Waste Expo ’18 Yields Fresh Discussions of Organics RNG Development, Anaerobic Digestion and Industry Capital Expenditure Expansion

As long-time repeat attendees and exhibitors, ET Environmental staff participated in the 2018 Waste Expo, held in Las Vegas, NV.  One thing that was strikingly apparent, is that the trash business is very healthy in 2018.  Pricing in increasing, yield is up, and the general economy is strong.  Conversations and presentations at the Expo, which was celebrating its 50thyear, served to confirm the headlines.  In addition, there was an interesting buzz at the show about the coming growth in organics separation and processing, specifically regarding wet and dry anaerobic digestion.  These processes have long been a staple in Europe, but the relative low cost of disposal and abundant airspace has resulted in delayed adoption in the United States.  A specialized section of the show floor, known as the Organics Pavilion, held approximately 55 companies including many technologies providers, all of whom were very excited to discuss potential new projects and innovative partnerships.

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) and Landfill Gas (LFG) was also a hot topic this year.  RNG pricing is driving LFG utilization.  Many owners who operate LFG electric generating plants are repurposing LFG to RNG to take advantage of very high RNG pricing.

Finally, thanks to the recent tax legislation the large publicly-traded waste companies are deploying their considerable future tax savings into enhanced capital expenditures for infrastructure, fleet and facility, and growth investments.  Employees and customers are valuable assets and it was apparent that strides are being taken to ensure that appreciation is shown.

While a larger than usual number of conference sessions were focused on the various aspects of dealing with food waste, Waste Expo still successfully provided a wide range of topics including cleanup and recovery after catastrophic events, use of drones, recycling programs, fleet maintenance, leachate management, tax policies, managing odors and VOC’s at organics recovery facilities, an interview with Waste Management CEO Jim Fish, the use of CNG, route optimization, commodity predictions, and much more.

Waste Expo never disappoints and this year was no exception…all good news!

 

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