The Waste Reduction and Technology Transfer Foundation

Our History


  Our History

A central tenet of pollution prevention holds that it is more effective to prevent or reduce waste or pollution at the source, than to handle or treat these problems after they are generated. While this concept has met with general acceptance in the business community, many small- to medium-sized companies unfortunately have neither the in-house expertise to put this policy into action, nor can they easily afford to pay consultants or engineering firms to provide the needed help.

In a 1989 meeting of the Southeast Pollution Prevention Roundtable, it was proposed that this problem might be cost-effectively addressed by using the experience and knowledge of retired scientists and engineers.

In September 1989, a group of 51 retired scientists and engineers, each with 30 to 40 years of industrial experience, was recruited in Alabama, and in the following year began to conduct on-site waste reduction and pollution prevention assessments for interested businesses and industries. Initially, this assessment effort was conducted as a ‘public-private partnership’ jointly co-sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), Alabama Power Company, Monsanto Corporation, and the Business Council of Alabama. The retirees' work was so successful that in 1992, a study conducted by Auburn University recommended that the program be formalized and expanded in order to secure a more sustainable and permanent funding base. In 1993, the program transitioned into Foundation status as a 501(c)(3) corporation.

WRATT's initial efforts focused closely on pollution prevention and waste reduction in business and industry. Since the early days however, energy conservation, and work with governmental and other institutional entities have become equally important components in the company's suite of services.

The concept of using retired engineers and scientists to conduct confidential, voluntary, and non-regulatory on-site assessments has been very successful and has now become known as the ‘WRATT Model’.



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416 Lorna Square; Birmingham, AL 35216