In the latest episode of our NothingWasted! Podcast, we chat with Kristin Kinder, vice president of research and waste stream sustainability at Wastequip, the leading manufacturer of waste handling equipment in North America. (She is also one of this year’s Waste360 40 Under 40 award winners!)
We got to speak with her about innovation, industry challenges and more.
Waste360: How did you get into this industry?
Kristin Kinder: I love that question because most of us didn’t get into this industry on purpose. My story starts back in kindergarten. I had a teacher who brought nature to life for us, and that was also the same year they started curbside recycling in Seattle, where I grew up. But I never really thought about this as a career and actually moved to Germany to play soccer. While there, I found the inspiration for my career—as I observed how the German culture of consumption was so different than the mindset in the U.S. I was lucky to start my career at Waste Management. And now I am so excited every day going to work at Wastequip.
Waste360: A lot of your roles have been very focused on collaboration. Any tips on how to collaborate well?
Kristin Kinder: Understanding the basics of the frontlines to our business is so important. Once you know operationally how things happen, how the people in operations feel, what they’re being measured on … it makes that collaboration much easier. Also, just asking the right questions and understanding where people in different departments are coming from helps.
Waste360: What did you learn from moderating the “Scrap Your Food Waste” panel at WasteExpo?
Kristin Kinder: One of my biggest takeaways is from another wise speaker, “Begin with the end in mind.” Think about building the markets and making sure there is a vehicle for your materials and that they have a place to go—and start strengthening that. Also: quality over quantity.
Hear her smart insights on sustainability, waste trends, the future of waste and more.