My first recollection of caring about trash or the planet was in ninth grade when my best friend, Michelle, and I decided to participate in Earth Day. I made my dad drive me (in his big gas-guzzling truck) to Burger King where I bought egg croissants and hash browns. After, he dropped me off at Michelle's house we trekked the half mile to school stuffing our faces.
In 11th grade, Michelle and I joined the ecology club for two reasons: One, of course, we were interested in protecting Mother Earth by picking up litter; and two, we needed the extracurricular to graduate. It also seemed to be one of the easiest clubs to get into. The main thing I remember about the experience was picking up garbage on the side of the road in our orange vests. A father and his elementary-aged daughter walked by and he sternly told her, "If you aren't good, this is what you'll be doing." Here we were trying to do something good and the people walking and driving by gawking thought we were doing community service for juvy.
Information was disseminated differently then. The information I got about the environment was given to me by teachers, parents, peers, books, television and radio. The internet was just beginning to become popular and my parents bought our first computer when I was in ninth grade. (You're trying to calculate when that might have been aren't you? It's OK, I'll wait…)
Today, if you have a question, Google (or Bing) it. Since starting my position at Waste & Recycling News in June, I'm pleasantly surprised at how interesting the industry is and how active many of the companies in the industry are online. Combine that with the stuff I discover on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, etc..., and it's hard to call what I do a job, it feels more like researching a new hobby. I had a budding interest in recycling and an idea of where waste goes, now I know it's important to have the facts and details. Whether it's about landfills that harness methane gas for consumer use, single or multi-stream recycling or starting a garden with homemade compost (Interested? Here's how). I look forward to sharing my journey learning about the industry and passing along information. I'll be posting things I find around the web, as well as, behind the scenes action from conferences and events.
Ready? Follow me, Behind the Dumpster.