Talkin' Trash: Quotes on privatization, pay grades and challenges of an open market system

In case you missed it: Thoughtful, newsworthy comments from industry professionals, consumers and legislators.

"There’s nothing unique about anything Rubicon or any other broker is doing in regards to sustainability."

— Waste Connections CEO Ron Mittelstaedt during the Investor Summit at WasteExpo. Mittelstaedt and other CEOs took the stage at the summit and addressed Rubicon Global's business platform, noting they do not feel threatened by the tech-focused company's position in the industry.

“Making the money I make, nobody can do that job for less than $12 an hour."

— Tasha Prescott, a sanitation truck driver in Atlantic City, NJ, during a recent City Council meeting as reported by Press of Atlantic City. Prescott and her colleagues are worried they may lose their jobs after the state decided to privatize the city's trash collection.


"Today is not about what we stopped ... It’s about asking what we want to make happen."

— Activist Destiny Watford of Free Your Voice during a Baltimore City Council meeting to address "zero waste" plans, as reported by Baltimore Brew. Many advocates like Watford prioritized the closure of the city's WTE facility, BRESCO, during this meeting. 

"Nobody needs six or seven trucks running past each other. Nobody needs a bunch of ad hoc investments that have limited capability or capacity. Nobody needs programs that aren't consistent from one site to the next."

— Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services, during an interview with Waste Dive on the latest recycling trends. Keller noted the disadvantages of an open market system, particularly in a market like Las Vegas. 

Ryan Willumson

“Today’s declaration by [the New York City Sanitation Department] isn’t just inconsistent with Judge Chan’s ruling ... It’s wrong for struggling small businesses, restaurants and taxpayers — and it will actually make it harder for the city to meet Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal of Zero Waste by 2030." 

— Michael Westerfield, corporate director of recycling programs for Dart Container Corporation, as reported by WYNC. DSNY reaffirmed its decision to ban the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam products earlier this week. 

"Colorado has a reputation as being more of a green state, but if you look at our recycling rate statewide we're down at about 12%, which is pretty terrible and a lot of people are shocked to hear that."

— Kate Bailey, director of Boulder-based Eco-Cycle Solutions, during a recent interview with Waste Dive. Eco-Cycle and the Colorado Public Interest Research Group released a study this week highlighting five steps for Denver to take to accelerate its organics diversion program.



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