sustainability

SWANA SOAR Technical Conference, Kansas City

June 14, 2021

Join SWANA for SOAR, their new technical spring conference, Jun 14-17, 2021 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

SOAR stands for Sustainability, Operations, Action, Resources, and is convening to find technical solutions for resource management. For the first time, SOAR brings together professionals and experts from ALL disciplines of the resource management community, offering technical education, networking events, peer-to-peer learning and actionable, fact-based solutions to advance the future of resource management.

Built on the essence of SWANApalooza, driving the power and connection of the entire solid waste community, SOAR pulls from the best of SWANA’s technical conferences, and offers content tracks and symposia that will provide actionable solutions for your facilities. The conference is a must-attend event for professionals in

  • Landfill Gas & Biogas
  • Landfill Management
  • Waste Conversion & Energy Recovery
  • Sustainable Materials Management

Click for details and registration information

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

Family, Friends, and Community

December 11, 2020

At SCS Engineers, the enduring relationships with our customers, vendors, associations, and our communities foster a level of pride in our work that is immeasurable. At this time, we thank you for all you do to make our communities stronger, more resilient, and safer.

In recognition of our 50th anniversary, SCS donated $10,000 to each of the following outstanding organizations that make a difference for us all:

Environmental Research and Education Foundation: EREF funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for sustainable waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve.

Investing in education and high-quality research was paramount to Bob Stearns, one of SCS’s founders, who chaired the Environmental Research and Educational Foundation before his retirement and established the Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineers Master’s Scholarship. Those values continue, as does SCS Engineers’ partnership with EREF, with continued service on EREF’s Board of Directors via Jim Walsh, leadership on its Research Council through Bob Gardner (who chaired the Council in 2019), and ongoing support and participation by many SCS personnel in EREF research and educational initiatives. I can’t thank SCS enough for your tremendous support of EREF.

~ President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Bryan Staley

 

Center for Creative Land Recycling: At SCS, we’re proud that our services, vision, and corporate citizenship support community revitalization through brownfield redevelopment and land reuse. Land reuse has gained prominence as a vehicle for economic revitalization, environmental justice, climate mitigation, and equity. The Center for Creative Land Recycling is the leading national nonprofit dedicated to transforming communities through land recycling. This means converting abandoned or vacant commercial and industrial properties to assets that benefit the community, create jobs, and generate new tax revenues. CCLR helps by educating and convening communities, government agencies, and the private sector to create optimal conditions for reinvestment. Over the past 20 years, CCLR has assisted in bringing millions of dollars in grants to places across the U.S. and trained nearly 10,000 community-oriented specialists through our professional workshops.

Do you hear me screaming with joy here in New York? As Acting Executive Director, we cannot be more thrilled to have SCS celebrate your 50th anniversary with a gift to CCLR. It will be a long time before communities are no longer experiencing the repercussions of COVID-19, but CCLR and our partners are rising to the challenge in providing assistance where communities need it most. CCLR could not do its work without the support, encouragement, and engagement of many leaders and pre-eminent companies. SCS Engineers stands tall among them and CCLR is exceptionally grateful to SCS for its contribution and partnership in our mission of building healthy, equitable communities through redevelopment.

~ Acting Executive Director, Jean Hamerman,

 

U.S. Green Building Council: USGBC and its members are already the leaders in building sustainably. We believe that healthy people in healthy places is the fastest way to build a healthy economy. And the global pandemic has only made our beliefs that much stronger and our mission that much more vital. We don’t have to choose between public health and a healthy economy. The future will require both to thrive. That is why going forward; we will prioritize our efforts to build people’s trust that their spaces are healthy and have a positive impact not only on them but also on the economy at large.

The generosity of the employees and owners of SCS Engineers is sincerely appreciated, especially considering everything going on around us this year. At USGBC, we’ve taken the challenges in 2020 as an imperative for USGBC and LEED to go further and faster and your contribution will certainly help us accomplish this. We have been focused on our reimagined vision that healthy people in healthy places equals a healthy economy and we’re doing everything we can to bring tangible sustainability, health & wellness, equity and resilience solutions to the people, organizations and communities that need them.

~ Vice President of Membership, Sarah Karle

 

Waterkeeper Alliance: As the largest and fastest-growing nonprofit solely focused on clean water, Waterkeeper Alliance unites a global network of over 300 Waterkeeper groups protecting more than 2.5 million square miles of rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways on 6 continents. SCS Engineers performs environmental services with and for organizations across the U.S.

Your gift ensures a path toward achieving the United Nations’ 2030 goal of universal, equitable access to safe, affordable drinking water. That path: strengthening and growing local leaders equipped with tools to meet their communities’ need for clean and safe water. Thank you for your support and generosity.

~ New York Manager, Garrett Kim

 

Nature Conservancy: One of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world is working to conserve the land and waters where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.

Thank you! Your meaningful decision … has far-reaching impacts for conservation and our natural world. You can be confident that your gift … will be put to work to support our most important conservation initiatives.

~ Director, Dave Strauss


 

SCS is proud of the level of community involvement of our professional and technical staff in municipal governments, professional associations, charitable organizations, scholarship programs, mentoring programs, and similar endeavors.

 

We wish we could list every organization, but the following organizations do provide insight into our level of commitment and dedication to our communities. You’ve likely participated with some of these organizations, and some may be new to you. All of them have a powerful impact on the lives, health, and welfare of our communities, especially as we continue to fight the pandemic.

The Young Hearts Foundation: A wonderful organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people affected by life-altering illness or loss. Through raising funds for medical research, providing support for families affected, and raising awareness, Young Hearts strives to encourage a community of volunteers to better the lives of young people.

Feeding America: Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based agencies.

CalRecycle:  The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery brings together the state’s recycling and waste management programs and continues a tradition of environmental stewardship. SCSers donate their time for technical support, outreach, and education.

PPEDonation.com is a non-profit, all-volunteer project that helps get personal protective equipment to medical facilities. The PPE Donation Directory is a comprehensive national directory of healthcare facilities in need of the PPE that helps protect healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Habitat for Humanity: Habitat is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. We believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities.

Together We Rise: TWR works with thousands of volunteers, social workers, CASA advocates, and other partners to transform the way kids experience foster care. Their programs provide a way for people who cannot become foster parents to still have a meaningful and effective way to help children in foster care.

The Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin:  AROW is a non-profit association that provides statewide proactive leadership on waste reduction and recycling through education, advocacy, collaboration, programs, and services. SCSers serve on the board, on several committees, and donate funds to support our local partner during the pandemic.

Loaves & Fishes: L&F is a non-profit organization with roots going back 40 years. It’s grown from a simple soup kitchen to one of the leading providers of meals in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. “Last year, we served more than 1 million meals, almost twice as many as just a couple of years ago,” said Mauricio Cordova, Loaves & Fishes’ COO. “With the help of local restaurants, grocery stores, and others, we’re able to use the food they can’t use to feed residents in need. In our new building, we expect to increase capacity to 10,000 meals per day.” That’s sustainability in action.

The American Red Cross: Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education in the U.S. As an organization that also helps plan and respond to natural and disasters, we are there to support those who support so many.

 

From the Employee-Owners of SCS Engineers, Happy and Healthy Holidays to You and Your Families!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Sustainability in Solid Waste Management Webinar

September 17, 2020

The Virginia Recycling Association and SWANA are hosting Sustainability in Solid Waste Management webinar on September 17 from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern Time

2.5 CEUs

Speakers include:

  • Bianca B. Howard, Wake County: Talking Trash in a Post-Pandemic World: Delivering Environmental Education in Wake
    County
  • James Law, PE, BCEE, SCS Engineers: ISWA Organization Member Representative
  • Florentino B. De La Cruz, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering North Carolina State University: Effects of Food Waste Diversion on Leachate Quality
  • Dr. Bryan Staley, Environmental Research and Education Foundation: Using Life Cycle Assessment to Assess Material Recovery Benefits
  • Ernie Hoch, Draper Aden Associates: Zero Waste and Sustainability
  • Ryan Duckett, PE, SCS Engineers

REGISTER HERE

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 10:00 am

2020 A&WMA Virtual Conference Begins June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Air & Waste Management Association’s 113th Annual Conference  – “ACE 2020 Gateway to Innovation”, has been transformed into a virtual conference that will begin on June 30.

A&WMA’s ACE 2020 Virtual Conference will allow you to stay up to date on timely and critical topics – all within an online environment that can be accessed from anywhere. The same great information and knowledge in their technical program will be available, with enhanced online features that will allow you to connect with presenters, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.

The ACE 2020 Virtual Conference runs Tuesday, June 30 through Thursday, July 2 with an engaging lineup of scheduled live-streamed sessions each day and hundreds of on-demand presentations that will be available through June 2021.

The Virtual conference will include dozens of livestream events and presentations and numerous on-demand sessions, including the following by SCS professionals:

  • 809664 – Uncertainty EPA has Created with New NSPS XXX and Cf Rules, with Pat Sullivan Gabrielle Stephens, and Cassie Drotman
  • 796213 – An Overview and Next Steps for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, with Ray Huff, Cassie Drotman, and Haley DeLong
  • 799398 – Assessment of Factors that affect Hydrogen Sulfide Corrosion of Manhole Shafts, including Dr. Gomathy Iyer
  • 807200 – Air Permitting Challenges for the Commodity Fumigation Industry, featuring Jeff Marshall and Ryan Christman

Click for more information and to register

 

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am

Webinar: Sustainability & Urbanism in Los Angeles

June 18, 2020

Bisnow is hosting a webinar on “Sustainability & Urbanism in Los Angeles: How Coronavirus is Accelerating CRE Sustainability Trends across Los Angeles.”  SCS Engineers is a co-sponsor of the event.

During the Webinar, industry leaders will examine:

  • What steps are office owners taking to repopulate their assets as tenants return to work?
  • What are the impacts on sustainability brought about by the coronavirus and can new technologies solve for these?
  • LA Metro and other local public transportation are being used significantly less by Angelenos. How will this impact traffic patterns and the environment?
  • What is the current state of Los Angeles urbanism and — given the region’s inherent geographic sprawl — have recent events changed this at all?
  • What is the current state of equitable access to public open spaces across the Southland and what, if any solutions, do the panelists propose to increase these offerings?

The people, communities and cities that make up Los Angeles are preparing for life without shelter in place and the coronavirus and hoping to keep them in the rearview for the foreseeable future.

With offices and retail open once again and restaurants sorting out how to offer outdoor dining, questions linger from Venice to Eagle Rock. For the CRE industry’s sustainability and urbanism experts, the last few months have been difficult while the months and years ahead present an even greater challenge.

In the short term, the pandemic has been challenging for those trying to maintain sustainability goals and hit internal metrics — energy spikes, increased HVAC requests and intense chemicals have all become a part of the new norm. In the big picture, trends that were slowly showing up have now arrived including a push towards healthy buildings, low energy, increased interest in LEED certification and carbon neutrality.

Click for details and registration information

 

Posted by Laura Dorn at 2:30 am

EREF Celebrates 25 Years of Industry Research and Education

October 18, 2019

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.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:28 am

SCS Advice From the Field: How to Plan for Success and Become a Sustainable School

May 23, 2018

Setting up a school zero waste program takes time, patience, excellent collaboration and communication, and a team that wants to achieve the same goal of zero waste. Tracie Bills recommends a realistic approach in her article. She provides examples and describes how a consulting firms, such as SCS Engineers, assist schools without materials management programs to launch zero waste programs.

Building a successful program does not happen overnight, but you can do it!

Read the article.

 

Tracie Onstad Bills is  SCS Engineers Northern California Director of Sustainable Materials Management. She has over 20 years of materials management experience, including working for a hauler, a county government, and a nonprofit, and over 12 years of experience with materials management consulting firms. She has provided commercial sector materials flow assessments; organics processing research and analysis; waste characterization studies; and recycling, organics, and waste management technical assistance to government agencies, schools, multi-family dwellings, and businesses. Ms. Bills has an environmental science degree from San Jose State and is an instructor for the SWANA Zero Waste certification program.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am

SCS Sustainability Corner: Repurpose, Reuse, Upcycle

June 23, 2017

Everyone knows about recycling, especially if you work at SCS.  Many times, there are different ways that you can reuse those items for something else before, or instead of, getting rid of them.  Today, we are sharing easy zero waste tips to repurpose items you have around your house, rather than just tossing them in the recycle bin:

  • Magazines
    Roll up a couple of these and stick one into each of your calf- or knee-high boots so the footwear will keep its shape and save room in your closet.
  • Empty Paper Towel Rolls
    Flatten it, and use it to sheathe a knife kept in a drawer. Bonus health and safety points!
  • Small Glass Food Jars
    These make perfect see-through storage vessels for nails, screws, bolts, safety pins, paper clips, change… even small earrings or spare buttons.
  • Old Shower Curtains
    Stash one in your car’s trunk to line it when carrying potentially messy paints, plants, or picnic and beach gear during the summer.
  • Used Coffee Grounds
    Spread them over flower beds of acid-craving plants like azaleas or rhododendrons in your garden.
  • Plastic Tubs
    Keep the containers from your favorite yogurt, margarine, peanut butter, etc. so they can be rinsed and reused as a travel dish for pets, craft supply storage, or for storing leftovers and bringing your lunch to the office, instead of purchasing additional plastic storage containers.
  • Gallon Milk Jugs
    Cut off the top with a utility knife just above the handle and use as a scoop for kitty litter, bird seed, potting soil, etc.
  • Foam Packing Peanuts
    Put some in the bases of potted plants to help drainage.
  • Plastic Mesh Produce Bags
    Turn it into a no-scratch scrubber for a gunky pot or pan. Ball up the bag, scour, then throw the whole mess away.
  • Silica Gel Packets
    These can be used to keep moisture away from so many things. Put them in your car’s storage compartments to avoid mildew, in your toolbox to prevent tools from rusting, on windowsills in the kitchen to banish condensation, inside the drawer with your silver or jewelry box to slow down tarnishing, tuck a few into your luggage, boxes of holiday decorations, or in the box with your family photos to protect them from humidity and mildew.

Author: Jennifer Mancini

 

Zero Waste Services

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Sustainability Corner: Spring Cleaning!

June 7, 2017

The SCS Sustainability Committee has been monitoring processes within our offices to encourage recycling and sustainable behavior, seeking to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and align our company’s operations with our values.

Recently, the committee has been discussing ways that we can reach even further in our efforts and we thought we could use our blog to reach out to all of you and offer tips to encourage more sustainable practices you can use at home.  I would like to introduce you to a new section of our SCS Blog we are calling the Sustainability Corner!

We begin with Spring Cleaning!

Swap Household Cleaners – Switching to green cleaners reduces air pollution both indoors and out, minimizing exposure to asthma and allergy triggers, as well as chemicals that can be harmful to your health and have a lasting effect on the environment. Bonus wellness points!  Look for plant-based products from companies that have a complete list of ingredients on their labels.

Here is a list of commercially available products that you can easily find at stores like Target or Home Depot: http://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/natural-eco-friendly-cleaning-products-for-the-conscious-home

Make Your Own Cleaners – With just a few inexpensive ingredients, you can easily make your own natural cleaning products that will be safer for your children and pets:

  • All-Purpose Natural Household Cleaner
    In a spray bottle, mix 9 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. You can add a few drops of dish soap, as well. Add essential oils if you’d like to minimize the strong smell of the vinegar. Melaleuca oil or lavender can be used as a cleansing, deodorizing, and purifying agent.
  • Glass and Mirrors
    The windows in your home can be effectively cleaned with 4 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with a half-gallon of water. Other effective cleaners for glass and mirrors are rubbing alcohol and witch hazel.
  • Bare Floors
    Mix one cup vinegar with one gallon of warm water and use it to mop ceramic tile, linoleum, vinyl, or wood floors. There is no need to rinse afterward either, which saves time and water.  If it looks dull after cleaning, simply mop over it with club soda!
  • Bug Spray and Pesticide
    Prevention is your best bet to control pests. Keeping your kitchen crumb-free and sealing any holes in the walls or cracks in the foundation means you won’t have to use harmful chemicals in your home.  If you do require pest control, a solution of peppermint oil and warm water is a deterrent to mice, roaches, flies and fleas.
  • Microwave
    Fill a bowl with water and place it in the microwave for 5 minutes on high. The steam from the water will loosen any food particles. Spray with the all-purpose cleaner recipe above and wipe down. For deodorizing, mix 1/4 cup of baking soda in a bottle of water, shake well until dissolved, and spray the entire surface allowing it to sit for several minutes before wiping clean.
  • Stove and Oven
    Sprinkle baking soda over charred food and scrub with a wet rag. For stubborn areas, spray the all-purpose natural household cleaner above over the baking soda and allow it to sit for several minutes before resuming scouring.
  • Toilets
    The seat and outside of the toilet can be cleaned with the all-purpose spray recipe. Pour a half cup of baking soda in the toilet bowl, allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes, then spray with the all-purpose vinegar solution above and scrub with a toilet brush. For really dirty toilets, use up to 100% white vinegar.
  • Vinyl
    Dipping a cloth in lemon juice and rubbing it onto the stained area can remove stains on vinyl items such as recliners or tile flooring.
  • Furniture Polishing
    Mix two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice and apply it to your furniture using a soft cloth. When a hot serving dish or glass of water has marred the surface of a wood table, you can get rid of the mark by making a thin paste of salad oil or lemon oil and salt.  Wipe the paste on, and then lightly buff the area as you wipe it off with a soft cloth.
  • Metal Work
    Restore shine to tarnished copper or brass without any damage by making a paste of equal parts salt, vinegar, and flour. Rub the paste onto the brass or copper item with a soft cloth, let it dry, and wipe off the paste with a clean, soft cloth.

 

Author: Jennifer Mancini

 

Sustainability Services at SCS

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:41 pm

EREF Awards Twelve Master’s and Doctoral Scholarships, Including the Robert P. Stearns – SCS Engineers Master’s Scholar 2016

October 26, 2016

Last week the Board of Directors of the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) awarded the most scholarships in its history to Masters and Doctoral students across the United States and Canada.

Congratulations to each of the twelve recipients including Caroline Larose at the University of Michigan.

 

Caroline Larose, recipient of the 2016 Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineers Scholarship from EREF for her analysis of urban waste programs to promote and practice sustainability.
Caroline Larose, recipient of the 2016 Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineers Scholarship from EREF for her analysis of urban waste programs to promote and practice sustainability.

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.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:00 am