Wastes and Toxics

ERG provides a full suite of services to help clients design, implement, and assess strategies and programs to prevent, reduce, and manage wastes and toxic releases. Our engineers and scientists characterize solid and hazardous wastes, conduct solid waste audits, and evaluate diverse technologies to inform site-specific remediation strategies. Their cutting-edge research and technical support on emerging issues includes PFAS investigations in all media and substrates. They also evaluate industrial processes and products to identify toxic releases and associated human and environmental exposures. To help clients understand options for reducing the volume and toxicity of waste streams, our engineers and life cycle analysts assess alternative manufacturing processes; identify green engineering, green chemistry, and treatment technology options; and evaluate recycling and end-of-life management strategies. Complementing this work, ERG program development and outreach specialists support government agencies in designing, implementing, and managing voluntary green purchasing, recycling, and waste reduction programs. For clients interested in understanding the value of regulatory or voluntary efforts, ERG economists evaluate the cost-benefit of waste or toxics management, reduction, and prevention programs.

Hazardous Waste
  • Hazardous waste characterization
  • Evaluation of hazardous waste treatment technologies
  • Pollution prevention assessments and feasibility studies
  • Identification of emerging hazardous waste issues and trends
  • Risk-based targeting at the sector and facility level
  • Hazardous waste regulatory development and analysis
  • Waste management guidance and training
  • Hazardous waste program evaluation
  • Groundwater research 
Solid Waste
  • Solid waste characterization and waste flow assessments
  • Life cycle analyses
  • End-of-life management evaluations
  • Solid waste audits
  • Recycling program design and implementation
  • Outreach, promotion, and education
  • Data analysis, performance metrics, and tracking
Toxic Substances
  • Industrial process analysis
  • Identification of chemical releases and occupational exposures
  • Chemical release modeling
  • Exposure assessments and modeling
  • Fate and transport assessments and modeling
  • Screening-level risk assessments
  • Risk and hazard ranking tool development
  • Green engineering, green chemistry, and Design for the Environment (DfE) analyses
  • Economic assessment of supply chains associated with chemical manufacturing, processing, and use
  • Market data collection and analysis


4 photos showing discarded food
Updating EPA’s Wasted Food Report

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Photo of many OECD member country flags on the face of a building
Analysis of International Toxics Inventories

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

photo of a dump truck hauling gravel through a quarry
Support for Addressing Environmental Impacts of Mining and Mineral Processing Facilities

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

photo of a chemical facility
Support for Existing Chemical Risk Evaluations

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Photo of smoke stacks at coal combustion residual facility
Data Analyses and Inspections of Coal Combustion Residual Facilities

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

photo of hazardous waste barrels, containers, and old tires
Ensuring RCRA Compliance at Industrial and Disposal Facilities

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Graph image of EPA's Waste Food Scale
Using Life Cycle and Circularity Assessments to Understand Environmental Impacts of U.S. Food Waste Management

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

photo of a pile of broken concrete slabs
Tracking Material and Waste Flows Through the Economy

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

bar chart showing landfill emissions from 1990-2020
Understanding Methane Emissions from U.S. Food Waste

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

worker in a sea of blue chemical storage barrels
Support for New Chemical Premanufacturing Notice Reviews

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

photo of stacked storage barrels in a warehouse
Economics Analysis of Reporting Requirements Under the Toxic Substances Control Act

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

photo of bicycles parked outside an office building
University Campus Sustainability Plan

Medium-sized public university

Digital ad photo for Recycle Smart showing a woman thinking about whether a pizza box is recyclable. Use the Recyclopedia to check what you can and can't recycle.
Recycle Smart MA

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Photo of people in yellow protection suits over contamination barrels
Site-Specific Technical Support for Addressing Groundwater Contamination

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Photo of a molten metal pouring from a smelter
Groundwater Contamination at Smelter Sites

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Photo of a review booklet cover, EPA, Enhanced Aquifer Recharge of Stormwater in the United States: State of the Science Review
Enhanced Aquifer Recharge of Stormwater: State of the Science Review

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Three slides from the fotonovela "INVENTARIO DE EMISIONES TÓXICAS DE LA EPA (TRI): La Familia Díaz se Entera que Tiene Derecho a Saber Acerca de las Sustancias Tóxicas en Su Barrio." The slides show a family talking to each other while hanging out at a local playground near an industrial facility.
Raising Awareness of Toxic Chemicals in Environmental Justice Communities

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

photo of webpage showing pollution prevention environmental justice facility mapping tool
Targeting Grant Efforts to Communities with Environmental Justice Concerns

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Photo of person sitting in front of a computer with a phone headset
Expanding EPA’s P2 Hub Helpline to Support P2 Grantees

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Presentation slide: Building a Circular Economy for All: Stakeholder Engagement and Feedback May 2022
Support for Design of EPA Solid Waste and Recycling Grant Programs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

REI Chart
Recycling Economic Information Report

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Photo of scrap cars awaiting recycling
Helping Border Communities Manage Scrap Vehicles

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Worker wearing a gas mask and visor inspects machinery in an industrial setting
Assessing Chemicals of Potential Concern Under TSCA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Three cylindrical power transformers suspended atop a utility pole
Economic Analysis to Support Final PCB Phase-Out

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Large stacked bales of compacted trash
MSW Characterization

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Service Area Leads

Shanika Amarakoon

My lived experience as an immigrant raised in a rural community showed me the importance of engaging disparate voices in developing sustainable solutions to address our most pressing environmental challenges. Now, as an environmental engineer and policy analyst, I am grateful that I can apply my experience to support a broad range of meaningful work, including advancing a circular economy, supporting a just transition, and leading ERG’s environmental and climate justice solutions practice.

Shanika Amarakoon

Photo of Sam Arden

Solving today’s complex environmental challenges is a daunting task. It requires the delicate balancing of many competing factors, from cost and convenience to public health protection and resource allocation. At ERG, I am fortunate to be able to work on projects that get to the core of this balance, surrounded by clients and colleagues who are equally passionate about finding mindful, objective solutions for our complex world.

Sam Arden

Photo of Erica Barth-Naftilan

I find it motivating to be working at a time of both genuine need for better understanding human impacts on the environment and the emergence of tools and technologies that allow us to process data and understand the world like never before. I’m always excited to learn new skills and better ways to address complex problems.

Erica Barth-Naftilan

Julie Blue Bio

I feel fortunate to work with so many dedicated researchers at EPA and other agencies on remediating contaminated water sources, adapting to climate change, and providing decision-support in related areas. While my particular expertise is groundwater, I’ve had the opportunity to lead projects in urban planning, coral reefs, climate change resilience, emergency response, stormwater, modeling, and more. Multi-disciplinary approaches are helpful for tackling all these issues, and I’m always learning.

Julie Blue

Photo of John Carter

In my experience, effective climate action requires invested leadership, multidisciplinary expertise to address all sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and equitable stakeholder engagement to guide and successfully implement new policies and strategies. I have had the pleasure of managing several climate action plan projects, guiding both municipalities and universities through the process of developing and implementing their unique plans, and I’m proud of the positive benefits those plans have brought to stem the effects of climate change.

John Carter

Sarah Cashman

Increasingly, organizations are applying life cycle assessment to learn how they can most effectively reduce the environmental footprint of their products and processes. I take great pride in contributing to techniques and open-source databases that help move the science of LCA forward and facilitate access to more robust, current, and regionalized public life cycle inventory data.

Sarah Cashman

Photo of Susan Day

I always appreciate when our government clients ask us to help them quantify the benefits and costs of actions they are considering. The more complex assignments, such as accurately characterizing behavioral changes under multiple compliance scenarios, put a premium on our creativity and experience.

Susan Day

Photo of Anna Dimling

Growing up on a farm and showing livestock competitively sparked my passion for environmental advocacy. My greatest professional joy has been finding creative ways to collect, organize, and visualize complex data sets to translate how toxic exposures and releases affect our communities and the environment.

Anna Dimling

Photo of Laura Harwood

ERG’s commitment to respect, kindness, and compassion has given me an incredible foundation to serve our clients and help preserve the environment to the best of my abilities.

Laura Harwood

Photo of Daryl Hudson

The synergy between my enforcement and chemical evaluation work is invaluable. Because of the overlap, I routinely apply my skills and knowledge from one field to the other. This makes my work more efficient and enables me to approach it more holistically.

Daryl Hudson

Photo of Cheryl Keenan

Sustainability has been a central theme throughout my career. As an engineer, I particularly enjoy crafting approaches and tools to efficiently reduce chemical and energy inputs, guided by lessons learned from sustainability initiatives worldwide.

Cheryl Keenan

Dena Krichinsky

Each year, Americans generate millions of tons of waste and consume increasing amounts of resources. Educating and helping the public and organizations learn how they can reduce, reuse, and recycle has been a major focus of my career. I take great satisfaction in applying my extensive waste reduction knowledge to help my clients design and implement strategies to reduce the impact that waste has on the U.S. environment.

Dena Krichinsky

Photo of Sean Layton

I deeply appreciate that I have been able to combine my love of the outdoors, desire to help others, and engineering background into a career dedicated to protecting the environment and human health from toxic chemicals. Collaborating with similarly passionate colleagues and clients has only added to the joy of my work.

Sean Layton

Photo of Susan McClutchey

I came to ERG an optimist with a thirst for learning, collaboration, and problem solving. Reflecting on my years with ERG, while progress may be incremental, I have found that the benefits of our work are irrefutable. My optimism for the future remains intact and stems from having colleagues and clients who are relentlessly dedicated to improving the world for every person in it.

Susan McClutchey

Photo of Mike McFadden

Through my experience operating water systems, I have come to appreciate how dedicated utility staff are to ensuring that communities have safe drinking water. Whether I’m providing technical assistance or conducting a compliance inspection that may call out an issue, I have great respect for all who strive to protect human health under whatever site-specific challenges they may be working with.

Mike McFadden

Photo of Will Morgan

Environmental science—especially figuring out how and where chemicals move through the environment—is continually challenging and endlessly fascinating. It’s extremely rewarding to know that our work helps protect human health and make sites safer for future generations.

Will Morgan

Photo of Joy Onasch

I am driven to apply pragmatic, preventive approaches to preserve and protect our environment for the next generation. I enjoy seeing project results that lead to improved worker health and safety and a cleaner environment.

Joy Onasch

Photo of Matt Pasquali

My passion for tackling environmental and social issues related to the circular economy stems from my belief that we all have an active role to play in protecting our environment and advancing toward an equitable future for all. Now more than ever, we must focus on circular economy policies and zero waste planning that will help build a more sustainable and resilient future.

Matt Pasquali

Diana Pietri

Designing equitable solutions for sustainable environmental conservation and management efforts is a constantly challenging, rewarding endeavor. I love collaborating closely with our clients to develop strategies that promote environmental and climate resilience and justice—including evaluating environmental program effectiveness and identifying innovative best practices for coastal and ocean planning.

Diana Pietri

Photo of Neil Rapp

The amount and variety of waste generated across all industries is mindboggling, and its mismanagement has far-reaching consequences for both individuals and our society. I enjoy the challenge of working with EPA and regulated companies to help address environmental issues and ensure that industrial facilities are compliant with hazardous waste regulations. I am proud that this work helps improve the health and safety of our communities and the environment.

Neil Rapp

Kurt Rindfusz

Bringing regulators and the regulated community together, educating them on each other’s concerns, and helping to find environmentally preferable and economically feasible solutions are some of the most enjoyable parts of my work.

Kurt Rindfusz

Photo of Jason Rose

Until recently, we have too often taken an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” approach to waste disposal and overlooked the connection between surface and ground water, leading to contamination and depletion of both. We have to climb out of this history of environmental exploitation to a path of sustainability. I enjoy all my work to help get us there, including groundwater remediation, reducing sanitary sewer overflows, ensuring proper operation of injection wells, aquifer storage and recovery systems, and design of new water production wells.

Jason Rose

Photo of Amy Rowland

Working in the service industry for nearly a decade showed me how much waste society throws away every day. Unfortunately, there is as no such thing 'away' and 'waste' is not just waste—it intersects with geopolitics, environmental justice, public health, climate, and much more. To create systemic change, we must find effective ways to channel our vision for circularity into developing and implementing practical evidence-based solutions.

Amy Rowland

Photo of Jason Sese

Development of innovative assessment tools and methods is essential for protecting human health and the environment. At ERG, I’m excited to be at the forefront of these advancements.

Jason Sese

photo of Michelle Spiezio

My experience has taught me that engineering and environmental protection go hand-in-hand. They do not need to hinder each other, but rather should work synergistically to continuously improve our world and the environment we live in.

Michelle Spiezio

Photo of Alex Swain

My passion for protecting the natural world stems from a childhood spent enjoying the outdoor expanses and natural beauty of Colorado. Now, I channel that passion into developing innovative approaches for collecting and analyzing large environmental datasets to help address many of the most pressing environmental challenges we face today. I am incredibly fortunate to collaborate with amazing colleagues and clients in pursuit of creative solutions for monitoring and protecting our environment.

Alex Swain

Photo of Mary Ellen Tucillo

Staring out of an airplane window not long after my first geology course, I was amazed at how the landscape features jumped out at me. I saw clearly how river flow, sediment, and time had interacted. That wonder is still with me as I apply what I know about geology and geochemistry to protect our nation’s groundwater, drinking water, and infrastructure. My work is diverse, and I like it that way because it allows me to bring a deep understanding of the earth and environmental sciences to a wide array of subsurface and surface environmental problems.

Mary Ellen Tuccillo

Joe Watson

I find that field work is the best way to understand compliance issues. By seeing process operations firsthand, we can help EPA get to the root of issues and support the agency in determining the best ways to minimize waste generation and disposal across industrial sectors.

Joe Watson

Photo of Ben Young

Both companies and the public sector have to assess environmental tradeoffs in the face of limited resources. LCA is a great tool for assessing those tradeoffs and making choices consistent with values. By generating high-quality public data and LCA tools, we provide the underlying data necessary for effective decision-making.

Ben Young