Read any trashy books lately?

Colene Vogel
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City Office

If you really want to study solid waste and are struggling to find good resources, you're not alone. You can't pick up textbooks on solid waste management at your local bookstore. If you're trying to start a new program or evaluate an existing one, you'll have to dig a little deeper to find good information.

A great source of solid waste information is the EPA Office of Solid Waste. They have several publications that are available at no charge, either online ( or hard copy. A few of their titles are standards for every solid waste manager's bookshelf:

  • Collection Efficiency: Strategies for Success
  • Composting Yard Trimmings and Municipal Solid Waste
  • Cutting the Waste Stream in Half: Record-Setters Show How
  • Decision Makers' Guide to Solid Waste Management
  • Getting More for Less: Improving Collection Efficiency
  • Joining Forces on Solid Waste Management: Regionalization is Working in Rural and Small Communities
  • Pay-As-You-Throw: Lessons Learned About Unit Pricing
  • Planning for Disaster Debris

Their collection of Environmental Fact Sheets is worth a look too. These can be great as attachments for council or board reports.

Solid waste publications are available in the APWA bookstore online. Beneficial Landfill Reuse was a project of the Solid Waste Management Committee a couple of years ago. Will Work for Free: What Volunteers Can Do for Public Works was a new publication at last year's Congress. Many of the examples in the book come from solid waste divisions. The Solid Waste Management Committee is planning a new publication that should be out later this year. The book is a rate study for solid waste. (For more on rate studies, turn to Marc Rogoff's article on page 42.)

If you're researching solid waste ordinances or RFPs (Request for Proposals), the good news is that many municipalities now make these available online. Unfortunately, you may have to visit the websites of several cities before you find what you're looking for. The infoNOW Communities on are a good place to request this type of information.

There are, of course, some great magazines that cover solid waste management and sometimes a search of back issues can turn up pearls of wisdom. Articles on innovative projects are certainly a good source of inspiration. As always, this March issue of the Reporter is full of articles on solid waste topics.

In addition to providing the articles in this issue, the Solid Waste Management Committee will also present three sessions at this year's Congress. Look for sessions on franchising and contracting, curbside recycling alternatives and methods, and benchmarking.

Members of the Solid Waste Management Committee are: Marc Rogoff, Ph.D. (Chair), Project Director, SCS Engineers, Tampa, FL; Keith Howard, Deputy Director, Solid Waste, Lee County, FL; Charlie Jones, P.E., Director of Public Works, City of Reading, PA; Ziad Mazboudi, P.E., Senior Civil Engineer, City of San Juan Capistrano, CA; Cynthia Mitchell, Resource Development Advisor, Midwest Assistance Program, Columbia, MO; and Rick Person, Project Manager, City of St. Paul, MN. At-Large Director George Crombie serves as Board Liaison to the committee and Colene Vogel is Staff Liaison. Information on the committee can be found at by choosing "Technical Committees" and "Solid Waste Management."

Colene Vogel can be reached at (800) 848-APWA or (816) 595-5221.