From the implementation of China’s Sword Policy and changing markets to steps in robotics and autonomous and electric trucks, our industry experts look back at an interesting year for the waste and recycling industry.
Looking back on 2018, what are the significant changes you have seen over the past year in the waste and recycling industry?
David Biderman: The most significant change has been the industry’s response to the major disruption in commodity markets caused by China’s waste import restrictions. China previously accepted more than 16 million tons a year of American scrap and recyclables. Losing that outlet has a substantial effect, though it differs based on geography and other factors. In some locations, it meant finding new markets. In other places, local governments worked closely with their private sector partners to reduce contamination. A few recycling programs stopped accepting certain types of material at curbside. In Oregon and Massachusetts, state environmental agencies authorized the disposal of recyclables in landfills and waste-to-energy facilities. Some cities have suspended their curbside recycling program altogether. In total, 2018 witnessed perhaps the most significant national changes in the waste and recycling landscape since EPA implemented the RCRA regulations more than 20 years ago.
Will Flower: The biggest change in 2018 was the industry’s response to the collapse of recycling markets. Across North America, public and private organizations made changes to their recycling programs as they adjusted to the major disruption in the worldwide recycling market. Every aspect of recycling evolved in 2018 including the collection, processing and marketing of recyclables. The price that consumers paid for recycling services skyrocketed as commodity pricing fell.
Michael Paglia: We saw the continued erosion of pricing and markets for recyclable materials, because of China’s National Sword and the tariff/trade war with China.
Marc Rogoff: The most significant issue for the industry has been the impact of the Chinese import ban of recyclables. The loss of a considerable portion of this market for single-stream recyclables from North America has been catastrophic for many communities. We have seen elimination of certain commodities with poor domestic markets from the recycling waste stream, increases in residential customer curbside rates to make up for the revenue declines, and elimination of some recycling programs altogether. For example, the price of mixed scrap paper has plummeted from $75 a ton in 2017 (before the ban) to basically zero currently. Many communities have improved educational programs to help reduce contamination levels, which cannot exceed a half of one percent. Currently, the average contamination level is about 25 percent of what arrives at MRF facilities. Big price swings continue to challenge the recycling industry.
Is there a particular development (technology or otherwise) that really stood out in 2018 with regards to moving the waste and recycling industry forward?
DB: The growing collaboration among the different recycling stakeholders was the most noteworthy aspect of moving the industry forward in 2018. Local governments, recyclers, consumer-facing companies, retailers and others have started an important dialogue around recycling, particularly around reducing contamination. Some of that dialogue took place at WASTECON and we are excited that EPA will host the first follow-up to its America Recycles Day Summit at SWANApalooza in Boston on February 25.
WF: On the technology front, robotics used for the recovery of recyclables made some strong advances in 2018. While not entirely new, the application of robotics in the recycling process is evolving quickly and has the potential to advance recycling in the years ahead. Another development that stood out in 2018 was the renewed effort in educational programs aimed at changing the public’s habits regarding recycling. Hundreds of communities launched education programs to educate and persuade the public to be better recyclers. The creative programs involved multimedia channels including social media to broadcast information about program changes and keep people motivated to recycle right.
MP: Autonomous driven trucks are increasing its testing footprint around the country using certain roadways. California and Florida are among the states allowing certain types of autonomous driven trucks. Electric refuse trucks are being developed and used in Europe and a leading manufacturer intends to manufacture and sell their electric truck by 2022. Widespread use of cameras and event recorders used in collection vehicles as well as route optimizing software are becoming more affordable with many different brands to choose from.
MR: Electric-powered collection vehicles are being piloted in Europe and a few communities in the U.S. Implementation of this technology will have obvious benefits in reducing fuel and maintenance costs for solid waste collection systems. Extending battery life is a key to the success of this technology.
There were a few significant acquisitions that took place last year. How do you think that is going to affect the industry in the long-term? Do you see this trend continuing in 2019?
DB: I think we will see a continuation of the uptick in acquisitions that began in 2018. The past year saw two very significant transactions (Macquarie/Wheelabrator and GFL/Waste Industries), as well as dozens of other “tuck-in” deals. As industry consolidation continues, we are hearing reports that some local governments are evaluating steps to bring collection or processing in-house when their current contracts with private sector entities expire.
WF: For many corporations, the Trump corporate tax break provided a windfall of cash on their balance sheets. Some companies used the cash to buy back their own stock and others invested in growth through strategic acquisition. 2018 was a seller’s market as private equity firms continued to pour money into the waste and recycling sector. 2019 will be an interesting year as interest rates are increasing, which will affect the cost of borrowing for acquisitions.
MP: Well run, well managed companies will continue to be in high demand and sought after by the large entities. Profitability, safety and well-positioned companies in their respective markets will also command a premium. This trend will continue especially given the tighter labor markets, changes in the recycling markets and regulatory oversight. This will incentivize small owners and operators to improve the quality of their companies.
MR: The new tax code enabled many solid waste businesses to reduce their federal taxes in 2018. Some of these savings have been plowed into stock buy backs and purchases of new solid waste systems through consolidation.
Are there particular U.S. regulations that have been implemented or updated that you think have really affected the industry already or will this year?
WF: The implementation of electronic logging devices (ELD) in the transportation industry impacted the availability and the cost of long-haul movements of waste—especially in the Northeast. Any market area that uses over-the-road truckers to move wastes and recyclables was negatively affected and experienced higher trucking costs.
MP: Throughout the country, local governments continue to put forth stricter regulations on recyclable conditions and contamination, thus assisting the industry to produce a cleaner recyclable product. This product can be widely consumed in various markets. Several states have passed laws aimed at increasing safety in the waste and recycling industry as in the Slow Down and Go Around, Move Over Act, texting while driving as a primary offense to name a few. Hopefully these laws will, over time, improve our industry’s rank as the 5th most dangerous occupation.
MR: The administration has touted its move to reduce regulatory hurdles for business. However, for some time, the U.S. EPA has been absent from enacting any solid waste regulations on a national level. At least for the balance of the next two years, this appears to be the obvious trend—little or no new administrative rules for solid waste.
Between plastic bag and foam bans, and talk of straw bans, what is your take on these implemented/coming regulations?
DB: Plastic bags, along with lithium-ion batteries and hoses, are items that can be very disruptive to recycling operations. The bags get caught up in the equipment and require operators to shut down their lines to pull them and other “tanglers”, such as hoses and Christmas lights, out. Shutdowns take time and cost money. A surprising number of people place their curbside recyclables in bags. I’m not certain bag bans or fees reduce the number of plastic bags at MRFs, but if they do, I am all for them.
The increase in fires at waste disposal facilities is linked to the increased improper disposal of lithium ion batteries by consumers. We need to do more to get this potentially dangerous product out of curbside recycling. I would not be surprised if some states considered some sort of product stewardship law for lithium ion batteries in the coming year.
The recent surge of interest in plastic bag and straw bans is linked to increased media coverage of marine litter and the Pacific Ocean garbage patch. Plastic straws are an easy target, but the media coverage has overstated their affect. Banning straws in California is not going to reduce marine litter very much. Much of the plastic and other material floating in the Pacific originates from a handful of Asian countries, including China. We need to focus on reducing the continued flow of plastic from these locations into rivers that flow into the ocean. A recent NPR report cites an Ocean Conservancy estimate that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, roughly the equivalent of one dump truck filled with plastic each minute. This is unacceptable, and we need to support efforts to close dumpsites and build a more modern waste and recycling infrastructure in developing nations throughout the world. I discussed this during my 2018 trips to China and Malaysia and expect this will be a continued SWANA focus in 2019 in Asia, Colombia and elsewhere.
WF: While plastic bags are covenient and cheap, they have long been a challenge in the waste stream. At recycling centers, plastic bags wrap around shafts and disk screens resulting in higher maintenance costs and lower plant efficiency. At landfills, plastic bags easily blow away from the active face and get caught in fences and trees that surround facilities. Foam is another material that can be difficult to manage because it can blow out of containers in curbside programs resulting in roadside litter. Many shippers have voluntarily stopped using foam material as a packaging material.
Straws do not cause any issues at solid waste facilities. However, the ban on straws is really aimed at getting people to focus on avoiding single use items and attempting to reduce water pollution from plastics. Reduce, reuse, recycle is still a good sustainable practice, but to be meaningful, we need to apply the practice to much more than just straws.
MP: Some of the changes and bans taking place throughout the country, while well intentioned, may not make significant positive impacts to the environment. The idea of incentivizing plastic manufacturers to use biodegradable plastics or bioplastics whereever possible would help with composting, thus avoiding landfilling those items and emitting greenhouse gases. I prefer the incentive approach first. If incentivizing does not obtain the desired results, then some rules and regulations must be considered.
MR: These kind of community bans on different forms of plastics are increasingly popular across the country. Without clear national guidance on Climate Change from the administration, communities and solid waste agencies have imposed these bans as a way of addressing Climate Change. I am sure there are some greenhouse gas emission reductions, albeit small, from eliminating these materials from the disposal waste stream, but it seems like these bans try to make the public feel like they are making small strides in reducing waste. These bans are not going away and are a real fact of life for these plastic manufacturers.
Do you believe the waste and recycling industry has been effective in addressing the change in dealing with recycling materials since China’s National Sword became official one year ago?
DB: That the overwhelming majority of recyclables generated in the U.S. and Canada are finding a market, either domestic or overseas, demonstrates that the waste and recycling industry, along with their municipal partners, are effectively addressing the challenges posed by China’s waste import restrictions. It has not been easy or inexpensive, and there will be continued challenges as current contracts expire and other foreign markets impose their own restrictions on imports.
We should be pushing harder on manufacturers and packaging companies to change their packaging, both to use more recycled content and to be more easily recyclable. Some companies are declaring sustainability goals for 2030, but what we need is change now. Imagine if Amazon committed to using 100 percent recycled content in the boxes it sends to millions of homes every day.
WF: I think that people underestimated the impact of China’s actions last year. As commodity prices fell and markets dried up, many recyclers were in crisis mode to find outlets for recyclables. The news was full of headlines and photos of recycling centers with excessive backlogs of materials. Both the private and public sector had to make some drastic adjustments. Over the course of the year, everything changed. In many communities the list of acceptable materials changed the processing of materials changed, the cost structure changed, and the marketing of materials changed. Owners and managers of recycling centers added Quality Control stations in an attempt to make better products. In 2019, recycling centers will continue to evolve to the new market realities. In many cases, recycling centers will need to retool and upgrade recycling systems to improve the quality of recyclables that are produced.
MP: It is moving in the right direction, but much work is still left to be done. Continuing pressure on local, state and federal officials to aid in supporting good legislation to promote clean recycling programs is a very important first step. Next, there needs to be promoting the use of more recycled product in the manufacturing process, therefore, consuming more of the material being generated. It took many decades to create this situation; it certainly will not change overnight. There needs to be a constant forward movement in the right direction by all the participants in the waste and recycling industry.
MR: Ways to mitigate the impacts of the National Sword Program are very much a work in progress in the U.S. For example, SWANA established a recycling task force to help identify some possible scaleable solutions. Local communities and waste providers have re-negotiated their collection and processing agreements to help mitigate the financial risks. In addition, solid waste agencies have implemented programs to minimize contamination in their single-stream collection through education and monitoring by code enforcement officials.
There are many stories of recycling now being taken to the landfill as one solution. Are there any ‘best solutions’/recommendations to evaluate and address the problem?
DB: There is not a “magic bullet” to prevent recyclable material from going to a landfill. Some of SWANA’s key recommendations include: (1) communicating better with waste generators about the impact that contamination has on local recycling programs; (2) purchasing new equipment such as optical sorters; (3) adding or increasing fees to fully fund recycling programs in the absence of market revenues; (4) passing federal and state laws to expand financial support for municipal recycling systems; and (5) getting consumer product companies, Amazon, and others to commit to using more recycled content.
WF: Remember the basic rule of recycling: “If there is no market, there is no recycling.” This became crystal clear in 2018 as tons of recyclables had no place to be recycled and had to be landfilled. There is no single “silver bullet” solution to better recycling. Instead, recycling needs a wholistic solution that includes education to shape consumer behavior, elimination of the collection of materials for which there are no markets, updates to antiquated laws such as bottle bills and upgrades to processing equipment to make better commodities. 2018 will be a year that will be long remembered as a year of dramatic change in recycling. Those changes and the evolution of recycling will continue in 2019.
MP: There is a lot of pressure on manufacturers to increase recyclable content in its new product. Biodegradable plastics is another strategy that needs to be looked at and used wherever possible. Waste-to-energy and composting operations need to be considered as a possible long-term solution to our shrinking landfill capacity and expanding waste stream.
MR: Landfilling seems to be the obvious best choice when no markets are available for recyclables. However, if we are to make recycling truly sustainable and economical, then local communities and solid waste agencies must develop long-term domestic markets for these markets. This will take a lot of hard work from both local government and manufacturers. There are a number of legislative suggestions from Congress to address the issue of markets for recyclables. It is clear that this will be a long-term issue for the U.S.
Now, China is restricting imports of scrap steel and aluminum beginning on July 1. What effect do you think that will have?
DB: This will have a minor impact on municipal recycling programs, which generate a small percentage of steel and aluminum compared to paper.
WF: Tariffs, trade wars and restrictions on imports/exports are top of mind for most recyclers. Any governmental action to restrict free market conditions will upset the economics of recycling. The positive news is that in many markets, the construction industry set records in 2018 and more construction results in a greater demand for steel and aluminum products.
MP: Assuming a deal on tariffs is not struck by then, it could have an adverse effect on ferrous and non-ferrous markets, further eroding the viability of single-stream recycling. The ripple effect throughout the recycling economy could be significant as scrap prices would fall, while raw material price would stay the same or even increase. This would only be short term until domestic consumers ramp up their intake of scrap. Years ago, China was not a big buyer of our scrap; most was consumed domestically and the recycling and waste industries thrived back then.
MR: I would expect that the impacts would be similar to that of recovered paper and plastics. That is, local markets would be disrupted, and prices received for these commodities will decline, at least in the short-term. Development of domestic markets will be a major key to the answer of losing Chinese markets.
Waste collection continues to stay in the top five most dangerous jobs in the U.S. according to BLS. What are some of the things the industry can do as a whole to help improve these statistics?
DB: The continued status of solid waste collection employees as the 5th most dangerous job in the United States need to be a top priority for the industry. SWANA has evaluated the data, and small haulers have a disproportionate percentage of the fatal incidents each year in which a waste collection worker is killed. If we are going to get the industry off the “top 10” list, we need to change the safety culture at these companies. That is why SWANA recently announced its major new safety initiative for 2019 will be its Hauler Safety Outreach program. SWANA chapters will be holding safety events at landfills and other disposal facilities and will distribute safety information to the drivers when they arrive to dump their loads. We intend to perform targeted follow up, to help change some of the unsafe behaviors that take place on the route or at disposal facilities. We held several of these outreach events in 2018 (in South Carolina, North Carolina and Ohio) and they were very successful.
We need to continue to provide safety education and information in a variety of ways and formats. SWANA provides in-person safety training, safety webinars and has a plethora of safety resources available on its safety webpage (e.g., 5 to Stay Alive).
We are asking people in the solid waste industry to take a safety pledge to consider safety in every decision. We are working with our chapter Safety Ambassadors, companies, and local governments to get more front-line workers and supervisors to take the pledge. While by itself, it will not necessarily get the industry out of the top 10 list, the pledge is part of a broader effort to change the safety culture at companies, especially small haulers, and the entire industry. Solid waste leaders need to prioritize making sure that each and every employee goes home safely at the end of each day.
We need to continue to encourage states to pass and enforce Slow Down to Get Around laws, and we work closely with the National Waste & Recycling Association on this. However, we also need to educate haulers not to do double siding, which places helpers in vulnerable places, and support efforts to reduce distracted driving. Each year, five to eight waste collection workers are struck and killed by another vehicle. This number hasn’t changed much over the past few years, and usually occurs when a helper is behind the truck, but can also happen when a helper is crossing a street to service a residential customer.
WF: SWANA and the NWRA provided a lot of expertise and resources for safety training. To be effective, companies and organizations need to use these resources and work hard to create a safety culture where each and every employee understands that he or she has responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them. We work with heavy machinery, drive large vehicles, work in all types of weather conditions, and lift tons of waste every day. That is not going to change. We need every person in our industry to have a personal commitment to keep safety top of mind. That includes every driver, every supervisor, every mechanic, every dispatcher and every executive. Remember, the only acceptable number of accidents and injuries is zero.
MP: Many states still do not ban use of electronic devices while driving, thus continued accidents caused by distracted drivers are increasing. I think it is time for the auto industry to employ technology that will disable electronic devices for the driver while behind the wheel. Distracted driving is increasingly the leading cause of accidents in the waste industry.
There needs to be more emphasis on driver training; by becoming a member in the NWRA, you would have access to its library of training resources. At your next insurance renewal, find an agency who has access or can provide resources to better train your employees. Adopt a Zero Policy on Accidents, have all employees sign and buy into the program. Reward safe work habits practiced by employees monthly and annually. It boils down to the basics every day, and those basics must be reinforced daily.
MR: First, the industry must improve its training of drivers of these vehicles and make training a clear mandate for public and private collection programs. Second, collection vehicles need to be deployed with the most modern safety equipment available in the marketplace. Thirdly, communities need to educate citizens on the need to be careful when driving around garbage trucks. “Slow Down to Get Around” legislation has been enacted in many states during 2018. I am sure it will be proposed in many legislatures during the upcoming year.
What are a few of the most important ongoing concerns and challenges in the waste and recycling industry currently and how can they be addressed?
DB: The biggest challenge I hear about from CEOs in the industry is the ongoing driver and mechanic shortage. The economy grew by more than three percent in 2018, which meant more solid waste needed to be collected. There is a nationwide driver shortage in the trucking industry, and many believe it is getting worse due to retirements. We need to do a better job of attracting and retaining young people in the industry, including on the front line. I am seeing some companies posting jobs on social media, which makes sense because millennials use social media a lot. Some employers are looking to returning veterans as potential employees, as these individuals are familiar with heavy equipment and are usually disciplined.
The future of recycling continues to be a challenge, but I am cautiously optimistic due to the increased awareness about contamination, new domestic infrastructure coming online later this year and into 2020, EPA’s involvement, increased investments at MRFs, and better collaboration among all the stakeholders in the recycling supply chain.
Something to keep an eye on is shrinking disposal capacity in New England, and particularly, in Massachusetts. Landfills are closing and waste is being transported longer distances to out-of-state disposal facilities. States that receive increasing amounts of out-of-state waste typically do not like it, and seek political solutions such as bans, restrictions or disposal fees.
WF: Safety is the #1 issue that demands attention. Beyond safety is the lack of stability in the markets for recyclables. Big swings in commodity prices and the lack of markets for certain material will result in rising costs. Many of these costs were addressed in 2018, but there could be even higher costs in 2019 if markets continue to be restricted by tariffs and trade wars. Additionally, there are many regional issues. For example, in the Northeast we are seeing disposal costs and transportation costs rise, which will result in higher process for consumers in 2019.
MP: A big one is the continued shortage of drivers. A national campaign should be developed to attract the next generation to choose a career in the waste industry by giving the industry higher visibility in local trade schools and colleges as a career choice. There also should be development of more autonomous drivers for over the road drivers.
Another issue is single-stream recycling programs. We need to continue to work with local governments to legislate and enforce responsible recycling programs to improve the quality of the product as well as support increased recycled content in the manufacturing process.
Finally, distracted drivers is another issue—until there is an electronic solution like I mentioned above, this will continue to remain a danger to our employees out in the field.
What do you think that 2019 will hold for the industry?
DB: On a macro level, I think we will see a slightly weaker economy in 2019 compared to 2018, and a continued high level of acquisition activity. Recycling will continue to be an ongoing challenge. On the local level, New York City is expected to pass a law enacting its franchising plan to create 20 zones for commercial waste collection. Although the non-exclusive franchises are not scheduled to fully take effect until 2024, the passage of the law later this year will result in significant short-term and long-term changes in the industry in New York City.
WF: I think 2019 will be a transformative year in which the industry stabilizes and begins to move forward following the market disruption caused by China’s National Sword program. There will be a significant investment made to upgrading of recycling systems to address the current demand for quality materials. Also, glass will be on the radar screen as the trend continues with municipalities eliminating glass from curbside recycling programs. Taking glass out of curbside programs is a bold move but completely understandable given the challenges that many recyclers face in finding outlets for recovered glass. Finally, in 2019, I will be closely watching the development of the new standards called SWEEP (Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Protocol). These new standards have the potential to transform the solid waste industry the same way that LEEDS improved the building industry.
MP: Business conditions will continue to be favorable to our industry, albeit not at the same pace experienced in 2018. China relations will add a significant degree of uncertainty to the overall economy and specifically to various commodities as in ferrous and non-ferrous metals, fiber and plastic. Shortage of drivers will continue to be a challenge leading to potentially less experience drivers entering the industry.
MR: It is my opinion that 2019 will become a transitional year for solid waste. That is, communities and solid waste agencies will have to come to grips with the new paradigm of recycling markets without China and most of Asia. Reducing contamination is a key starting point—and that will mean teaching the general public about what they can and cannot put in recycling carts curbside. Garden hoses and plastic bags, while they look like they should be recyclable, must be kept out of the waste stream.
Lastly, additional investment will need to be made by private industry who operate the MRFs. That is, investment in high tech equipment such as optical sorters to help identify the material and then separating it from the incoming processing line.
Thank you to our Editorial Advisory Board Participants
David Biderman is the Executive Director and CEO of SWANA and has been a leader in the waste industry for more than 20 years. He has been with SWANA for nearly four years, and has helped it significantly grow its membership, visibility and leadership position concerning solid waste and recycling issues in the U.S., Canada and overseas. He serves on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC) and on several solid waste task forces in New York City. David joined SWANA in April 2015 after 18 years with the National Waste & Recycling Association, where he was their General Counsel, Vice President for Government Affairs and Safety Director. He has testified before numerous federal, state and local agencies and councils, and has spoken about waste and recycling issues, policies and trends at numerous international environmental conferences, including events in Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Will Flower has 35 years of experience working in the field of solid waste management and environmental protection. His career started in 1983 when he began working for the Director’s Office of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in Springfield, IL. He served as a Public Information Officer working in the Bureau of Air Pollution Control and the Emergency Response Unit. In 1990, Will began working for Waste Management, Inc. in the Midwest Region covering 13 states. In 1996, he was named Vice President of Communications and Community Relations for Waste Management and moved to New York City to work on a variety of projects including acquisitions, business development, community relations, municipal marketing and regulatory relations. In 1999, Will was hired by Republic Services as a manager of business development in New York City. Eventually, he managed operations in the Bronx which included hauling operations and a large, 3,000 ton per day transfer station with significant long-haul logistics including trucking and rail. In 2000, he moved to Republic’s corporate office in Fort Lauderdale, FL where he served as the Vice President of Communications. Following Republic’s acquisition of Allied Waste Industries, Inc. in 2008, he was named Executive Vice President of Communications and in 2011 he was named the Senior Vice President of Communications. He retired from Republic Services in May 2012 after 13 years of service. Will frequently gives presentations at training and educational seminars discussing a variety of environmental and communication topics. He is also an active member of SWANA where he serves on the International Board of Directors. Will is currently a Vice President with Winters Bros. Waste Systems on Long Island, NY. Prior to his work at Winters Bros., Will served as the President of Green Stream Recycling.
Following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps, Michael D. Paglia has been involved in the recycling and environmental waste services at a young age. Beginning as a part time summer employee for his father’s garbage collection company in Rockland County, NY, Michael soon realized that his future was in Environmental Services. Since 1974, Michael, alongside his brother, John Paglia Jr, have owned and operated recycling, solid, and liquid waste companies throughout the Southeastern U.S. At age 23, Michael served as Regional Sales Manager for Waste Management of Florida, where he held that post for three years. After selling their Recycling Company to Commercial Metals Company, he stayed on board and became one of the youngest managers in Commercial Metals. For three years, Michael spearheaded projects in South Florida such as assisting Miami and the City of Homestead with the cleanup of Hurricane Andrew, worked overseas in Russia, Ukraine and the Caribbean as a metals trader. After four years with Commercial Metals, Michael and his brother John, formed United Sanitation, a regional recycling, solid and liquid waste Company in North Central Florida. In 1996, United Sanitation merged with GeoWaste, a public company, providing solid waste services in North Florida and Southern Georgia. Soon after, Michael became Vice President and served on their Board of Directors for three years when it was merged into Superior Services. In 2000, Michael and John started SunStar Transport and Florida Express Environmental. Florida Express has grown into a regional solid and liquid waste company with a fleet of 40 trucks, two landfills and a recycling facility. As Chief Operating Officer, Michael has served with his brother, John, Chief Executive Officer for four decades.
Marc J. Rogoff, PhD, is a Senior Consultant with Geosyntec Consultants in their Solid Waste Advisory Practice. Dr. Rogoff has more than 38 years of experience in solid waste management as a public agency manager and consultant. He has managed more than 350 consulting assignments across the U.S on all facets of solid waste management including, waste collection studies, facility feasibility assessments, facility site selection, property acquisition, environmental permitting, operation plan development, solid waste facility benchmarking, ordinance development, solid waste plans, financial assessments, rate studies/audits, development of construction procurement documents, bid and RFP evaluation, contract negotiation, and bond financings. Dr. Rogoff has directed engineer’s feasibility reports for nearly two dozen public works projects totaling more than $1.2 billion in project financings. He has interacted with bond rating agencies, financial advisors, insurance underwriters and investment bankers involved in these financings. His efforts have included the development of more than 100 detailed spreadsheet rate models establishing the financial feasibility of each project, long-term economic forecasts, and projected rate impact upon project users and customers. Dr. Rogoff has extensive experiences in completing financial studies and analyses of public works systems, including solid waste systems, water and wastewater utilities, park and recreation facilities, military base operations, and municipal street light programs. He has worked with a variety of clients to develop changes in solid waste collection operations to improve revenue funding and budgetary goals. He is active with SWANA and APWA and is a noted author of 200 plus technical articles in the solid waste and environmental trade press and eight solid waste textbooks. His updated Waste-to-Energy Technologies and Project Implementation, Third Edition, will be published in June 2019.