August 2017 Print

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President's Message

Message from the President,

I would like for our Texas Lone Star Chapter of SWANA to really think strategically about how each of our cities and towns can reduce preventable accidents within the solid waste industry. As leaders, we owe it to each of our professional drivers and operators to give them the proper tools to be safe and productive.  We have a responsibility to send these professionals home safe to their families each and every day at the end of their work shift.  We entrust each of these professionals to driver solid waste recycle, organic, and trash trucks on city streets that can cost over $300,000 each. That is more than your average Ferrari sports car or Bentley classic car. We should make every effort to properly equip, train and develop safer drivers. 

We all have the responsibility to manage risk and the associated cost from preventable accidents. Those costs can place a strain on property taxes and user fees budgets, regardless if you are public or private industry.  With increasing budget constraints and having to do more with less in our industry, it is paramount to financial stewardship that we eliminate preventable accidents all together.  Distractive driving is more common today than ever, especially given all the technology is now at our drivers and operators’ finger tips. There has to be a concentrated effort for all of us to create a culture of safety within our organizations. 

I will use my city (San Antonio) as an example. We discovered through research of our accident data that 13% of our preventable accidents are backing related accidents. We also discovered another 17% of our preventable accidents are related to hitting parked cars or fixed objects on the routes. Therefore, if we focus on eliminating these two key challenges alone, we could reduce our accident rate by one-third of all preventable accidents. Each of your cities personal accident data will guide meaningful solutions for your city to reduce and eliminate preventable accidents.

I feel the first order of business is to acknowledge that no one is perfect. I’m certainly not! But, I would like to challenge each of your organizations to take a deeper dive and see what you can do to reduce preventable accidents within your setting. We must ensure that all drivers and operators’ techniques are polished and mastered well enough for safety to become the new culture norm.

After all, safety is a condition of employment.  It is our time to raise the bar on safety.  I wish you the best!


David W. McCary, CPM

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Calendar of Events

WasteCON & ISWA World Congress

WASTECON® co-locates with ISWA’s World Congress to offer two exciting international events in one location
Baltimore Convention Center
One West Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD

Board Meeting

September Board Meeting
WasteCON - Date/Time TBD

Board Meeting

October Board Meeting
City of Irving Landfill
110 E. Hunter Ferrell Road
Irving, TX

Board Meeting

November Board Meeting
El Paso Airport Conference Center

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