The primary focus of membership in the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) Women's Council has been professional networking through participation on the council's various committees and through social events that coincide with major industry shows. As the Women's Council enters its seventh year, it has more than 95 members throughout the solid waste and recycling industry.

“The members of the Women's Council truly like each other,” says Peggy Macenas, the council's executive director. “They have become friends, mentors and colleagues by volunteering on the council's committees.”

Since its inception in 2003, the Women's Council has awarded 11 academic scholarships, printed and sold more than 27,000 copies of the bilingual “Where Does My Garbage Go?” coloring book, and held 38 educational programs, including several golf clinics for the industry at large.

Leadership

The 2010 EIA Women's Council board will be led by Margie Campbell of New Waste Concepts, who was elected president at the fall 2009 board and membership meeting. Kirsti Nelson of Otto Environmental has been elected vice president and will serve as the fundraising chair. Christine Loch of Republic Services was re-elected treasurer. Keyna Cory of Public Affairs Consultants will serve as the secretary/member at large representative. Steve Smith of Atwell-Hicks will chair the education committee. Mary Margaret Cowhey from Land & Lakes Co. will continue as chair of the scholarship committee. The board welcomes Page Hopkins of Harris Equipment as its new membership care chair. Outgoing Women's Council president Nancy Bretas of Republic Services also will continue to serve on the board.

"Carts on Parade" Program

The Women's Council will present “Carts on Parade,” a sponsored art competition, at the 2010 WasteExpo in Atlanta. Proceeds from this competition will benefit the council's educational and scholarship programs. Entrants in the competition will be provided a 95-gallon wheeled trash cart courtesy of Otto Environmental that they must decorate with artwork consistent with the messages of EIA's “Environmentalists. Every Day.” grassroots education program. Carts may be sponsored by an individual or a company and will be judged on creativity and effective interpretation of the theme. Entrants are responsible for decorating and shipping the cart.

The decorated carts will be prominently displayed in the WasteExpo exhibit hall from May 4-6, 2010. Prizes will be awarded in several categories: Best In Show; President's Trophy (for best interpretation of theme); People's Choice (to be chosen by popular voting on the show floor); and the Green Earth Award (for the best use of recycled materials). The deadline for entering the competition is March 1, 2010 (see below).

Scholarship Program

During the last three years, the Women's Council has awarded nearly a dozen scholarships. In 2010, the EIA Women's Council will continue to offer $2,500 educational scholarships to NSWMA and WASTEC member employees and their dependents. Qualified individuals are pursuing undergraduate or graduate education related to a career in the environmental industry. The application submission deadline is March 31.

For more information about Women's Council membership, the “Carts on Parade” program or scholarships, visit www.environmentalistseveryday.org/womenscouncil or contact Peggy Macenas at peggym@envasns.org.

Thomas Metzger is director of communications and public affairs for the National Solid Wastes Management Association. Reach him at (202) 364-3751.