solid waste management

SWANA WASTECON 2021, Orlando, Florida

November 1, 2021

Meet many SCS professionals at SWANA WASTECON 2021, which will be held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida (Orlando area), November 1-4, 2021.

SWANA’s WASTECON® helps public sector solid waste leaders and their teams plan sustainable futures for their communities.  WASTECON has been retooled into an enlightening and engaging executive-level event. The conference has been curated especially for solid waste leaders to immerse themselves in the latest executive topics.  Each solid waste leader contributes to this diverse learning and networking experience that makes this a truly unique industry event.

More details to be posted at the conference takes shape, including presentations to be delivered by SCS professionals.

For more information about WASTECON, visit WASTECON.org

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

WASTECON 2021 Virtual Event – Embracing Disruption

January 26, 2021

SWANA will host its annual national conference, WASTECON®, as a virtual event aptly called “Embracing Disruption,” January 26-28, 2021.

Not just the conference theme, embracing disruption is the future of our industry. The solid waste and recycling industry is being reshaped by powerful forces – fiscal uncertainty, a critical need for infrastructure investment; local governments pushed to engage in creative city-to-city and public/private partnerships in the absence of federal and state leadership, and the need to leverage technology to connect to our communities and customers.

“When we embrace disruptions, we can lean in and make decisions that help accelerate needed solutions and sunset legacy practices that can stand in the way of progress,” said SWANA Deputy Executive Director Meri Beth Wojtaszek. “This has some leaders replacing the phrase ‘before and after’ to ‘before and faster.’”

SCS Engineers is a Bronze-level sponsor of this conference.

Highlights

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021, at 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM (EST)
Keynote: Outside the Box: Reinventing Your Organization in Response to COVID-19 features a diverse panel that will share some innovative ways their organizations have responded and reinvented themselves to remain relevant during the pandemic. Three speakers provide perspective including, Carlton Williams – City of Philadelphia; James Walsh – SCS Engineers; John Brusa, Jr. – Barton & Loguidice

 

Thursday, January 28, at 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM (EST)
Keynote: Paying for Waste Services During the Downturn features a panel that will present options for financing solid waste operations during the economic downturn and ways to plan for the future. Economist Vita Quinn – SCS Engineers; John Chalmers – Baltimore City Department of Public Works; Kim Braun – Culver City, CA

 

Visit WASTECON.org for program updates and registration information as it becomes available.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

SCS Engineers Welcomes Maura Dougherty to Our Solid Waste Engineering Practice

January 5, 2021

FAST-41 permitting SCS Engineers

Maura Dougherty is joining SCS’s Southwest Business Unit as a Senior Project Manager in the solid waste engineering practice. Dougherty will execute engineering design, operations support, and construction quality assurance projects. She is responsible for project management, client service, business development, technical leadership, and overseeing professional staff teams. Dougherty reports to Vice President and Southwest Business Unit Director of Engineering, Vidhya Viswanathan, P.E., from SCS’s Pleasanton office.

“Maura is a senior professional with proven extensive success in solid waste engineering, construction, and construction quality assurance solutions,” said Viswanathan. “Her experience managing landfill and landfill gas collection and control system engineering and construction projects strengthen our efforts to support our solid waste and recycling clients.”

Dougherty is a registered Professional Engineer in California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. She brings over 20 years of experience overseeing landfill engineering and construction projects, coordinating with regulatory staff, conducting design and technical reviews, and supporting construction work. Dougherty earned her B.S.E. in civil engineering at the University of Princeton and her M.S. in environmental engineering from U.C. Berkeley.

 

Welcome to the SCS Team – Driven by Client Success!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Jeff Phillips Starts Sustainable Materials Management Position with SCS Engineers

November 30, 2020

SCS Engineers welcomes Project Manager Jeff Phillips to the Clive, Iowa office. Jeff works with a growing number of solid waste management clients interested in integrating sustainable materials management into their solid waste master plans. The practice is widely known as Integrated Solid Waste Management, ISWM.

Jeff Phillips comes to SCS with over two decades of designing and implementing ISWM programs. His expertise includes a comprehensive list of individual tasks and services, including facilitating strategic planning and consensus-building sessions, performing waste and recycling industry market analyses, developing and presenting comprehensive financial plans to solid waste agencies, identifying, authoring, and managing federal and state grants. He also designs, performs, manages waste characterization analyses, authors and produces videos for training and education purposes, and is involved in community outreach events for solid waste agencies, city councils, and the public.

“Jeff provides innovative approaches to develop and strengthen programs and operations in Iowa,” said Christine Collier, senior project manager. “He fits right into our SCS philosophy of ensuring client success.”

Jeff is an active member of the Solid Waste Association of North America and the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Operations, where he previously served on the Board of Directors and Conference Planning Committee. He earned a Bachelor of Arts, Geography, and Environmental Studies from the University of Iowa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:49 pm

Why is SCS Engineers dumpster diving in Wisconsin?

October 22, 2020

SCS Engineers, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – WDNR, is performing a waste sort to determine what’s in the trash going into Wisconsin’s landfills. During the waste audit, SCS will collect at least 200 samples of waste from 12 waste disposal sites across the state for eight weeks.

It’s a dirty job but yields information for economic analysis.

Solid waste, recycling, and diversion planners need to differentiate between the composition and sources of waste to appropriately manage recycling and diversion programs. These programs help citizens and businesses make the most out of their waste material and help control the cost of waste management.

Why not just landfill it?

Waste diversion can positively impact communities’ environmental health, reduce the potential for soil and water contamination, and conserve resources while reducing landfill operation costs. Municipal solid waste, called MSW, typically contains valuable materials. The cost of manufacturing using virgin materials increases, but technology creates new avenues for reusing materials formerly thrown away. The pandemic has influenced what we are consuming and where we dispose of wastes, from home or the office, influencing materials markets.

How is the data used?

WDNR uses the waste audit data to evaluate current waste diversion programs’ effectiveness to identify and quantify additional materials that Wisconsin could divert from its landfills and serve as a baseline to measure future efforts. By comparing the new data to a previous waste composition study, WDNR can measure the impact of existing recycling and hazardous waste management programs. The comparison further helps identify waste generation trends and how the waste stream is changing.

The waste characterization study separately analyzes the waste stream generated from various sources, including residential, industrial/commercial/institutional, construction & demolition. For solid waste, recycling and diversion planners, it is vital to differentiate waste sources to target programs properly.

All of this helps make recycling more effective and identifies ways to reduce and reuse a large percentage of what is landfilled.

There’s gold in them thar landfill hills.

Many items we throw away have continued value. Cell phones and electronics contain valuable materials, like gold, for example. Cardboard is exceptionally valuable now, as citizens and businesses are taking more deliveries at home. Organics such as food and yard waste can turn into compost. Aluminum and steel cans can be recycled over and over again to make new cans. According to the Aluminum Association’s Can Committee, making a new can from recycled aluminum takes 95% less energy and releases 95% fewer greenhouse gases than creating the same can without recycled material.

It all starts with the waste sort, waste characterization, and audit – which means dumpster diving!

 

We start with a pile of waste heading for the landfill, sort it, and take inventory. We don’t know yet if women are throwing out bras in response to working from home during the pandemic, but we’ll find it in the data if the correlation is there.

 

Betsy Powers is a Senior Project Manager and Civil Engineer in the SCS Madison, Wisconsin office. She has more than 22 years of civil and environmental consulting experience, including landfill design, permitting and construction, C&D and yard waste management, material recovery facility design and erosion control, and stormwater management. She serves on the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin Board of Directors. Betsy is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Keystone SWANA 2020 Election Results

October 5, 2020

Officers elected by Keystone SWANA members include two SCS Engineers' leaders.

Our congratulations to Keystone’s new Officers and Directors, including SCS’s Denise Wessels and Tom Lock.

 

President, Michele Nestor
Vice President, Denise Wessels
Secretary, Tom Lock
Treasurer, Matthew Foltz
Private Sector Directors: Jill Hamill, Carolyn Witwer
Public Sector Directors: Scott McGrath and Scot Sample
Young Professionals Director: Brandon Comer
Chapter International Board Member: Robert Watts

 

We thank you for your service and commitment.

 

The Solid Waste Association of North America – SWANA organization is comprised of public and private sector professionals committed to advancing solid waste management, safety,  and resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy, and research. Keystone SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications, and a large offering of technical training courses which in turn keep our communities and environmental resources healthier.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Rethinking Waste: The Global Resource Expo and Forum – On-Line

September 22, 2020

ISWA & WMW are presenting the complete keynote program for Rethinking Waste: The Global Resource and Forum online, September 22-23, 2020.

SCS Vice President James Law, is a confirmed speaker.  He will present on Closing Dumpsites, along with Sandra Mazo-Nix, Municipal Solid Waste Initiative Coordinator for the Climate & Clean Air Coalition.

The conference will feature several prominent industry experts who will cover topics ranging from waste management during Covid-19 to the role of waste-to-energy in the circular economy, marine plastics, the fourth industrial revolution, and much, much more.

The mission of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is to promote and develop sustainable and professional waste management worldwide.  WMW is Waste Management World.

Posted by Laura Dorn at 3:00 pm

VRA and SWANA Webinar: Strategies for Solid Waste Management

September 8, 2020

Sustainable Materials Management - SCS Engineers

In lieu of the 2020 Joint Solid Waste and Recycling Conference scheduled for October 28-30, SWANA is offering educational sessions as a webinar series with CEUs available from August through November. Register for just a few or pay one flat fee to participate in as many as you would like.

This week’s Webinar is on Thursday, September 10 at 10:00 am ET, 1 CEU.

Strategies for Solid Waste Management

  • Emerging Technologies: Overview and Peek Into the Future
  • Coastal Resources of Maine Mixed Waste Processing Facility
  • The business case for GHG Emissions Reductions via Efficiency in Solid Waste

Webinar Schedule and Registration

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 7:47 am

SCS Engineers Launches the SCS Learning Center – Strategic Planning for Financial Security

August 7, 2020

SCS Engineers is known for sharing best practices, and now we’re expanding our video library online in the SCS Learning Center. Our first video is for Solid Waste Managers and Departments struggling to keep their programs funded, especially recycling.

Strategic Planning for Financial Security is an educational video providing insight into the relationship between solid waste strategic planning and financial security. Less than 30-minutes and available for association events with Q&A.

The video discusses strategies that are useful when developing a business case analysis for SMM, recycling, or composting programs. The process also helps you identify opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs; design a Capital Plan and secure support for rate increases.

Moderated by Bob GardnerMichelle Leonard starts with an overview of the effect of the pandemic on recycling programs, state regulatory policy, and funding challenges.

Vita Quinn presents a financial modeling scenario employing financial modeling and solid waste facility software packages to help decision-makers visualize the impact of various alternatives on the planning process. The model is helpful when planning scenarios for budgeting and testing alternative outcomes regarding future solid waste policies, strategies, and funding.

The model is especially useful for cost-benefit analysis of alternatives, fine-tuning strategies as more detailed information and data become available, or when revenue streams or funding levels change following natural disasters, pandemics, market swings, or economic downturns.

Watch the video on the Economic Analyses and Modeling page – scroll down.

 

SCS Management Services® offers financial sustainability with preventative solutions and long-term financial management plans to public agencies facing environmental and market challenges, shifting regulations, and those aiming for new clean energy goals. Utilities and public-sector organizations provide life-sustaining services to their citizens and communities; providing these services while managing budget constraints; reporting, compliance, and operational challenges; and maintaining affordable rates. We support agencies and companies responsible for managing solid waste, stormwater, wastewater, brownfields-remediation, and energy programs that require integrated skill-sets and financial sustainability for optimal value.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Running Landfill Operations While Facing EPA Regulation Limbo, Staff Shortages, and Funding Dilemmas

August 3, 2020

comprehensive landfill permit-design-operate-build-monitor

Being a landfill operator or owner is a demanding job. Your position requires knowledge of engineering, biology, chemistry, business, technology, and psychology. Most people don’t realize the complexity of landfill operations and the systems, personnel, and equipment that keep everything in balance. That’s okay; it’s part of the job too. The public generates trash, and it is picked up, reused, recycled, or landfilled as communities dictate.

Right now, landfill operations are more challenging than ever – so we’re providing a bit of help from our SCS website library. We hope it helps, but you can always reach out to your project manager for additional assistance.

Strategies for EPA Regulation Limbo

Landfill owners and operators remain in a state of regulatory limbo. Some sites are complying with the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) under Subpart XXX and dealing with the duplicate requirements from Subpart WWW and other issues. Several states have approved Subpart Cf Emission Guidelines (EG) rules, so landfills in those states must begin to comply with those state rules. Several other states have proposed state plan approvals and could see approved EG rules issued soon, as in Virginia. When EPA issues the federal plan for the EG, all of the remaining landfills in states without approved state plans will have to start to comply. This will put all NSPS/EG-applicable landfills into the same boat with the existing Subpart XXX sites.  In addition, landfills are figuring out how the new National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) rule overlays on top of the NSPS/EG requirements.

During this period of limbo, where multiple overlapping regulations exist, certain public and private landfill owners within the solid waste industry have endeavored to take a unified and consistent stand on compliance strategies with guidance coming from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the National Waste and Recycling Association (NW&RA). Gabrielle Stephens, Cassandra B. Drotman, and Patrick Sullivan of SCS provide a regulatory update and compliance strategies in their paper Uncertainty EPA has Created with New NSPS XXX and Cf Rules

Staff Shortages and Funding Dilemmas

Many of our clients are in their annual budget period. Needless to say, nearly all municipalities have concerns about the upcoming fiscal year expectations and anticipated medium-term impacts of COVID-19 on local government operations and revenue streams. They have shared goals to:

  • Avoid municipal or utility service interruptions
  • Continue to provide services to customers who can’t afford to pay
  • Predict impact on property, earnings or sales tax revenues
  • Estimate changes in water usage or waste generation
  • Address the longer-term financial impacts of staffing changes, prolonged vehicle/equipment replacements, and postponing or increased borrowing for capital projects.

In response, our team of economists is helping our clients prepare for Fiscal Year 2020/2021, with a Micro-analysis for the near-term (1-2 year) budget/operational impacts. It’s free, and you’ll get results in 2-3 days.

SCS is offering free webinars to discuss revenue diversification alternatives, realistic cost projections, and funding opportunities. We will announce the first webinar in the next week, but if you’d like to get started now contact the  SCS Management Services® Lead here for a private session.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am