Meet lots of SCS Professionals at SWANA Wastecon 2019, October 21-24, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Visit us in Booth 501 right at the main entrance!
This year’s conference is themed “Pathway to Innovation” and will feature interactive activities, tools and resources for solid waste leaders to explore the most important issues and find innovative and sustainable solutions for our environmental challenges.
Numerous SCS Professionals will deliver presentations and participate in panel discussions, including:
Wastecon is one of the preeminent conferences bringing together thousands of solid waste and sustainability industry professionals. Conversations and presentations will focus on the future of our communities and how to lead the inevitable changes that we will face in the coming years
More conference details coming soon!
The SWANA Pacific Chapter – BC & Yukon, is hosting their 34th annual Northwest Regional Symposium at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, April 30 through May 2, 2019.
With a theme of Make it Happen – Make it Matter!, the symposium is designed to explore the many changes our industry is undergoing in solid waste management systems and how materials are collected and managed, and figure out how we move forward into the future.
SCS professionals, Ray Huff and Tracie Bills, will be presenters. Ray will discuss “Landfill Gas Wellfield Analysis” at Session 5B, and Tracie will discuss “Methods to Achieve 0.5% Contamination in Organics” at Session 7A.
Symposium topics will include:
Meet SCS Engineers professionals, including Tracie Bills, Leslie Lukacs, Michelle Hoffman, and Lisa Coelho, at the Recycling Update conference — THE event of the season for Northern California resource management professionals. Part of the Northern California Recycling Association’s (NCRA) “Zero Waste Week”, RU features 25 experts speaking on the spectrum of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot, as well as numerous networking opportunities, a delicious Zero Waste lunch, and plenty of ideas to bring home to your community!
Often referred to as conference “speed dating,” speakers have only 10 minutes (plus a few minutes of Q&A) to let you know about the latest and greatest in waste reduction, high diversion, and Zero Waste. Attendees include municipal staff, service providers, consultants and activists as well as local, regional and state policy-makers and members of the media covering Sustainability, Zero Waste, Reuse, Recycling, Composting and Product Stewardship.
During this session, participants will be provided with an update on the Chinese Sword, presented with case studies on how municipalities have offset higher recycling processing fees by decreasing collection costs through technology and routing efficiency, and strategies to reduce contamination in recyclables.
After attending this session, participants will be better able to:
This program is sponsored by the APWA Solid Waste Committee and is free to APWA members; non-members may participate for a fee.
Many schools and school districts are prioritizing a shift toward zero waste and sustainability. However, learning to manage material resources on-site in a more sustainable manner presents operational and monetary challenges. Learn the benefits and steps to plan a financially sustainable program from Tracie Bills of SCS Engineers.
Tracie creates realistic approaches which allow for flexibility while maneuvering the unique challenges that occur. She takes you step-by-step through building a successful program and refers to established efforts such as in the City of San Jose that already have established zero waste programs in their schools.
Setting up a school zero waste program takes time, patience, excellent collaboration and communication, and a team that wants to achieve the same goal of zero waste. Tracie Bills recommends a realistic approach in her article. She provides examples and describes how a consulting firms, such as SCS Engineers, assist schools without materials management programs to launch zero waste programs.
Building a successful program does not happen overnight, but you can do it!
Tracie Onstad Bills is SCS Engineers Northern California Director of Sustainable Materials Management. She has over 20 years of materials management experience, including working for a hauler, a county government, and a nonprofit, and over 12 years of experience with materials management consulting firms. She has provided commercial sector materials flow assessments; organics processing research and analysis; waste characterization studies; and recycling, organics, and waste management technical assistance to government agencies, schools, multi-family dwellings, and businesses. Ms. Bills has an environmental science degree from San Jose State and is an instructor for the SWANA Zero Waste certification program.
The recent headlines about new contamination standards limiting solid waste recycled materials entering China are likely to impact your local recycling program. Contaminated waste is the pizza box with cheese stuck to the top and the unwanted crust, or glittery holiday cards with foil that contaminates them for recycling. That is why local recycling programs encourage you to sort more, to separate contaminated waste from that which can be processed.
Many communities cannot afford to adapt their infrastructure to meet new contamination standards established by China. That means more sorting and rinsing at home and at work, or your local program cannot recycle the waste; at least not in the short term. China is not accepting most of it anymore.
Since landfilling the waste is not an economical long-term solution or environmentally friendly, waste management teams across the country are working together to address the challenges created by China’s ban, to meet their established recycling goals, and to be good stewards of our environment.
The challenge is to rethink existing programs using best practices and strategies that address community concerns and move us toward higher diversion goals. Here are various resources by industry leaders that your community is probably already looking into, as follows:
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) Zero Waste Principles & Practices Certification Course, promotes the integration of zero waste principles into existing management systems, practices, and policies. The goal is to move local systems toward developing and achieving community-specific zero waste goals.
The Zero Waste Principles & Practices certification course benefits municipal recycling and solid waste professionals, private and public sector policy makers, and sustainability advocates who are looking to write a Zero Waste plan or learn more about components to incorporate in their current program.
The certification course contains 10 modules covering areas of public policy, programs, technology, and measurement, with lessons that include collection options, managing organics, contracts, and financing.
Statistics and other findings help local governments get ideas for boosting their diversion programs and outcomes. At the same time, these studies open up possibilities for new commodities markets, or expanding existing ones. Changing your program can add flexibility to help balance when commodity markets fluctuate and they can also create jobs. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources conducted such as study and identified a missed opportunity for compostable materials which they are addressing now.
A new kind of facility is emerging in the U.S. in response to economic drivers, commodity prices, and social concerns about recycling. Many communities cannot afford to build out their existing infrastructure, but together they can employ newer technologies that can sort and recycle more diverse materials while producing a cleaner end product that is then sold to become useful again.
Some of these groups are using public-private partnerships to build facilities that accommodate our desires to recycle and will recycle more types of materials including that cheesy pizza box and organic materials such as restaurant food waste, without an extraordinary amount of effort by consumers.
Advanced Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) feature a high degree of separation, recovery, and monetization of commodity products and employ additional processes for generating clean cellulose, engineered fuels, and biogas from traditionally non-recyclable materials. The facility discussed here could provide a solution to large urban areas and a collection of smaller programs too. It does take planning, technologies, and due diligence to build a sustainable program and economically feasible facilities, operations, and markets.
Paper, corrugated cardboard, plastics, ferrous and non-ferrous metals are separated using automated bulk separation equipment. Uncontaminated materials go for recycling. Contaminated materials receive pulping and washing treatments. Organic materials such as food, yard waste, and wood waste also go through the same processes. The outputs are reused to create new products, as described below:
Hundreds of closed landfills in Wisconsin are required to perform groundwater monitoring and reporting. Typically, the frequency of monitoring, size of the monitoring well arrays, and the list of required parameters, was established many years ago as part of the landfill operating permit or closure plan approval. There is a potential to reduce, or terminate landfill monitoring when groundwater quality improvements are documented. WDNR guidance entitled “Reducing or Terminating Groundwater Monitoring at Solid Waste Landfills,” (PUB-WA 1013) provides instructions for requesting reductions to monitoring requirements.
Learn about new revisions to the WDNR guidance, developed with input from the WDNR’s Waste and Materials Management Study Group, which are intended to improve both the range of options for monitoring reductions and the process for requesting reductions. In addition to providing procedures for reduction in monitoring frequency, new revisions to the guidance include procedures for requesting reductions to the required number of monitoring wells and parameters. The revised guidance also provides instructions for communicating monitoring reduction requests to the WDNR review hydrogeologists.
Marc Rogoff sees unprecedented factors in play as “The Perfect Storm”—the banning of solid waste materials and imposing an almost unreachable contamination standard on bales entering China.
Read his recent article to get started on a solution relevant in your region and return again to follow our series of articles on what you can do to continue supporting or changing your program.
The article covers association actions, regional impacts, funding, and more.
National Waste and Recycling Association is sponsoring a FREE 90-minute webinar on December 6 at 3:00 pm ET. The webinar is highlighting the programs, strategies, and best practices of their six 2017 Recycling Award Winners.
The recipients will describe their unique blend of technologies, outreach, and program management that made a difference in their communities. The audience will have a chance to ask questions and find out how to implement these innovative ideas into their own operations and businesses.
More Solid Waste Management resources and success stories here.