THE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND Education Foundation (EREF), Alexandria, Va., has awarded approximately $762,000 in research and education projects and $48,000 in scholarships in 2003, to the waste industry's benefit.
For example, in April, the Interstate Technologies and Regulatory Council's Alternative Landfill Technologies Team, Washington, D.C., received $60,000 to develop a technical and regulatory guidance document on alternative, final landfill covers, according to EREF.
Additionally, in August, Michael Sander, a Ph.D. student at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., was awarded $36,000 through the Francois Fiessinger Scholarship to study chemical engineering and research soils. Throughout 2003, the EREF also has funded studies on bioreactor landfills, ergonomics and projects to reduce transport-related accidents.
To support its generous “spending habits,” the EREF holds an annual waste equipment auction at WasteExpo, held in New Orleans in 2003. The event grossed $713,590, according to Michael Cagney, EREF president and CEO. Two golf outings, hosted by Republic Services Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Allied Waste Industries, Scottsdale, Ariz., raised $153,000. And EREF's capital campaign, “Building a Legacy,” raised more than $8 million between June 1999 and June 2003.
EREF wants to continue improving waste management techniques. For example, the foundation is seeking to develop a computer-generated, lifecycle cost model that would help cities decide what portions of the waste stream should be recycled, incinerated or landfilled.
“This model will help take the politics out of garbage. It's a logical way to deal with solid waste,” according to Cagney.