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

Morton Barlaz, North Carolina State University

Mike Beaudoin, Republic Services

Craig Benson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Garth Bowers, Tetra Tech

Jennifer Bowyer, Tetra Tech

Alex Bryan, Environmental Solutions Group

Greg Cekander, WM

Eric Chiado, Civil & Environmental Consultants

David Cieply, Interstate Waste Services

Ryan Duckett, Geosyntec Consultants

Marcos Elizondo, GFL Environmental

Kirk Ellison, EPRI

Jeff Fantell, LaBella Associates

Jim Frey, RRS

Ben Gallagher, EPRI

Bob Gardner, SCS Engineers

Tej Gidda, GHD

Roger Green, WM

Rob Holmes, Tetra Tech

Chad Ireland, WSP

Jenny Johnson, LaBella Associates

Rutu Joshi, Watershed Geosynthetics

Alan Kirschner, Brown and Caldwell

Bryan Largent, Interstate Waste Services

Julia Mangin, Recology

Tony Maxson, Weaver Consultants Group

Steve Menoff, Civil & Environmental Consultants

Andy Nickodem, Civil & Environmental Consultants

Samuel Nicolai, Casella Waste Systems

Brian Parker, Environmental Solutions Group

Tony Pelletier, GFL Environmental

Debbie Reinhart, University of Central Florida

Mark Santella, WIN Waste Innovations

Allia Saydjari, WIN Waste Innovations

Pieter Scheer, Smith Gardner, Inc. – Chair

Bishow Shaha, Geosyntec Consultants

Kurt Shaner, Waste Connections

Dylan Smith, Waste Connections

Elizabeth Smith, Recology

Stacey Smith, Smith Gardner, Inc.

Bryan Staley, Environmental Research & Education Foundation

Kevin Torrens, Brown and Caldwell

Nevzat Turan, Weaver Consultants Group

Michael Van Brunt, Covanta

Dave Vladic, Republic Services

Steven Wilsey, GHD

Jeff Young, Weaver Consultants Group

Ming Zhu, Watershed Geosynthetics