This research agenda provides a list of topics for researchers to consider in submitting proposals to the Hinkley Center. The list presented below is organized with broad topic headings, and with detailed suggestions below each topic. Each year the Center asks solid waste professionals to identify research topics that may be suitable for a research project. A list of all the research ideas which were submitted during the survey process can be found on the Center’s web site. The Hinkley Center is issuing this Research Agenda in the hopes that it may assist researchers with their efforts to identify suitable topics for next year’s research projects. Researchers are encouraged to view the Center’s web site to see research that has previously been funded. The Center welcomes the submittal of research proposals on topics that are not on this list.
Please note: the Hinkley Center will not fund a proposed research project simply because the research topic was included in this Research Agenda. The Hinkley Center evaluates the proposals that it receives each year and then determines whether, and the extent to which, funds will be provided to proposed projects. The decision to approve or reject a proposal depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to: (a) the merits, timeliness, and relevance of each research topic and proposal; (b) the amount of funds available for funding new projects; (c) the number and cost of the research projects that have been proposed; (d) the research projects that already are underway or have been completed; and (e) whether the proposed topic and proposal will help the Hinkley Center advance its overall mission. The Hinkley Center has the exclusive authority to evaluate and weigh each of these factors, based on its sole discretion, in light of the facts known at the time when the proposals are evaluated. Consequently, the Hinkley Center may provide funds for research topics that are not included in this Research Agenda and the Hinkley Center may reject proposals that are based on one or more of the topics included in this Research Agenda.
1. Investigate, develop, and test various methods and processes to improve the operation of bioreactor landfills.
Coal Combustion Residue (CCR)
2. Implications of the proposed USEPA Coal Combustion Residue rules on the management of these materials in the State of Florida.
3. Evaluation of exposure to coal combustion residues (CCR) during disposal and reuse options (e.g, metals and radiological parameters)
4. Evaluation of the performance of engineered components (e.eg, leachate collection system) in CCR monofills
Construction and Demolition Debris (C&D)
5. Investigate the presence/concentrations of landfill gas (methane, H2S, etc.) at C&D landfills. Although the presence of H2S at C&D landfills has been well documented, information regarding methane generation and subsurface migration at C&D landfills has not been widely studied. Conduct field studies at existing C&D landfills to collect subsurface gas readings. Consider using laboratory simulations to investigate landfill gas generation from C&D waste.
6. Evaluate the use of waste asphalt roofing as fuel pellets or binder for asphalt pavement. Research beneficial uses for asphalt roofing.
7. In an effort to enhance recycling of C&D debris, develop, test, and validate methods for the use of C&D debris as an additive to asphalt mix designs.
8. Enhance understanding of factors related to the fate and transport of iron, arsenic, and manganese, specifically regarding the presence of these metals downgradient of waste disposal facilities, with an emphasis on identifying regional geologic and hydrologic factors. Sample upgradient and downgradient of a parking lot to determine if the shadow effect occurs at non-disposal locations. Further research is requested to evaluate natural (e.g. natural attenuation) or engineered approaches (in situ fixation) to reverse or remediate elevated groundwater levels of these constituents with time and/or distance.
9. The State of Florida has set the goal of achieving 75% recycling by 2020. Research is needed on the economic and policy impacts of public and private entities working to achieve this goal, addressing the true resources that must be developed to achieve this recycling goal in the state. The research should address the materials that should be targeted and the processing facilities needed to achieve the goal, the policies and practices that must be implemented by local governments in support of the 75% recycling goal, and the economic costs and benefits to the state of achieving 75% recycling, including quantitative analysis concerning subsidies and funding that may be needed to achieve the goal.
Solid Waste Management
10. Evaluate improvements in management of municipal stormwater wastes and develop a practical user’s guide for waste managers.
11. Investigate the types of solid waste appropriate for the biochar process and research the impact on carbon sequestration. Evaluate use of biochar as a soil amendment, and its potential impacts to human health and the environment due to leachability or other exposure pathways.
12. Investigate effective methods to recycle, reuse, and dispose of Class III waste. Develop management methods to process Class III waste and maximize recycling and reuse.
13. Update the Florida Waste Composition Calculation Model (WasteCalc), a tool to estimate the composition of municipal solid waste generated in Florida counties. The update should include inputting data collected from county waste composition studies conducted in small, medium and large counties, as well as obtaining data from recent county waste composition studies conducted by others.
14. Investigate existing and potential reuse of recycled screen material (RSM) and evaluate the human health and environmental effects of reuse options.
15. Evaluate options for marketing mulched yard waste or develop beneficial reuse alternatives.