EREF Announces Details for Upcoming Annual Charity Auction  

February 22, 2022
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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 

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 


Media Contact:
Milly Read, Communications Manager

Science Sessions – Virtual Conversations with Solid Waste Industry Leaders and Experts

In January, the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) began a series of virtual conversations with solid waste industry leaders and experts, called Science Sessions. Approximately an hour long, these science-based conversations are intended to provide a rich forum for sharing ideas and exploring important solutions to new and ongoing challenges. But how did they come about? EREF’s President & CEO, Bryan Staley, PhD, PE, shares the origins of the series in this Q&A.

What prompted you to come up with the idea of Science Sessions?

BRYAN:  There is a big gap right now with reliable, accurate and science-based content around waste and environmental sustainability issues.  A lot of the existing content out there tends to present information that has been covered substantially or is broad and non-technical.  Many of the issues facing society, the waste field and improving sustainability require technical, science-based solutions.  These solutions need to be shared to foster meaningful impact.

How does it fit in with the Foundation’s mission? 

BRYAN:  EREF is the primary organization that advances the science of sustainable waste management efforts.  Given its role as a non-advocacy, unbiased research foundation, there is no organization better suited to educate the public and waste management-related fields on what is happening on critical issues and what the state of science is on these issues.

You decided to start the Science Sessions with a series of webinars on PFAS. Why?

BRYAN:  PFAS is one of the fastest evolving and impactful issues of our day.  It cuts across our entire society and has the potential to have significant impacts on how waste is managed.

What do you hope people will learn or gain from each Session? 

BRYAN:  Our hope is to summarize technical content and share it in a way that is understandable to all and that allows folks to see the tangible, real value that science can bring to the table to create solutions.


Recycle Right: Are you Falling for these Recycling Myths?

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When you hear phrases like “think green” or “environmental stewardship,” recycling is likely one of the first things that comes to mind. With all of the pseudo-science and myths out there, you might be confused on how to recycle and even the definition of recycling.

Check out this infographic in which EREF addresses common misconceptions associated with recycling!

Program Seeking to Quantify K-12 Cafeteria Waste Reaches More Than 82,000 Students

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation’s School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project (SCrAP) is a program that aims to understand how waste is generated and managed in K – 12 cafeterias across the United States.

Due to their interests in reducing or better managing waste, the School Nutrition Foundation and Keep America Beautiful joined the program as collaborative partners. With the help of these partners, SCrAP has reached 93 schools across 38 states, representing over 82,000 students.

While participation offers benefits to schools, such as educational resources and food waste and cost reductions, data gathered through the program will benefit a wide-range of organizations. Results from this program will be incorporated into a larger project from EREF’s Data & Policy Program investigating waste management practices in each waste sector: institutional (schools, hospitals), commercial (retail stores) and residential. Conclusions drawn from this study will inform organizations across various industries, including school boards, on best practices for managing waste.

SCrAP participants were asked to join at the purple level – complete a questionnaire only – or at the blue or golds levels – complete the questionnaire and conduct cafeteria waste audits 3 – 5 or 6 – 10 times, respectively. Of the 93 schools that joined SCrAP, 91% have a recycling program, 16% have backyard or garden composting and 9% send their organics to a commercial composter.

Schools that elected to perform audits sorted lunch waste into five categories: food waste, liquids, recycling, other/landfill and unopened/untouched food and drinks. These sorts educated students about waste management, and presented opportunities for discussion on the importance of more sustainably managing our waste.

EREF staff compiled the data provided by the schools, finding that the weight of the lunch waste totaled nearly 13,000 lbs! The chart below depicts the breakdown of the discarded material into the five categories.









Blue or gold level schools received Snapshot Reports that include links to educational resources, a comparison of each school to other schools at the state and national level and a list of opportunities to increase waste sustainability.

Additional Results:

  • The largest component was organic waste at 75%. This consists of food waste, beverage waste, and unopened/untouched food.
  • Milk accounted for 65% of unopened food by weight.
  • The national average of waste generated per student for schools was 43.3 lbs/student in a school year.

Interested in participating? The School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project continues through the 2017-2018 school year. For additional program information or to register, please click here or send an e-mail to

Looking for more results from the program? Click here for an infographic outlining some of the key results!


Thank you to our sponsors who have helped make this project possible:

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EREF Annual Charitable Auction at WasteExpo Features New Items Up for Bid and Giveaways for Registered Bidders During Live Auction

Raleigh, NC (April 14, 2017) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation’s (EREF) Annual Charitable Auction remains one of the highlights of WasteExpo, held May 8 – 11, 2017 in New Orleans. The exciting two-day event, which has raised $17 million since it began in 1994, consists of the Live and Silent Auctions featuring generous donations from waste industry organizations and provides opportunities to increase exposure at WasteExpo. Last year, the Auction raised over $1.6 million to support EREF’s mission to fund and direct scientific research and educational initiatives.

Click here for more information (PDF)

Graduate Scholarships in Solid Waste Research Available for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Raleigh, NC (February 28, 2017) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is one of the largest sources of solid waste research funding in the U.S., allocating approximately $1 million annually in research grants and graduate level scholarships.

Thus far, over 50 students have been EREF scholars, many of whom are now in key academic and professional positions across the U.S. EREF is pleased to announce that scholarship applications for the 2017-2018 academic year are now available. The application deadline is May 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm (eastern).

Click here for more information (PDF)

EREF Receives Scholarship Funding from the Garbageman’s Invitational

The Board of Directors of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) is pleased to announce the creation of a scholarship for Master’s students, which will be funded by donations from the Garbageman’s Invitational, an industry golf tournament and social event.

EREF Scholarships recognize graduate students pursuing excellence in solid waste management research and education. Recipients are chosen based on credentials and potential contributions to the solid waste industry and its scientific community.

More information on EREF’s scholarships, as well as a link to the scholarship application, can be found at The deadline for the 2016-17 academic year is May 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm (eastern).

Click Here for more Information (PDF)