A year of work in progress – day 183

Day 183 – 27 October 2014

The last half term of the school year means I am getting ever closer to the end of this blog. There are probably only forty or so days left and so I suppose I ought to be thinking about next year. Half term should also be a relatively quiet time, partly because a lot of our customers are schools and also because a lot of our customers are parents. Somehow though I still manage to have nineteen meetings to look forward to this week and seven of them were today. The journey in was a little better though.

The clocks going back has thrown me. The weather forecasters always say that it’s good news as we’ll get an extra hour in bed. Instead I end up getting up at the same time as I would, which turns out to be an hour earlier and by nine o’clock at night I can’t stay awake. It will take me a few days to adjust. Still, my weekend wasn’t bad at all. Murray won again and Newcastle won again. That’s two times in a row.

As for today, seven back to back meetings was not a good plan. I should be stricter and give myself a break. I set out to do this but somehow life takes over and the available space is filled up. My first meeting was with a former colleague from North Tyneside who had left to join a supplier. He’s back in our territory (manor?) and so he popped in for a chat.

Next up was John, my latest Tier 4 manager. He is the Strategic Waste Manager. Once again a simple conversation opened up a whole new world to me that I didn’t know existed. No longer will I view the collection and disposal of waste as a simple operation. He told me about the four principle areas that he covered: contracts, strategy, environmental monitoring and land fill.

He went on to explain how we minimise the amount of waste that gets put into the ground and how we ensure that the environmental effects of handling the thousands of tonnes of stuff we throw away is minimised. I didn’t realise we produced as much electricity as a wind turbine from burning land fill gases or that landfill sites have to be capped with an impermeable layer to stop water getting in and volatile chemicals escaping.

It was fascinating and there were some ICT opportunities for big data and mapping. I must put a visit to Joint Stocks landfill site on my bucket list.

Alistair came over from Sunderland University to talk about our women into ICT event we are planning. He is on the Dynamo board and so we bump into each other quite often. There was some irony in three blokes (Steve joined us) talking about putting on such an event. We agreed what the purpose was, where it was going to be, who we were going to invite and when we wanted it to happen. I agreed to draft this up on Thursday and agree who will be doing what from there.

After lunch I met up with Jim from Ordnance Survey and so today was sponsored by mapping.

Learning points for today: Maps can tell a story; Steve is a waspherd; bin juice is better known as leachate, big refuse lorries are known as ‘Le gras’ and; there are as many acronyms in waste as in ICT.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – a bit rushed at times.

2 thoughts on “A year of work in progress – day 183

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