The Waste Expo is always a great opportunity to spend time in person with our vendor partners while learning about emerging trends in the waste and recycling industry. At the recent event in Las Vegas, I and members of the RiverRoad Vendor Relations team had the opportunity to discuss our partnership and learn about industry developments impacting our national account clients.

Client Connections: Now and in the Future

It was gratifying to hear that our clients are pleased with our services and that they value the strong relationships we’ve nurtured over the years. Hearing that as a national account company RiverRoad is the one that “gets it” was gratifying as we have worked to develop a team of employee’s with experience in managing national account programs and with direct solid waste hauling background. Speaking with them about opportunities to strengthen these partnerships led to several creative solutions for invoicing and payment processes that I am looking forward to pursuing further. At RiverRoad, our attention is continually focused on efficiencies along the entire supply chain and when we can collaborate with our partners, it is a win-win for everyone.

Industry Trends: Technology

Technology took center stage as companies searched for solutions to enhance truck safety, routing system operational efficiencies, and integration of proprietary systems. Automation was the name of the game as providers shared their insights that promise to reduce manual effort and introduce our industry to cutting-edge technologies, like robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

I was especially keen on hearing about comprehensive asset-tracking solutions that can assist with compactor service verification. Relying on manual or outdated systems can lead to unnecessary expense and potential errors. State-of-the-art technology becomes a viable choice as long as it does not compromise efficiencies or increase costs.

Industry Trends: Organics

While technology was a major focus at the event, attention was also being paid to the topic of organics. Nearly forty million tons of wasted food ends up in landfills in the United States, contributing to the rising levels of methane gas in the environment.

Organic waste handling is further complicated because of regulatory mandates. These regulations, which are changing rapidly and can vary widely by state, make developing longer-term solutions even more challenging. There is much more to discover in this area and everyone was in agreement that a comprehensive solution is needed that includes consumer and commercial education as well as technology that can transform this waste product into something viable.

Working together to develop innovative solutions that strengthen our partnerships is critically important to address the challenges facing our industry. I am looking forward to continuing these conversations in the coming weeks with our valued clients and partners. You can email me at dan.mcgowan@riverroadwaste.com.