggestions.

About the Author(s)

Steven Averett

Content Director, Waste Group, Waste360

Steven Averett joined the Waste Age staff in February 2006. Since then he has helped the magazine expand its coverage and garner a range of awards from FOLIO, the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) and the Magazine Association of the Southeast (MAGS). He recently won a Gold Award from ASBPE for humor writing.

Before joining Waste Age, Steven spent three years as the staff writer for Industrial Engineer magazine, where he won a gold GAMMA Award from MAGS for Best Feature. He has written and edited material covering a wide range of topics, including video games, film, manufacturing, and aeronautics.

Steven is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where he earned a BA in English.

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