Have you heard? Waste360 has launched a podcast! NothingWasted! brings you one-on-one chats with some of the most interesting people in the waste, recycling and organics industry. Best of all, you can listen anytime and anywhere.
On our first episode, we chat with Michele Nestor, president of Nestor Resources Inc. and board of directors chair of the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center.
We spoke with her about the state of our unique industry, the next generation, challenges in working with public officials and private companies, the role of technology, e-waste and much more.
“If we don’t look at design for repair and reuse, I think it’s going to make the waste and recycling industry’s job that much harder.”
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
Waste360: What kind of changes and opportunities are you seeing?
Michele Nestor: We’ve always looked at the end of the pipeline … we’re waste management professionals; that’s what we do. But, I think we’re realizing if we don’t look at design for repair and reuse, I think it’s going to make the waste and recycling industry’s job that much harder.
Waste360: What do you think—are we still dealing with band-aid solutions to e-waste, or is progress being made?
Michele Nestor: I think the industry is trying. I will give part of the industry credit for taking steps to take back their own products; they’re actually recovering products that can be refurbished, and it’s like a lease program. I really think that’s going to be the future if we want to end e-waste altogether.
Waste360: Have our 2030 food loss and waste reduction goals created an entrepreneurial spark in our industry?
Michele Nestor: If you look to Oregon—and they are setting the example for the country—we need to start looking at lifecycle analysis. When is a package bad and when is it good and being recyclable isn’t always the best thing?
Waste360: What else should we be paying attention to? For example, is cannabis waste the next frontier?
Michele Nestor: Really, it could be. As it becomes broader across the country, the industry needs to know how to be prepared. I think we’re going to see waste-to-energy grow but maybe in different forms. I think landfill gas is an underappreciated resource, and I think that we’re going to see a lot more use of organics and biomass, so renewables of all different kinds like that is where we’re going to have to look.
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