"This year's symposium was a great success, with a 35-percent increase in participation from the prior one," said Mark Hickey, market leader of the Waste Industry Group. "We look forward to continuing to grow this biennial event in 2016," according to a news release.
More than 100 oral and poster presentations were held during the three-day conference. The sessions showcased both applied and fundamental research and case studies concerning waste management.
The event's Award Committee reviewed all of the presentations and selected eight winners to receive a monetary prize and top honors.
In the category of "Oral presentations (non-student)," first place went to Florentino De la Cruz of North Carolina State for his presentation titled, "Chemical Changes during Anaerobic Decomposition of Lignocellulose under Mesophilic and Thermophilic Conditions." De la Cruz's talk was part of the Anaerobic Digestion session of the event.
Second and third place in the non-student category went to Nicole Berge, University of South Carolina (for participation in the Emerging Contaminants session) and Kevin Torrens, Brown and Caldwell (for participation in the Leachate Treatment session), respectively.
In the category of "Student oral presentations," Stephanie Bolyard of the University of Central Florida took the top prize for her presentation on "Pump and Treat Aerobic Flushing Bioreactor Landfill" (which fell within the Bioreactor Landfill session).
Second and third place in the student category went to Phillip Pressley, North Carolina State (for participation in the Thermal Processing of Waste session) and Paige Wilson, Colorado State (for participation in the Anaerobic Digestion session), respectively.
Two awards were also announced for poster presenters. Debra Kanter was awarded first place for her poster on "Definitions Matter: Understanding State Recycling Goals and Assessing their Achievability." Second place went to Mohan Dangi, California State-Fresno.
"We celebrate these individuals whose wonderful work is furthering scientific innovation and technology within our industry," Hickey said.
"The GWMS event is one of the largest technical conferences on solid waste in the U.S.,” said Bryan Staley, President of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) and co-chair of the GWMS Technical Committee. “This year we had the highest number of presentations since the event began in 2008, over 100+, and there were a lot of very good talks. I congratulate this year's winners!,"