Yes, I know that we are always at a crossroads. It’s always flu season, or we’re facing some sort of dysfunction, or the sky is falling or about to fall if we don’t do something to save us, our planet, the stratosphere, our galaxy…or beyond. But for those of us doing battle in the waste arena, the challenges of the past several years have been particularly thorny…loaded with consequences that leave little leeway for mistake or procrastination in the hope that things will sort themselves out in our favor. Let’s consider just a few issues with which we will have to deal in the very near future:
* Skyrocketing fuel costs
* Soaring materials costs
* Increasing equipment prices
* Shrinking municipal budgets
* Unfunded mandates and expectations on a broad range of environmental and societal fronts
* Human resources changes and shortfalls
* Legacy obligations stemming from knee-jerk political and/or bureaucratic responses to nearly everything.
Entries to this top-level list could go well into tomorrow, and just as obviously the sub-listings could take us into the next week, but that isn’t my point. Instead, the issue at hand is what can we do to begin to make sense out of the near chaos in which we find ourselves. Luckily we’ve got SWANA to lend a helping hand.
For non-members going to SWANA’s website for the first time, it’s easy to suppose that the main benefits of the association are found in WASTECON along with its web and symposia training opportunities, but for members, it really is the association in the broadest sense of the word.
This week I am at SWANA’s Landfill Symposium, and while I expect to benefit from the variety on presentations that are on the agenda, I fully intend to maximize my not-inconsiderable expenditure of time and effort by talking with other attendees on every facet of their activities to see what they are doing about such far afield subjects as employee recruitment and training, vehicle and equipment spec’ing and maintenance, and even diversion opportunities and strategies, so we can present their thoughts to you in the coming year.
Because whether we’re talking about planning, programming, budgeting, operating, marketing, or disposing, SWANA is the greatest repository of waste management information on the planet. In fact the only thing that it doesn’t have is you if you’re not a member. WASTECON and the various symposia may be the most recognized features of the association, but it’s the chapter activities that are its heart and soul. Best of all, SWANA recognizes that it needs your ideas and industry every much as you can use its resources. It’s one of those oft claimed but rarely realized win-win opportunities.
New Forester University Webinar:
How can we design a better and greener roadway? Join David Hein, P.Eng., V.P. of transportation at Applied Research Associates, on November 17th for “Greening the Road” exploring roadway design, specification, and construction elements used to develop long-lasting roadways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce and recycle road-building resources, and promote environmental stewardship.