The new year is here, and that means new opportunities for networking, learning and traveling around the country (and the world) for industry conferences and educational events.
With the aid of reader feedback, Waste Dive has compiled a list of the biggest and most anticipated national, international and regional conferences of 2018. This list of events is presented in chronological order.
Date: Jan. 22-25
With a special focus on sporting events organics recycling and other green infrastructure themes, this year's U.S. Composting Council conference promises dozens of educational sessions.
The conference also offers — for no added charge — a local "demo day," which the conference says is the largest in the industry. Attendees will go to the DeKalb County landfill compost facility to see over 30 pieces of wood processing and composting machines and pieces of equipment in action.
Date: Jan. 31
Location: Surrey, British Colombia, Canada
WMABC's 7th annual conference does not have a singular focus, but is tackling some hot topics for the regional industry specifically and the waste industry at large. Regional topics include marijuana legalization and the workplace and the overall state of recycling in British Colombia.
Topics will include organics, C&D market challenges and opportunities and collections tech.
Date: Feb. 11-14
Location: Indian Wells, CA
With the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) acting as a strategic partner, the symposium is poised as an industry leader being a premier source of technical expertise and knowledge.
Special topics include leachate management, anaerobic and co-digestion, organics, coal ash and a look at the potential for using drones in the waste industry. Financial analyst Michael Hoffman is set to be a keynote lunch speaker.
Date: March 4-7
Location: Orlando, FL
This regional conference regularly draws more than 500 attendees, with 85% being "key industry representatives," according to organizers — and registrants get a full attendee list. Meaning that, in addition to meaningful educational opportunities, attendees will have plentiful networking opportunities.
The agenda is already set, and has sessions focusing on China, carpet recycling and recycling equipment, to name just a few areas of focus. The event also includes SERC's golf tournament and the trade show ends one day before the full conference closes.
Date: March 5-6
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
In addition to industry committee meetings and ANSI meetings, the NWRA Industry Conference promises safety sessions and an annual golf outing. While the schedule of educational sessions hasn't been finalized, promised topics include fleet maintenance and retention.
Date: March 5-7
This year's "brand name" SWANA event combines four opportunities: The Landfill Gas and Biogas Symposium, The Road to Zero Waste Conference, the SWANA Spring Training and Exam Center and SWANA's 22nd annual Landfill Symposium.
The gathering also includes a partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) and tours to nearby solid waste facilities.
Date: March 26-29
Location: San Diego, CA
This regional conference includes over 90 technical sessions on everything from residential food waste collection to biogas and renewable natural gas developments — along with dozens of exhibitors. Also on the docket is a daylong site tour at a composting facility.
Date: April 3
Location: Linthicum, MD
The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) designs its workshops to allow attendees to share ideas, network and discuss issues. The spring session's keynote focuses on the future of curbside recycling and includes other topics, like market issues concerning specific commodities.
Date: April 14-19
Location: Las Vegas, NV
This year's keynote speaker is Carlos Guitierrez, who served as Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush. According to the program website, Guiteirrez comes with "business experience and a knowledge of commodities" to share with attendees. Tech guru David Pogue is also a highlighted keynote speaker.
ISRI 2018 is also working to provide and schedule workshops and sessions in the fields of international trade, human resources, compliance, business valuation and commodity-specific areas.
Date: April 23-26
Location: Las Vegas, NV
One of the largest industry events each year turns 50 in 2018, celebrating decades of "collaborating ... to deliver game changing opportunities." The conference is co-located with the Healthcare Waste Conference and the Investor Summit.
Date: May 21-22
Location: Manchester, NH
The 37th annual, regional conference promises to bring engaging speakers, workshops and exhibits to attendees in the northeast. Ben Harvey — the head of a regional waste-hauling company that negotiates the sale of recyclables and shipments of waste to disposal sites — is already secured as the keynote.
The call for speakers closed Dec. 22, so a full schedule is still pending. However, proposed topics to be covered include commodities markets trends, food waste recovery and new equipment and best practices, including automation.
Date: July 26-29
Location: Oakland, CA
This annual conference and show attracts around 600 people each year and showcases more than 100 presentations. This year, the conference theme is "Sea Change — Weathering the Storm in the Recycling Industry." Organizers say that the industry is headed into "uncharted waters," between navigating China's changing import policies and understanding changing organics diversion and food rescue goals.
The conference is accepting abstracts on all sorts of "zero waste" topics, including illegal dumping and marine debris, responding to China's import policies and addressing climate change through materials management.
Date: Aug. 20-23
Location: Nashville, TN
While the Solid Waste Association (SWANA) of North America's annual conference is months away, much of the conference schedule is already planned out. Educational sessions will include discussions of resource management, the circular economy, smart technologies, energy recovery and, of course, safety.
The conference in Music City is looking to share and produce "sound ideas" for the future of solid waste management, including how best to deal with a shifting international landscape because of China's new import policies.
Date: Sept. 19-21
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
The 2018 Building Materials Reuse Association international program and expo promises presentations by reuse and deconstruction experts sharing best practices, case studies and research. The conference bills itself as a premiere opportunity to learn about new tools and grow attendees' businesses.
While the 2018 conference schedule is still pending, the 2017 conference featured David Minter, author of "Junkyard Planet."
Date: Oct. 22-24
Location: St. Louis, MO
The lineup of educational sessions from this year's Resource Recycling Conference promises information on materials processing trends, tactics to boost diversion rates, legislative talking points and market analysis — all of which can be seen as crucial in a world where China's stricter import policies are coming into play.
Session details are still pending, and the website says they will be available during spring this year. Organizers are expecting over 400 professional attendees.
Date: Oct. 22-24
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
While not as convenient for U.S. professionals as 2017's joint ISWA/SWANA conference in Baltimore, the World Congress is, according to the chairman of Malaysia's largest waste management organization in a welcome video, a forum for stakeholders to come together to discuss technical and scientific knowledge in the industry. This year's theme is "Sustainable Consumption towards Waste Minimization.