The people we serve may often forget, but as Public Works professionals, we all know that the management of solid waste, along with the maintenance of various infrastructures, is vital to the well-being of our community. What we do on a daily basis directly affects the safety and the health of the people we serve. The men and women who collect our trash and recycling also unknowingly serve as the eyes and ears for local enforcement. The health of our neighborhoods is correlated to the processes we use to properly collect and dispose trash and keep our infrastructures clean.
Through the years, however, our roles in solid waste management have diversified to adapt to new changes and needs of our communities. As stewards of the environment, the role of Public Works professionals as educators has certainly taken center stage.
As new sustainable programs and technology emerge, educating the public about the advances in the “green movement” is paramount. However, education on common sustainable practices—the proper way to recycle, to compost, to reduce waste, etc—is just as important and must continue.
As chair of the Solid Waste Management Technical Committee, I look forward to hearing new ideas, your own challenges, your solutions and your expertise in everything related to solid waste management and public education. What are your best practices? What are your lessons learned? We are here to learn from you. The committee greatly values your input, knowledge and experience and we can’t wait to hear all of it.
John A. Trujillo
City of Phoenix