Environmental Protection

SWANA Foundation Releases Research Reports

The Solid Waste Association of North America's (SWANA) Applied Research Foundation (ARF) recently released five new research reports from FY 2008. They are:

• "Curbside Collection of Residential Food Waste"

• "Benchmarking of Solid Waste Collection Services: FY 2008"

• "Waste-to-Energy and the Solid Waste Management Hierarchy"

• "Benchmarking the Performance and Costs of MSW Landfills"

• "Long-Term Environmental Risks of Subtitle D Landfills"

"The Benchmarking of Solid Waste Collection Services: FY 2008" report was developed by the Foundation's Collection Research Group. The report represents the second output of a multi-year, sustained effort to address the industry's need for meaningful and comparative benchmarking data of collection services.

The Waste-to-Energy Group developed the "Waste-to-Energy and the Solid Waste Management Hierarchy" report. This report presents the environmental benefits of waste-to-energy systems as determined an environmental life cycle assessment model developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Based on EPA's research, it recommends that the agency adopt a new 'systems-based' hierarchy that places waste-to-energy-based systems on the top tier. The report also includes an assessment of waste-to-energy as a renewable energy alternative.

The Disposal Group released two reports for FY 2008. The first report, "Benchmarking the Performance and Costs of MSW Landfills," presents summaries and analyses of benchmarking data on the management and operation of MSW landfills. The second report, "Long-Term Environmental Risks of Subtitle D Landfills," represents a compilation and analysis of recent and historical research publications on the actual long-term environmental risks associated with Subtitle D landfills and suggests management alternatives that can be used to manage and minimize these risks.

"The Curbside Collection of Residential Food Waste" is a research memorandum was developed in FY08 by the Foundation's Recycling Research Group. The memorandum provides solid waste recycling managers with up-to-date technical and programmatic information regarding the curbside collection of food waste from residential customers living in single-family households.

"The publication of these timely reports is made possible by the support and involvement of the 34 member organizations of the SWANA Applied Research Foundation. The solid waste managers who represent these organizations are experienced, knowledgeable, and visionary leaders who identified the research topics, guided the research, and reviewed these reports prior to their publication," said Jeremy O'Brien, P.E., director of Applied Research.

The goal of the Applied Research Foundation is to support SWANA's mission of 'advancing the practice' by conducting collectively-funded research on pressing solid waste issues that are identified and selected by the foundation's subscribers. Solid waste organizations have the opportunity to support and participate in the foundation's research activities by becoming subscribers and contributing a "penny a ton" for the waste they manage on an annual basis. ARF subscribers receive research products from all research groups free of charge.

Four of the five reports are available for purchase at www.SWANAstore.com. The research memorandum on the "Curbside Collection of Residential Food Waste" is free to SWANA members at www.swana.org.

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