The Curtis Culwell Center in Garland was one place this week where it was OK to talk trash.
During the Texas Lone Star Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America's 2012 conference, industry insiders looked at the latest technology to get a better handle on garbage.
"It's always an exciting time in the solid waste," said Brenda Haney, TxSWANA president. "First of all, there's always something going on in the industry."
More than 200 people and 50 vendors from across the state attended the conference to learn about cost-effective ways to reduce waste.
"Everyone pays a garbage bill," said Glenna Brown, a Garland city programs manager. "This helps us improve the technology that we offer our residents and helps us learn about what technology is out there and keep those costs low for our residents."
"Those little, bitty things that seem insignificant to some folks have a tremendous impact on our business," Haney said.
Exhibitors showcased the latest automated collection trucks that run on more fuel-efficient engines. Some need only one operator to do the job.
"The functionality itself -- it's a lot more comfortable for our drivers, it's a lot more safe and, therefore, more productive," said Trey Stamps, Heil of Texas general manager.
The association is also looking at ways to increase materials that are recycled. Right now, Texas diverts 30 to 40 percent of trash from landfills, the association estimates.
"We want to extend the life of our landfills until we get other technologies in place that give us an opportunity to deal with our waste streams differently than we do today," Haney said.
TxSWANA has nearly 400 members. Next year's conference will be in Lubbock.