I recently returned from WasteExpo in Las Vegas, the grand gathering of huge trucks, plastic bins and big guys in suits sharing laughs with other big guys in cargo shorts. As Ed Sullivan would have said, this is the “really big shew” for the waste industry. So what was a guy like me, who advocates for the elimination of all waste, doing at a conference where everyone makes their living thanks to the abundance of waste in our nation?
Thanks to Dr. Stuart Buckner, the organizer of the annual Composting & Organics Recycling Conference at WasteExpo, I was invited to speak on a panel on The Road to Zero Waste. I was very pleased that the room was full; after all, it was 9:00 in the morning in Vegas! I didn’t have a lot of time to talk, so I focused on delivering three key messages. My first and most important point was that the age of solid waste management plans is over. It’s a new century that we need to start planning for, and that means it is time for all cities to start writing zero waste community plans.