The waste industry — which tends to be old-fashioned and “stuck in traditional ways” of operation — is bound to be disrupted by technology and if industry leaders don’t embrace such change, it could have negative consequences and essentially “wipe out” businesses.
That was the main message I delivered one week ago, during my lecture in a great SWANA event in John Hopkins University, in Washington. I spoke about the era of disruption in waste management and recycling practices. If automotive, music, travel, media industries have all been changed by technology, waste is not going to be immune.
I explained that what we consider as isolated or temporary problems (e.g. problematic recycling markets, overcapacity problems, waste exports, shut down of MRFs etc.) are probably early signals of the disruption ahead. I emphasised that the big disruptor is the fourth industrial revolution, while circular economy is a secondary disruption driver. Finally I went through the major changes I expect for the next 10 years.
If you like the content delivered and you want more, then join SWANA and ISWA in Baltimore. In September 25-27, 2017, the North American Solid Waste Association’s WASTECON® conference co-locates with the International Solid Waste Association’s World Congress to offer two exciting international events in one location. Don’t miss this unique solid waste and recycling event. Thousands of industry professionals will gather at this convenient Baltimore destination, from the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and around the world. Early bird registration is already open here.