Talkin' Trash: Betting against the house and learning from the past
In case you missed it: Thoughtful, newsworthy comments from industry professionals and players.
"Trying to hit the market head on is kind of like taking the Vegas casino head on. The house is going to win if you try to play this war of attrition."
—Bernie Lee, research analyst at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), on the collapsing price of old corrugated cardboard. The price drop was widely attributed to China's changing policies on scrap imports. Later in the week, the largest publicly-traded companies in the waste industry had their status dropped from "buy" to "hold," and their share prices suffered — market movement that was also linked to China.
"We believe in feet on the street. So we believe that our RTS employees need to be there for hauler relationships as well as customer relationships and we don’t believe in the virtual approach."
– Recycle Track Systems (RTS) CEO Gregory Lettieri, to Waste Dive, following his company's expansion into the D.C. and Philadelphia markets. RTS has been offering on-demand sustainability and recycling services to commercial customers in New York City and has further plans to expand in Chicago and Boston.
"The concept of loading your trash in the back haul, because it's cheaper than tipping it into a landfill, that mentality has got to go."
— Closed Loop Partners CFO Margot Kane, in an interview with Waste Dive which covered everything from marine litter to how China's changing policies could spur higher-quality bales of recycled materials.
"Sometimes a solution is not within markets. It needs another intervention."
— International Solid Waste Association President Antonis Mavropoulos, in a conversation with Waste Dive at the ISWA World Congress/WASTECON 2017 in Baltimore. Mavropoulos talked about shifting waste management policies away from landfills and the need for the U.S. market to develop self-sufficient recycling industries.
"The new plan looks great on paper. But we’ve been here before; let’s learn from the past and get it right."
— Dianne Saxe, environmental commissioner of Ontario, in a press release that accompanied the release of a report from her office saying that the Canadian province's current zero waste policies needed defined deadlines to make them effective. The report called for a tighter focus on organics diversion and on getting businesses and institutions to get better at recycling.
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