A Word About Recycling with Ollie Maier

While I am visiting here in Minnesota for the holidays – I missed the unusual snow you were blessed with in San Marcos – I noticed a couple recycling items in a flyer and the local papers here. I thought they were interesting, hope you do too.

For example, Waste Management is also one of the companies that serves in this area. In a flyer to the people it serves explaining why they were having to slightly raise their rates, they took the opportunity to give some PR on their recycling efforts.

In the “Did You Know” aspect of the flyer, they mentioned that combined with their subsidiary Recycle America, they are the largest recyclers in North America. Last year they recycled enough paper to save more than 41 million trees. My thoughts were that with all the forest fires in California, those saved trees might come in handy.

They also commented their landfills provide over 17,000 acres of protected habitat for wildlife. Along with that, their renewable energy projects created enough energy to power nearly 1 million homes and save the equivalent of more than 14 million barrels of oil per year. Not bad for a waste company.

Another item addressed a project started in one of the counties of the Twin Cities, called the Zero Waste Challenge. This test project involved the county staff working with a number of families to track the waste they generated and to actively increase recycling.

Through this effort, the waste produced by these families was reduced by 20 percent. The increase in their recycling and composting was even more notable: 62 percent! Considerably above the county’s average recycling rate of 45 percent. Shows what a little education and concern can do.

Switching subjects to an item found in a recent Recycling Today eNewsletter, it appears waste collection and recycling are becoming more technologically advanced. To me, it’s a great idea so when our teenagers apply for jobs in these areas, they will fit right in.

A company which provides software for trading and recycling businesses has developed a mobile app for truck drivers to manage dispatch jobs. Through this program, the drivers “can instantly retrieve a list of assigned tickets, get directions to service locations, update job statuses, record notes and even capture photos.”

This mobile app can replace an old paper ticketing system used by most companies. The old system is somewhat difficult to use and often required drivers to call their office if something isn’t clear. The busy drivers, under the old system, also sometimes did not make proper load status reports and just partially scribbled down needed location notes.

Through the new system, information to and from the driver is instantly updated. It also provides the drivers with turn-by-turn directions with Google Maps. Such directions are something many of us find handy even in our private vehicles.

Till next week, do have a great one and take time to rest and enjoy life, even with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas coming soon.

-- Ollie is a local citizen concerned with the environment and helping others. A retired Air Force fighter and instructor pilot, he is a graduate of Leadership San Marcos and received his degrees at Texas State University where he worked on staff before totally retiring. For questions or comments, he invites you to call him at 512-353-7432 or e-mail omaier@txstate.edu

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666