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A Home for Olive Pits

The PLMA show is being held in its usual locaiton: the Donald Stephens Convetion Center (formerly called the Rosemont Convention Center.) My hotel is connected to the conventional hall via a covered skybridge. It's about a seven-minute walk from the hotel to the convention center. While convenient, the skybridge is not exactly the most scenic route. The view is mostly tar-topped building rooftops filled with air conditioning systems and eletrical systems. That's why I sometimes strike up a conversation with another skybridge "walker." I've even come away with a story or two after my skybridge introductions. That's just what happened today when I met Jeff of the Musco Family Olive Co., the Tracy, Calif., manufacturer of Pearls- and Early California-brand olives.

Jeff encouraged me to stop by his booth to learn all about the company's olive pit recycling effort. Instead of being thrown away, about 5 tons of olive pits are burned each day, generating heat that is used evaporate its waste water. The steam generated during the evaporation process is then used to drive a massive steam engine that creates electricity for the plant.

At the end of our brief meeting, Jeff reached into his pocket and took out a DVD that explained it all. While I don't have the time to view every press material I receive at this show, Jeff's olive pit story was so intriguing I made it a point to watch the DVD as soon as I got back to the room.

I look forward to heading back to the convention tomorrow and meet another skybridge walker.