Some initial reflections on our first week in Ballarat (in no particular order):
- There is a truly impressive array of new technologies coming onto the market that will reshape the way waste is processed. Many of these technologies are new to Australia and everyone we’ve spoken to is truly eager to see a use case they can build on.
- It will be a challenge to sort through all of these different technological approaches as we try and identify a set of recommendations for the city to move forward with.
- It was great to hear that we are on the right track with our thinking about how to approach the problem from Council yesterday afternoon, so we have a good idea how to move forward with our research and analysis.
- We completed more than 25 meetings this week, and I have more than 50 pages of notes to review over the weekend. It was really amazing to see how many people were willing to take time out of their busy schedules to speak with us – a testament to how many passionate stakeholders there are around this issue.
- There are likely many small ways to optimize the waste supply chain that we haven’t even thought of. It will be important to start looking at use cases and best practices from around the world that might be brought to bear in Ballarat.
- I am still impressed with the reception and the turnout we saw for the kick-off with the mayor and council on Tuesday. It’s great to see the enthusiasm and interest around our project, and the pick-up in local media. One of our neighbors in the Ballarat Tech Park recognized us from the local newspaper.
- Traffic isn’t coming in the direction that you think it is.
- Love the fact that the El Camino never went out of style here, and you can still buy an SS-model with a 6 liter V8.
- Lake Wendouree is beautiful, and a great place for an evening run after a long day of meetings. The story of its revival is impressive, and a tribute to what can be done when citizens and government work together with urgency towards a common goal.
- The people and the city of Ballarat are lovely. I can’t say enough about the hospitality and the warm welcome we’ve received.
Now for a little bit of weekend rest and relaxation before we get back to work tomorrow. Lots of work to be done before we get to end of job.