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SWANA Applied Research Foundation

The Applied Research Foundation (ARF) was formed in 2001 to advance SWANA’s mission of transforming waste to a resource through collectively-defined and funded applied research.

The ARF has published 56 publications covering all facets of municipal solid waste management. These reports are available free of charge to SWANA members. View all ARF reports here.

How ARF is Funded

Subscribers provide penny per ton contributions annually to support the ARF’s research activities. The exact amount depends on how much waste or recyclables a subscriber manages. There are currently 47 subscribing organizations—including five SWANA chapters. Learn more about the benefits of becoming an ARF Subscriber.


The ARF is managed by Jeremy O’Brien, P.E. BCEE, SWANA’s Director of Applied Research. Mr. O’Brien can be reached at (704) 906-7269 or at

How Research is Conducted

Each new fiscal year research group subscribers submit and vote on topics. Subscribers may review and comment on draft research reports. They often meet at SWANA conferences to discuss research topics and learn about each other’s programs.

Now available to SWANA Members!

ARF Report thumbnail: Reducing Contamination in Curbside Recycling Programs

Reducing Contamination in Curbside Recycling Programs

This report from SWANA ARF Sustainable Materials Management Group, addresses key reasons why residents place contaminants in their recycling bins.

Members: FREE
Nonmembers: $99.00

Download the Report