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EREF Webinar – MRF Safety Overview and Current Research on Fires and Needlesticks

October 4, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

| $15

In the U.S., material recovery facilities (MRFs) employ roughly 20,000 workers. Workers face a number of potential safety concerns due to the nature of the work and the use of equipment like conveyors and balers. This webinar will present an overview of general safety issues, concerns and situations at MRFs. The webinar will also include discussion on trends in worker safety due to factors such as recent pressures to reduce contamination (i.e. China National Sword) and contaminants in the waste stream (e.g. batteries, electronics, household sharps). Speakers will share the results of two recent data collection efforts focused on high-profile safety issues: facility fires and needlestick injuries.


Upon completion of this webinar, the attendee will be able to:

  • List common safety concerns at material recovery facilities (MRFs) and their circumstances
  • Discuss current efforts to quantify and track fires at MRFs, factors contributing to facility fires and mitigation of risks
  • Describe the risk household needles present to MRF workers, and action MRFs are taking to address this risk
  • Understand how changes such as operating strategy, climate or policy can impact worker safety.
Bill for web

Bill Keegan
Dem-Con Companies, LLC

Bill Keegan is a registered professional engineer and president of Dem-Con Companies, a third-generation family-owned solid waste management and processing company. One of his responsibilities include the management of the Dem-Con Material Recovery Facility (MRF), which processes mixed commercial and residential recyclable wastes.  He has been in the solid waste industry for over 22 years and is active in several solid waste organizations including a current position as the chair of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association, board member of the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM), Minnesota Waste Wise Board Member; SWANA MOLO Instructor, and an instructor for the Minnesota Landfill Operator Training program.

Ryan for web

Ryan J. Fogelman
VP Business Development
Fire Rover, LLC

Ryan Fogelman, JD/MBA, is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for Fire Rover. Mr. Fogelman is focused on bringing innovative safety solutions to market. He has been compiling and publishing the “The Reported Waste & Recycling Facility Fire In The US/CAN” since February of 2016, the “Waste & Recycling Facility Fire Annual Report” and speaks regularly on the topic of the scope of fire problems facing the waste and recycling industries, detection solutions and early stage fire risk mitigation.

Debra for web

Debra L. Kantner
Data & Policy Program Director
Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF)

Debra Kantner is the Data & Policy Program Director for the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), where she performs state of practice research related to waste generation, disposal and recycling rates; and solid waste policy and technology. In this role, she works to disseminate findings from EREF’s data and policy analysis projects to advance sustainable waste management.

She holds B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in environmental engineering from N.C. State University and has completed graduate coursework in Biological, Agricultural and Environmental Engineering. Her research interests include recycling and diversion policies, organics management, and life-cycle assessment.


October 4, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Category:


EREF Education Program
(919) 861-6876