Norman Aardema and his brother bought their first garbage company in 1981, running four trucks. They sold the company, then called Chicago Disposal in 1998 with 100 trucks. In 1999, he merged two medical waste disposal companies to form Midwest Waste Services. He joined NSWMA in the early 1980’s, serving as Illinois Chapter Chair, Legislative Committee Chair and representative on the Board of Governors. Aardema was elected to be the EIA Board of Trustees Chair in 2000 during the time when EIA sold WasteExpo and Waste Age magazine. When he left the Board, he continued to serve on the EIA Financial Committee. He received an NSWMA Distinguished Service Award in 1997.