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Wrapping Up SWANApalooza

July 2, 2020

Looking back at SWANA’s first virtual conference

SWANA’s first-ever virtual conference debuted last week with virtual SWANApalooza, the industry’s premier technical conference. The conference featured a mix of live-streamed and pre-recorded keynote and technical presentations, accompanied by real-time discussions and briefings, and an interactive exhibit site.

The new conference structure allowed attendees to catch all the sessions they wanted to attend as well as go back if they missed a point as a speaker was presenting. There were also rapid “Networking Pop-ups” that provided participants an opportunity to see friendly faces twice a day for a break.

Monday started as a “preview day” which gave participants a chance to explore the site and start watching pre-recorded technical sessions. Live sessions kicked off Tuesday with the “COVID-19: The Impact on Solid Waste Operations and Lessons Learned” keynote presentation. SWANA CEO and Executive Director, David Biderman spoke with Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner, Department of Sanitation, New York City, who gave a first-hand account from the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. View a teaser of the keynote presentation here.

Other sessions included research, technology, discussions, and Q&As on topics such as PFAS, recycling, safety and more. Dr. Jenna Jambeck, a leading global expert on marine litter, joined SWANA one again to share her latest work and discoveries in waste management innovation -- from marine plastic pollution to novel biodegradable materials in her keynote presentation “Ocean Plastics and Marine Litter.”

Keynote Panels

  • PFAS Management Research in Solid Waste Landfills
    Experts examined the findings and state of research being conducted by the U.S. EPA, North Carolina State University, University of Florida, and the EREF to further understand the environmental risks posed by PFAS in solid waste management and to identify practical approaches to manage PFAS. They also discussed topics such as methods to sample and analyze PFAS, PFAS modeling, leachate treatment technologies, and lifecycle and economic assessments.
  • Legislation and Policies Needed to Reach Zero Waste to Landfill by 2040
    The lively panel explored the legislation, investment and national capacity-building that will help North America foster the resilience and sustainable and economical materials management needed over the next 20 years to deliver on the ‘zero waste to landfill by 2040’ promise.
  • Overcoming Recycling Challenges and Taking Advantage of New Opportunities

EPA's Kathleen Salyer and other recycling experts engaged in a conversation about how the industry is tackling challenges in recycling and embracing new ways and opportunities for managing it.

SWANApalooza wrapped up with the keynote presentation “COVID-19: Steps to Recovery,” which featured five solid waste leaders in the private and public sectors discussing the steps the industry will need to take to navigate a “new normal,” post-COVID world.

Now What?

Now that virtual SWANApalooza has ended, what can you do to stay proactive? Registered attendees can visit Virtual SWANApalooza to access all recordings. Go back to watch sessions you missed or re-watch presentations. Earn CEUs with each session you watch! Access to the site ends September 15, 2020.

Missed out on Virtual SWANApalooza?

Register by July 10, 2020 to gain access to all the Virtual SWANApalooza conference sessions from July 15 – September 15, 2020. Use your time this summer to increase your knowledge. View the recorded sessions and earn SWANA CEUs. The full schedule of sessions can be viewed here.

Even though you missed the real-time virtual SWANApalooza, you can still register to attend virtual SWANApalooza at your convenience. Click here to register and access the complete session and Q&A recordings.  


Watch a sneak peek from the keynote "COVID-19: The Impact on Solid Waste Operations and Lessons Learned" with New York City’s Commissioner Kathryn Garcia and SWANA Executive and CEO, David Biderman.


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