Starting in late October, I’ll be reporting, researching and writing from Hong Kong—a place that is some 8,000 miles away from my lifelong home of northern Ohio.
An entire series of columns might be needed to spell out the differences between Hong Kong and Cleveland and it still may barely scratch the surface when addressing the contrasting histories, climates and day-to-day routines of these two places.
Many readers of this publication are familiar with Hong Kong as a gateway for scrap materials making the long journey from North America to South China. More than two million shipping containers (20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs) move through the port of Hong Kong each month, and scrap materials are present in a fair share of those.
Working from Hong Kong, it will be my privilege to report on some of the destinations in South China and beyond to which those scrap materials are headed.
Hong Kong also will serve as a base from which to report on both the wider economic circumstances shaping the demand for scrap in East Asia and South Asia as well as the growing generation and processing of scrap in those regions—the other factor that will ultimately dictate for how long nations such as China and India are in a scrap deficit.
As I’m striving to gather information from and to report all I can about these important scrap trading partners, I’ll also be keeping “one foot in North America,” thanks to the 21st century’s telecommunications and Internet infrastructure and a schedule of regular trips back to the U.S. for recycling industry conventions and conferences.
Having just one foot in North America, however, means that there is a significantly long list of tasks and obligations that I won’t be taking with me to Hong Kong.
With a lot of gratitude and with no reservations, I know these tasks will be in the good hands of my five colleagues on the Recycling Today Media Group editorial staff.
Because I’m paid to write and put words together coherently, I probably shouldn’t use the clichéd phrase “words cannot express” when referring to the level of appreciation I have for the talent and work ethic of my colleagues, but it is an appropriate phrase in this case.
Many of you already know Senior Editor Dan Sandoval and Managing Editor DeAnne Toto, each of whom has significant tenure with Recycling Today. DeAnne and Dan, along with Kristin Smith, Lisa McKenna and Kelley Stoklosa, will continue to put in all the important work it takes to produce the magazines, e-newsletters and conferences that we create to serve the recycling industry.
Thanks to the hard work of my colleagues and the leadership of Recycling Today Media Group Publisher Jim Keefe, I can look forward to serving the recycling industry with a different point of view some 8,000 miles away.