The California Integrated Waste Management Board awarded a contract to the California Council on Science and Technology to appoint an independent panel of experts to assist the Board in identifying its science and technology research priorities. The panel was charged with identifying research priorities to implement all tiers of the integrated waste management hierarchy, and to develop a ranking system by which specific research concepts could be evaluated for funding.
The independent panel conducted six working meetings, and provided outreach opportunities by organizing two research input forums, gathering information from other state and federal agencies, local government, industry, public interest groups, and the research and academic communities in support of its work. Forum participants were invited to submit a written report of their comments and a copy of their view graphs. This forum material has been compiled and published in a separate Appendix to this report.
- The single most important requirement for research expenditures is that the limited Board funds be used for new and significant studies. To avoid repeating past errors or prior research, special efforts are required at all steps of the review process to evaluate published work.
- In addition to the specific research recommendations outlined in this report, the Panel suggests that an innovative research program be undertaken, modeled after similar programs that have been operated successfully by other mission-oriented research agencies.
- Least cost should not be the primary determinant for the selection of research projects. It is essential to assign very high priority to investigator competence to assure excellence and reliability for any and all research performed for the Board.
- It is strongly recommended that Board awards for research be restricted to California individuals and organizations.
- The use of standardized definitions and methodologies in waste characterization are essential in developing an effective research program.
- Modeling of the integrated waste management system at appropriate levels of detail will be of use to the Board in decision making. Research is recommended to develop user-friendly models for Board applications.