Municipalities and their private sector partners will experience high costs, especially in residential collections to cover all of the costs incurred as workers transition to working from home. FEMA can help protect public health and safety by committing to cover the costs of essential services provided that aren’t paid by the service recipients.
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) have both sent letters to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor requesting that the agency establish a system to compensate the waste and recycling industry for providing services to protect public health and safety that otherwise would go unpaid during the COVID-19 outbreak.
NWRA says it also shared copies of the letter with Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the nation’s COVID-19 response task force, and the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery, which has oversight of FEMA.
Solid waste management is identified as an essential critical infrastructure workforce in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) March 19, 2020 memo, and has been listed as essential in every emergency order issued at the state level in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in city and county responses as well.
“Providing these essential services to those unable to pay as a result of economic hardships caused by COVID-19 while continuing to employ the workforce needed to support such an effort will require assistance,” NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith writes in the NWRA letter.
“Since both the public and private sectors collect and manage solid waste and recyclables, SWANA’s letter asserts that all sanitation departments, haulers, and post-collection companies providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic without being paid for them should be eligible for reimbursement,” said SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman.
Darrell Smith points out that FEMA can establish a vehicle under disaster debris management plans or by other alternative direct compensation means as selected by the agency to compensate the waste and recycling industry for providing uncompensated services to protect public health and safety during this time of national emergency.
Both NWRA and SWANA specifically ask for funding to cover services provided in the U.S. related to customer bad debt and other uncompensated costs incurred for services being provided to the public during the national emergency.
Despite the many impacts on our lives right now, our thanks go to the many public and private solid waste management employees, and organizations such as SWANA and the NWRA, for continuing to serve our communities to keep them clean and safe nationwide. Solid waste management is definitely an essential service on the frontline.
Visit SCS Engineers’ booth and meet our professionals at the WIRMC conference, February 26-28, at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.
On the agenda Thursday, February 27th
TRACK SESSION I – 10:50 – 11:50 am
Landfill Storm Water Runoff Update with Betsy Powers of SCS Engineers.
Stormwater runoff performance criteria and modeling assumptions for Wisconsin landfills have recently been evolving. A review of the permitting approach by USEPA and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has resulted in changes in policy that are intended to ensure consistency with the federal Clean Water Act and NR 151 performance standards. Betsy will discuss WDNR’s current position on the performance criteria applicable to landfills, how this changes the stormwater modeling approach and the impacts on landfill design features. WDNR waste management and stormwater program personnel are working together to ensure a standard approach to stormwater runoff design criteria and modeling assumptions for landfills. She will provide an update on this continued work, and will also touch on stormwater permitting requirements for borrow sites; WPDES Tier II Industrial Storm Water General Permitting, such as
TRACK SESSION II – 2:30-3:30 pm
Changing Old Habits: Improving Solid Waste Management in The Gambia with Chris Jimieson of SCS Engineers, John Welch of Dane County, and Kaba Bah of the UW Madison Space Science & Engineering Center.
Building a better solid waste management infrastructure is a top priority for the City of Madison’s sister city, Kanifing, in The Gambia. The Midwest Gooh Group, LLC, which was formed by 3 local Gambians who want to help their home country, received a grant from the United Nations Development Program to travel to The Gambia this summer to assess the current Bakoteh Dumpsite, perform a high-level evaluation of a new site for a potential sanitary landfill, and conduct more than 20 meetings with key stakeholders. Learn about this eye-opening experience and how the Wisconsin solid waste community is partnering with The Gambia through the Midwest Gooh Group to bring it closer to a more comprehensive solid waste management program. Attendees will see photos of solid waste management in The Gambia, understand the challenges they face, and learn about the potential solutions on the horizon.
This conference is jointly hosted by AROW, SWANA, and WCSWMA, and is celebrating its 20th year facilitating collaboration among professionals from all aspects of the solid waste and recycling industries.
Voting for the Old Dominion Chapter’s 2020-2021 Board of Directors ended December 13, 2019. After tallying the votes, the following professionals were elected as new Directors, including:
Ryan Duckett is a Project Professional working out of SCS’s Midlothian, Virginia office. He is responsible for Sustainable Materials Management, or SMM, solid waste facilities and municipal planning solutions. Ryan also supports environmental engineering projects related to permitting, compliance, regulatory reporting, landfill gas modeling, construction quality assurance (CQA), and pollutant emission inventories at solid waste management facilities. Ryan is an active member of the SCS Engineers Young Professional Program that connects our young professionals with others providing community support, altruistic efforts, mentoring, networking, and social activities.
Virginia’s Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) organization works to advance environmentally and economically sound municipal solid waste management in Virginia. The “Old Dominion” Chapter as it is known consists of over 300 professionals actively working in the solid waste field throughout the Commonwealth. The membership represents the largest cross-section of solid waste managers, operators, and consultants in Virginia.
The Chapter seeks to foster networking and cooperation among solid waste professionals, including regulators and provides educational opportunities to enhance members’ expertise in the solid waste management field. Members carry out a variety of activities and programs to establish innovative research programs in the publics’ interest, scholarships and technical assistance. Learn more about membership on their website – http://www.swanava.org/.
ISWA, a worldwide organization, promotes and develops professional waste management to protect human health and the environment as well as to ensure sustainable resource management.
The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) General Secretariat announced the reelection of James Law for a second term as a board member representing the Organization Members of ISWA. His second term begins on October 6, at the ISWA General Assembly held during the 2019 World Congress in Bilbao, Spain. He is currently the Chair of the ISWA Working Group on Landfill and the Task Force on Closing Dumpsites Initiative as well.
Mr. Law has been a member of ISWA for 11 years. He became active after attending a World Congress conference in Singapore as a presenter and a trainer at the Landfill training workshop on how to use HELP modeling. “I love to attend and network at the annual World Congress, it is such a rewarding and educational experience with the world top experts in waste management and sustainability,” said Law.
James Law, PE, BCEE, LEED AP BD+C, SC, IWM, and SCS Engineers’ National Expert for Geotechnical and Landfill Engineering, has over three decades of engineering and management experience in geotechnical engineering and subsurface soil investigation – exploration programs (including landfill slope stability, embankment and MSE Wall evaluations), solid waste management, landfill engineering, and closure design. Mr. Law’s solid waste management experience also includes landfill gas collection and utilization as alternate energy expertise.
He has a commendable public-service record and contributes widely and regularly to industry associations and non-profits holding the International Status certification as an International Waste Manager by ISWA. James Law is recognized globally for his work toward the remediation and closure of open dumps; imperative to mitigate the impact on the environment and adverse effects on public health.
Law co-authored an ISWA publication on “The Roadmap for Closing Open Dumpsites,” released at the 2016 World Congress in Novi Sad, Serbia and has been involved in ISWA’s ongoing campaign to close the world’s 50 largest dumpsites ever since. ISWA and its national member, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) work together along with other global organizations such as Climate Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) on this globally significant movement.
Law regularly speaks and publishes papers at national and international conferences, as well as serving on the Editorial Board for the ISWA WM&R publication as a reviewer and author. His recent editorial article on “ISWA’s Closing Dumpsites Initiative: Status of Progress” co-authored with Dave Ross was published in the 2019 WM&R publication, Volume 37 (6).
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.
SCS Engineers’ Associate Professional, Lindsey Carlson recently coordinated a cleanup on the Beaver Dam River in Wisconsin. The cleanup is a part of the mission of Living Lands and Waters to clean the nation’s major rivers and watersheds. The Adopt A River Mile program enables people to support the mission in their own communities. SCS Engineers joined other members of the SWANA Badger Chapter, the Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin, and five members of the Beaver Dam community. SCS’s Adam Gorski and Phil Gearing are shown removing a tractor tire and other debris here.
Phil called the experience “a great time and very fulfilling.”
While getting wet and muddy, the team picked up trash and debris that filled one 5’x8’ utility trailer plus two pickup truck beds – that’s about 8 cubic yards for those not in the waste management industry 😉
The trash included a tractor tire; about seven car tires; an aluminum truck topper; an office chair; two bicycles (one still ridable); a motorcycle helmet; at least 15 feet of culvert piping; about 10 trash bags full of plastic bottles and other lightweight garbage; and quite a few other miscellaneous items.
Lindsey served as a volunteer on Living Lands and Waters’ barges during a week-long cleanup in Memphis in 2017, and “that’s how I came to know and become passionate about their cause,” she says.
Contact Living Lands and Waters to clean up your mile of river. Every mile makes a difference to help watershed conservation efforts in your community. Imagine the impact thousands of volunteers of all ages, willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty are making. Thank you!
NWRA, SWANA, NERC, and ISRA jointly developed the “Think Twice” poster to help communities and individuals recycle materials in safe and appropriate ways. The poster is free and allows users to add their own website URL to provide more useful information.
Ask SCS about waste characterization, education, and outreach programs.
The SWANA Keystone Chapter has elected Tom Lock of SCS Engineers as Secretary of the Chapter. Tom assumed his new position following the Board of Director’s meeting on September 6, 2018.
Tom continues to provide leadership and representation for the waste management industry and in the use of renewable energy resources such as landfill gas and solar in the region. In his new position, he is responsible for keeping full minutes of all proceedings of the Chapter, its members, directors, and committees, and maintaining Chapter records. Tom will issue notices required by law and SWANA bylaws, prepare and submit required annual, periodic or special reports, and shall perform other duties as requested by the Board of Directors. He is a SWANA member of over 25 years and regularly participates in regional and national conferences.
Tom, a Project Manager for SCS Engineers, has three decades of experience in environmental field services and project management, with an emphasis on waste industry operations and maintenance. He manages the SCS Engineers Harrisburg office and coordinates with the firm’s offices and operations nationwide. Lock’s expertise is in Operations, Maintenance, and Monitoring (OM&M) of environmental control systems. His work involves OM&M of renewable energy resources such as landfill gas using a sophisticated collection, monitoring, and reporting system SCSeTools®.
Our congratulations to Tom and the other newly elected officers.
See you in Nashville! SCS Engineers