The Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste, hosted by the University of Florida College of Engineering in Gainesville, receives funding from the state legislature to “coordinate and engage in research, training and service activities relating to solid and hazardous waste management issues,” according to John Schert, executive director. “We receive research ideas from all over the country, publish requests for proposals, and provide grants to study different waste management problems.”
Often, the center consults with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Tallahassee, on research topics. And when the issue of how to dispose of CCA-treated wood arose, the FDEP asked the center to put the issue on its agenda.
“Initially, the center funded our research as a one-year project,” says Timothy Townsend, a key project researcher and associate professor with the University of Florida, Gainesville. “Now we’re starting our sixth year of research, which certainly says something about the state’s commitment to figure out the best way to manage the material.”
Patricia-Anne Tom is Waste Age's managing editor.