At the annual conference of the Municipal Waste Integration Network (MWIN) — held at the Ajax Convention Centre in Durham Region, Ontario, June 22-23 — an announcement was made that MWIN is merging with the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA). The merger will allow the OWMA to expand its coverage of waste-related issues into the municipal side, part of a strategic vision recently established by the board of directors to create the OWMA as a complete waste industry association.
According to Angelos Bacopoulos, a founder and past-president of MWIN, the idea of amalgamation started many years ago. MWIN was founded by members of the Ontario Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) who felt a locally-based association could provide added value to members. Bacopoulos met about 12 years ago with John Hanson — the former Executive Director of the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) — but the new association quickly fell apart. MWIN was formed a few years later with Bacopoulos as president.
Recently, MWIN conducted research and held strategic meetings about its direction and services. The recent economic downturn underscored the difficulty of trying to maintain many waste management associations; municipal staff cannot afford to donate their time and pay dues to numerous associations. OWMA also thought strategically about creating an amalgamated waste association. MWIN went back to its members and conducted a poll. The majority supported an OWMA relationship.
Jim Graham, OWMA Chair, said that the new association will provide one unified voice via which the industry can talk to regulators. OWMA Executive Director Rob Cook reminded the audience that there are opportunities for committee membership and committee chairs.
“We seek board membership from organizations both big and small,” said Cook.
Blair McArthur, Past Chair, described the new organizational structure that will include private, public and associate members. There will be three councils beneath a Caucus Council that reports to the board. Each council is chaired by two council chairs (who are board members). Caucus council is ad hoc, with six members, to resolve policy differences between the councils.
For more information, visit www.owma.org