This is my last newsletter web log for 2013, and as is my customary practice, I have polled my faithful futurists. But before I report to you their findings, allow me to introduce them to those of you not yet acquainted with their august credentials.
First in line is Madame Natasha, Santa Barbara’s most successful seer; whose card, palm, and tealeaf readings have made her one of the city’s leading landowners.
Next is Sam, my barber, who, in company with barbers everywhere, knows everything. He likes people to believe that his knowledge comes from the unguarded comments of his customers, but in truth it comes from patterns hair clippings make on the floor.
Finally there is Carley “Squeaky” Frame, the area’s premier Gopher Psychic, who just this past year warned us to beware the growth of a black hole in Sacramento, CA.
So what have they to say about 2014?
* Zero waste will be achieved wherever there are politicians and administrators able to deal with sufficiently large values of zero.
* Somewhere this year, a recycling advocate will stick his or her hand into a pile of waste coming down the sorting line that contains diapers, fish heads, syringes, leftovers from a meth lab, and the remains of a family of rats, and decide that not everything can be returned to beneficial use.
* Here and there, communities will find it to their economic advantage to support local processing of materials hitherto consigned to the questionable care of supposedly conscientious protectors of the environment elsewhere on our planet.
* WTE prospects will show improvement, as will those of anaerobic digestion and other energy-from-waste processes.
* Safety efforts will show an uptick, but will they be enough to make a dent in the industry’s statistical performance? The answer depends on how committed we all are to making a significant difference.
* Waste collection and transfer fleets will continue to lead the pack in adoption of NGVs, but the real advance will lie in the conversion of LFG to CNG and diesel fuels.
* Finally, you’ll be relieved to hear that the sun will rise on January 1, 2015.
Have a wonderful holiday season, and we’ll see you next year.