EREF Blog

Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) Launches Survey of Anaerobic Digestion Facilities

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Data will be used for tracking waste generation in the U.S., tracking resource consumption, estimation of emissions, and evaluation of waste management-related policies.

Raleigh, NC (April 22, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), a non-profit organization that funds research, data and educational programs that advance the science surrounding waste, has launched a comprehensive survey to better understand the amount and type of waste being managed by anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities.

In previous EREF work on anaerobic digestion, 25 stand-alone AD facilities processing municipal solid waste (MSW) were identified across 13 states and 156 co-digestion of MSW facilities were identified across 27 states. EREF estimated that these facilities processed 784,037 tons of MSW in 2013, but researchers expect that number has increased.

“Anaerobic digestion plays a critical role in the present and future direction of solid waste management,” says Bryan Staley, Ph.D., P.E., EREF’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s important to have a complete view of the entire waste management landscape, which includes AD.”

The project involves several stages.

The first stage will collect data directly from all types of AD facilities that digest MSW including: stand-alone, on-farm and wastewater treatment plants. Information to be collected will include the quantity of waste accepted in calendar years 2016 and 2019, waste sources (such as residential, commercial, etc.) and maximum processing capacity.

The second stage consists of aggregating and analyzing the data collected. EREF will aggregate data by state, region, and nationally. Data will also be analyzed for spatial (e.g. state, regional) and temporal trends in the U.S.

The survey of anaerobic digestion facilities is part of a larger effort by EREF to update its 2016 report on Municipal Solid Waste Management in the U.S.: 2010 & 2013. Throughout this effort researchers will be collecting data from landfills, waste-to-energy facilities (WTE), recycling facilities, composting operations, and AD facilities. Facility-specific data will be collected through state agencies and direct facility contact for waste collected in calendar years 2016 and 2019.

The non-profit organization is seeking stand-alone facilities that digest MSW and on-farm and wastewater treatment plants that co-digest MSW that accepted MSW in 2016 or 2019 to participate in the project.

If a facility is interested in participating, the survey is available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GQWMMW3. If a facility representative would like to take the survey over the phone or learn more about the survey, please contact Suzie Boxman, Ph.D. at sboxman@erefdn.org.

About EREF
EREF has a long history of aggregating pertinent waste-related data and facilitating research. More than 25 years old, the organization has provided more than $16 million dollars in research grants and has conducted numerous data studies. For example, EREF’s annual Tip Fee report is widely distributed and used by a variety of entities, including financial analysts, municipalities, government agencies, and waste industry professionals.

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Media Contact:

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

Supporting Solid Waste Science through the EREF Auction

Click here for a PDF of this release.

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation’s (EREF) Annual Charitable Auction is back in 2021 to raise support for the Foundation’s mission to drive sustainable solid waste management practices forward.

This event, which moved virtual in 2020 due to COVID-19, is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, sponsors, bidders and volunteers, the 2020 Auction saw its 2nd highest net in its more than 25-year history – a milestone serving as a catalyst for EREF to fund more research, students and education opportunities!

Due to COVID-19, the Auction will once again look different than it has in the past with the event being held virtually through EREF’s online bidding platform, GiveSmart. Bidders will have the opportunity to peruse items and register to bid online leading up to the start of the Auction.

EREF’s Auction consists of two parts: a Live Auction and a Silent Auction. The Live Auction features larger items including trucks, large equipment and outings with industry executives, while the Silent Auction features smaller items including experiences, electronics, sports memorabilia and more.

Auction Bidding and Schedule

While the Live Auction will be virtual this year, EREF will have a presence on the WasteExpo 2021 show floor where we’ll highlight the progress of the Auction. The Silent Auction will remain online as it has in years past.

Bidding for both the Live and Silent Auctions will begin on June 16, less than two weeks before WasteExpo, culminating with the end of the show on June 30. All bidding will take place on GiveSmart. More information on registration, bidding and items will be released as it’s available.

How can you participate?

  • Donate! Donors receive visibility via GiveSmart, e-mail promotions and social media.
  • While the event will take place virtually, EREF will have a WasteExpo presence; therefore, sponsorships can be virtual or in-person to provide visibility to your company.
  • Why not go home with one (two, or three) amazing items from the EREF Auction? More bidding information to come.
  • Spread the word. Take to social media to share the Auction or spread the word about your donation through our donor marketing kit.

Proceeds from the EREF Auction help to drive sustainable solid waste management forward. EREF accomplishes its mission through its core programs: Research Grants, Scholarships, Data & Policy and Education. Additional information on these programs and more are available at erefdn.org.

For just a snippet of the research and education opportunities that the Foundation is up to in 2021, click here.

Make sure to stop by EREF’s booth at WasteExpo to learn more about the Foundation and its Auction!

Donations are still accepted and sponsorships are available! Questions about how you can participate? Contact EREF’s Events Manager, Caitlin Conklin, via e-mail at cconklin@erefdn.org.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. 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

Breaking It Down: An Investigation into Accelerating the Degradation of Lignocellulose Material in Landfills

A long way from the antiquated “holes in the ground”, today’s landfills are highly engineered waste repositories with extensive liner systems, leachate and gas collection systems and more. Among the important facets of modern landfills, the gas collection system plays a valuable role in capturing landfill gas before it can enter the atmosphere. This collected gas can then be converted into energy, helping to dispel assumptions that landfills are the antithesis of sustainability.

As waste decomposes, it releases various types of gas, predominately methane and carbon dioxide. Decomposition of the waste plays a huge role in the amount of gas that is able to be captured. A number of materials, such as food waste and other organics, degrade rapidly, allowing for capture of the landfill gas. On the other hand, materials which do not degrade rapidly in a landfill often contribute to greenhouse gas emissions because there comes a point when it is no longer feasible to continue collecting the gas.

A LOOK AT BACTERIA AND ENZYMES TO INCREASE DEGRADATION

A recent study conducted by former EREF Scholar Dr. Muaaz Wright-Syed and Cardiff University, specifically investigated options for breaking down lignocellulose-rich waste (e.g. newspaper and wood), which does not degrade quickly leading to gas emissions. Fortunately, there are certain microorganisms that break down the lignocellulose – predominately white-rot fungi and some bacteria.

Researchers found that they could pull the enzymes responsible for breaking down waste out of the white-rot fungi and decided to use these enzymes and the bacteria that has been proven to break down lignocellulose as part of their study.

In an effort to circulate these enzymes and bacteria throughout the waste so they can do their job, they are combined with leachate, which is then sprayed on top of the waste or pumped into the landfill through holes drilled through the waste.

The study also investigated practical application and how the composition of the waste in a landfill affected the flow of the augmented leachate through waste. While previous studies of this lignocellulose degradation have shown success, they have been conducted in controlled environments and adapting these systems to real world conditions has proven less effective. One of the biggest issues with the practical application of these systems is the heterogeneous makeup of the waste in landfills. Waste composition in studies has been homogeneous, making it easier for the leachate and the bacteria to travel throughout the entirety of the waste.

THE RESULTS AND THEIR REAL-WORLD IMPLICATIONS

Results from this study indicate that the bacteria were able to break down all lignocellulose-containing material tested, while the enzymes degraded all material except wood.

Given the greater success they had with the bacteria, researchers then applied it to waste with a homogenous composition, finding an increase in gas production. However, when applied to waste with a heterogeneous composition, they found it was difficult for the bacteria to do its job and spread to all parts of the waste due to preferential flow.

In practical application, researchers submit that in landfill cells with homogeneous waste composition, the bacteria has the potential to enhance gas production and therefore greater energy production. However, in cases of landfill cells with heterogeneous waste composition, researchers suggest mechanical pre-treatment, or homogenization of the waste prior to building landfill cells. Lastly, the work may also have implications for stabilizing organics left in the landfill after closure as a post-closure.

EREF Study Shows Average MSW Tip Fee Decreased in 2020

Results from the 2020 EREF analysis of MSW landfill tip fees indicate a 3 percent decrease in the national average to $53.72 per ton.

EREF recently completed its 4th annual MSW landfill tip fee report. Using its database of 1,540 active Subtitle D municipal solid waste landfills (MSWLFs) in the U.S., the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) created a sample of facilities that was used for surveying landfill owners regarding tip fee information for MSW disposal.

The 2020 results indicate the national average tip fee of $53.72 per ton was 3 percent lower than the $55.36 per ton reported in 2019. In 2020, the fees for the Midwest and Mountains/Plains regions converged and were nearly the same at $47.85 and $47.83, respectively. The Pacific and the Northeast continue to have the highest fees per ton in the U.S., but the Pacific saw a decrease of $1.00 per ton, or 1.4 percent, and the Northeast increased $2.16 per ton, or 3.25 percent. The Mountains/Plains region had the greatest change in fees this year ($2.88 per ton, minus 5.7 percent). The table below indicates average tip fee by region.

EREF’s regional analysis indicates tip fees can vary widely regionally across the U.S. The 2020 report also shows that there are large variations within each region and within individual states. To assess the variability within an individual state, EREF performed a sensitivity analysis on the relationship between population and tip fees in North Carolina. Metropolitan areas (U.S. Census statistical areas consisting of a county or counties with at least one urban area and a population of at least 50,000) had the lowest tip fees with an average of $37.99 per ton and was lower than the state average of $45.97 per ton. Tip fees in the less populated areas of the state, those not in a metropolitan or micropolitan area, were greater than the state average at $57.77 per ton. While a larger population and associated increase in waste generation could have an impact on tip fees, additional statistical analyses suggest a limited relationship between population and tip fees and that other factors are more influential.

EREF’s free report, “Analysis of MSW Landfill Tipping Fees: 2020,” shares additional 2020 tipping fee data.

EREF’s New Science Sessions Puts a Conversational Twist on Solid Waste Education

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (January 7, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is excited to announce the inception of a new solid waste education series entitled EREF Science Sessions, which will kick off in mid-January.

In a time when interactions occur primarily online and Zoom fatigue has become a real concern, the Science Sessions aim to provide the content solid waste professionals need in brief, interactive segments lasting around 45 minutes to an hour.

These sessions will take a variety of forms, forgoing the typical presentation/webinar- style and opting for more interactive models such as interviews, panels and Q&A.

The first set of topics centers on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and emerging contaminants. While data and information surrounding the topic abounds, each session aims to bring new content to the table and focus on the role of the waste industry in the PFAS and emerging contaminants conversation.

Currently, 8 sessions have been confirmed with more anticipated to be lined up. Subtopics include:

  • Industry perspectives on PFAS management
  • PFAS policy
  • Management strategies
  • PFAS concentrations in domestic wastewater and leachate
  • Effective leachate treatment methods
  • PFAS stabilization and solidification
  • Exposure and health implications
  • And more to come!

While PFAS is the focus of the initial set of sessions, other topics will be added to the docket later in 2021.

EREF’s first session, entitled In the Room When It Happened: Industry Perspectives on PFAS, will be a panel comprised of Joe Benco (Republic Services), Sam Nicolai (Casella Waste) and David Pepper (GFL Environmental). This session will be held January 21 at 1 pm ET – registration is open!

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.

Thank you to our current Science Sessions sponsors, Golder and Republic Services!

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. 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

Shopping Online this Holiday Season? Recycle those Cardboard Boxes, Expert Says

recycle cardboard this holidayOnline shoppers can help combat climate change and reduce deforestation by recycling cardboard boxes and other packaging materials this holiday season.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge, a growing number of consumers across the country are shopping online this holiday season – a trend that could have severe environmental consequences if packaging materials aren’t properly disposed of.

“Packaging materials, whether they’re made from paper or plastic, are very important because they help protect products,” said Richard Venditti, the Elis-Signe Olsson Professor of Pulp and Paper Science and Engineering at NC State’s College of Natural Resources. “But some of these materials, especially plastics, are still making their way into trash cans instead of recycling bins.”

Venditti, whose areas of expertise include paper recycling and environmental life cycle analysis, added that packaging materials in trash cans are sent to landfills where non-biodegradable materials occupy space for centuries and biodegradable materials break down and release greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

In the United States, more than 95% of the packages shipped to the country’s 200 million online shoppers are sent in containerboard – cardboard and corrugated containers. The use of cardboard and other packaging materials is expected to increase in the coming years as online sales continue to grow, according to Venditti. Between January and November of this year alone, American consumers spent about $547 billion online. That’s an increase of roughly 33% from the same period in 2019.

Several companies are working to reduce packaging waste and find more sustainable alternatives. For example, Amazon – which ships an average of 608 million packages each year – has eliminated more than 665,000 tons of packaging materials and more than 1.18 billion shipping boxes since 2008 through its Frustration-Free Packaging program, which provides consumers with recyclable boxes that are easy-to-open and free of excess materials such as plastic bindings and wire ties.

Venditti said recycling is one of the most efficient methods available for both retailers and consumers to reduce the number of cardboard boxes in the waste stream. It not only conserves energy and natural resources but also helps reduce pollution.

Cardboard, like other paper-based products, is manufactured from cellulose fibers extracted primarily from trees. “Paper and paperboard recycling makes more efficient use of our forest resources and avoids some of the environmental burdens associated with making cardboard from trees,” Venditti said.

More importantly, when consumers recycle packaging, it reduces the amount of cardboard in landfills – and the amount of greenhouse gases that it emits during decomposition. Cardboard packaging that is sent to landfills releases some fugitive methane that is not captured in landfill collections systems. Methane has a global warming potential that’s 20 times higher than carbon dioxide over the course of 100 years. It’s estimated that when consumers recycle 1 ton of cardboard, they save over 9 cubic yards of landfill space.

The percentage of cardboard boxes that Americans recycle has increased from 55% in 1993 to 92% in 2019. The remaining 8% of cardboard boxes is sent to landfills because it’s unsuitable for recycling, since it may be disposed of in remote areas, or contaminated with food or other material, according to Venditti.

“Paper is definitely a success in the materials recycling universe, with recovery rates far higher than plastics or glass and other materials,” Venditti said. “The recycling levels that we’re seeing with these boxes are incredible. But we need people to be more effective in their overall recycling, especially with other materials such as plastics and metals.”

Most Americans have access to community curbside or drop-off recycling for paper and paperboard packaging. But as consumers receive more products directly from online retailers, they’re recycling less and throwing away more. Part of the reason is the confusion over what is recyclable, according to Venditti.

However, while consumer behavior certainly plays a role in the country’s ongoing packaging waste, recycling programs in the U.S. face a bigger challenge. For the past quarter century, the U.S. and other countries around the world have sent a significant portion of their recyclable discards to China for recycling. But in 2018, China implemented strict restrictions on imported waste, including plastic, mixed paper and cardboard. This has left many municipalities and companies with nowhere to send their waste for recycling.

“China was purchasing recyclable materials for rather high prices, but now they’re not buying from us anymore,” Venditti said. “As a result, the price for recycled paper has decreased dramatically. What that means is that collectors and haulers don’t get as much money for their efforts. They’re not going to go the extra mile to collect the fringe materials that are on the borderline of profitability, so now we’re experiencing an excess buildup of waste materials.”

To address this issue, Venditti is spearheading a study that will examine the potential use of low-grade mixed paper waste in cardboard packaging in order to increase demand for recycled materials. The study is funded by the Environmental Research and Education Foundation, a Raleigh-based organization that supports solid waste research and education initiatives.

“A key challenge in the recycling industry is creating end-market demand for lower value/quality recyclables,” said Bryan Staley, president and CEO of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation. “Dr. Venditti’s research aims to strengthen pathways to increase recycled content using these materials. This allows for increased circularity of materials that otherwise would have limited value and improves overall sustainability.”

One of the study’s primary objectives is to better understand consumer impressions of packaging that contains paper waste, according to Venditti.

“Most cardboard boxes are brown with a consistent texture. But we’re using low-grade mixed paper waste to create boxes that have lighter speckles that might be recognizable as copy paper or magazine paper,” he said. “If a consumer sees a box with recycled content on the outside, how does that make them feel? Are they more likely to think that the packaging and therefore the product and company are more environmentally friendly? That’s what we want to know.”

In addition, Venditti and his research team are analyzing how the use of low-grade mixed paper waste impacts the physical properties of cardboard boxes, including strength and durability. Preliminary results show that the physical properties decrease by about 20%. The research team is currently working to compensate for that loss by exploring the addition of recycling process changes and additives.

Initial results from the study will likely be published sometime in 2021. Although the study is funded for 18 months, Venditti expects it to extend into the future as students and colleagues conduct additional research.

“The research, showing the benefits of low quality waste in paper packaging, is expected to demonstrate to companies a green and effective way to protect their products that have the added benefit of projecting a positive image of the product,” he said. “As the population of the world increases and demands for packaging increase, research projects to develop solutions like this one are critical for society.”

Written by Andrew Moore, College of Natural Sciences, NC State University

5 Reasons to Knuckle Down on Your Recycling in 2021

5 reasons to knuckle down on your recycling

 

Do you want to save the world? You don’t have to be an Avenger to make a difference. When you recycle, and recycle right, you help make the world a cleaner, greener place. Below we outline 5 reasons to knuckle down so you can start improving your recycling in 2021.

Contamination costs money (and even other recyclables).

Although you might feel good tossing something into the recycling bin, that good feeling could be short-lived if your discard doesn’t belong there. When you place something in the bin that shouldn’t be there, you create contamination. What does this mean? Often, contamination can lead to increased recycling facility downtime, equipment damage and low-quality or rejected bales. All these consequences of contamination cost operators time and money – a cost passed down to you.

Recycling incorrectly can lead to worker injury.

When incorrect items enter a materials recovery facility (MRF; i.e. a recycling facility), they can create unsafe conditions for workers. Think about the plastic film bags you get at the grocery store. While you may wish that those could be recycled, when they go through the sorter they become tangled, leading to a halt in operations and requiring workers to climb onto equipment to untangle the bags. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, MRF worker injuries and illnesses occur at a rate of 3.6 per 100 full-time employees.

Certain items can cause fires in facilities and collection vehicles.

When your batteries die or your laptop finally gives out, where do you put them? Although a number of products are recyclable, they don’t belong in your recycling bin. In part, this is due to the dangerous conditions they create in a collection vehicle or at a facility. For example, research demonstrates that batteries can cause fires at recycling facilities. In fact, preliminary results from an EREF research survey indicate that 68% of respondents have experienced at least one fire at their facility in the past year.

Forgoing recycling can contribute to greenhouse gases.

The latest data from the EPA indicates that gross U.S. greenhouse gas emissions totaled 6,677 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – a 2.9% increase from the previous year. However, participation in curbside recycling can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 38% compared to landfilling with energy recovery.

Recycling availability is not an invitation to be wasteful.

A study by Catlin and Wang, 2012, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, evaluated waste generation when a recycling bin was available. In an office setting, researchers found that the availability of recycling bin resulted in an 82% increase in paper usage. Before grabbing a handful of paper, remember that not all materials can be recycled forever. Each time paper goes through the recycling process, it loses quality and integrity. In fact, paper can only be recycled 5 – 7 times.

There is good news! Now that you know the 5 reasons to knuckle down on your recycling, you can take the steps to start improving your recycling in 2021. Take a moment to educate yourself. Your state and county waste management websites are great resources for more information. See what items belong in your recycling bin and where to recycle items, such as batteries.

Join the Over 250 Respondents Providing Data Related to Scrap and Materials Recovery Facility Fires

Raleigh, NC (November 12, 2020) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), in partnership with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), requests responses to a survey aiming to understand the frequency and causes of fires at scrap facilities, materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and other facilities.

Currently, EREF has received more than 250 responses from a number of companies, including responses from top waste management companies. EREF seeks to double this response by December 31 and encourages anyone who has not participated in this effort to ensure your facility is counted by contributing data. Data will be presented in a compiled form and individual facility names, addresses and contact information will not be shared.

What do the preliminary findings of this study indicate?

  • 68% of facilities that responded experienced at least one fire within the past year.
  • 97% of respondents have a fire plan and offer training for employees.
  • The most common types of fire prevention strategies implemented by MRFs and scrap facilities include using a portable fire extinguisher, 24-hour remote monitoring and automatic sprinkler systems.

To complete the survey, or for more information, please click here. The survey will close December 31, 2020.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. 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 Awards Two Grants for Solid Waste Research

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (October 29, 2020) – The Board of Directors of the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) are pleased to announce the award of 2 new research grants.

The following projects have been funded in 2020:

Non-Recyclable Plastics to Pavements
Investigator: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Award Amount: $161,075

This research seeks to create high-value and high-volume products from plastic waste for bitumen (asphalt binder) replacement in pavements. The bitumen replacement market is a potential repurposing for large quantities of waste plastics. It addresses an urgent economic and environmental need for plastic recycling as well as the transportation industry. With 4-5% replacement of bitumen, this market has the potential to consume 1 million tons of waste plastics out of the 26 million tons that go to landfills in the US. Also, the study goal is aligned with the global emphasis on enhancing transportation infrastructure sustainability. Moreover, asphalt pavements are 100% recyclable; therefore, plastic waste will remain in a recycling circular loop. Plastic waste that would typically be landfilled will be formulated for incorporation in bitumen that meets performance specifications for durability. Through manipulation of the chemical and molecular composition of waste plastics, current challenges, including sorting and processing of different plastics, storage instability and compatibility between bitumen and various plastics will be addressed.

The objectives of this study are as follows:

  1. Develop compatibility and blending methodology of various plastic waste plastic for bitumen modification.
  2. Investigate the suitability of plastic types and mixed plastics for modifying bitumen.
  3. Determine the storage stability of plastic waste modified bitumen.
  4. Perform chemical and rheological characterization of plastic-modified bitumen.
  5. Quantify environmental benefits using life cycle assessment (LCA) for plastic-modified bitumen.

Techno-Economic Evaluation of Supercritical Water Oxidation
for Landfill Leachate and Condensate Management

Investigator: Duke University
Award Amount: $152,000

Landfill leachate and condensate management can be a major cost of operating a landfill and they are an important contingent liability. For example, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are now found in many landfills and cause great concerns to owners and operators. Supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) is a game-changing treatment technology that could provide superior treatment with better economics. Deshusses’ lab is leading the U.S. in SCWO technology research.

The objectives of this project are to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of using SCWO at landfills by:

  1. Demonstrating treatment of representative landfill leachates, condensates and concentrated liquids, such as leachate reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate, in our pilot 1 ton/day SCWO system with specific focus on PFAS and emerging contaminants.
  2. Conducting a detailed economic analysis of using SCWO at landfills at a larger scale. This will include an early assessment of scale and SCWO system throughout. If this assessment indicates that concentration of leachates and condensates (e.g., using reverse osmosis) followed by SCWO is the preferred route for treatment, the project will focus on treatment of concentrated liquids such as RO leachate concentrates.
  3. Exploring treatment synergies (e.g., hazardous wastes, PFAS contaminated sludge, selected organic wastes) that may be co-treated with leachate/condensate or RO concentrates and that may affect the economic outcome.

Pre-proposals are required prior to submitting a full proposal. EREF invites investigators to submit pre-proposals pertaining to the topics outlined on the “How to Apply for a Grant” page on EREF’s website. The next pre-proposal deadline is December 1, 2020. For more information regarding EREF’s Research Grants Program, please visit erefdn.org or e-mail proposals@erefdn.org.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. 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

NWRA, EREF Publish ‘Waste & Recycling For Dummies’

Click here for a PDF of this release.

The Book Serves as a Professional and Educational Resource for All.

Raleigh, NC (October 27, 2020) – The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) have partnered to produce Waste & Recycling For Dummies, an informative and educational book for industry professionals, government officials, students and consumers.

While many have a basic understanding (or some assumptions) about the waste and recycling industry, NWRA and EREF unveil a clearer picture of how the entire industry works in Waste & Recycling For Dummies, hoping that readers take a look at their own actions and see what they can do to leave the world in a better place than they found it.

As readers turn the pages of the book, they will learn the importance of the industry and how managing waste properly can help protect human health and the environment. Without proper waste management, our air, land and water can become polluted, and our climate can change for the worse. Recycling helps preserve our natural resources for future generations.

“It was important to us to tell the right story about the waste and recycling industry,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith. “There is a lot of inaccurate information out there, and this book helps address those misunderstandings and provide a detailed look inside the inner workings of our industry. Our industry goes way beyond the curb.”

“The nuances of waste management concepts in many ways are unknown by most and are often overlooked by those not intimately familiar with this industry,” said EREF President and CEO Bryan Staley. “Our hope is to build an interest and understanding of solid waste that encourages consideration of waste that’s produced and discarded.”

This book also includes insights from many industry subject matter experts (SME). NWRA and EREF express their gratitude for the SMEs’ help putting this book together for publication.

Waste & Recycling For Dummies comes in both a digital and print version (note: print copies are limited). To download the e-book, click here. To request a print copy, please contact Mallory Szczepanski at mszczepanski@wasterecycling.org or Catherine Ardoin at cardoin@erefdn.org.

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About NWRA
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) is the largest trade association representing the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states, and include companies that manage waste, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NWRA, please visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Media Contact:
Brandon Wright, Vice President, Communications and Media Relations
443-758-5542
bwright@wasterecycling.org

 

About EREF
EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org.

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