In case you missed it: Thoughtful, newsworthy comments from influential leaders and professionals at WASTECON 2015 in Orlando.
"We are building what we think is a very robust sustainable waste system that spreads the burden of waste collection and transfer across the city and we have made enormous strides to get this in place. "
— NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia in her keynote session regarding the city's efforts to reach zero waste by 2030.
"The director of the campus agricultural center said 'Chet, you just need to hire some ag boys. I mean, I'm not going to put some girl on a tractor.' So I hired three women, two men, and never looked back."
—Chet Phillips, director of the University of Arizona Compost Cats, on hiring students for his organization. Compost Cats is a group of 14 students who find sustainable solutions for the disposal of food waste in Tucson, AZ.
"This is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States, and we owe an emphasis on safety to the hard working men and women who drive the trucks, throw the trash, process the recyclables, and operate the heavy equipment at our transfer stations and landfills. They deserve a stronger and safer workplace."
— SWANA CEO David Biderman at the opening breakfast awards ceremony, which also served as SWANA's annual business meeting.
"In the old days — or, 5 years ago — so much of the focus was put on the big companies and the folks who have the infrastructure to be able to dominate marketplaces. With technology today, everybody can get in the game ... If you want to participate in extra ways to make money or to supplement your core business, technology now has been the greatest driver of small business innovation in the country in the last few years. And that’s what gets me personally excited. "
— Rubicon Global CEO Nate Morris at his keynote session, which discussed the company's initiatives to bring on-demand capability to the industry's trash collection services.
"We do zero waste in our city hall so police do not have a trash can at their desk, they only have a recycling container, but they didn’t know that their Starbucks cup itself is compostable so it goes in the green [bin], the plastic lid is recyclable so it goes in the blue, but the straw is neither and it goes into the waste. And these are the things, when you get to the ultimate every day materials that you have, where you ask, where is it going to go? What are you going to do with it? And you really need to try to strive to make people think."
— Kim Braun, Resource Recovery and Recycling manager in the city of Santa Monica, CA, when asked by Waste Dive about the issues that consumers have when sorting recyclables.