6 Waste Industry Trends to Watch in 2018


Each day, waste industry workers perform vital functions that keep cities clean and communities healthy. Most of those functions remain fundamentally the same year-to-year: collect material, sort it, recover value and dispose of the rest.

And yet, there are shifts each year that change how the industry operates. Composting, glass recycling and the increasing use of compressed natural gas (CNG) helped shape 2016. In 2017, the conversations that moved the industry ranged from China’s ongoing policy changes to how the big companies in the industry responded to natural disasters.

In a short reader poll, we asked the Waste Dive audience to signal what trend is most likely to affect the industry in 2018. Nearly 50% of respondents said China would be the biggest story of the year, with other topics falling below 25% of the total vote.

Most readers voted for China as being the biggest story to watch in 2018.

Some of those trends will continue this year — especially when we consider how China’s policies, now coming into effect, will shift recycling markets. Other ongoing debates, like the meaning of “zero waste” and the idea of franchised collections, will undoubtedly be affected by the new Chinese policies and how the U.S. and industry organizations respond. Here are six trends that will be worth watching as 2018 kicks off.

1. The full enforcement and continued effects of China’s import policies

According to reader feedback, China’s new import policies continue to dominate the recycling conversation and will be one of the top stories to watch in 2018 — even if the country works with trade organizations to compromise, as some hope or expect. Now that the import restriction date has officially passed for the 24 banned materials, the pressure points will become even more clear. Companies and brokers have already begun looking to Southeast Asia in anticipation, and the situation at West Coast ports is shifting as a result.

Many are still just as concerned, if not more so, about the March contamination specifications. Meeting the slightly relaxed 0.5% standard without a major upgrade is still seen as nearly impossible. For those that already do single-stream, and may be having challenges finding a market for glass, the situation is additionally frustrating.

It’s possible that the tax reform windfall will free up funds to invest in new sorting equipment — including artificial intelligence — at MRFs. In the meantime, companies have also been staffing up and slowing down lines. Relying on staffing agencies to do that may have also gotten easier now that the BFI joint employer standard has been overturned and the industry hopes to reinforce that policy with legislation. How companies prioritize safety, and whether the addition of new employees coupled with slower work speeds affects injury rates, will be particularly interesting to watch.

2. The continued debate over franchising in cities across the U.S.

Uttering the words “franchise” or “zoned collection” is one of the easiest ways to strike fear in many of the industry’s smaller service providers. As consolidation continues, their ability to compete on price in an open market is one of the few guaranteed selling points they have left. Technology companies and brokers that rely on their relationships with these providers are also opposed to the concept.

Yet the industry’s largest companies have made no secret about their support for franchising — at the right price — and will have multiple opportunities to help advance it this year.

This will be the case as discussions continue from smaller cities such as Springfield, MO and St. Paul, MN to New York, and possibly Boston. Existing contracts in states such as California and Nevada can also be expected to receive ongoing attention. The Los Angeles recycLA system may be the most prominent example, spurring strong reactions from all sides. For environmental groups and franchise supporters, it’s a sign of what’s possible elsewhere. Though for detractors and real estate interests it’s already becoming a cautionary tale.

3. The continued and gradual deployment of technology in the industry

Perhaps as a sign of the year to come, the biggest company in the industry, Waste Management, hired its first chief digital officer as 2017 was coming to a close. Additionally, 2017 saw that company invest in fleet data capture and next-generation landfills. Penn Waste saw a big increase in efficiency by deploying artificial intelligence (AI) in a MRF and Lytx unveiled its newest video software.

These investments and experiments will continue into 2018 and likely beyond. While the waste industry is sometimes seen as slow to change, big players are continuing to put resources into tech to improve efficiency and safety. The gradual deployment of new tech in the industry will bring, as one leading voice said, “waves of change.” That change, in 2018, will likely look like the increasing use of electric or hybrid vehicles, increased interest in autonomous vehicles and, of course, continuing use of CNG for fueling vehicles.

These technologies and others, including the use of AI, could help improve efficiency and safety. While there were fewer fatalities in 2016 than 2017, refuse collection remains the fifth-most dangerous occupation in the country — so any improvements in safety could mean big outcomes for the industry.

4. The ongoing debate over how to define “zero waste”

As all of these more tangible trends play out, 2018 will also be a year of continued “zero waste” aspirations — and perhaps some reckoning. Nearly every major city has some type of “zero waste” or ambitious recycling diversion goal at this point. Fewer have a clear plan for how to achieve those goals or can agree on what the terminology actually means.

All supporters agree this means limiting landfill usage, but from there it has become a very adaptable concept. Some cities will be taking the European model of using waste-to-energy as an interim disposal solution. Others have shunned disposal technology of any kind — even though they still rely on it to some degree — and are holding out for a more viable circular economy solution around universally recyclable packaging.

Many packaging manufacturers have set lofty targets of their own, and found creative ways to demonstrate movement, but may not be ready to enact more meaningful changes. For many of the cities with their own goals that could also be the case. Diverting organic waste and finding ways to limit other types of traditionally unrecyclable packaging is a critical first step. Finding ways to keep that up on a consistent basis, and actually engage people enough to change their behavior will be another story.

With contamination an issue in many cities, and more harmful to the viability of scrap markets than it has been in years due to China, the “zero waste” movement could be overdue for a reality check. Progress is happening, and much more of it is possible, but all involved may need to be more honest about the systemic changes required to make that happen.

5. The industry affects of tax reform — and what that could mean for M&A

The industry has experienced rapid consolidation in recent decades. Based on what executives have been saying in earnings calls and interviews there could be much more ahead.

Now that President Trump has signed the largest corporate tax cut in recent history — without including some elements that concerned the industry in previous versions — companies will have a lot more capital on hand. Waste Connections CEO Ron Mittelstaedt has previously predicted an M&A “bonanza.” Others have been similarly bullish and the bill was a top priority for executives throughout 2017.

Whether this will lead to more high-profile deals like the recent Progressive Waste Solutions or ReCommunity acquisitions remains to be seen. Tuck-ins are already prevalent and smaller family-owned operations will continue to be popular targets.

In the short-term, this may mean national or regional companies can bring some of their more modern capabilities to small communities. That will be especially useful as collection efficiencies and recycling contamination continue to be big priorities. Communities could also see economies of scale by having access to larger networks of processing and disposal facilities. While drivers and other front-line workers remain in high demand, this consolidation could also mean lay-offs for employees in office or managerial roles.

This can all be expected to make financial analysts and shareholders very happy. Whether it will translate to the workers from acquired companies getting better pay, communities getting better service, and more material going to the highest and best use, will be key areas to watch.

6. The influence of the Environmental Protection Agency

Under Administrator Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency has offered some clarification on New Source Performance Standards for landfills and announced plans to aggressively target some Superfund sites for cleanup and remediation.

However, the agency has also been party to significant drama concerning the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). While RFS volumes are set for 2018, the political back-and forth is unlikely to come to an end. The EPA’s decision to enforce — or not to enforce — emissions standards could influence how landfills operate. The battle over the RFS could influence how biogas producers choose to invest in anaerobic digestion for food waste or other organic feedstock.

Pruitt’s commitment to getting the EPA “back to basics” and Trump’s deregulatory agenda could combine in 2018 to mean big shifts for how the waste industry is regulated at the federal level.

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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP, INC. (WRG)

WIH Resource Group is global leader providing of diversified environmental (waste and recycling), financial, expert witness services, transportation / logistics consulting solutions to its Clients throughout North America and internationally.

WRG provides solutions to complex challenges to its clients in the areas of environmental, alternative fuel fleet conversion studies, customer satisfaction surveys, fleet management matters, equipment and assets valuations, mergers & acquisitions (M&A), landfill gas management, renewable energy, waste & recycling collections, business process improvement, procurement services assistance, waste management operations, recycling processing, transfer stations, operational performance assessments (OPAs), recycling facilities (MRFs) studies, transportation and other feasibility and related financial analysis.

Formed in 2005, WRG’s Team consists of subject matter experts from the waste, recycling, alternative fuels, and transportation industries from both the public and private sectors.  WRG’s Team of experts have over 150 years of combined experience.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the rest of the Team of subject matter experts at WIH Resource Group.

For more information about WIH Resource Group’s diversified client services, and how we can best serve you, visit www.wihrg.com

Contact us today to see how we can best serve you at 480.241.9994 or admin@wihrg.com

Visit our new website!   www.wihresourcegroup.com

wihwebsite

YOUR GLOBAL LEADER IN CONSULTING

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

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Click on an image below to take you to WRG’s other sites!

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16 Tiny Stories that Will Change the Way You Live


Given the time of year and the season, we recently received this article and found it inspiring and decided to share it on our company blog for you to benefit from as well.  Here’s wishing you a great, safe and happy holiday season from your friends at WIH Resource Group!

Image result for life changingTen years from now, it won’t really matter what shoes you wore today, how your hair looked, or what brand of clothes you wore.  What will matter is how you lived, how you loved, and what you learned along the way.

Deep down you know this already, right?

Yet today, just like the majority of us, you are easily distracted and derailed by the insignificant.

You give too much of your time to meaningless time-wasters.

You step through days, skeptically, with inner resistance.

You take your important relationships for granted.

You get caught up in hurtful drama.

You give in to your doubts.

And the list goes on.

But why?

Why do you follow these hurtful patterns of behavior?

Why do you set yourself up for regret when you know better?

Because you’re human, and human beings are imperfect creatures that make misjudgments constantly.  We get caught up in our own heads, and literally don’t know our lives to be any better than the few things that aren’t going our way.  And as our minds subconsciously dwell on these things, we try to distract ourselves to numb the tension we feel.  But by doing so, we also distract ourselves from what matters most.

We scrutinize and dramatize the petty annoyances in our lives until we’re blue in the face, and then we sit back and scratch our heads in bewilderment of how unfulfilling and empty life feels.

But the older we grow, the more focused we tend to become, and the less pointless drama, distraction and busyness we engage in.  Life humbles us gradually as we age.  We begin to realize just how much nonsense we’ve wasted time on. And we begin to adjust our focus toward what’s truly important.

Are you ready to adjust your focus?

Today, I challenge you to be an old soul—to adjust your focus sooner rather than later . . . to dodge the avoidable regret and stress on the horizon.

How?

There are many approaches, but let’s start by learning from other people’s stories . . .

Stories of Subtle Regret, to Help You Live Well

Over the past decade, via our blog, Getting Back to Happy course (and coaching), side projects, and live annual conferences, Angel and I have been blessed by the amazing stories that people around the world have shared with us.  And right now, with full permission from the original sources, I want to share powerful snippets from twelve of these stories with you.  These are super short but incredibly focused accounts of life, decision-making, and the subtle regrets that sneak up on us along the way.

There’s definitely something for all of us to learn (or re-learn) here:

  1. “I recently met a super wealthy and influential businessman at a corporate conference—the man has a net worth of over a hundred million dollars.  In conversation, he told me he regretted never making it to his son’s hockey games or his daughter’s dance recitals.  It made me smile because my total net worth is probably only as much as this man’s last paycheck, but I’ve made it to everything, and my two children always smile and wave to me in the stands during practice and on game days.”
  2. “Today is the 14th day in a row that my 87-year-old nursing home patient’s granddaughter has come to visit him.  Two weeks ago, I told her that the only time I see her grandfather smile all week is when she visits him on Saturday afternoons.”
  3. “In the final decade of his life, my grandfather woke up every single day at 7 A.M., picked a fresh wild flower on his morning walk, and took it to my grandmother.  One morning, I decided to go with him to see her.  And as he placed the flower on her gravestone, he looked up at me and said, ‘I just wish I had picked her a fresh flower every morning when she was alive.  She really would have loved that.’”
  4. “Last night my best friend since childhood was put in the hospital for attempting suicide.  She’s always listened to my petty problems and asked me how I was feeling.  But I’m sitting here in tears now, and realizing that I rarely ever asked her how she was feeling because she always seemed like she had the perfect life in my eyes.”
  5. “Earlier today, in the last few hours of her life, she told me her only regret was that she didn’t appreciate every year with the same passion and purpose that she has had in the last two years after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. ‘I’ve accomplished so much recently,’ she said. ‘If I had only known, I would have started sooner.’”
  6. “Today, after spending the past three years constantly hassling and bickering with the 20-something who lives and parties next door, I found myself crying in his arms and thanking him repeatedly for saving my son’s life.”
  7. “This morning at a train stop near the hospital, a man and his three young kids got on.  The kids were loud and completely out of control, running from one end of the train car to the other.  An annoyed passenger sitting next to me looked over at the man and asked, ‘Is there a reason you’re letting your kids go nuts right now?’  The man looked up with tears in his eyes and said, ‘The doc just told me their mother isn’t going to make it.  Sorry, I’m just trying to think before we all sit down at home to talk about this.’  And, of course, the annoyed passenger was speechless.”
  8. “Today my son turned seven, and I turned 23.  Yes, I had him on the day I turned 16.  Many of the choices I made when I was a teenager were beyond foolish, and I still have my regrets.  And even though I know I’ve grown, I sometimes I get worried that I’m bringing my son up wrong—that I’m somehow subconsciously passing my past foolishness on to him.  But today I took him to the park to celebrate our birthdays.  He played for two hours with a girl who has burn scars that cover most of her neck and face.  When my son took a break to eat a snack, he pointed to her and said, ‘She’s really pretty and cool!’  Which left me thinking, ‘I must be doing something right as a mom.’”
  9. “The ‘biggest nerd’ in my 2004 high school graduation class—a nice, quiet boy who I wasn’t very nice to—is now the heart surgeon who saved my mom’s life after she suffered from a sudden heart attack at 68 last night.”
  10. “As my grandfather rested in his hospital bed this evening, desperately fighting pancreatic cancer, he squeezed my hand tight and said, ‘Promise me, no matter how good or bad you have it, you will wake up every morning thankful for your life.  Because every morning you wake up, someone somewhere else will be desperately fighting for theirs.  It’s something so simple and important that I never valued until now.’”
  11. “I was recently reunited with an old friend after nine years of silence between us.  Throughout high school and college, we were best friends.  Then just before college graduation we got into a nasty fight over a boy.  Terrible, hateful words were exchanged and we never spoke again, until today.  And as we hugged each other, and cried, we acknowledged how irrelevant that boy is now.”
  12. “I am a 27-year-old mom to four beautiful children. Everyone in my family told me I was too young to have kids at 20.  And there were admittedly a few regret-filled times in my past when I deeply doubted myself and my decision to be a young mom.  But what nobody anticipated, including myself, is that at age 26 I would be diagnosed with a rare fallopian tube infection, requiring a full hysterectomy.  Now when people say I look too young to have four kids, I feel incredibly blessed.”
  13. “Today my daughter firmly confronted me with the fact that my biggest fear, a fear that has undoubtedly held me back from many life experiences, has never come true.  And I am turning 76-years-old tomorrow.”
  14. “This morning one of my regular customers, a really grumpy elderly man who has been eating in our diner every morning for the better part of five years, left me $1,000 in cash for his $7 breakfast.  Alongside the cash he left a small note that read, ‘Thank you, Christine.  I know I haven’t been the brightest smile in your life, and I know we’ve even exchanged rude remarks a few times over the years, but your smile and generally hospitable service have sincerely given me something to look forward to every morning since my wife passed away.  I wanted to say thank you.  I’m moving eight hours down the road this afternoon to live with my son and his family.  May the rest of your life be magical.’”
  15. “I sat down with my two daughters, ages six and eight, this afternoon to explain to them that we have to move out of our four-bedroom house and into a two-bedroom apartment for a year or two until I can find another job and build our savings back up.  It’s a conversation I’ve been avoiding for over a month, as I’ve struggled with the doubts and regrets of not being able to provide a financially stable household for us.  But my daughters just looked at each other after I told them, and then my youngest daughter turned to me and asked, ‘Are we all moving into that apartment together?’  ‘Of course,’ I immediately replied.  ‘Oh, so no big deal then,’ she said.”
  16. “This afternoon I was looking through an old Windows laptop that my dad used seven years ago before he lost his battle with colon cancer.  The laptop has been sitting around collecting dust at my mom’s house ever since.  In a folder named ‘Video Project’ oddly placed at the root of the C: drive, I found a video file my dad made about a month before he died that my mom and I had never seen before.  In the 15-minue video my dad talks about my mom and me, how grateful he is to have had the chance to a be part of our lives, and that he has no regrets at all about anything in his life—that he is totally at peace.  He ended by saying, “I know you two will miss me, but please smile for me, because I’ve lived well and I’m OK.  Really, I’m OK.”

Let Go & Let Appreciation Fuel Your Next Step

I hope the stories above made you think about how to improve your approach in certain life situations.  But, perhaps some of them also reminded you of how you’re falling short.  If it’s the latter, I want you to take a deep breath right now.  Remember that you don’t have to be defined by the things you did or didn’t do in the past.  Don’t let yourself be controlled by regret.  Maybe there’s something you could have done differently, or maybe not.  Either way, it’s merely something that’s already happened.

Do your best to cleanse your heart and mind.

How?

With focused presence and appreciation.

Just this morning, for example, after coming to terms with a regretful business decision I recently made, and after writing my heart out for an hour, I went for a long jog at the beach . . . sea foam kissing my feet with each step, white sand footprints behind me, and the morning sky bursting with bright colors overhead.

At the end of my jog I turned toward the ocean and took several deep breaths, mostly because the sky, and the Atlantic, had momentarily taken my breath away.

I stood there on the sand and applauded.  Yes, I literally clapped my hands in recognition.

Because this is the only response life truly deserves: a fully present, appreciative applause.

Today, wherever you are, whatever regrets or circumstances you’re dealing with, take a moment to really appreciate this gift we call life, and applaud.

Then do your best to give back to life.  Do something—anything—to show your gratitude for this imperfect miracle you’ve been given.  Be kind to a stranger, create something others can use, be loving to your family . . . make a small difference in your own unique way.

And see how it feels.

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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP, INC. (WRG)

WIH Resource Group is global leader providing of diversified environmental (waste and recycling), financial, expert witness services, transportation / logistics consulting solutions to its Clients throughout North America and internationally.

WRG provides solutions to complex challenges to its clients in the areas of environmental, alternative fuel fleet conversion studies, customer satisfaction surveys, fleet management matters, equipment and assets valuations, mergers & acquisitions (M&A), landfill gas management, renewable energy, waste & recycling collections, business process improvement, procurement services assistance, waste management operations, recycling processing, transfer stations, operational performance assessments (OPAs), recycling facilities (MRFs) studies, transportation and other feasibility and related financial analysis.

Formed in 2005, WRG’s Team consists of subject matter experts from the waste, recycling, alternative fuels, and transportation industries from both the public and private sectors.  WRG’s Team of experts have over 150 years of combined experience.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the rest of the Team of subject matter experts at WIH Resource Group.

For more information about WIH Resource Group’s diversified client services, and how we can best serve you, visit www.wihrg.com

Contact us today to see how we can best serve you at 480.241.9994 or admin@wihrg.com

Visit our new website!   www.wihresourcegroup.com

wihwebsite

YOUR GLOBAL LEADER IN CONSULTING

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

WIH Website logo

Click on an image below to take you to WRG’s other sites!

WIH Resource Group Completes Alternative Fuels Feasibility Study for the City of Loveland Colorado


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHOENIX, AZ, NOVEMBER 15, 2017 – WIH RESOURCE GROUP, INC. (WRG) IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF AN ALTERNATIVE FUELS STUDY ON BEHALF OF THE CITY OF LOVELAND, COLORADO

Image result for city of loveland public worksWIH Resource Group, and its subcontractor, Fuel Solutions, Inc. were retained by the City of Loveland, Colorado to conduct the Feasibility Study on behalf of the City of Loveland.  The WRG  project Team members provided the City with a tailored set of strategies and recommendations, including:

  • Specific cost-benefit analyses for each recommended alternative, including a Return On Investment (ROI) projection;
  • A description of the projected timing and additional costs related to those recommended conversions;
  • Key details regarding new infrastructure needed and its associated capital/operating costs;
  • A description of potential grant-funding resources, options and opportunities.
  • And various efficiency recommendations:  i.e. Fleet Information/Management software upgrades/alternatives; anti-idling and right-sizing policies, increased use of telematics, etc.

“The WIH Resource Group Team was highly professional and responsive in meeting the City of Loveland’s expectations regarding its Alternative Fuels Feasibility Study.  Staff and elected officials from the City of Loveland now have much greater knowledge and confidence in how to proceed with greening our fleet methodically, successfully, and with reduced risks.  WIH Resource Group met our needs completely.” – Mick Mercer, Internal Services Manager – Public Works Department, City of Loveland, Colorado

MESSAGE FROM WIH RESOURCE GROUP PRESIDENT, BOB WALLACE:

“I am very proud of our team and that the City of Loveland is pleased with the results of our project work for them.  Both Mick Mercer and Steve Kibler, and the rest of the City staff involved in the project, were very knowledgeable and helpful in providing key resources and responding to the WRG Team’s questions about the City’s fleet management, fleet maintenance, City policies, financials and its operations.  The City of Loveland is outstanding and we are honored to have them as a client” – Bob Wallace, President – WIH Resource Group, Inc.

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP, INC. (WRG)

WIH Resource Group is global leader providing of diversified environmental (waste and recycling), financial, expert witness services, transportation / logistics consulting solutions to its Clients throughout North America and internationally.

WRG provides solutions to complex challenges to its clients in the areas of environmental, alternative fuel fleet conversion studies, customer satisfaction surveys, fleet management matters, equipment and assets valuations, mergers & acquisitions (M&A), landfill gas management, renewable energy, waste & recycling collections, business process improvement, procurement services assistance, waste management operations, recycling processing, transfer stations, operational performance assessments (OPAs), recycling facilities (MRFs) studies, transportation and other feasibility and related financial analysis.

Formed in 2005, WRG’s Team consists of subject matter experts from the waste, recycling, alternative fuels, and transportation industries from both the public and private sectors.  WRG’s Team of experts have over 150 years of combined experience.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the rest of the Team of subject matter experts at WIH Resource Group.

For more information about WIH Resource Group’s diversified client services, and how we can best serve you, visit www.wihrg.com

Contact us today to see how we can best serve you at 480.241.9994 or admin@wihrg.com

Visit our new website!   www.wihresourcegroup.com

wihwebsite

YOUR GLOBAL LEADER IN CONSULTING

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

WIH Website logo

Click on an image below to take you to WRG’s other sites!

Top 10 Recycling Countries From Around the World


As disappointing as it is, in regards to recycling, the United States does not make the cut. At just a 34 percent success rate, the U.S. sends only 1/3 of its waste into the recycling pool—which is well below many other countries worldwide.

That stat got us thinking: What are the top recycling countries in the world? And, what traits do those successful recycling locations possess?

Austria sits with the highest recycling rate out of any country in the world: 63 percent of all waste is diverted from landfills. As recycling programs have evolved, Austria’s overall performance in terms of municipal solid waste recycling has been stable and at a very high level for the past decade, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

“Austria has a long tradition of diverting waste from landfills and has a long-established recycling system. Most of the MSW (municipal solid waste) generated in the country is either recycled or incinerated,” as published in the Municipal Waste Management Report released by the EEA.

Furthermore, according to the Austrian constitution, the municipal waste management responsibilities are divided between the federal and the provincial governments. In addition to a handful of federal waste ordinances, a pivotal leg of the waste legislation is the 2002 Act on waste management, which established the bar for the country’s waste management practices.

According to a report compiled by Planet Aid—an organization that unites communities to bring about worldwide environmental and social change—Germany isn’t too far behind Austria. Germany sends 62 percent of its waste through the close-loop process, keeping it from landfills. And, Taiwan is keeping pace, hitting the top margin with a 60 percent success rate of recycling.

However, in an alternative approach, the recycling effort of the Zaballeen people in Cairo, Egypt, reflects even greater success than the aforementioned locations. With a metropolitan comprised of 60,000 people, you may be surprised to discover that the word Zaballeen is Arabic for “garbage people.”

As told in the 2010 documentary, Garbage Dreams, recyclers collect the urban waste and gather income from reusing, sorting, and reselling the articles they collect. The system has no established official or contemporary recycling facilities or sanitation services, yet, 80 percent of everything that is gathered is recycled.

“The Zaballeen have created the world’s most effective resource recovery system…they are actually saving our Earth. From out of the trash, they lifted themselves out of poverty and have a solution to the world’s most pressing crisis,” said Garbage Dreams Director and Producer Mai Iskander, as reported by Tom White for the International Documentary Association.

Likewise setting the recycling bar high—though, comparatively, with an established industry—Brazil recently broke global records for its aluminum recycling.

In 2014, the country recycled 98.4 percent of consumable packaging—and has been the number one recycler of consumer packaging in the world since 2001. In 2014, that high percentage equated to 289,500 tons of aluminum beverage cans out of 294,200 tons that were available in the market.

The country’s effort was linked to the economy—which was in recession—and the high cost of energy. Aluminum recycling requires less energy than producing new aluminum, so the cost-effective model created a natural incentive for the community.

Following Austria, Germany and Taiwan on Planet Aid’s list: another top recycling country is Singapore, sending 59 percent of its trash to be reused and recycled. Next up: South Korea recycles 49 percent of tossed goods. The United Kingdom hits the 39 percent mark with that percentage going into recycling. Lastly, closing out our top ten are Italy – recycling 36 percent of its trash – and France following closely behind with 35 percent.

The aforementioned locations are the top ten recycling countries in the world for varying reasons with their own unique approaches to the processes. As it seems, in order to implement a high success rate for a nationwide recycling program, the community requires one or all of these qualities: organization—be it through legislation, industry, or entrepreneurs—incentive: a personal motive or financial necessity, and cultural habit-building practices.

To learn more about how WIH Resource Group can assist you in recycling, waste management, transportation and business improvement processes, contact us:  WIH Resource Group, Inc

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For more information, Visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

Visit our new website!   www.wihresourcegroup.com

wihwebsite

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

WIH Website logo

More information on WIH Resource Group and its services can be found at www.wihrg.com.

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WIH Resource Group Business Improvement Processes


WRG Services Spotlight

Here at WIH Resouce Group (WRG), were excited to assist you and we’ve come up with an in-depth plan to help improve your business operations and financials.  Since WRG focuses on providing our cleints with expert advice using top performance benchmarks and tools to increase your company’s performance, through a variety of the many services we offer, we are going to spotlight one of our core services weekly just for you.
Bob Wallace, MBA – President of WRG

#1 – WRG’s Operational Performance Assessment (the OPA)

WRG’s Operational Performance Assessment (OPA) provides you with detailed and critical information about your organization’s performance, offering the insights and tools needed to drive superior results quickly and lower your costs. The OPA is designed for companies that want to develop the most effective operation and understand how the highest performers have achieved it in the industry. Read more details below or click the “Let’s Get Started” button for the full content on our website.

Let’s Get Started
WRG’s Operational Performance Assessment, referred to as the “OPA”, is an operational efficiency audit – a technical review – of your operations.  The OPA includes reviewing: safety, waste collections, landfill – disposal, transfer station, MRF, recycling facilities, fleet management, related operations and facilities. It provides you with a practical evaluation of what’s working and what’s not.  If it’s part of your operations we’ll study it for you.

We then measure the productivity of the individual activities using our proprietary operations and financial analysis models and proformas.

We’ll present our findings and recommendations to you in a detailed report that provides instructions on how to improve your operation’s efficiency, and how those improvements translate into savings for your bottom line.

High Level OPA Review

If you aren’t ready for an in-depth OPA or don’t have the budget for a comprehensive evaluation, we also offer high level OPA reviews. We can focus on just a few major aspects of your operation, providing you a high level perspective, with recommendations on what to focus on more in-depth to gain efficiencies and greater profitabilty.

Want more information on how WIH Resource Group’s OPA can save your operation money and increase your productivity and efficiencies?

Contact WRG Now!

WRG’s Business Solutions

Our cross functional team comprises professionals with extensive waste, recycling, landfill gas, equipment and facility valuations, alternative fuels, fleet management, safety, transportation, functional operational, financial management and advisory experience who have implemented operational best practices at some of the world’s most respected companies.

Leveraging this experience as well as WRG’s structured, fact-based approach to operational improvement – we have helped clients across a variety of industries minimize risk, enhance customer satisfaction, operating margins, and reduced working capital requirements.

Click on the core service below that you are interested in for more details.  Some of our core consulting services focus on helping clients in these key areas:

  • M&A Support Services:  We provide deep subject matter expertise in an advisory capacity to help investors execute critical operational due diligence, transactional support, as well as post-merger integration activities to reduce risk and drive EBITDA expansion.
  • Business Performance Improvement:  We help clients address the complex issues that can erode operational performance across waste & recycling collections, recycling, Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), transfer stations, landfills, composting, landfill gas systems and transportation – helping to build a new culture that helps sustain improvements over the long term.
  • Research, Surveying & Polling: WRG offers complete quantitative and qualitative research services, excelling in the design of customized surveys and research approaches to meet specific client needs.
  • Financial Cost of Service Studies: WRG’s team maintains a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on staff practicing in the field of integrated solid waste management with an emphasis in the financial analysis and operational evaluation of solid waste and recycling collection systems and facilities. Our CPA has assisted numerous public and private entities with setting collection rates, service procurement, program implementation, financial and performance audits, planning, and facility & systems analysis.
  • Safety Audits & Training:  Our team of experts offers specialized environmental health and safety services.  Members of WRG’s team are Certified Safety Professionals offering a full range of partnership safety assistance.  WRG is experienced in conducting safety audits, reviewing areas as diverse as management planning, budgeting, compliance, and benchmarking against other companies in similar SIC codes.
  • Expert Witness Services: Our team of expert witnesses are subject matter experts experienced in safety, landfill gas, waste & recycling collections, MRFs, landfills, transportation and personal injury.
  • Equipment and Facility Asset Valuations:  WRG’s valuation services include appraisals for waste facilities and inventories of waste and recycling equipment, vehicles, containers, landfill and transfer station “yellow iron” and a wide range of industrial and business equipment.  Every appraisal and valuation we conduct is done with extensive valuation experience.  We provide detailed appraisal and valuation reports that follow USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice).  Our reports provide supporting documentation and images as needed for clients.
  • Alternative Fuels & Landfill Gas (RNG):  WRG will provide a comprehensive study of your current fleet makeup,  fueling characteristics, duty cycles and work applications, operations & maintenance practices, combined with an analysis of existing regional alternative fuel resources and clean air considerations.
  • Procurement Assistance: Whether you need assistance drafting an RFP / RFI / RFQ for services or responding to one, we can lead the efforts drafting the procurement and contract documents or your Proposal.
  • Organizational Change Management: WRG’s team can help your organization become aligned with the critical changes required for success. We work across the entire organization, offering business-oriented and data-driven solutions to drive your organization’s specific agenda to achieve the highest impacts and sustainable business results.
  • Wasteshed Market Radius Studies: The radius reports capture all waste disposal operations within a given market.They provide you with analysis of the major players by market share; show historical trends in pricing, waste disposal volume and disposal capacity specific to the geographic area included in the radius of the study.
  • Route Auditing & Rerouting: Whether you want to optimize solid waste or recycling collection routes for a fleet of 5 trucks or 150, need routing for high density areas or point-to-point collection, WRG provides both routing software tools as well as Field Route Auditors that can perform manual route audits that make on-route waste collection and dispatch operations both efficient and cost-effective.

If you are a member of a company’s management team looking to dramatically boost your organization’s operational and financial performance, or are part of a private equity firm seeking to enhance the profitability and value of its portfolio companies, we encourage you to learn more about WIH Resource Group and how we can help.

We can be reached at 480.241.9994 or admin@wihrg.com

 
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WIH Resource Group, Inc.
Phone: 480.241.9994 ~ Email: admin@wihrg.com
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www.wihrg.com

Source: WIH Resource Group

WIH Resource Group’s team of expert witness litigation support professionals have a track record of success. Whether you’re facing a valuation dispute, damage assessment, contract claim, employee matter, safety incident, personal injury, landfill gas issue, or other pending legal action, our experts are ready to assist you.

For more information, visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

Visit our new website!   www.wihresourcegroup.com

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ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

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More information on WIH Resource Group and its services can be found at www.wihrg.com.

Click on an image below to take you to WIH’s other sites!

The Unknown and Unseen Scandal of Hotel Food Waste


Everyone loves a luxury vacation or a fancy hotel buffet, but how are hospitality companies contributing to the global food waste problem? You are about to find out.

20161208_foodwaste_news_featured

What if every time you sat down for a meal, you threw one-quarter of it in the trash?  That’s the hidden story of waste in the hospitality industry, where an eagerness to please customers has turned into an unseen food scandal.

About 25 per cent of all food that passes through hotel kitchens is thrown out as food waste, and for every diner the hotel serves, about 350 grams is binned, according industry experts Eco-Business spoke to.  Multiply 350g by the hundreds of thousands of hotels and hundreds of rooms, and the figure adds up. For instance, French hotel giant AccorHotels reports that food-related waste makes up half of all trash generated on its properties, though the amount of waste varies according to the type of hotel.

Luxury hotels under its Sofitel and Pullman brands, for instance, churn out 47 tonnes of food waste annually, while mid-range names such as Mercure and Novotel throw away 35 tonnes a year. Economy hotels such as Ibis only produce half that figure, at 17 tonnes a year.

But the waste footprint of a hotel could be much higher depending on its size and the number of food and beverage (F&B) outlets on site, says Benjamin Lephilibert, managing director of hotel food waste consultancy Lightblue Consulting.

“On average we’ve seen hotels waste 35 per cent of all food purchased, with some exceptions like a remote luxury resort in the Maldives, where the figure reaches a stunning 42 per cent,” he says.

The issue of food waste is especially pertinent in the Asia Pacific region, which is home to major food-exporting countries such as the Philippines and China, and is also where most of the world’s 800 million hungry people live. 

It is also the new frontier for the hotel industry as economies such as Myanmar open to tourism. The number of rooms in certain Asian cities could grow as much as 30 per cent in the next few years, according to real estate firm JLL.

But increasing consumer awareness around sustainable travel means customers are showing a preference for hotels that can prove their environmental credentials—65 per cent of travellers, to be more precise, reports a study by travel booking portal Booking.com.

Eat till you drop

The biggest amount of food wastage occurs due to overproduction in the kitchens, notes Maxime Pourrat, the Singapore-based managing director of food waste prevention firm Winnow Solutions’ Asian operations.

Pointing out that buffets are more popular in Asia than in Europe, he says: “In Singapore for example, we love buffets, but we want buffets that look like there’s a lot of food there, and most of this will go to the bin.”

“Some food will be reused [through donations or as raw materials for other dishes], but that’s still overproduction.”

The dinner buffet at Edge, the all-day dining restaurant at Pan Pacific Singapore, is refreshed every two hours to cater to the continuous stream of customers.  Singapore’s National Environment Agency regulations stipulate that food cannot be kept on hold for more than four hours at a certain temperature, says Michele Greggio, executive chef of Pan Pacific Singapore. “But to be safer and ensure we are providing the freshest food possible, we have a two-hour standard, which is in the middle of service.”  The most popular of the hotel’s eight eateries, the Edge restaurant—together with the hotel’s staff canteen—generates 400kg of food waste every month.

Greggio says that chefs at the hotel prepare the amount of food to be served during each meal based on the expected number of guests, which is inferred from reservations and registrations. Kitchen staff also record the amount of leftovers to better anticipate future demand.

However, buffets are good for feeding a large group of people at the same time, though the downside is the amount of food that ends up in the trash, notes Lucas Glanville, director of culinary operations at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.

His guiding principle to running a buffet is to do as one would at home: cooking right when the food is needed. The equivalent in a hotel restaurant setting is cooking dishes at live stations upon request, or a la minute.

“If you go to any of our restaurants, you’ll see small portions of food cooked to order,” he tells Eco-Business.

The five-star hotel has cut its food waste output from 1000kg two years ago to 800kg today by monitoring its waste generation, communicating with staff, and ensuring proper food storage.

By slashing its food waste, the hotel reports that it has achieved S$100,000 in savings per year.

Lightblue Consulting’s Lephilibert says that reducing food waste can result in a reduction of between 3 and 5 per cent in annual food purchasing costs. This in turn translates into savings of US$50,000 (S$67,603) for small three-star hotels serving 15,000-20,000 covers per month, to over US$300,000 (S$405,623) in international brand five-star properties.

Crunching numbers

One major issue in tackling hotel food waste is to get hotel employees to see the value of the food they are tossing out, says Winnow’s Pourrat, adding that people are quite good about reducing their waste once they have the data.

The company installs weighing scales and software in restaurant kitchenshotel staff can then use these to weigh and record the amount and type of food they are throwing away, and the software displays the corresponding carbon emissions and cost price of the food. The data is collected and eventually sent to the hotel’s managers or chefs.

“What gets measured, gets managed. That’s why there’s a reduction in food waste,” he adds.

After trialling Winnow’s solution, AccorHotels this year announced a goal to reduce food waste by 30 per cent across its international portfolio of 4,200 properties by 2020, says Lynn Lee, sustainable development and communications director, Asia Pacific, AccorHotels.

“The results from our pilot programme with Winnow reflected that the food waste reduction had been more than 30 per cent, therefore the group felt that an average reduction of 30 per cent is achievable,” Lee says.

AccorHotels this year began offering its hotels a choice between adopting Winnow’s software-based monitoring system and an in-house programme for properties that are more advanced in the food waste reduction journey, launched in July.

The hotel group has also committed to installing 1,000 urban vegetable gardens by 2020, like the one at the Pullman and Novotel hotels in New Delhi Aerocity.

Another way to repurpose food waste are biodigesters; these are machines that convert food scraps and leftovers into fertilisers or organic wastewater that can be discharged harmlessly into the sewage system.

Hyatt already has a digester and uses its byproducts in its rooftop vegetable garden, while Pan Pacific Singapore plans to install one in the first quarter of 2018.

Biodigesters are the fourth best option according to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy, but have the benefit of reducing the overall carbon footprint associated with transport and disposal”, says Lephilibert. A better option is donate food that is still edible to local charities, he adds.

According to hospitality sustainability consultancy Greenview’s Green Lodging Trends Report, 47.4 per cent of hotels in Asia Pacific donate excess food, higher than other regions. The report also found that 41 per cent of hotels in Asia Pacific say they compost food waste within their premises or externally, while 12 per cent have a digester.

Grand Hyatt’s Glanville says, when asked what his advice was for hotels still on the fence about food waste: “Make a decision—are you part of the problem or the solution?”

“As an industry, it’s not just about producing delicious food and having amazing service. Just as we’re accountable for producing an enjoyable experience for guests, we’re also accountable for what happens afterwards.”

Source: Eco-Business & WIH Resource Group

WIH Resource Group’s team of expert witness litigation support professionals have a track record of success. Whether you’re facing a valuation dispute, damage assessment, contract claim, employee matter, safety incident, personal injury, landfill gas issue, or other pending legal action, our experts are ready to assist you.

For more information, visit our website by CLICKING HERE and contact us today to see how we can best serve you by phone at 480.241.9994 or by e-mail at admin@wihrg.com

Visit our new website!   www.wihresourcegroup.com

wihwebsite

ABOUT WIH RESOURCE GROUP

Celebrating a decade in business, WIH Resource Group is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including waste management, recycling, financials, transportation, M&A due diligence and support, alternative fuel fleet conversions, facilities, environmental, energy for private sector business and government clients.

WIH Resource Group is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. WIH Resource Group provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world’s built, natural and social environments.  WIH Resource Group serves clients in more than 175 key markets internationally.

WIH Website logo

More information on WIH Resource Group and its services can be found at www.wihrg.com.

Click on an image below to take you to WIH’s other sites!