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General Information
The Cornell Waste Management Institute serves the public through research, outreach, training, and technical assistance programs in solid waste disposal, management and planning.

   
History
The Cornell Waste Management Institute (CWMI) was established in 1987. CWMI addresses the environmental and social issues associated with waste management by focusing University resources and capabilities on this pressing economic, environmental and political issue. Through research, outreach and teaching activities, CWMI staff and affiliated researchers and educators work to develop technical solutions to waste management problems and to address broader issues of waste generation and composition, waste reduction, risk management, environmental equity and public decision-making. The focus for such work is on multidisciplinary projects that integrate research and outreach.

Research
CWMI promotes research on all aspects of solid waste management. One particularly important function of the Institute is to enable experts from various fields to collaborate on the interdisciplinary problems that characterize waste management.

Among the current areas of research are composting as a component of integrated waste management; assessing the benefits and impacts of agricultural application of sewage sludges, manures, and fertilizers; and source reduction.

Outreach
Major goals of the CWMI outreach program are to improve the ability of local officials, businesses and the public to make informed waste management decisions and to enhance the competency of solid waste professionals through increased training opportunities. The Cornell Cooperative Extension network, with offices in every New York State county, provides one useful means of reaching these audiences. Outreach activities are based on research, with a goal of extending up to date, objective, research-based knowledge to a wide range of audiences from state agencies to youth.

The Institute develops and sponsors technical and management workshops and conferences. Staff also produce reports, fact sheets, videos and computer-based training materials. CWMI youth educational materials have received awards from US EPA and others.

Teaching
CWMI offers short courses and workshops for solid waste professionals, local government officials, Cooperative Extension personnel and the public. These programs are often offered in co-sponsorship with other organizations and are held at Cornell and other locations throughout New York State. Internships enable undergraduate and graduate students to participate in both research and outreach activities. These opportunities provide training for students in multidisciplinary approaches to bringing university resources to bear on solving waste management problems. CWMI does not offer a degree program.

Administration and Funding
CWMI, a program of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, operates with a small central staff but relies on close ties to faculty in many departments, to educators in the Cornell Cooperative Extension network, and to researchers, educators and practitioners at many institutions to accomplish its objectives. CWMI receives administrative and staffing support from Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Most of the support for the research and many outreach projects comes from grants and contracts with a wide range of public and private sponsors.

Cooperating Departments and Programs
CWMI research, teaching and outreach projects involve faculty, staff and students from many Cornell departments and programs including the New York State Water Resources Institute; Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology; Cornell Institute for Resource Information Systems; Environmental Inquiry and the Environmental Risk Analysis Program; Applied Resource Economics; Biological, and Environmental Engineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Communications; Education; Natural Resources; Rural Sociology; Crop and Soil Sciences; Cornell Cooperative Extension; Community and Rural Development Institute; College of Veterinary Medicine; Division of Nutritional Sciences; Horticulture; Plant Pathology; Plant Science; Microbiology; Food Science; Lab of Ornithology; Landscape Architecture, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

In addition, many other cooperators including county-based offices of Cornell Cooperative Extension; NYS Department of Environmental Conservation; NYS Energy Research and Development Authority; Empire State Development; the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling; US EPA; USDA; NYS Department of Transportation; various businesses; local governments in NYS; and non-governmental organizations are involved in CWMI programs.

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Cornell Waste Management Institute 2007
Bradfield Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
607-255-1187 
cwmi@cornell.edu
 
    Department of  
Crop and Soil Sciences