When I was a kid, and our family would go on vacation, we would usually travel via the family station wagon. If memory serves, it was a 1970-something Ford Country Squire with faux wood trim. We’d drive from our home near Detroit to Chicago or Washington DC or Minneapolis. My mom would make chicken salad sandwiches for the road so we wouldn’t have to stop at restaurants. Although we loved stopping at diners, our pleas to do so were silenced once those homemade, hand-packed, cooler-chilled, square snacks of culinary deliciousness were handed out to us (I’m still addicted to them). I loved going on those yearly road trips filled with almost all the chicken salad sandwiches you could eat.
Then one year, we flew on an airplane to Disney World. It was my first time on a plane and it took traveling to a whole new level. Suddenly, I was spoiled and no longer considered the Country Squire as being luxurious.
Now I’m not going to divulge any sources, but I have it on good authority that WasteCon 2018 in Nashville, TN, is being planned from an entirely fresh perspective as organizers work to take the event to another level.
Of course, it will still include the education sessions and keynote addresses along with the panel discussions that address the biggest issues facing our industry. Here’s a not-so-surprising spoiler: there’s going to be a lot of discussion of the China Waste Ban. Recently, China placed a one-month stoppage on all US scrap imports. David Biderman, Executive Director and CEO of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), tells me, “China’s announcement that the CICC will not be conducting pre-export inspections in the US of recycling and scrap for 30 days marks another milestone in the deteriorating international trade relationship between the two countries. Although a comparatively small amount of material will likely be impacted by the inspection suspension, it had a negative impact on prices, which had risen on the West Coast in late April. Local governments need to focus on educating residents about the economic and environmental importance of recycling properly and reducing contamination. This is a key to ensuring sustainable recycling programs in North America.”
The Institute of Scrap & Recycling Industries (ISRI) reacted by issuing an alert telling members to divert shipments that are already at sea, to consider alternate solutions if they have cargo arriving in China, continue to communicate with customers to fill contracts, and to explore business opportunities in other parts of the world.
There will also be presentations that don’t exactly fit into the category of “waste,” but they will be extremely relevant and helpful to the waste industry.
If you’re already planning on going to WasteCon 2018 in Nashville, prepare for an upgrade. If you’re still trying to decide, I’m urging you to go! Don’t miss out on all the new types of sessions and non-traditional keynotes.
Here’s how I’m looking at it…we’re going from riding in a station wagon to an airplane, but we’re still going to have it filled with my mom’s chicken salad sandwiches.See you at WasteCon!