Invited Session: Waste Management Challenges

Master the Science of Solid Waste Operations through Process Improvement (0.5 CEU)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
15:30 – 16:00
Room 304

Moderator: Andrés Felipe Montoyo Rendon, Tecnologico de Antioquia, Colombia

The solid waste management industry is under intense, ongoing pressure to do more with less. The traditional funding model, where disposal fees pay for every post-collection activity, is outdated. During the past two decades, recycling and economic factors reduced the quantity of solid waste disposed, and as a result, revenue also declined. Declining revenues were often tapped to pay for more recycling, which further reduces disposal revenue. Process improvement tools—used by manufacturing giants like Motorola, Toyota, and General Electric—can be applied to repetitive tasks like picking up collections route trashcans, pushing waste through a transfer station, or hand-picking recyclables at a materials recovery facility, often with dramatic improvements in safety and efficiency. While process improvement is most often used to improve efficiency, in almost all cases, safety is drastically improved through the implementation of standard operating procedures and more efficient work techniques. At the heart of process improvement is the ability to evaluate a current process or activity, identify in detail what’s working and what isn’t, and come up with ways to improve the system. Using case studies and real-life examples, this presentation will discuss how to master the science of solid waste operations through process improvement.

By attending this presentation, participants will better be able to comprehend the basics of process improvement, improve safety through standard operating procedures, and increase overall operational efficiency.


Neal Bolton, President/Lead Consultant, Blue Ridge Services, Inc., California

Neal Bolton

Neal Bolton has more than 38 years of experience in the solid waste industry. He has provided training at hundreds of waste facilities worldwide and has created original training programs for SWANA (WASTECON, chapter events, webinars); Waste Connections Annual Manager’s Meetings; Forester Communications’ webinars; Blue Ridge Services webinars and safety/operational DVDs; training for Montana DEQ, CalRecycle, State of Kansas, State of North Carolina; Waste Management Association of Australia events and webinars; and created the original WasteExpo landfill operations class.