In the latest episode of Waste360’s NothingWasted! Podcast, we bring you a dynamic session from WasteExpo 2019—“A Fresh Take: How Rising Leaders See the Waste Industry's Future.”
The discussion features some of our impressive Waste360 40 Under 40 award winners, including Kristin Kinder, vice president of research and waste stream sustainability at Wastequip; Tania Ragland, sustainability and food recovery manager at Republic Services; Andrew Rumpke, east area president at Rumpke Waste & Recycling; and Michelle Salas, founder and president of Lady Green Recycling Co.
Here’s a sneak peek into the discussion:
Q: Since you’ve been in the industry, how have you seen it change, and what changes do you expect in the future?
Ragland: I think we’ve seen our industry be significantly elevated. There’s a new consciousness, and more people than ever are interested in recycling, sustainability, environmental stewardship … the consumers want to get involved more than they ever have, and it’s such an exciting time.
Rumpke: I’ve been around the industry my entire life, and one of the big things I’ve seen is that the jobs have gotten better, and technology has gotten better. And we’re using more and more automated equipment because safety is a huge priority. We’ve moved from a lot of really hard labor where workers’ bodies were at risk all the time to more of an investment in equipment that has made jobs easier and less dangerous.
Kinder: There are a lot more conversations where designers, product manufacturers, retailers and now recyclers and the waste industry are at least sitting at the same table. It’s great to see this “end-of-life” aspect coming into the conversation, and I hope to see that get stronger.
Salas: When it comes to single stream systems, I’d like to see more progress in this area. Of course, technology has really improved for safety and operations, and there is a momentum with states and municipalities looking to make a difference in recycling, and that’s a good thing.
Listen to the full session below and more episodes here. Enjoy the myriad of smart insights from these rising stars.