In the latest episode of our NothingWasted! Podcast, we chat with Anne Germain, vice president of technical and regulatory affairs for the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA). We spoke with her about consumer education, plastic exports, landfills and more.
Waste360: You seem so skilled at collaboration and gaining consensus in groups. Can you offer any advice about the art of collaborating?
Anne Germain: You have to think about “how can we generate a win-win?” You have to recognize that not everyone is coming at a problem from the same approach, but there’s got to be some common ground from which to work toward solutions. Ultimately, we’re all trying to enhance the industry, even if we have different ways we go about it.
Waste360: What was the most challenging aspect of your work related to landfills when you were at the Delaware Solid Waste Authority?
Anne Germain: The thing about landfills is that everything is site specific. You’re so dependent on how the ground is, where the groundwater is … But one of the most important things we’ve done is to get rid of old dumpsites. And it’s always important to convey to people that what we’re doing is protecting the environment by building these landfills. In Delaware, we had a lot of technically challenging (and also fun) projects due to the high groundwater and coastal considerations.
Waste360: How have you seen technology change the waste and recycling industry?
Anne Germain: One thing we’ve seen over the years is such an improvement in safety … thanks to automation, cameras and so many technical improvements. Also, just getting a much better sense of industry data has been a boon.
Listen to the full episode with Germain here. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear her smart insights on women in the industry, commodity prices, addressing per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances issues and more.