- The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) has announced that Darrell K. Smith with be the organization's next president and CEO. Smith was selected by the NWRA Board of Trustees after a "considered and comprehensive search."
- Smith is currently executive vice president of the Industrial Minerals Association - North America. Smith previously worked for the National Association of Shell Marketers and American Chemistry Council, among other organizations. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and holds a doctoral degree in environmental science and policy from George Mason University.
- Smith said in a press release announcing his appointment: "The waste and recycling industry is profoundly important to the functioning of society, and the complexities and challenges faced by the industry are rarely appreciated. I am proud to have been trusted with the management of the industry's trade association, and I am ready to play a role in reenergizing staff, focusing on our mission and driving industry growth with the promotions of solutions-driven public policies."
This comes more than seven months after Sharon Kneiss resigned as president and CEO in a surprise announcement. The reasons behind this announcement were not disclosed, though anonymous employee reviews on Glassdoor indicate that dissatisfaction in the workplace may have played a role. During that same time, Chris Doherty, vice president and chief marketing officer, left when his position was eliminated. Kevin Kraushaar, vice president of government affairs and chapter operations, has been the acting president since then with a continued focus on safety priorities.
Smith's safety background and experience with hazardous waste at Safety-Kleen were highlighted as a top attributes in the press release. Waste collection remains the fifth most dangerous occupation in the country according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, inspiring additional focus from the NWRA through support of "Slow Down to Get Around" legislation in multiple states and continuing safety training assistance for companies in the industry.
According to the press release, Smith is also seen as a good fit to take over a time when "the industry faces numerous challenges relative to public policy and community relations." His current biography on the Industrial Minerals Association website cites a "reputation of assisting heavy industry in the promotion of a positive, progressive image" and doctoral work on "the resolution of environmental conflict between indigenous populations and the mining industry."