Michael Virga, executive director of the U.S. Composting Council, has a secret. It’s not readily apparent, but in addition to his professional capacity, the clues are all there in our informal Q&A: a penchant for dense fantasy literature, a desire for longevity, and a stated longing to oversee a stretch of timberland. Yes, Michael Virga is an undercover ent (non-Tolkien fans will need to Google that). For those and other revealing tidbits, read on.
Waste Age: What is your pet peeve?
Virga: I have trouble with people who are not on time.
Waste Age: What is your idea of the perfect day?
Virga: Snorkeling with my sons at Salt Pond Bay on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Waste Age: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Virga: “Play the cards you have been dealt in life and face everything head on without whining.”
Waste Age: What was the last book you read?
Virga: “A Dance with Dragons,” by George R.R. Martin, the fifth book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” (better known as “Game of Thrones”) series.
Waste Age: What is your favorite movie?
Virga: Can’t pick just one. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Godfather” and “Gladiator.”
Waste Age: What is your favorite TV show?
Virga: Can’t pick just one. “Hill Street Blues,” “The Sopranos” and “Will & Grace.”
Waste Age: Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Virga: The Stones.
Waste Age: What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve ever come across?
Virga: A moose carcass.
Waste Age: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?
Virga: I need both.
Waste Age: Besides your family, what is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Waste Age: If you could invite three people — living or dead — to a dinner party, who would they be?
Virga: Abraham Lincoln, Rooster Cogburn and Robert Duvall.
Waste Age: If you weren’t serving in your current role, what would you like to be?
Virga: Retired and managing my own tract of timberland.
Waste Age: What is your favorite sports team?
Virga: The New York Yankees.
Waste Age: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Waste Age: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
Virga: Hiked nine miles down an unmaintained trail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and then hiked back up the next day.
Waste Age: What’s the one talent you have that not many people know about?
Virga: Playing craps.