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WasteExpo, the annual event for waste and recycling industry professionals, is returning to the Las Vegas Convention Center May 6-9 with educational sessions, networking opportunities and exhibits of the industry’s latest tools. Fresh off its 50th anniversary last year, WasteExpo organizers say they’re looking forward to an even more promising show in 2019.

“WasteExpo 2019 is shaping up to be our best show yet. In addition to some new educational highlights, registration numbers are up from last year, which is amazing considering it was a record-setting event,” says Liz Bothwell, the group marketing director of Waste360. “We invite the industry’s amazing waste, recycling and organics professionals to learn in the five-star conference program, see 600-plus exhibitors waiting with the solutions they need and connect with 14,000 peers and experts alike.”

Targeted interests

This year’s conference program features six tracks for attendees to choose from: Business Insights and Policy; Collection and Transfers; Organics Recycling, Composting and Biogas; Food Recovery Forum; Processing and Disposal; and Technology and Innovation. Once attendees narrow their focus, they can participate in targeted informational sessions throughout the conference’s four days, exploring challenges and solutions within the various tracks.

The Food Recovery Forum track is back by popular demand, with a focus on efforts and solutions that reduce, rescue and recover food waste. Presentations feature successful initiatives, model programs and case studies that showcase forward-thinking learning in this area of increasing importance to consumers and cities.

Also returning to WasteExpo this year are the Spotlight Sessions that focus on industry trends. This year’s spotlight sessions feature a “fireside chat” with Richard Burke, the CEO of Advanced Disposal, Ponte Vedra, Florida; a panel of influential industry CFOs; a look at the latest technologies and more.

New additions

WasteExpo 2019 will feature several new elements, including the Business Growth Forum, which is a half-day seminar designed for small and mid-sized companies looking for financial strategies that go beyond day-to-day operations. Also new this year is an entire half-day dedicated to workshops on safety, zero-waste, recycling and food waste. The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), Arlington, Virginia, will host a safety symposium, while another workshop will focus on how to start a food waste diversion program for waste generators. Other workshops include addressing recycling myths and certified training on achieving zero waste.

The conference will also feature new sessions, including the Public Sector Networking Event that was created to welcome attendees from that space and help them connect with peers and experts; the Spanish Super Session, a free education course designed for Spanish-speaking attendees; and two People’s Choice sessions designed to let attendees decide what they want to learn about during the conference. The conference will also feature new Nothing Wasted! sessions, where attendees will hear from three to four thought leaders who’ll share innovative and influential ideas.

This year’s agenda also features an interactive Ride & Drive outdoor demo, featuring new refuse trucks by Mack Trucks of Greensboro, North Carolina, that attendees can test drive. More than 600 exhibitors at the event will feature new products as well.

More highlights

Other agenda highlights of recurring WasteExpo events include:

  • NWRA’s Awards Breakfast, which honors Driver of the Year, Operator of the Year, Distinguished Service and the Chapter Leadership Award.
  • Silent and live auctions hosted by the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), Raleigh, North Carolina. Since 1995, the auction has raised more than $18 million to further EREF’s mission to fund and direct scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices.
  • The Waste360/Stifel Financial Investor Summit, which is in its seventh year. This day of learning and analysis provides attendees with insights into the factors influencing the behavior of operating companies.

WasteExpo is organized in partnership with the NWRA and Stu Buckner, president of Buckner Environmental Associates LLC of East Islip, New York. “It’s the industry’s annual reunion, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Las Vegas in May,” Bothwell says.

The author is the assistant editor of Waste Today magazine and can be contacted at tcottom@gie.net