Wastecon 2008 Draws Thousands To Tampa

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) bids Tampa farewell as yet another successful WASTECON comes to a close.  Thousands of solid waste professionals turned out for the three day conference and exhibition held at the Tampa Convention Center.

“I would like to thank everyone that made this year’s WASTECON an outstanding success, ” said John H. Skinner, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO of SWANA. “We appreciate the hard work of the Florida Sunshine Chapter, the excellent papers by all of the speakers and the support from the many sponsors and exhibitors.”

While the conference officially began on Tuesday, the SWANA Training Center opened on Sunday with nine courses being offered, four of which were newly updated.  These training courses, taught by leaders in the industry, give solid waste professionals the opportunity to earn or maintain their SWANA Certification in eight disciplines.  This year, more than 330 individuals participated in a training course and 218 completed a certification exam.

The conference opened on Tuesday with a breakfast featuring Quiet Riot, a duo of two brothers, Bill and David Mettler, who engaged and humored the attendees with comedy, storytelling, music and sound effects.  A parade of SWANA Chapter flags and a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony followed, officially marking the opening of the Exhibit Hall, where more than 200 vendors had their products and services on display. 

Other highlights of the conference included a Nobel Peace Prize winning session with Lawrence Lecturer Jean Bogner, Ph.D., and Keynote speaker Roberta Fernandez discussing climate change issues and what people, at work and at home, can do to mitigate the effects.  The Wednesday Night Networking Event, hosted by the Florida Sunshine Chapter of SWANA, brought a large crowd to Busch Gardens Africa and the annual Awards Luncheon honored six individuals and 24 facilities that have demonstrated innovation and excellence in solid waste management.

The conference also included more than 25 technical sessions, the majority of which focused on the energy, climate and solid waste connection.  SWANA will continue to concentrate on environmental issues pertaining to solid waste and provide professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to move their organizations forward in environmentally and economically sound ways.  WASTECON 2009, to be held in Long Beach, California Sept. 22-24, 2009, will expand and build on this year’s conference and highlight any changes and advancements in the industry and will have a special focus on “The Power of Solid Waste.”


The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 60 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses.

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