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Black Goo: The Unseen Challenge in Modern Waste Management

August 16, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Presented by the Environmental Research & Education Foundation of Canada. 

Delve into the nature and challenges of “black goo” in waste management. In this condensed, high-impact session, we will dive into what black goo is, its sources, why it has emerged as a problem recently, and the cutting-edge techniques used to clean up goo-fouled sites. This session is structured to give you a comprehensive understanding of the issue and its impacts on environmental sustainability. You’ll get the opportunity to hear from experienced professionals who have been directly involved in tackling black goo and have contributed significantly to the field of waste management.

Leading the conversation are Brittney Crawford, an Environmental Engineer with the Region of Waterloo’s Waste Management Division; Dr. Craig H. Benson, an internationally recognized landfill expert and Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin – Madison; and Dr. Laura Hug, a microbial researcher who explores the tiny lifeforms dwelling in contaminated sites, including those colonizing municipal landfills.

Whether you’re intrigued by the peculiar “black goo” problem, looking for innovative strategies to combat this challenge, or keen to understand its implications on environmental sustainability, this webinar is for you. Come, be part of Black Goo to stay ahead of the curve in the dynamic field of waste management. This session is open to all at no cost.

Register here

Upon successful completion of this Science Session, you will receive a Certificate of Completion via email with the relevant number of Professional Development Hours (PDH) shown on the certificate. This certificate does not automatically qualify you for professional continuing education credits. It is your responsibility to verify that the PDHs from this event are eligible for continuing education purposes for your specific credentials. The certificate is only available to those that register and attend the live Science Session. 


Dr. Craig H. Benson is an international authority on landfills and waste containment. His expertise includes municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, coal combustion residuals, mining and mineral processing wastes, and low-level radioactive waste. He has conducted applied research and consulting on a range of landfill issues for more than three decades. Benson served as Dean of Engineering at the University of Virginia and in various leadership roles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before entering emeritus status. Benson is a Professional Engineer, Past-President of the ASCE Geo-Institute, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. 

Brittney Crawford has over 8 years of diverse experience in the engineering field, working in land development consulting as well as both the private and public sectors of solid waste management. Brittney is currently an Environmental Engineer, P.Eng., with the Region of Waterloo’s Waste Management Division. Since 2018, Brittney has led the black goo characterization and treatment study project at the Waterloo Landfill; she has leveraged the Region’s working group, Geosyntec Consultants/SiREM Labs, and academic partnerships with the University of Waterloo and University of Wisconsin-Madison to determine causation and develop a long term treatment strategy. Brittney is also responsible for spearheading the development of the Waste Management’s Asset Management Program, managing compliance approvals, and carrying out operational and capital construction projects across various active and closed landfill sites throughout the Region. 

Dr. Laura Hug is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Microbiology, Department of Biology, University of Waterloo. Dr. Hug’s research examines the diversity and function of microbial communities in contaminated sites using a combination of ‘omics approaches and enrichment culturing. Current research in her group is characterizing the microbial communities colonizing municipal landfills, with foci on methane cycling, bioplastics degradation, and community interactions. Dr. Hug is an Associate Director of the Waterloo Center for Microbial Research and serves as an Editor for mSystems and ISME Communications. Dr. Hug’s work has been featured in major news outlets including the New York Times, the Atlantic, Discover Magazine, and on Public Radio International’s “The World”.  





August 16, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
Event Category: