In late February, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) hosted SWANApalooza in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s is one of the largest solid waste conferences in the US, and the Propeller team got to be both attendees and exhibitors.
This event brought together experts from across the integrated solid waste, recycling, biogas, and marine litter communities.
If you couldn’t make it to the event or didn’t have time to see all it had to offer, we’ve put together this roundup to tell you about our big takeaways from the conference.
Great networking for the waste management industry
With SWANApalooza drawing a few thousand attendees each year, it is the best opportunity for members within the community to showcase what’s new in the world of integrated solid waste along with new environmental solutions that are shaping the industry.
We got a front row seat to hear about what’s to come in industry trends and new technology, along with meeting numerous people from all over the country who work in the industry.
This year’s major themes were focused on how technological innovations are pushing the recycling industry forward and the renewed focus on safety across the entire waste management community.
Tech innovations are making a huge impact on recycling
We learned that traditionally the US has sent a majority of its recycling products and jobs overseas but with new demand and advancements related to capacity and economic growth, we are seeing those jobs returned home.
Some advancements were using new cloud and optical sensor software to reduce contamination are helping companies save money and save the planet.
Other products making an impact are optical sorters that separate waste based on color and metal type are being refined to help with efficiency and overall composition.
These innovative practices not only help with audits but also are already seeing a decrease in overall contamination and quality.
Improving safety is top-of-mind for the industry
Just ahead of this year’s conference, SWANA released an article detailing the perils of the waste management industry. As of January 23, 2019, there was already a record number of fatal incidents recorded: 17.
Less than a week later, safety was an overwhelmingly popular topic for discussion, with all members of the community brainstorming ideas to address the issue across the board.
In a few conversations the Propeller team had with speakers and attendees alike, we discussed how technological advancements like Propeller are not only saving time, money, and quality but also reducing worksite risk through drone surveying and better data visualization and management.
Overall, you expect to see many new products and services being created to keep the solid waste industry safe and prosperous.
Whether or not you could make SWANApalooza 2019, mark your calendar for Wastecon in October in Phoenix, AZ!