waste management

February 28, 2024

Join SCS Engineers at the 39th Annual Northwest Regional Symposium!

The Beaver Chapter of SWANA is happy to announce the return of the 39th Annual Northwest Regional Symposium, taking place May 1st – May 3rd, 2024, at the historic McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon. This years theme is Innovation: Shaping the Future of Materials Management.

Throughout the Symposium, participants will be able to engage in discussions, collaborative sessions, and hands-on workshops aimed at driving positive change and fostering innovation in the field of materials management. From exploring emerging technologies to addressing environmental challenges, the Symposium provides a holistic perspective on the evolving landscape of waste management and sustainability.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the field, this symposium offers invaluable insights, resources, and opportunities to stay ahead of the curve. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a transformative experience in materials management!

Click here for more information and registration details.



Posted by Brianna Morgan at 10:16 am

February 13, 2024

Hear from SCS Engineers experts at the SWANA Northwest Regional Symposium on May 1 – 3, at the McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon. SCS is a sponsor of the symposium and will have a booth! Come by to talk with our experts!

The program theme this year is Innovation: Shaping the Future of Materials Management, envisioning a future that promotes innovative practices for materials management. The event is planning to host the usual Wednesday evening social and golf tournament as in previous years. The Thursday night social event will be Wild Bill’s Casino Night.

The symposium attracts a large number of professionals and operators, representing public and private sector organizations from throughout the Pacific Northwest. It includes a mix of interesting presentations on important industry topics and fun events for relaxing and socializing. It also provides an excellent opportunity for vendors to exhibit their businesses and interact with potential clients.

Click here for schedule, registration, and other conference details.



Posted by Brianna Morgan at 1:50 pm

February 8, 2024

SCS Engineers is an exhibitor of the SWANA- Georgia Chapter 2024 Spring Conference at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA, March 18 – 20.

The conference will have informative technical sessions with continuing education opportunities, a vendor trade show, a golf tournament, a fun run, a trail maintenance service project, a Young Professionals axe throwing event, a Membership Networking Event, a clay shooting event (“Buzzard Shoot”) and a Casino Night reception for all to enjoy.

Click here for schedule, registration, and other conference details. See you there!


Posted by Brianna Morgan at 10:46 am

January 29, 2024

Join SCS Engineers professionals at the Recycling Association of Minnesota/SWANA Annual Conference, April 2-3 at the Mystic Lake Center in Prior Lake, MN.

The RAM/SWANA Conference & Show is the premier recycling and waste management conference in the Upper Midwest. This is a great opportunity for professional development, networking and on-site tours.

Click for more details and registration information

Posted by Brianna Morgan at 11:18 am

January 19, 2024

Hear from SCS Engineers experts at the SWANA Western Regional Symposium on May 20 – 23, at the Palm Springs Hilton Resort in Palm Springs, CA . SCS is also is a sponsor of the symposium.

The symposium is the premier professional meeting for solid waste, recycling, composting, and organics management professionals. The program is slated to cover dozens of topics ranging from Circular Economy, ZeroWaste, Recycling Markets, Organics Policies and Programs, Infrastructure, SB 1383, Advanced Technology, Facilities (Landfills, Transfer Stations, Processing Facilities) and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn, connect and engage within the industry.

Numerous SCS Engineers experts will be on hand to discuss your solid waste management challenges, and several are presenting at the symposium, including:

Patrick Sullivan presenting on “New Emission Inventory Requirements in California” [Tuesday, May 21, Track 2, 10:15 am – 11:30 am]

Michelle Leonard speaking on “Edible Food Recovery: A Regional Approach to Connecting Food Generators and Food Recovery Organizations” [Tuesday, May 21, Track 3, 10:15 am – 11:30 am]

Kelli Farmer discussion “Cross-Generational Dialogue on Professional Perspectives” [Wednesday, May 22, Track 1, 10:15 – 11:30 am]

Click here for schedule, registration, and other conference details. See you in the desert!



Posted by Brianna Morgan at 9:14 am

December 22, 2023

The Air & Waste Management Association is hosting its 117th ACE Conference, June 24-27, at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The theme is “Emissions Reductions for Sustainable Energy Futures”

SCS Engineers is planning to host a booth – so swing by and talk with our air and waste management experts!

The Canadian Prairies region is a fast-growing area with many important exports including oil and gas, agriculture, and timber. In addition, this region spans many latitudes and encompasses many biomes including Grassland, Parkland, Foothills, Boreal Forest, Rocky Mountains, and the Canadian Shield. With this diversity in ecosystems and major exports comes a plethora of challenges. A calculated balance between resource development, social responsibilities, and environmental stewardship is needed; this makes the region a hotspot for emissions reductions and technological innovations.

Calgary is excited to host ACE 2024, bringing industry, academia, and policymakers together so that we can learn, collaborate, and most importantly, improve environmental knowledge and decision-making in this unique landscape which is at the forefront of global change. Alberta’s industries are constantly adapting, creating and incorporating new technologies for responsible and sustainable development, with a focus on renewable and alternative resources. The global community will find Calgary, Alberta, and Canada a nexus for emerging ideas, innovations, and solutions in the field of environmental stewardship that are applicable worldwide.

Online registration is now open! View the Conference Schedule and start planning your week!




Posted by Laura Dorn at 1:43 pm

November 30, 2023


Waste Management & Research (WM&R) is offering a selection of papers published in WM&R covering a range of relevant state of the art developments in emission reductions. They supplement  recent developments with important publications that elaborate on related matters and contribute to making the case for a sound waste management that expressly and substantially supports reduction and control of GHG emissions. We hope that academic researchers and practitioners alike will benefit from this offer. 


COP28 Waste & Climate Virtual Issue is offered for a limited period of time free access to papers as fundamental points and to support decision makers on the importance of sound waste management and circular economy practices for controlling humanly-induced climate forcing.


The first paper in the line-up,  The impact of landfill management approaches on methane emissions is co-authored by Heijo Scharff, Hun-Yang Soon, Sam Rwabwehare  Taremwa, Dennis Zegers, Bob Dick, Thiago Villas Bôas Zanon, and Jonathan Shamrock.

ABSTRACT: This article reports on how management approaches influence methane emissions from landfills. The project team created various landfill operational scenarios for different regions of the planet with respect to waste composition, organic waste reduction and landfill gas recovery timing. These scenarios were modelled by applying a basic gas generation model according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations. In general, the IPCC’s recommended modelling parameters and default values were used. Based on the modelling undertaken, two options stand out as being the most effective methane mitigation measures in a wide range of conditions throughout the world: (a) early gas recovery and (b) reduction of the amount of biodegradable organic waste accepted in a landfill. It is noted that reduction of organic input to any given landfill can take many years to realize. Moreover, suitable alternative processing or disposal options for the organic waste can be unaffordable for a significant percentage of the planet’s population. Although effective, organic waste reduction cannot therefore be the only landfill methane mitigation measure. Early landfill gas recovery can be very effective by applying basic technologies that can be deployed relatively quickly, and at modest cost. Policymakers and regulators from around the globe can significantly reduce adverse environmental impacts from landfill gas emissions by stimulating both the early capture and flaring and/or energy recovery of landfill gas and programs to reduce the inflow of organic waste into landfills. [CIT]


Meet Co-Author Bob Dick: Bob is a Senior Vice President and the Business Unit Director of SCS Engineer’s Mid-Atlantic operations, stretching from Maine to South Carolina. He is also one of our National Experts on Elevated Temperature Landfills. He has over three decades of experience on civil and environmental engineering projects related to solid waste management, and has performed landfill and landfill gas engineering projects (design, permitting, construction, and operations) in more than 15 states and several foreign countries. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Virginia and North Carolina, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE), and a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.

Bob has also directed and completed numerous project assignments related to solid waste planning and facility projects which have involved residential and commercial collection and recycling programs, as well as convenience centers, composting facilities, and material recovery facility design, permitting, construction, and operations consulting. He has authored several publications and made numerous presentations on air quality, solid waste management, landfill engineering and LFG management/control, design/operations, GHG emissions, composting, and regulatory compliance.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:19 am

April 5, 2023

SCS Engineers
Ensure your investment in the most appropriate, sound strategies.

WM and SCS discuss how they are working toward improving sustainability in the waste industry. These landfill systems are improving connectivity, mobility, and visualization by using data science to facilitate better decisions.


David Hostetter from SCS Engineers and Dennis Siegel from WM (Waste Management) join Inductive Automation to talk about the unique processes and challenges within the waste management industry, from residential to the engineering and life cycles of landfills. They discuss how operational improvements in this essential service and its environmental footprint are making the industry more sustainable. They dive into the 24/7 maintenance and monitoring of landfills, adjusting to changing conditions in real-time, reducing cost, generating renewable energy, improving the health and safety of operators, and being proactive in a changing world. These landfill systems, such as WM’s Connected Landfills are improving connectivity, mobility, and visualization by using data science to facilitate better decisions.


Visit the SCS RMC site. Learn more about Sustainability in Waste Management.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:02 am

September 27, 2021

Waste characterization studies help businesses, government planners, haulers, and recyclers understand what’s in their waste streams, a first step in devising ways to reduce waste and cut disposal costs.


Recently the state of Wisconsin released its updated 2020-2021 statewide waste characterization study. The study found that the broad organics category, including yard waste and diapers, accounted for about 1.3 million tons. An estimated 924,900 tons of paper, including cardboard, compostable and office paper, comprised about 21 percent of the landfills’ tonnage. That was followed by plastic at about 17 percent or 745,600 tons.

You can read the study, but why do local governments, states, and waste management businesses request these studies? Because waste and landfills are expensive to manage. Diverting waste from landfills cuts greenhouse gases and supplies materials for reuse as new products or compost – a more sustainable system.

Waste characterization information is designed for solid waste planning; however, anyone interested in the characteristics of the solid waste stream may find it useful. Studies can also target specific waste or needs such as construction and demolition waste and business waste generators. A generator means a person, specific location, or business that creates waste.

These studies help start answering questions such as:

  • How much wasted food could be diverted for consumption or organics management?
  • How is COVID impacting recycling and recycled material feedstocks?
  • Which business groups dispose or recycle the most tons, and what materials make up those tons?
  • What is the commercial sector’s overall waste composition for disposal and diversion streams?
  • What are the detailed compositions for different groups or generators?
  • How much building debris is mixed in, and what kind of impact does it have?

States, jurisdictions, citizens, and businesses can use this information as a planning tool to help meet state mandates and their goals to reduce waste and achieve the benefits of sustainable practices. Kudos to Wisconsin, Iowa, and California, several of the many states moving toward more circular waste management!




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

August 13, 2021

Leading environmental engineers, consultants, and contracting firm in the U.S.
Tom Conrad, Bob Stearns, and Curt Schmidt were the founders of SCS Engineers in 1970.


The International Awards Committee and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Board of Directors unanimously voted to honor Tom Conrad, the “C” in SCS, with the Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award at WASTECON 2021 in November. The Lawrence award is the highest accolade SWANA bestows on a member of the waste management industry, reserved for those making meaningful and lasting contributions.

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected for the Robert L. Lawrence Award. I thank you and am especially thankful for what SWANA and SCS are today,” stated Tom Conrad.

SWANA recognizes Conrad for over 60 years of significant influence on the waste management and environmental services industry. Conrad, a Founder, Executive Vice President, and Director Emeritus of SCS Engineers, dedicated his career to advancing solid waste management, most notably through the founding of SCS Engineers (Stearns, Conrad, and Schmidt Consulting Engineers) more than 51 years ago.

Tom Conrad worked on a wide range of environmental engineering projects touching almost every aspect of solid waste management throughout his career.  As an environmental engineering firm and consultant to the newly created US Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the founders recognized that responsible solid waste management was increasingly important for protecting the environment and the health and safety of the general public.

Leading SCS, he helped the EPA develop the first federal regulations for sanitary landfills, managing and capturing landfill gas, waste sorting protocols, sludge management, and land remediation.

Environmental services, including wastewater management, were always a significant part of SCS services and the waste industry. When new regulatory policies began expanding in the ’80s, SCS’s techniques, technology, and expertise helped a broad range of industries comply with environmental needs and continues today with the firm’s greenhouse gas, landfill technology, renewable energy, remediation, and sustainable materials management programs.

Conrad is also known for hiring and mentoring today’s SCS leaders, many of whom are SWANA leaders, by creating and fostering SCS’s culture encouraging employee participation in industry associations, community, and SCS’s mentorship and leadership programs.


Leading environmental engineers, consultants, and contracting firm in the U.S.
SCS’s current executive leadership and SWANA members, Bob Gardner (Solid Waste), Jim Walsh (CEO), with Tom Conrad, and Mike McLaughlin (Environmental Services).


Before his retirement in 2016, Conrad held professional engineering licenses in 24 states. He was a member of SWANA, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Waste and Recycling Association, and the Society of American Military Engineers.

He maintains his “work hard – play hard” lifestyle. He is active at SCS, participating in Board of Director meetings and speaking at the Young Professionals Group events and celebrations. While no longer mountain climbing and biking cross-country, he has a vigorous walking, swimming, and biking schedule.


An icon at SCS Engineers and at home, Tom is not slowing down – he has more playtime now!


Congratulations, Tom!








Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am