The EREF is the only private, grant making institution with a national and international scope whose sole mission is to support solid waste research and education initiatives.  Our research grants program is led by our Research Council, a body of volunteers consisting of technical experts in industry, academia and consulting.  The work of the Council is guided by a long range strategic plan with the goal to achieve greater sustainability, good environmental stewardship, higher process efficiency and increased knowledge.  Council recommended projects are then reviewed by our Board’s Projects Committee for a final review and funding allocation.  Non-research oriented projects are reviewed and recommended to the Projects Committee by technical staff. 

Details on how to submit a proposal or pre-proposal can be found under the “Proposal Submission and RFP” section.  For a description of current and previously funded projects please check out the “Funded Research” section.

EREF Research Council

The EREF Board of Directors (BOD) has recognized that while Board members are very familiar with the solid waste industry, many may not necessarily be technical experts.  Thus, the Research Council was formed as a sub-committee of technical experts to assist the BOD in funding high quality research projects and identify industry research needs.  Although the Research Council has technically been in existence since 2007, Council members have noted previous attempts at organization had a number of apparent issues, specifically:
- a lack of definitive structure
- over burdening Council members with too many proposals over too short a review period
- an inefficient or vague review format and proposal rating system

During the December 2008 Board of Directors meeting, the EREF technical staff was asked to prepare a report proposing how the Research Council would function.  In consideration of this, it quickly became evident that the Research Council should be a primary and integral component of the entire research program if it were to be successful and have the necessary structure desired by the Board.

Thus, re-structuring the Research Council also required re-structuring the EREF research program.  As a result, a framework was established with the Board of Directors providing strategic guidance and the Research Council providing technical guidance.  The goal of this framework was to provide a detailed protocol for proposal submission, review, recommendation and funding.  In addition, appropriate mechanisms were established for ongoing project review and assessment of completed projects and the structure and governance of the Research Council were materialized.  All primary elements of the proposed structure were reviewed and approved by the Research Council and the EREF Board of Directors in mid-2009.

Current Research Council members are listed below.
Kurt Shaner (Waste Connections) - Chairman
Steve Menoff (Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.) - Vice-Chairman
Gary Hater (Waste Management) - Past Chairman
Morton Barlaz (North Carolina State University)
Craig Benson (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Greg Cekander (Waste Management)
Marion Crest (Suez Environnement)
Kirk Ellison (Southern Company)
Jeff Fantell (Joyce Engineering)
Bob Gardner (SCS Engineers)
Scott Grieco (O’Brien & Gere)
Clarke Lundell (Republic Services)
Chad Mark (Advanced Disposal)
Brian Martz (Republic Services)
Shawn McCash (Progressive Waste Solutions)
Mike Michels (Cornerstone Environmental Group)
George Paturalski (Environmental Solutions Group)
Debra Reinhart (University of Central Florida)
Mark Sackett (McNeilus Companies)
Paul Sgriccia/Andy Nickodem (Golder Associates Inc.)
Stacey A. Smith (Smith Gardner, Inc.)
Derrick Standley (WCA Waste Corporation)
Bryan Staley (EREF)