Tag Archives: innovation

EnCAP-IT is exhibiting at the GA SWANA 2019 Annual Fall Conference on November 18-20, 2019.

EnCAP-IT is exhibiting at the GA SWANA Annual Fall Conference on November 18-20, 2019.

The conference is for industry professionals; at a great location, offering a chance to catch up with industry friends and make new contacts. Hosted by the Georgia SWANA chapter.

Being held at:

Jekyll Island Club Resort
Jekyll Island, GA

Come by and see us!

EnCAP-IT is exhibiting at the NWRA 2019 Southeast Annual Conference on October 28-29, 2019.

EnCAP-IT is exhibiting at the NWRA 2019 Southeast Annual Conference on October 28-29, 2019.

The conference is for industry professionals; at a great location, offering a chance to catch up with industry friends and make new contacts. Hosted by the Florida and Georgia chapters.

Being held at:

The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort
Savannah, GA

Come by and see us!

EnCAP-IT is exhibiting at WasteCON 2019 Conference on October 21-24, 2019.

Meet EnCAP-IT at SWANA WasteCON 2019, October 21-24, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Visit us in Booth 637!

This year’s conference is themed “Pathway to Innovation” and will feature interactive activities, tools and resources for solid waste leaders to explore the most important issues and find innovative and sustainable solutions for our environmental challenges.” – SWANA

– Being held at:

Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix, AZ

Come by and see us!

EnCAP-IT is exhibiting at the NWRA 2019 Mid-Atlantic Annual Conference at the start of next month October 1-2, 2019.

EnCAP-IT is exhibiting at the NWRA 2019 Mid-Atlantic Annual Conference at the start of next month October 1-2, 2019.  

The conference is for industry professionals in the Mid-Atlantic Region …

Being held at:

The Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Drive
Asheville, NC 28804

Come by and see us!

From the Desk of the Utility CEO

The CEO in the corner office of any large organization has a lonely existence.

CEOs of utilities may feel even more isolated – but it’s not mandatory.

The energy industry is steadily evolving beyond fossil fuels and shifting to more renewable and sustainable sources. This is fantastic news for the planet, but before this transformation can be complete, we must address the fossil fuel legacy of nearly 2 billion tons of coal ash stored in inefficient and environmentally perilous ways all over the United States.

The buck for this state of affairs sits squarely on the desk of the utility CEO, while the pressure to provide answers pours in from all directions: political forces, environmental groups, ratepayers, internal managers, the board of directors and major investors.

Large companies usually establish methods and infrastructure with adequate manpower and resources to handle legacy CCR issues. But as new methods come to the market to deal with CCR more efficiently — yes, it happens — existing infrastructure may find itself calcified, too set in its ways. (“This is how we’ve always done it.”) Instead of being able to nimbly change course and adapt, it fractures or even collapses under the pressure.

Early CCR deposition strategies have relied on the “Cap-In-Place” method. However the science behind it, which CEOs and their teams have traditionally believed to be “the safest” is, in fact, unable to support the environmental and business risks that approach entails.

With that option now off the table, the buck flies back to the CEO whose job is to lead the way by forging a middle path that will satisfy all stakeholders going forward.

The first — and easiest — question a CEO might ask is, “Is there another one solution to fit all?”

The answer to that is easy. It’s no. (That was destroyed in the last Avengers movie.)

Without another simple strategy like good old out-of-sight-out-of-mind cap in place, the next logical area to explore is hybrid approaches.

It’s the way of today and the future to pursue multiple solutions that all contribute to the goal of proper CCR deposition.

The good news is that CEOs who can present multiple solutions to their boards, internal managers and external stakeholders dramatically increase their negotiating power and chances of success by having more than one card to play.

It seems hard to believe that groups around the country have been wrestling with this issue of what to do with legacy CCR for almost 11 years. The nation is making progress. We’ve realized that cap in place is virtually never the answer, and we’re developing alternatives. However, most of the work is yet to be done, and dealing with 2 billion tons of anything can take decades, but we have to start somewhere.

CEOs have the resources, tools and stature to jump-start any CCR deposition project by considering all their options so they can guide stakeholders toward wise decisions and action.

Next, we’ll step away from the corner office and consider the perspective of stakeholders who have been locked in CCR trench warfare for over a decade.

EnCAP-IT, will be exhibiting at the SWANA 2019 Quad State Conference – NC, SC, VA, TN, August 27-30, 2019.

EnCAP-IT is exhibiting at the SWANA 2019 Quad State Conference – NC, SC, VA, TN at the end of the month August 27 – 30, 2019.  

The conference is for industry professionals in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee…

Being held at:

Crowne Plaza-Asheville
1 Resort Drive
Asheville, NC 28806

Come by and see us! (Booth 10)

Innovative Thinking 2


Let’s face it: nobody likes landfills. They’re ugly. They smell. They attract seagulls. But until we can devise methods to recycle or eliminate all residential and construction waste and coal ash, landfills have to be a fixture on our landscape for the foreseeable future.

According to the EPA, as of 2009 (the most recent statistic published), approximately 1,908 municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills were in the continental United States. When you size that up against the 3,537,438 square miles comprising this country’s land mass, their total footprint is pretty modest. But that’s cold comfort if you happen to live near a landfill.

As a consequence, communities are campaigning close their local landfills every day. Just Google “not in my backyard landfill” and you’ll come up with 2,790,000 hits.

Every time residents swing into action and win a NIMBY argument to get their nearest landfill closed, they really solve nothing. Waste will still be generated – ironically, some of it by them – and all they accomplish is to kick their cans, literally, down the road to SEBY – somebody else’s back yard. Maybe we should start calling it SEBY instead of NIMBY.

So, what’s to be done?

This is where knee-jerk reactions need to be replaced by innovative thinking. The problem of solid waste disposal belongs to everyone, not just those living near landfills who wish they were somewhere else.

Manufacturers need to find ways to reduce sold waste through more efficient packaging. The U.S. needs to encourage business to invent more ways to recycle. The U.S. recycling rate currently sits at 34.6% of total waste. This may seem acceptable, but much of the remaining recyclable material was being shipped to China – out of sight, out of mind.

Until January 2018. That’s when China began enforcing its “National Sword” policy that banned 24 types of solid waste, including plastics and unsorted mixed paper. It also set the contamination limits on what it would accept at 0.5%, which the U.S. is finding nearly impossible to meet, since many Americans think unwashed cans and bottles and greasy pizza boxes can be recycled (they can’t).

As a consequence, much of that recycling environmentally-minded people lug out to the curb is being incinerated or going to landfills – eating up precious landfill capacity that wasn’t in the original plans.

As it stands, by 2021 the U.S. will have only 15 years of landfill capacity left. In densely populated regions like the Northeast, capacity could max out in half of that time.

To compound the complexity of this issue, add a significant portion of the 2 billion cubic yards of legacy coal ash, now determined to be waste, looking for a home. It breaks the bank!

There is movement afoot. Residents of Deschutes County in Oregon want a new landfill, according to a recent survey. They looked at the cost increases of SEBY and decided it made more sense economically to take care of their own trash. So, before folks shut down their community landfill and assume their trash will be trucked to somebody else’s back yard without consequences of some kind, they should do their utmost to maximize what they have. The technology is out there. It just takes open minds willing to consider all the options.

Innovative Thinking

Innovation is not an abstract concept, but a desirable mindset.

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Thinking outside the box,” but how willing are you to put aside all your preconceived notions and actually do it?

True innovators make it habit. Their typical modus operandi is to view problems from every angle and brainstorm until they come up with a variety of creative solutions. They try until they hit on the combination that works best.

The methodology is in the definition of innovation provided by Oxford Dictionaries if you search online…

You get the picture. Granted, not everyone is cut out to be an innovative thinker, but it’s vital to have at least one on your solution team.

Incremental Innovation is Good, Too

Innovation doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. In fact, incremental innovation is most common; it builds on something that already exists.

safeBERM® technology is an example of incremental innovation. The methodology is leading-edge, but based on a solid foundation of simple, tried-and-true engineering principles.

Here are some recent scenarios with innovative responses to traditional dilemmas …

After two hours of evaluating a vendor’s recommendations for proper legacy CCR disposition, a utility’s conclusion was, “We don’t need to expand our on-site CCR landfill since we’ll most likely be converting our boilers to natural gas and won’t need the additional airspace.”

An innovative vendor’s response would be: “That’s the best news I’ve heard today. What you’re telling me is that there will be a larger footprint available on-site for proper legacy CCR disposition, so we don’t have to haul the CCR anywhere else. This is will save you time and money. It’s great!”


A local landfill owner worried, “We’ve having more hurricanes and flooding than we’ve ever seen before, and now we have big concerns about how protected our landfill is against these events. Is there any way we can expand it AND address the risks?”

An innovator’s response: “We build you a safeBERM® that not only increases capacity, but also uses its bidirectional hydrostatic barrier properties to safeguard the surrounding environment against flooding and hurricanes.”


A CCR “expert” expresses doubts about having enough beneficial use opportunities available to handle millions of tons of legacy CCR.

An innovator’s response: “Why stop at just one solution? Find more. How about landfills that need expansion? You can establish public-private-partnerships that can effectively handle CCR disposition while extending landfills’ useful lives. Those opportunities are out there. You just need to be open to finding them.

Everyone has a role to play in our environment. We’ve defined our role with our array of solutions. Have you?