This week the solid waste industry is celebrating 25 years of valuable research, inspiration, and support of solid waste professionals provided by the Environmental Research & Education Foundation. On Tuesday, industry leaders met to recognize EREF’s impact on the solid waste industry and acknowledge the role stakeholders play supporting the Foundation and sharing the resulting research.
EREF is a trusted source of data-driven, empirical science for the betterment of solid waste management and policy informing industry, federal and state agencies, academics, and the public. The foundation is also a resource for students and young professionals in the solid waste industry, by providing scholarships, internships, and MSW eTextbook programs. These programs inspire young professionals and ultimately add to EREF’s research and the industry as a whole.
EREF receives funding and participation from companies such as SCS Engineers to continue new research and scholarship programs such as the Robert P. Stearns Master’s Scholarship. The foundation is remarkably successful in producing unbiased reports, which translate ideas and data into action for sustainable waste management practices.
Thank you and congratulations from your colleagues at SCS Engineers for 25 years of scientific research and educational initiatives for the benefit of our industry and the communities we serve.
Girish Kumar, Illinois Land of Lincoln Chapter, attending the University of Illinois at Chicago is the 2019 Robert P. Stearns – SCS Engineers Scholarship recipient. The SWANA scholarship is for students entering or already enrolled in a graduate program and pursuing a degree in environmental science, engineering, or other major related to solid waste management.
Kumar’s research offers an alternative to the conventional landfills in the form of bioreactor landfills, where the collected chemical liquid derived from waste degradation and other permitted liquids recirculate into the landfills. The recirculation systems enrich the moisture conditions and accelerate waste degradation, which is beneficial to enhancing biogas production and early waste stabilization.
Kumar works at the Sustainable Engineering Research Laboratory and the Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Engineering Laboratory, on a project to develop a practical and reliable coupled thermo-hydro-bio-mechanical model. The model can enable safe design and the operation of stable, effective and sustainable-engineered landfills.
Learn about this SWANA Scholarship and more.
Caroline Larose was awarded the Robert P. Stearns – SCS Engineers Master’s Scholar this year. Her project, “Material Flows: Strategies to Reduce Ann Arbor’s Municipal Solid Waste and Improve Diversion,” consists of a comprehensive benchmarking analysis of urban waste programs and a review of city stakeholders to distill a set of MSW management, education, and awareness best practices. Following her research, Caroline plans to draft recommendations for the City, which will include updated MSW goals and an action plan to improve diversion and reduce waste creation.
About Caroline Larose
Caroline chose to go back to school to further her pursuit of making cities more sustainable. She identified solid waste as her primary research focus and has worked towards her idea of eliminating waste as a concept. Caroline is now in her third year as a dual MBA/MS student at the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan.
Caroline works to promote waste reduction and diversion on campus and throughout the Ann Arbor community by advising the implementation of campus-wide composting and uniform bin signage, as well as by organizing events such as the first Ross School of Business Waste Audit & Education Day and annual clothing swaps. Caroline, a member of the University-wide Student Sustainability Initiative board, has served as the VP of Sustainability for the Ross Net Impact chapter for 2-years. As a result of her leadership on campus, Caroline was selected to join the Ann Arbor Resource Management Team, advising the City of Ann Arbor on how to reduce its solid waste and improve diversion.