- The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) announced it raised more than $1.6 million through silent and live charitable auctions at this year's WasteExpo event, held in early June at the Las Vegas Convention Center
- The auctions — which were also available for participation online through mobile and online bidding — allowed participants to bid on everything from bins to trucks to outings with industry CEOs. The silent auction raised more than $51,000, while the live auction brought in more than $1.5 million.
- The money will go toward supporting research and educational initiatives for waste management practices. More than $62,000 will go directly to scholarships and internships for students looking to enter the solid waste field.
The auction floor was lively and energetic as WasteExpo attendees enjoyed drinks, snacks, and a chance to win valuable equipment and experiences with industry influencers. EREF even raised money by raffling off a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with $100 tickets. Through EREF's efforts this year and in years past, it has raised a total of $17 million for continued education and research in solid waste management.
"Thank you for all those who supported the EREF auction," said EREF scholar Nicholas Hotzelt in a statement. "Every pledge, donation and contribution benefits the foundation and gives students like myself an opportunity to pursue research that can benefit the waste industry."
Hotzelt, who receives funding for his Masters research on landfill leachate at Clemson University, is just one of many scholars who has benefited from the money raised at these auctions. Another EREF scholar Dr. James Levis developed a life cycle analysis tool called SWOLF that is allowing companies and municipalities to optimize their solid waste life cycles.
As of March, EREF has 10 interns and 14 intern alums; of those 14, 78% are working in solid waste.