EREF Blog

Environmental Research & Education Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of Sustainable Solid Waste Research and Education

This year, the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is celebrating 25 years as a resource for solid waste research and education.

For 25 years, EREF’s mission has remained the same: to advance research and education initiatives for sustainable solid waste management practices to benefit the waste industry and communities it serves.

Click here for more information (PDF)

Improving Worker Safety: Understanding Needlesticks at Material Recovery Facilities

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) collaborated to quantify the number of needlesticks that occur at Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) with the goal to improve worker safety. This infographic outlines some key findings from this report.

To download your free copy of the Household Needles in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) report, click here.

View the infographic (PDF)

25 Years of the EREF Annual Charitable Auction

Join EREF as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the
Annual Charitable Auction!

Support of this exciting fundraising event goes toward graduate scholarships, research grants, undergraduate internships, internal research and other educational opportunities to advance sustainable solid waste management practices!

To learn more about the Auction or how donate to this charitable event, please click here.

How Much of Our Waste is Actually Recyclable?

Since 1995, the amount of commodity recyclables in the waste stream has fallen 10 points from 53% to 43%.

A recent EREF analysis examined the waste management policies set by state/local agencies, such as recycling and diversion goals. EREF found that states across the U.S. have recycling goals ranging from 10% – 50%.

If every item that was capable of being recycled actually was recycled, could these goals be achieved? This concept, applicable to diversion in general, is known as the theoretical maximum recovery.

EREF Named Top-Tier Charity through GuideStar and Charity Navigator

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) has been awarded a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator (the highest achievable status) and the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. These awards solidify the Foundation’s reputation as an empirical source for solid waste scientific research.

Click here for more information (PDF)

EREF Partners with the Ontario Waste Management Association to Introduce Silent Auction at the Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is excited to announce that the Foundation’s first ever Canada-based Silent Auction will be held October 24 and 25 at the Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo (CWRE) in Toronto, Ontario. This event, in partnership with the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA), is the first open fundraising effort in support of EREF with proceeds from the Auction supporting solid waste research needs in Canada. The OWMA has played a key role in EREF’s expansion into Canada.

Click here for more information (PDF)

New Study Quantifies Needlestick Injury Rates for Material Recovery Facility Workers

Results found in a groundbreaking new report from the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), in collaboration with the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), indicate a needlestick injury rate at material recovery facilities (MRFs) of 2.7 per 100 workers. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2016 data, MRF injuries (including non-needlestick related) occur at a rate of 6 per 100 workers, suggesting 45 percent of MRF injuries could be attributed to needlesticks.

Click here for more information (PDF)

What Does an EREF Scholarship Mean to Our Scholars?

EREF’s Scholarship Program awards PhD and Master’s students for excellence in their solid waste education, as well as seeks to instill a continued passion for the solid waste field. Since the program’s inception, EREF has funded 72 graduate students – equating to approximately $1.43 million! The support we have received over the years has allowed us to increase our scholarship spending and fund more students.

Rich Hilliard of Oregon State University and Serena Pozza and Riley Coulthard of Yale University discuss how their EREF Scholarships have impacted them.

To learn more about supporting our Scholarship Program, please click here for a brochure. To find out how to apply for a scholarship, including our next deadline, click here.

Meet Corey Johnson-Erday: Rehrig Pacific Company Named Intern

Rehrig Pacific Company has sponsored a named EREF internship. Corey Johnson-Erday, the recipient of this award, is an intern with EREF’s Data & Policy Program and an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University. Corey’s work with EREF includes the School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project and the State of Leachate Management and Treatment study.

Hear from Corey on the value of his EREF internship and the impact of the Rehrig Pacific Company named internship.