Conference Call

Features - Industry Events

C&D recyclers and demolition contractors have several reasons to gather this spring.

January 15, 2013
Kristin Smith

As demolition contractors prepare for another season of projects and C&D recyclers gear up to handle materials generated from their jobs, many opportunities to make meaningful connections, invest in equipment and learn about the industry are approaching.

The National Demolition Association (NDA), the Construction Materials Recycling Association (CMRA) and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) all host conventions for their various industry segments in the spring, not to mention the host of regional shows and conferences that take place in just about every corner of the country. These shows can give recyclers and demo contractors a needed break from the daily grind while also helping them get a leg up on their businesses. As competition for jobs and material keeps getting stiffer, any nugget of information, new piece of equipment or contact made at one of these conventions could provide a competitive edge.

NDA Annual Convention, March 23-26
One association that strives to find a balance between business and celebration with its convention is the NDA, and this year the association has a big reason to celebrate. The NDA marks its 40th anniversary in 2013.

“The 40th anniversary is a big deal to me and I hope it is to a lot of members of the association,” says Mike Taylor, NDA executive director.

The NDA annual convention takes place March 23-26 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego. Taylor says based on the exhibit space that already has been sold, he expects a healthy turnout at the show.

“The economy is getting better for our industry. We are seeing a slow but perceptible turnaround,” Taylor remarks. “The construction industry really starts April 1 in the northern tier states, so [demolition contractors] want to go somewhere in March where it is warm to have fun, to see what new products they can buy and then go home energized. If we do that, the largest member service [the NDA provides], which is the convention, will be a success.”

The convention activities begin Saturday, March 23, with a golf tournament at San Diego’s Riverwalk Golf Club. The exhibit hall is open from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 24, 25 and 26. NDA touts it as “the largest exposition of demolition products and services in the world.” An opening night celebration will be held aboard one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers, the USS Midway, in the San Diego Harbor.

The convention program will kick off Monday, March 26, with the presentation of the NDA Environmental Excellence Awards. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Mike Abrashoff will give the keynote speech. He will address the vital organizational management and leadership lessons he learned as he led the turnaround of the destroyer USS Benfold and its crew.

“His experience is a metaphor for the problems and opportunities facing many organizations today,” says Taylor. “His talk will help arm our members and guests with the strategies, tactics and tools needed to encourage innovation and improve operations.”

Abrashoff’s speech is followed by educational sessions on disaster response following the 2011 earthquake in New Zealand. A themed party, “Shore to Leave in San Diego,” will follow at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

The following day, four educational sessions are scheduled on the topics of “Civil and Criminal Liability and OSHA;” “Maximizing Profits with Your Scrap Vendor;” “The City of San Diego’s Construction and Demolition Debris Ordinance: What it’s all about;” and “PCBs in Caulk.” The NDA Convention concludes with a 40th anniversary banquet, saluting recipients of the NDA scholarships and the NDA Lifetime Achievement Award.

More details, including registration information, is available at

C&D World, April 20-23
The 2013 edition of C&D Word will offer expanded programming from previous years. According to William Turley, CMRA executive director, the conference will include additional sessions, including some that are concurrent, “in order to provide attendees more information that could be more directed to their specific areas of interest.”

In order to accommodate additional sessions, the golf tournament, typically held on the last day of the conference, will now be at the beginning, on April 20.

C&D World will be held April 20-23 at the Tampa Convention Center, in Tampa, Fla. Registration opens at 9 a.m. Sunday, April 21. Educational sessions begin at 1 p.m. that day, and the exhibit all opens at 4:30 p.m. Networking receptions will be held in the exhibit hall Sunday, April 21, and Monday, April 22.

C&D World has lined up two keynote speakers who will speak at 9 a.m. Monday, April 22. Jorge Caspari, director of the Solid Waste Division of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), will discuss how the state is implementing its recent legislation requiring 75 percent of all C&D material to be recycled. Stephan Van Beek, chief of policy and strategy at Leigh|Fisher, will provide a spending forecast for the infrastructure sector.

Turley highlights two other sessions taking place in the afternoon Monday, April 22. “Using Traditional Nonrecyclable C&D Residuals as Alternative Fuel” includes panelists Max Lee, Koogler & Associates; Hartmut Bendfeldt, eFactor3; and Ted Hanson, Greenwood Energy. At the same time a session on aggregate recycling, will include Cecil Jones, Diversified Engineering Services and Trey Brown, Big City Crushed Concrete. The two panelists will provide information on overcoming barriers to DOT (Department of Transportation) use of recycled base and how to set up a concrete recycling operation. Turley says other sessions will cover recycling carpet and plastics, a legislative and regulatory update and the engineering characteristics of C&D materials.

“Indeed, there is more information now crammed into those three days than ever before,” Turley says. “This will benefit all C&D recyclers, from those just starting out to the most experienced hands out there. It is the biggest and best program C&D World has ever had.”

The CMRA has expanded its awards program in 2013. It will now honor more categories of individuals and will roll out a hall of fame for C&D recycling pioneers.

More details, including registration information is available at

WasteExpo, May 20-23
WasteExpo bills itself as “North America’s largest event serving both the private and public sectors of the solid waste and recycling industry.” This year’s event will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans and is expected to include more than 550 exhibitors and more than 12,000 participants. Organizers say the event is designed to help participants “save money, make money and stay safe and compliant.”

The conference portion of Waste-Expo will run from Monday, May 20, until May 22. The program offers tracks designed to cover the entire spectrum of the solid waste, recycling and organics industry, including:

  • Recycling Commodities;
  • Hands-On Professional Skills;
  • Collection Technology;
  • Labor Relations;
  • Community Relations;
  • Recycling;
  • Law;
  • Safety;
  • Management;
  • Government Relations;
  • Organics & Composting;

Organics & Composting is a new track in 2013 and is part of a growth initiative of show organizer Penton Media’s Waste Industry Group.

“From waste handlers and municipalities to business owners and environmentalists, the effective management of organic waste is rapidly becoming a major industrial issue,” says Waste Age/ Content Director and Editor Steven Averett. “The ongoing debate over how best to handle this material, be it through composting, anaerobic digestion or disposal in gas-to-energy landfills, will be a defining issue for the industry in the coming years.”

Waste Industry Group Managing Director Rita Ugianskis adds, “Now solid waste and organics professionals can gain the high-level education, training, equipment and product solutions and networking access they need across our entire service portfolio, particularly at WasteExpo, which, beginning at our 2013 show in New Orleans, promises to become a one-stop event for the organics industry, too.”

The exhibition, which features more than 90 equipment categories, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, and Wednesday, May 22, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 23.

Further details, including registration information is available at

The staff of Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine plans to attend all three conventions and many others throughout the year. Look for our booths at C&D World and WasteExpo for copies of our magazines and to meet the staff.

The author is managing editor of Construction & Demolition Recycling and can be contacted at