Just like police and fire protection, the regular removal of solid waste is a public service that many Americans take for granted. Most people simply put their garbage out to be picked up and never think about it again. But a new image campaign, called "Environmentalists. Every Day: America's Solid Wastes Industry" and headed by the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), aims to change that and educate people across the country about the essential services provided by their local garbage workers.

"The remarkable thing about our industry is that when trash is collected on schedule, and streets are clean, and there are no threats to public health, no one thinks about us," says Bruce Parker, president and CEO of NSWMA. "On the other hand, because of concerns over climate change, there's increased regulatory and public scrutiny of all industries that generate greenhouse gases, and that includes us because landfills generate methane, and trucks produce emissions. So, we want to educate key audiences that the industry is using innovation to reduce its carbon footprint through recycling, creating renewable energy from landfill gas and conserving natural resources. Bottom line, we are part of the solution — not the problem."

NSWMA's campaign is a grassroots effort to equip waste management companies across the country with tools and resources to educate their communities about the infrastructure and environmental contributions of an often misunderstood and largely ignored industry.