When the subject of SWANA comes up, many of us envision WASTECON, or MOLO, or webinars, or local chapter activities, but to me it’s the Technical Divisions that offer the keys to success in these thorny times.
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.
Last week I was at SWANA’s Landfill Gas Symposium, and while I expected to benefit from the variety of presentations on the agenda, I particularly looked forward to talking with other attendees on every facet of their activities to see what they are doing, not just about LFG issues but also 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.
Upcoming Forester University Webinars
April 5th, 2012
for Surface Water Quality (new date added)
Constantly influenced by natural eutrophication, direct human impact, and a changing climate, surface water is a scarce natural resource needing effective protection. Join Shahram (Shane) Missaghi to explore the function and benefits of BMPs in protecting surface water, and examine three key criteria to insure their successful implementation: water, soil, and climate Read more...
April 12th, 2012
Water Auditing 101
Reduce your water waste and cost! Join Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC to explore the key attributes, uses, and efficiency/cost opportunities of water audits. Aichele will lead a discussion of what a water audit includes, who performs the audit, where and when they should and can be performed, and the opportunities that exist in performing a water audit. Join us and gain an understanding of the potential savings possible, rebates available, and how quickly this unobtrusive work can be implemented from audit to installation to optimize your water use and minimize your cost. Read more...
April 18th, - May 25th, 2012
Sediment and Erosion Control
Master Class Series
Join industry expert and bestselling author Jerald S. Fifield, Ph.D., CISEC, CPESC and Tina R. Evans, PE, CISEC for a comprehensive 6-part online master class and workshop series (0.9 CEUs / 9 PDHs) exploring the ins and outs of effective sediment and erosion control plan design and review based on Fifield’s recently released 3rd edition of the bestselling manual Designing and Reviewing Effective Sediment and Erosion Control Plans (included in your Master Class Series package).