Last month, the Environmental Industries Association named Phil Hagan as its new director of safety. In addition to a passion for abbreviation-based entertainment and eastern food and culture, Hagan likes to hang out at the beach, where he may or may not reach down and eat a creature right out of the ocean.
You can learn more about Hagan by checking out our informal Q&A below. When it comes to safety, judging by the included picture, it’s fair to say our industry’s in good hands.
Waste Age: What is your pet peeve?
Hagan: People who walk in the street in traffic when a perfectly good sidewalk is available for use.
Waste Age: What is your idea of the perfect day?
Hagan: Waking up with the sun and playing with my dogs and trees (fruit trees and bonsai) and finishing the day with a barbecue and friends.
Waste Age: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Hagan: “Get an education,” although I don’t think spending 13 years as an undergrad was what my mentor had in mind.
Waste Age: What was the last book you read?
Hagan: “The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice,” by Trevor Corson. Yes, I like to eat raw fish, although I have some friends who give me grief about eating what they use for “bait.”
Waste Age: What is your favorite movie?
Hagan: “M*A*S*H.” I really like the pros from Dover scene.
Waste Age: What is your favorite TV show?
Hagan: “NCIS.” An interesting group of characters.
Waste Age: Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Waste Age: What is the strangest piece of trash you’ve ever come across?
Hagan: A car during an excavation for a project where we uncovered an old abandoned dump site from the early 1900s. It looked like someone drove it to the dump, covered it with trash and left.
Waste Age: Do you prefer the beach or mountains?
Hagan: Beach. Although the views can be amazing, climbing mountains can be tough. On a trip in northern India I visited the Himalayas and gained an appreciation for the vastness of a mountain range. A buddy and I were walking in the Hill Station of Shimla, the summer capital of British India, trying to reach an edifice that we thought was “just over there.” After an hour of walking we came to the realization that we were probably still five or six hours away. Maybe next trip.
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?
Hagan: My grandfather Murray, who made me promise to take golf lessons before taking up the game, Sherlock Holmes for his amazing analytical abilities, and Leonardo da Vinci, the personification of the true Renaissance man.
Waste Age: If you weren’t serving in your current role, what would you like to be?
Hagan: Selling umbrella drinks on the beach in either Hawaii or Florida.
Waste Age: What is your favorite sports team?
Hagan: The Georgetown Hoyas basketball team, although I am having second thoughts with our continued lack of success in the tournament.
Waste Age: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Hagan: Flying. Wouldn’t have to spend so much on airfare and sitting in traffic would cease to be an issue of concern.
Waste Age: What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
Hagan: Went to China to study Chinese law but I still only know four Chinese phrases: “hello,” “thank you,” “you’re welcome” and “beer.” But they work.
Waste Age: What’s the one talent you have that not many people know about?
Hagan: Not sure if it is a talent but I am a great cook, especially if my scale is any indication.