Grants Program

The EREF is the only private, grant making institution with a national and international scope whose sole mission is to support solid waste research and education initiatives. Our research grants program is led by our Research Council, a body of volunteers consisting of technical experts in industry, academia and consulting. The work of the Council is guided by a long range strategic plan with the goal to achieve greater sustainability, good environmental stewardship, higher process efficiency and increased knowledge. Council recommended projects are then reviewed by our Board’s Projects Committee for a final review and funding allocation. Non-research oriented projects are reviewed and recommended to the Projects Committee by technical staff.

EREF Research Council

The EREF Board of Directors (BOD) has recognized that while Board members are very familiar with the solid waste industry, many may not necessarily be technical experts. Thus, the Research Council was formed as a sub-committee of technical experts to assist the BOD in funding high quality research projects and identify industry research needs. Although the Research Council has technically been in existence since 2007, Council members have noted previous attempts at organization had a number of apparent issues, specifically:

  • a lack of definitive structure
  • over burdening Council members with too many proposals over too short a review period
  • an inefficient or vague review format and proposal rating system

During the December 2008 Board of Directors meeting, the EREF technical staff was asked to prepare a report proposing how the Research Council would function. In consideration of this, it quickly became evident that the Research Council should be a primary and integral component of the entire research program if it were to be successful and have the necessary structure desired by the Board.

Thus, re-structuring the Research Council also required re-structuring the EREF research program. As a result, a framework was established with the Board of Directors providing strategic guidance and the Research Council providing technical guidance. The goal of this framework was to provide a detailed protocol for proposal submission, review, recommendation and funding. In addition, appropriate mechanisms were established for ongoing project review and assessment of completed projects and the structure and governance of the Research Council were materialized. All primary elements of the proposed structure were reviewed and approved by the Research Council and the EREF Board of Directors in mid-2009.

Current Research Council Members

Current Research Council members are listed below.

  • Craig Benson (University of Virginia) - Chairman
  • Roger Green (Waste Management) - Vice Chairman
  • Morton Barlaz (North Carolina State University)
  • Garth Bowers (Cornerstone Environmental Group)
  • Greg Cekander (Waste Management, Inc.)
  • Marion Crest (Suez Environment (France))
  • Kirk Ellison (EPRI)
  • Marcos Elizondo (WCA America)
  • Jeff Fantell (Joyce Engineering)
  • Benjamin Gallagher (Southern Company)
  • Bob Gardner (SCS Engineers)
  • Tej Gidda (GHD)
  • Scott Grieco (O’Brien & Gere)
  • Alan Kirschner (Brown and Caldwell)
  • Ken Ladwig (EPRI)
  • Brian Martz (Republic Services)
  • Shawn McCash (Progressive Waste Solutions)
  • Steve Menoff (Civil & Environmental Consultants)
  • Michael Michels (Cornerstone Environmental Group)
  • Rafic Minkara (Headwaters)
  • Andy Nickodem (Golder)
  • George Paturalski (Environmental Solutions Group)
  • David Pepper (Waste Industries)
  • Pieter Scheer (Smith Gardner, Inc.)
  • Kurt Shaner (Waste Connections)
  • Stacy Smith (Smith Gardner, Inc.)
  • Bryan Staley (EREF)
  • Kevin Torrens (Brown and Caldwell)
  • Michael Van Brunt (Covanta)
  • Jay Warzinski (Advanced Disposal)
  • Steven Wilsey (GHD)
  • Jeff Young (Weaver Consultants Group)