Commingled Conversation: Lonnie Poole Jr.

Commingled Conversation: Lonnie Poole Jr.

A light-hearted Q&A with the founder of Waste Industries

This is the second edition of a lighthearted Q&A with waste industry figures that is designed to shed some light on their personalities and interests. This month's interviewee is Lonnie Poole Jr., the founder of Raleigh, N.C.-based Waste Industries and EIA Hall of Fame member. Poole, whose son Ven is the CEO of Waste Industries, served as the company's CEO from its creation in 1970 until 2002; he was the chairman of the firm's board of directors from 1970 until the end of 2008. He remains on the company's board.

Waste Age (WA): What is your pet peeve?

Lonnie Poole Jr.: I don't have a pet peeve. I don't have a pet at all, and I hear peeves are very expensive.

WA: What is your idea of the perfect day?

Poole: To have a pulse and a $100.00 for tomorrow. Make that $1,000.00.

WA: What is the best advice you've ever received?

Poole: Get baptized and go to college.

WA: What was the last book you read?

Poole: "Fall of Giants" by Ken Follett.

WA: What is your favorite movie?

Poole: "Gone with the Wind."

WA: What is your favorite TV show?

Poole: "60 Minutes" with Andy Rooney.

WA: Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Poole: Beatles — because of them I can carry on a limited conversation in English. Jolly good!

WA: What is the strangest piece of trash you've ever come across?

Poole: As a joke, I asked our guys at the landfill to be on the lookout for a pair of size-12 ski boots. Before my ski trip two weeks later, they called: size 12, bright blue by Nordica.

WA: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?

Poole: Beach. The fish are bigger and so are the girls.

WA: What is the one thing you couldn't live without?

Poole: Oxygen by a nose, followed by love.

WA: If you could invite three people — living or dead — to a dinner party, who would they be?

Poole: My wife Carol and two genies with one wish each. Oh heck — make it three each.

WA: If you weren't the founder of Waste Industries, what would you like to be?

Poole: Retired founder of Microsoft.

WA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Poole: To be in favor with God and man.

WA: What's the most adventurous thing you've done?

Poole: Getting married.

WA: What's the one talent you have that not many people know about?

Poole: Ability to read palms.

If you have suggestions for future interviewees, send us an e-mail at

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