Data & Policy Projects & Reports

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Looking for EREF of Canada Reports? Click here to view the latest report on The State of Practice of Organic Waste Management and Collection in Canada.

Data & Policy Reports

This report provides an overview of Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) and review of recent studies related to solid waste management, a comparative assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil energy use associated with specific recyclable materials (e.g. paper, plastic, metal, glass) and key findings that highlight sustainability benefits and environmental burdens associated with different modes of collection and endpoints (e.g. landfilling, recycling, yard and food waste composting). More

This report summarizes the use of anaerobic digestion (AD) to manage MSW organics in the United States, and includes analysis of original data based on a comprehensive nationwide facility survey conducted by EREF. More

Roughly 220 million tons of MSW are landfilled each year, across 1,500 MSW landfills (MSWLFs). One metric for the cost of disposal is the gate rate or tipping fee, i.e. the amount charged per ton for disposal at the landfill. EREF routinely surveys active MSWLFs across the U.S. to estimate the average MSWLF tipping fee nationally, regionally and on a state-by-state basis. The primary goal of the study is to track changes in MSWLF tip fee, and explore the relationship between tip fee and MSW management practices. More

The Landfill Tipping Fee 2021 List includes a list of facilities and their associated tipping fees included in the 2021 MSW Landfill Tipping Fee Report. The list includes facilities that published information publicly or agreed that their information could be shared. The fees represent information collected from July-September 2021. More

In landfills, biogas production is the result of anaerobic degradation of organic wastes. The amount of degradable organic carbon (DOC) in landfilled organics (e.g. paper, food, yard waste, wood) dictates the amount of carbon available for conversion to biogas. When estimating emissions, guideline DOC values for MSW or total (bulk) waste are typically used. However, these guideline values may not be representative of landfilled waste stream(s), especially as MSW composition changes and as more non-MSW materials are accepted at MSW landfills. More

Estimates suggest nearly 7.8 billion injections occur outside of healthcare facilities each year, with the number of used needles disposed of in household garbage tripling from 2001 to 2011. When disposed of improperly, needles present a potential injury risk to waste industry workers, especially in MRFs where sorting recyclables can put employees in contact with sharps and, as a result, blood borne pathogens. Currently, data regarding the rate and extent of these injuries is limited. More

MSW Management Facilities in the U.S.

The MSW Management Facilities in the U.S. report provides a complete list of the 9,028 facilities (landfill, waste-to-energy, composting, MRF recycling and Non-MRF recycling) identified as managing MSW in 2010 & 2013. More

Current estimates of MSW generation, recovery and disposal in the U.S. vary greatly. EREF has used a facility-based approach in each state to investigate the amount of MSW materials generated in 2010 and 2013. More

Using a first-of-its-kind Life-Cycle Assessment model of biofuel production using MSW, this report includes an assessment of the environmental impacts associated with MSW conversion via landfill gas-to-energy, waste-to-energy, and gasification/Fischer-Tropsch. More

There has been an increasing trend to accept aqueous wastes at landfills in recent years, achieved through the use of bulking or solidification/stabilization (S/S) agents. The practices and strategies are generally developed on a case-by-case basis, and in some instances are viewed as proprietary. More

Current Data & Policy Projects

Waste Collection Vehicle Fleet Management and Maintenance Study

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is conducting a research project to better understand the size and maintenance of waste collection vehicle (WCV) fleets throughout the industry. The primary goal of this effort is to compile information that summarizes typical practices in waste collection vehicle (WCV) fleet management. More

Composting State of Practice

Knowledge gaps surrounding composting exist, including how widely available access is, total processing capacity in the U.S. and current challenges. EREF, in partnership with the U.S. Composting Council, have initiated a study to evaluate the state of practice of composting in the U.S. More

The solid waste and scrap recycling industry is tasked with managing a wide variety of waste and recycling materials. A portion of these materials are recovered and processed at material recovery facilities (MRFs) and scrap yards. While dealing with fires at solid waste management facilities or scrap yards is not uncommon, anecdotal evidence suggests that the rate of fires at MSW, C&D MRFs and scrap yards may be on the rise. This project aims to to compile data that summarizes the information about fires at MRFs and scrap recycling facilities and collection vehicles. More

The School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project (SCrAP) was developed by the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) – in collaboration with the School Nutrition Foundation and World Wildlife Fund – to quantify both food waste and related wastes (eg. recyclables, to landfill) generated in cafeterias at K-12 schools nationally. More

Management of leachate generated by municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills poses significant challenges to landfill operators. The goal of this project is to collect data from landfills across the U.S. that includes leachate quantity and quality, management practices (e.g., on-site and off-site treatment). More

This analysis examines the waste management sustainability policies set by state/local agencies, such as recycling and diversion goals. More

Improved tracking techniques, such as RFID, allow for analyses not previously possible. The objectives of this study are to develop a methodology to accurately calculate set-out and mass participation rates for micro-geographic units (e.g. census tracts, blocks). More

Using EREF’s database of MSW landfills, landfill gas collection and management practices are being inventoried. More

This project examines how Zero Waste and Zero Landfill are defined by the US EPA, individual states and other environmental organizations. An inventory of Zero Waste goal and policies will also be developed. More

The goal of this project is to develop a national inventory of recycling data related to the on-site recovery of materials in various sectors, the processes used to manage these materials and policy influences in material management decisions. More

To better understand the factors contributing to industry fatalities, an inventory of incidences and surrounding factors will provide insight and inform safety efforts (in partnership with NWRA). More

While waste composition is known to vary geographically, little information exists in a compiled format to directly compare state compositions and aid decision-makers when setting waste-related policies such as recycling and diversion goals. More

The goal of this project is to compare WTE and non-WTE states and communities in order to identify trends between WTE availability and recycling rate. More