Find Out Which 4 Waste Management Trends Are Defining The Waste Industry!

1. Cities Continue to Implement Zero Waste Programs and Legislation

The term ‘Zero Waste’ is a waste management strategy where at least 90% of all waste is diverted from landfills and incinerators. Across the US, more and more cities and states are initiating new recycling programs, banning the use of certain products and making a push for increased Waste-to-Energy (learn more about WtE here).

In order to reduce their impact on the environment, many cities as well as businesses have made significant efforts to become Zero Waste.

Globally, 97 cities and regions have signed up to the C40 cities declaration to advance towards zero waste. In the U.S., this includes New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica and Washington D.C as well as seven other US cities (click here to see the full list and to read more about C40 cities.).

These cities made two bold commitments in the ‘Advancing Towards Zero Waste Declaration’:

  1. To reduce municipal solid waste generation per capita by at least 15% by 2030 compared to 2015
  2. To increase the diversion rate away from landfill and incineration to at least 70% by 2030

Consumer goods producer, Unilever, achieved 100% Zero Waste to landfill at all of their distribution centers in North America. The company achieved this status by using the four “R” approach of Reducing waste at the source, then Reusing, Recovering or Recycling any remaining waste.

Any business in any sector can achieve Zero Waste status, and in doing so, can reduce their operational costs, improve their reputation, and reduce their impact on the environment.

2. Mergers and Acquisitions.

Acquisitions among smaller waste removal companies is becoming a growing trend, enabling them to make a greater impact on the industry and to compete against their larger competitors. While these acquisitions and mergers help drive the waste industry forward, in the short term they may lead to confusion for clients, as most of these consolidations do not go smoothly. As systems, equipment, and staff transition, the affected customers often see increases in costs, invoice charge issues, and even services interruptions. This creates high levels of frustration and the need for extra attention and resources as the customers deal with these transition issues.

3. Development of Advanced Technology in Trash and Recycling Containers.

New technologies are constantly being developed as companies look to find ways to keep one step ahead of their competitors. One place you might not expect to find these new technologies is in trash and recycling bins. But in fact, new technologies in containers are helping companies to decrease energy use, save money and increase operational efficiency. High tech containers now include features such as cameras, capacity sensors and odor reduction systems.

An innovative new company called Bigbelly has developed solar powered city waste containers that contain a compactor to store up to 8x more waste than a standard bin. Internal sensors track capacity, and send an email to the central hub when they are ready to be collected. The company states that their bins reduce collections by 80%, reducing associated fuel costs, CO2 emissions, and truck requirements.

Another company, Sutera, has developed semi-underground waste and recycling containers that reduce bacterial growth and associated waste odors, and help deter rodents and other pests from reaching the waste.

Technological advancements in the waste industry are continuing to come forth, as businesses respond to financial and environmental pressures and seek to respond to their customers’ growing needs.

4. Municipalities Taking Steps to Eliminate or Reduce Food and Organic Waste.

The EPA calculates that we generate around 39 million tons of food waste every year. That’s about 245 pounds of food waste per person, per year. In order to combat this growing volume of food waste in the United States, municipalities are continuing to implement and enforce composting programs to reduce the amount of food waste being disposed of to landfill.

In 2016, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio created new regulations that required New York’s larger stadiums, hotels, restaurants and food manufacturers to recycle all of their food waste. This regulation required a significant change in many businesses’ waste management programs and posed a great stress with fines for non-compliance.

How can businesses stay up to date with new waste management trends and changing waste regulations?

National Waste Associates has the expertise to help your business develop programs and stay up-to-date with waste and recycling trends and regulations. With our in-depth knowledge of sustainable waste management and recycling law compliance, we can provide customized waste and recycling solutions for all your projects. If you need a Zero Waste manager, we have that too.

NWA’s waste management experts help businesses across a wide range of industries to save resources and ease the stress associated with new changes. Whether it’s 50 locations or 2,000, we optimize every location to save you money and improve your operational efficiency.

Let our expertise circumvent any challenges before they become a problem.
For more information, contact National Waste Associates at 888-692-5005 or email us at

© 2021 National Waste Associates