WHERE WE ARE
As mentioned in the last blog, the staggering rate of waste growth has forced people around the globe to develop creative and practical processes that allow the responsible processing and recycling of waste. A wise business consultant once said, “if you are interested in improving your business, find the bottleneck and fix it”. This holds true in both business and any other process.
The problem is that the bottleneck has shifted in the waste industry over the past few years. Historically, it was difficult to have customers participate in separating waste streams and recycling which left haulers and municipalities bearing the cost burdens of these solutions. The bottleneck was the customers participation. Now, without affordable markets for particular waste products, people may participate but there is an enormous financial hit to divert different streams of waste to open markets. The bottleneck has shifted from the customer to the markets themselves. The end result of this dilemma?
Landfills will continue to grow because it is too expensive or impossible to divert the waste away from the landfills. Though this is a simplistic diagnosis of the current state of the waste industry, it is accurate.
How is the industry responding to this challenge? Though it has not fully arrived, technology continues to evolve in its ability to face this dilemma. Streamlining and automating at the MRF level, landfill pollution management, conversion of reusable materials, introduction of garbage trucks running on natural gas or electricity, and more. As always, communities step up to meet the challenges they face so they can keep providing services to its customers.
Stay tuned for the 3rd installment of a perspective on the waste industry and what’s in store for all of us in the future.