EREF Blog

EREF Hosts Record-Breaking Charitable Auction, Proceeds Directly Support Scholarships and Scientific Research

EREF Hosts Record-Breaking Charitable Auction, Proceeds Directly Support Scholarships and Scientific Research

Raleigh, NC (May 26, 2022) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation announced its 2022 Charitable Auction, held on May 11 at Waste Expo in Las Vegas, NV, is the most successful in Foundation history, with over $3.5 Million raised to support scholarships and scientific research toward sustainable waste management practices.

EREF has funded over $18.5 Million in research grants and scholarships since 1992. Currently, EREF is funding 32 research projects, the most in the Foundation’s history. Forty percent of past and present EREF scholars are employed in the waste industry, with their research directly impacting the solid waste industry.

EREF received $29,550 in Fund-A-Need donations, including $5,000 from the winning team of NWRA FILA & Women’s Council Deal Me In M&A Competition, hosted by Stifel, $10,000 from SCHAEFFER, $5,000 from Sierra Container Group, and other organizations who generously contributed. These funds go directly to scholarships and grants.

Watch highlight video here. 

“EREF is a resource to help open educational pathways for students while advancing scientific research in the solid waste industry. The generosity displayed at our 2022 Charitable auction broke all records in the Foundation’s history, it was truly monumental. EREF appreciates the support of our generous donors and supporters as they help us light the way toward smart, sustainable waste management practices,” said Bryan Staley, Ph.D., P.E., President and CEO of EREF.

“EREF has given me the tools and network I need to pursue my research and work toward a more sustainable tomorrow. I am proud to be an EREF Scholar, and am grateful for the additional brain-power of peers and mentors which make a world of difference to my research,” said Monica l. Rodriguez Morris, MS, EREF Scholar. “The Foundation has provided me with the opportunities to pursue my dream of bridging industry and academia, and ultimately leaving our environment a better place for our families.”

Dr. Bryan Staley receiving the NWRA FILA & Women’s Council donation, hosted by Stifel, at WasteExpo 2022.

 

EREF staff at the 2022 EREF Annual Charitable Auction held at WasteExpo.

To view the full list of auction items and winners, click here.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that advances scientific research and creates educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org.

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Media Contact:

Milly Read
Communications Manager
Email: MRead@erefdn.org

EREF Announces Food Waste and Packaging Sustainability Study with AMERIPEN and Michigan State University

Raleigh, NC The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) today announced a new sustainability-driven project, partnered with AMERIPEN (the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment) and Michigan State University, that focuses on the consumer relationship between packaging and food waste.

The objective of this research will be to collect data and gain an understanding of the relationship between packaging and household food waste. It will explore how consumers use packaging in the home before and after food waste measurement. It will analyze the research findings and identify where more information is needed to recommend potential solutions to leverage the value of packaging to decrease household consumer food waste.

“Human behavior is one of the largest factors that impacts waste generation and disposal. Food packaging design and functionality are critical elements that shape consumer perception of how food is managed inside the household. That perception can be a driving factor in subsequent behaviors that influence the amount of food waste generated. It is critical to increase our understanding of the interaction between perception, food packaging and food waste generation so we may better equip consumers and manufacturers alike in our quest to reduce food waste,” said Bryan Staley, PhD, President and CEO of EREF. “EREF is proud to partner with AMERIPEN and Michigan State University to conduct this study and focus on the intersection between food packaging and a more sustainable future for our environment.”

“We are thrilled to be working with two highly respected academic organizations in the fields of packaging and waste to help bring a level of scientific rigor and data integrity to this effort notes Dan Felton, Executive Director at AMERIPEN. “In 2016 ReFED identified packaging as a key instrument in reducing food waste within North America. A Swedish study estimated 25% of household food waste could be reduced by improving the consumer relationship with packaging—either because the consumer removes products from packaging upon arrival home, they fail to properly seal packaging or packaging is inadequately designed to help them reduce waste. By better quantifying the relationship between consumers, packaging and household food waste, we believe we can help inform strategies to reduce wasted food and the subsequent greenhouse gas emission resulting from this loss. The promise of this collaborative provides an opportunity not only to collect much needed scientific data, but also to leverage insights from this data into meaningful action and change.”

“Wasted food is a growing problem. Packaging can contribute to reducing food waste and consequently, to alleviating the environmental and economic impacts of the wasted food. Although a significant amount of food is wasted at the consumer level, little is known about consumers’ perceptions and awareness of packaging in reducing food waste. Furthermore, literature lacks information on how these perceptions and awareness can differ among population segments.  An online survey questionnaire will be designed to collect insight into consumers’ behavior, perceptions, and awareness as well as to quantify food waste. The collected information will fill current gaps of knowledge about the interactions between packaging and household food waste. A better understanding of packaging’s impact on household food waste could lead to packaging changes to mitigate food waste.” said Dr. Eva Almenar, Professor at the School of Packaging and Project Director. Dr. Matt Daum, School of Packaging Director, agrees and adds: “The MSU Team, Drs. Eva Almenar, Monireh Mahmoud, Euihark Lee and MS student Korey Fennell, are excited to partner with EREF and AMERIPEN to conduct this consumer study that may contribute to creating more suitable packaging to reduce food waste. It is important to take a people-centric approach to research before designing technical solutions. Food waste is a complicated and multi-faceted issue, so this consumer study is an important element for long-range solutions.”

What Does the Future Hold for Solid Waste Management and Innovation?

Raleigh, NC (March 10, 2022)What Does the Future Hold for Solid Waste Management and Innovation? 

In the waste management industry, innovation and credible science are needed to drive change and effectively navigate the issues facing solid waste. The Global Waste Management Symposium (GWMS) serves as the #1 forum to exchange ideas and share the current state of operations and emerging science. As a result, GWMS provides significant insight into the future direction of what issues need to be addressed and what innovation may be needed.  

The 2022 GWMS, held in Indian Wells, CA, February 14-17, highlighted major trends in the solid waste industry and delivered a record number of scholars and industry leaders, eager to share their studies with industry peers. These trends help guide the research needed to advance innovation.  

The jam-packed event identified a number of key trends in the industry, which help guide the research needed to advance innovation, including:  

  • Landfill Gas Emissions/Odor 
  • PFAS 
  • Leachate 
  • Waste Stability 
  • Environmental Justice 

Landfill emissions are an area of prime current interest given many landfill owners are being scrutinized for their impact on greenhouse gas emissions and that they are being woven into the fabric of corporate ESG goals. While this topic involves many facets, the primary point of discussion revolved around how to model and directly measure landfill emissions. Emissions are also closely linked to odor, which is another key issue the waste industry continuously navigates. How odor is measured, what strategies can be used to mitigate odor, and how to engage surrounding communities proactively were discussed. 

One of the biggest costs in managing a landfill is dealing with leachate, primarily in terms of treatment, or pre-treatment prior to disposal at a POTW of traditional contaminants such as nitrogen/ammonia removal, BOD and particulates. However, emerging contaminants are a significant focus. PFAS as an emerging contaminant is particularly important, since it provides treatment challenges, but is also a potential opportunity for the waste management field, provided end points can be posited as a safe long-term repository for PFAS, and landfills have been recommended by the EPA as a means of disposal. Beyond treatment in leachate, understanding the mass flow of PFAS and transformations that may occur are important, as well as what happens to PFAS in landfill gas.  

Waste disposal into landfills increasingly contains higher volumes of liquids or high moisture content wastes, resulting in unique challenges of how to manage and place these wastes.  If not vigilant or handled carefully, landfills may experience slope stability issues or waste slides.  This shift has resulted in the need to develop updated and novel strategies for managing special wastes. 

Environmental justice is an emerging topic in the solid waste field and the topic was debuted during the 2022 GWMS to a crowded room.  Discussions on this topic included what environmental justice means, how it is being interpreted from a policy standpoint, and what impacts does it have in regarding to siting new facilities, expansions and permit renewals. 

Other waste industry trends involve organics management, anaerobic digestion, waste collection and characterization, liners/covers, coal ash and using life cycle assessment to evaluate environmental burdens.  

Progress, innovation and forward momentum encapsulated GWMS, but the importance of additional science and data around these topics was also highlighted among the academics and industry pros at the conference.   

“At no time in the last 30 years has the industry been faced with so many challenges. How these challenges are solved with good science and technical innovation will define the future of waste management,” said James Little, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Disposal Waste Connections Inc.

“The future of the waste management industry will be built upon credible science and unbiased research. This year’s Global Waste Management Symposium (GWMS) was the culmination of years of dedicated research by scholars and industry professionals, and EREF is proud to be a strategic partner of this endeavor,” said Bryan Staley, President and CEO of EREF. “EREF leads innovation in solid waste research, and we are grateful for the opportunity to gather engineers, scientists and industry leaders at GWMS to discuss the evolving challenges our industry faces and look ahead to the future.” 

“Data helps us understand our own industry, and it can also help other industries understand us. In a world that is increasingly acknowledging that our environmental challenges are connected, data from well-founded science is the most powerful vehicle to build bridges and solve problems. We’re already seeing this with PFAS, and circular economy only increases the value of data from the waste industry,” said Kristin Kinder, Vice President of Research & Waste Stream Sustainability, Wastequip. 

“Sound science is critical to making decisions when innovating in the waste management industry. EREF is integral to executing GWMS, however its larger value is in helping produce the science and data that move sustainable materials management forward,” said Joseph Benco, Director, Engineering at Republic Services Inc. 

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is a strategic partner for GWMS and plays a key role in advancing innovation in the solid waste management industry. EREF’s mission is central to innovation and credible science, and a significant portion of the presentations given at GWMS were by EREF scholars, grantees or were influenced by prior research supported by EREF. The Foundation’s efforts are advancing science in the waste management industry through grants they have funded on the central topics discussed at GWMS. To learn more about EREF’s current research programs, click here

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Media Contact:

Milly Read, Communications Manager

Phone: 919.861.6876 ext. 106

Email: mread@erefdn.org

EREF Announces Details for Upcoming Annual Charity Auction  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2022
View Here

EREF Announces Details for Upcoming Annual Charity Auction  

Raleigh, NC – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) today announced details for its upcoming Annual Charity Auction:

  • Live auction will be held at WasteExpo in Las Vegas, NV on May 11, 2022 in Booth #551 at 3:30pm PT. 
  • Reception will be held in Booth #551 on Wednesday, May 11 at 3pmPT. 
  • Silent Auction will be virtual and is open April 27, 10amPT through Wednesday, May 11 4pm PT. 

“The EREF Annual Charity Auction offers companies a special opportunity to showcase their products, while demonstrating their dedication to supporting credible scientific research in the waste management industry,” said Bryan Staley, President and Chief Executive Officer, EREF. “Cornerstone events like this charity auction bring our Foundation a crucial step forward in our mission of advancing science and creating educational pathways toward a more sustainable future. EREF is grateful for the waste management industry’s continued support, and we are looking forward to having everyone back in person to participate in a good cause.” 

For over 25 years, the generous donations and support of EREF’s Annual Charitable Auction, programs and other events have helped the Foundation become one of the largest sources of funding for solid waste research in North America. Participants help bolster EREF’s mission to support students researching a more sustainable future.   

For full 2022 Auction details, click here. To learn more about WasteExpo 2022, click here.  

To sponsor or donate, contact the Events Team at events@erefdn.org 

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that advances scientific research and creates educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org. 

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Media Contact:
Milly Read, Communications Manager
Email: mread@erefdn.org 

EREF Super Silent Auction Aims to Further the Foundation’s Mission while Cultivating Connections

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (November 2, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) announces the return of its Super Silent Auction, which will be held online November 3 – 17.

EREF first introduced its Super Silent Auction in 2020 as an opportunity for companies or individuals to cultivate connections with owners, presidents, vice presidents, procurement specialists and more!

The Super Silent Auction will be held virtually through EREF’s online bidding platform beginning November 3 and will close on November 17 in correlation with the end of EREF’s Fall Classic & Networking Event Welcome Reception.

Revenue generated from the Super Silent Auction funds EREF’s mission to advance sustainable solid waste science and education opportunities.

An example of that support at work is recently awarded scholar, Brooke Marten, a PhD student who attends Colorado State University at Bolder. Marten’s PhD work focuses on evaluating waste-derived biochar as an adsorbent and energy source using life cycle assessment methodology.

Brooke recently described her work in a Waste360 article entitled “Evaluating Opportunities for Resource Recovery in Waste Management,” as well as in a brief video.

To support students like Brooke and other science and education opportunities through the Super Silent Auction Outings, visit EREF’s online bidding platform and place a bid!

In order to bid, simply click “REGISTER TO BID” and complete the form as prompted. You will receive a text message and/or email, pending the information you provide, confirming your registration and indicating you are ready to place a bid! Outings have a starting bid of $7,500.

Thank you to our donors! Items up for bid:

  • Golf and Lunch with Ed Johnson – donated by Casella Waste Systems
  • Facility Tour and Dinner with Brendon Pantano and Dennis Pantano – donated by Coastal Waste & Recycling
  • Flyfishing in Walden, CO with Tom Miller and Tod Holmes – donated by Eagle River Capital
  • Dinner in Houston, TX with Dan Brazil – donated by FCC Environmental Services
  • Duck Hunting Experience with Josh Thompson – donated by GFL Environmental
  • Golf and Dinner with Tim Stuart – donated by Republic Services
  • Golf and Lunch with Darrell Chambliss – donated by Waste Connections
  • Golf with John Morris – donated by Waste Management
  • Facility Tour and Dinner with WIN Waste Innovations Executives – donated by WIN Waste Innovations
  • Golf and Dinner with the Antonacci’s – donated by USA Hauling & Recycling

Questions? Email events@erefdn.org.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that advances scientific research and creates educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org.

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Media Contact:

Catherine Ardoin, Communications Manager

Phone: 919.861.6876 ext. 109

Email: cardoin@erefdn.org

EREF’S Science Sessions Return with a Focus on the Treatment of PFAS

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (October 26, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is excited to announce the return of its popular solid waste education series entitled EREF Science Sessions, which will begin in October.

The virtual education series, which was first presented in the beginning of the year, covered a variety of topics related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Kicking off on Thursday, October 28, these sessions will focus again on PFAS, but will highlight the latest information and science around new technologies and techniques for treating the chemicals.

Topics include:

  • Sequestering PFAS using polymer chemistry
  • Using boron nitride to degrade PFAS with ultraviolet light
  • Treating PFAS using plasma

EREF is excited to bring in guest moderator, Craig Benson, PhD, PE, NAE, who will moderate EREF’s first two Science Sessions this fall.

During the first, entitled Storage Wars: Sequestering PFAS using Polymer Chemistry, presenter Todd DeJournett, PhD, PE, Senior Engineer with Geosyntec, will discuss the use of commercially-available polymer flocculants to improve PFAS removal in landfill leachate management operations.

DeJournett will cover the following:

  • The conceptual model for this method and its value proposition
  • Some of the technical challenges associated with this method
  • Results available so far and the researchers’ next steps

This session takes place on Thursday, October 28, from 1 – 2 pm EDT. Click here to register.

EREF will hold 2 additional Science Sessions in November and December. Additional details to come.

  • How To (Accidentally) Destroy a Forever Compound
    November 4 | Speaker Michael Wong, PhD, Professor, Rice University
  • Future Tech: Treating PFAS using AC and DC
    December 9 | Speakers Thomas Holsen, PhD, Jean S. Newell Distinguished Professor of Engineering, and Yang Yang, PhD, Assistant Professor, Clarkson University

The cost for each session is $25 per person. Visit the EREF website to learn more and register.

Looking for a value-driven way to build your brand awareness? Become a Science Sessions sponsor! Sponsors receive a select amount of attendee spots with their sponsorship. Send an e-mail to events@erefdn.org to sponsor or learn more.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that advances scientific research and creates educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org

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Media Contact:

Catherine Ardoin, Communications Manager
Phone: 919.861.6876 ext. 109
Email: cardoin@erefdn.org

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation and US Composting Council Partner to Conduct Composting State of Practice

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (October 19, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) and US Composting Council (USCC) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement in which they will work together to advance the science and knowledge surrounding composting.

A form of composting has existed since early civilizations and has advanced to become a highly sophisticated process. As more than 40 states have set waste reduction or zero waste goals and companies pursue compostable products as part of their ESG strategies, composting has become an integral part of the waste management system.

Nonetheless, knowledge gaps surrounding this disposal method remain, including how widely available access is, total processing capacity in the U.S. and current challenges.

EREF, in partnership with the U.S. Composting Council, have initiated a study to evaluate the state of practice of composting in the U.S. Key elements of the effort are to determine accessibility to commercial composting, quantify the number of composting facilities, aggregate the economic data and better understand various attributes of composting operations (e.g. technologies used, tonnage processed, etc.).

The project is expected to be completed in 2022 and a report will be released.

“We are excited to partner with EREF’s expert team to perform this long-awaited study of the composting industry in the U.S.,” said Frank Franciosi Executive Director of the U.S. Composting Council. “The data collected in this important study, will help advance the composting industry as a major contributor in the new circular economy.”

“This partnership is an exciting step in advancing the science and education of composting,” said Bryan Staley, EREF President and CEO. “We look forward to working with the USCC as both organizations share a drive to improve the environment and increase sustainable science.”

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that advances scientific research and creates educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org.

 

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Media Contact:

Catherine Ardoin, Communications Manager

Phone: 919.861.6876 ext. 109

Email: cardoin@erefdn.org

EREF Invests in New Development, Data & Policy and Sustainable Materials Management Staff

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (September 28, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) proudly announces the hiring of three new staff. These new staff come at the inception of a new 5-year plan, which focuses on sustainable materials management, furthering Data & Policy research and building/reinforcing relationships within the waste industry and the packaging and materials management industries.

Please give a warm welcome to the new team members:

  • Kyle Kusterer, Vice President of Development
  • Callyn Gonzales, Sustainability Manager
  • Gabriel Vegh-Gaynor, Project Coordinator

Kyle Kusterer

Kyle Kusterer serves as EREF’s Vice President of Development. In this position, he works to build and support relationships with EREF’s current and future donor base to increase the Foundation’s scope of impact through funding its Research, Data & Policy, Scholarship and Sustainability initiatives. Kusterer connects both individuals and corporations interested in exploring philanthropic opportunities that will make a positive impact on the trajectory of EREF’s mission, enabling innovation in sustainable waste management practices. Focusing on both current use funding as well as building the Foundation’s endowment will ensure real-time solutions are subsidized and the future of the circular economy is funded.

A graduate of Appalachian State, Kusterer comes to the role with over a decade of experience fundraising for a regional nonprofit and a Research I University. Throughout his career, he has been a fundraiser in higher education and non-profit spaces where he has had the unique opportunity to collaborate with community leaders, board members, foundations and corporations to achieve a collective impact.

Callyn Gonzales

Callyn Gonzalez is EREF’s new Sustainability Manager. She holds a Masters of the Environment Degree from University of Colorado Boulder with a specialization in sustainable food systems. Since the completion of her Masters, her career has focused on circular economy practices and packaging waste in the consumer packaged goods industry. She has spent years working in corporate zero waste strategy and sustainable packaging development, and hopes to use her experience in the upstream space to maximize the impact of EREF’s Sustainability Program.

Gabriel Vegh-Gaynor

Gabriel comes to EREF with a background in public policy, international affairs and market research. He is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and holds a degree in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to his current role as Project Coordinator on the Data & Policy team at EREF, Gabriel worked as an analyst for a market research firm in Washington, D.C. where he contributed to projects in the renewable energy and emerging technology sectors. He is excited to get to know the solid waste industry and to understand the needs of its stakeholders and consumers. Gabriel will be supporting EREF’s research and analysis efforts, and is working on projects related to the state of leachate treatment practices, compost and recycling programs in the U.S., waste truck fleet characteristics and more.

“I expect EREF’s next 5 years to be transformative. Our broadened mission will allow us to tap into new markets and industries, providing them with research that can shape the way materials are sourced, products are created and ultimately discarded,” said Bryan Staley, EREF President and CEO. “We are happy to have Kyle, Callyn and Gabe on the team and excited to see their impact in furthering EREF’s new mission and strategic direction.”

For further details about EREF’s five-year plan, its mission and its staff, please visit erefdn.org.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that advances scientific research and creates educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org.

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Media Contact:

Catherine Ardoin, Communications Manager

Phone: 919.861.6876 ext. 109

Email: cardoin@erefdn.org

EREF’s 2021 Fall Classic & Networking Event Swings for a Greener Earth

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (September 21, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) announced it will hold its 2021 Fall Classic & Networking Event November 17 – 18 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa located in Phoenix, AZ. This highly anticipated event brings waste and sustainability professionals together with the support of Republic Services, the event’s overall sponsor, as well as nearly 30 additional sponsors thus far. Proceeds from the tournament will support EREF’s charitable mission to advance scientific research and create educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices.

EREF’s Fall Classic is one of the best networking events of the year, and this year will be no different – attendees can expect a fun and quality event that supports a great cause.

On Wednesday, November 17, the event will begin with a putting contest and networking reception featuring hors d’oeuvres and open bars. The morning of Thursday, November 18, kicks off with a breakfast followed by a shotgun start and 18 holes. The tournament will conclude with an Awards Luncheon once tournament play is complete.

The format for the tournament will be four-person scramble with a shotgun start. Players on the first and second place teams will receive trophies, while the first-place team will also receive a framed team photo. A chance to win prizes will be available at all par threes, including one chance to win $50,000 cash. Additional contests are available throughout the course, including the chance to win $10,000 during the putting contest at the networking reception on Wednesday evening.

Pricing One (1) Golfer: $1,100 I Foursome: $4,400. Club and shoe rentals are not included.

When you participate in the Fall Classic, you’re investing in a greener earth. Hotel reservations for EREF’s Fall Classic must be booked by Wednesday, October 27. For Fall Classic registration and additional information, please click here.

For the specific safety and health measures JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa has implemented, click here for its “Commitment to Clean.”

Schedule of Events (located at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa)

Wednesday, November 17

  • Welcome Reception and Putting Contest

Thursday, November 18

  • Breakfast/Registration
  • Shotgun Start
  • Lunch

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors!

This year’s Fall Classic & Networking Event sponsors – confirmed as of September 15 – include:

Overall Tournament Sponsor
Republic Services
Major Giveaway Golf Balls & Tee Markers Shirts
Wastequip Caterpillar Volvo Construction Equipment
Golf Carts Welcome Reception Welcome Bags & Cooling Towels
Environmental Solutions Group SSI Schafer, Tetra Tech, WIN Waste Innovations Stellar Industries, Inc.
Hats Goody Bags &
Hole-in-One Insurance
Beverage Carts
Covanta McNeilus Waste360
Agru America/Risk Strategies
Golf Contest Package Putting Contest Golf Towels
IngenAE/Blue Flame Crew Machinex Rush/Peterbilt
Bloody Mary Bar Longest Marshmallow
Drive Contest
Mulligans
Big Truck Rental Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. LaBella
Staff Shirts Holes
Sierra Container Group GFL Environmental, National Waste & Recycling Association, PTR Baler, Rehrig Pacific Company,
SCS Engineers, Waste Advantage Magazine,
Waste Management, Weaver Consulting

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Please send an e-mail to events@erefdn.org for more information.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that advances scientific research and creates educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org.

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Media Contact:
Catherine Ardoin, Communications Manager
Phone: 919.861.6876 ext. 109
Email: cardoin@erefdn.org

EREF Unveils New Strategic Plan and Updated Vision and Mission Statements to Encompass Broader Sustainability Initiatives

These new statements tie into the Foundation’s new 5-year strategic plan.

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (September 7, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) announces a new 5-year strategic plan and new vision and mission statements.

Since 1992, EREF has funded over $19 million in research and education specific to solid waste management, until two years ago when the Foundation announced its expansion into the sustainable materials management space.

After months laying the groundwork, the EREF Board of Directors has unveiled a new 5-year strategic plan. Under this new direction, EREF will further branch out into the sustainability space, aiming to build relationships with and unite every aspect of the circular economy.

This new plan and expansion into sustainable materials management comes at a time of increased corporate focus on social responsibility driven by consumer interest, increased regulatory focus on extended producer responsibility, and roadblocks to sustainability such as technological limitations, greenwashing and limited consumer education. Sustainable materials management requires cooperation from a number of parties, including manufacturers, brands, consumers and the waste industry, and EREF seeks to advance science, data availability and knowledge, as well as open dialogue across the circular economy.

“Throughout my time working in solid waste, I have watched the waste industry progress and face new challenges, and EREF has been actively involved in providing the needed research and education,” said Pat Carroll, EREF’s Board Chair. “However, to truly advance sustainable waste management, there has to be dialogue across numerous industries and EREF is primed to initiate this dialogue. The expansion of the mission and implementation of the new strategic plan has been a long time coming. There are great things coming for the Foundation and waste management.”

Over recent years, EREF has positioned itself to successfully implement these new initiatives and have these conversations by creating a sustainability program and investing in additional staff with the experience to take the Foundation to the next level.

With this, EREF’s vision and mission statements have broadened to incorporate the circular economy.

New Vision

To light the way towards a more circular economy.

New Mission

To advance scientific research and create educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices.

“The waste sector is part of a broader community, and we have a strong role to play in driving towards a more circular economy,” said Tara Hemmer, EREF Board member and Strategic Planning Committee Chair. “This was a key theme that went into EREF’s new strategic plan. Over the next five years, you are going to see the Foundation driving conversations aimed at advancing sustainability and connecting to the circular economy.”

EREF’s current core programs will continue: Research Grants, Scholarships, Education and Data & Policy; however, they will incorporate sustainability and the circular economy and will be leveraged to inform conversations with new constituents.

With this new 5-year plan comes a stronger focus on development and marketing/communications. As EREF moves further into the sustainability space, this opens doors to new stakeholders and audiences.

Staff have already begun the process of implementing the Foundation’s new goals and objectives – be on the lookout for exciting things to come from EREF.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that advances scientific research and creates educational pathways that enable innovation in sustainable waste management practices. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org.

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Media Contact:

Catherine Ardoin, Communications Manager
Phone: 919.861.6876 ext. 109
Email: cardoin@erefdn.org