Pre-Conference Workshops

All workshops include morning and afternoon breaks.  Full day workshop attendees will be provided an hour for lunch, available from many nearby establishments. More information on the workshops, along with information about CEUs they may qualify for, will be posted later in the fall.  Once you have decided which workshop(s) to register for click the Register Now button to register for the classes or add them to your current conference registration.
NOTE: USCC reserves the right to modify course descriptions and instructors as needed.

Foundations of Compost

This intensive 1-day training will cover the basic concepts, practices and “how to’s” of compost production. The course will provide a foundation for novice compost operators, managers and regulators and will refresh veteran composters on the underlying scientific principles. Subjects will include: Basic principles of composting, monitoring and managing the process, data collection and interpretation, odor control, review of major processing methods, and an overview of markets for compost.

Instructors: Dr. Robert Rynk and Matt Cotton

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 75
Member Price: $265
Non-Member Price: $335

Instructor(s): Dr. Robert Rynk is an environmental and agricultural engineer, specializing in composting and waste management. He is the editor of the On-Farm Composting Handbook, a faculty member with the State University of New York at Cobleskill and formerly technical editor for BioCycle magazine. Matthew Cotton, Integrated Waste Management Consulting, LLC, teaches SWANA's Manager of Composting Programs Course and has over 20 years experience in composting.



Compost Marketer’s Toolkit

Provides training for compost sales and marketing staff on the basics of compost marketing and sales, as well as provides pertinent technical information pertaining to compost benefits, and plant and soil responses (ammunition for the compost salesperson). The workshop provides marketing insight and sales techniques for new, as well as veteran, compost sales staff.

Instructor: Ron Alexander

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 50
Member Price: $265
Non-Member Price: $335

Instructor(s): Ron Alexander, a horticulturist and veteran compost salesman and sales/marketing manager with more than 25 years of experience in compost marketing and end use.



Compost Business Management

This full day training will cover the basic principles and techniques necessary to create a successful compost business. This course is designed to provide a ‘buildable” foundation for all attendees. Topics covered will include a variety of items necessary to establish and maintain a viable compost business, including: review of basic compost biology, feedstock management, equipment selection, financing and maintenance, measuring compost quality, health and safety concerns, compost marketing (bag and bulk sales) and distribution, and, finally compost business 101 (starting from the ground and working up). By day’s end, attendees will have a working knowledge and skill base necessary to succeed in any compost business venture.

Instructors: Mark King and David Hill

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $265
Non-Member Price: $335

Instructor(s): Mark King, Environmental Specialist, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Augusta. Mark served as one of the founders of the internationally acclaimed, “Maine Compost School”, and currently serves as Director, as well as actively participating in course instruction. Mark provides on-going technical assistance to new and existing compost facilities through facility siting and design support, operations assistance, and compost process trouble-shooting. David Hill. Principal in CycleLogic Environmental Marketing, Business Development and Consultation. Greater than 25 years of marketing and management achievement, with emphasis on product management, market development and value-added positioning in the solid waste management and resource recovery industries.



How to Use Compost: Fruit, Vegetables, Ornamentals, Golf Courses, Landscaping, Forestry, Organic Agriculture

Once compost has passed regulatory health and safety standards, fruit, vegetable, ornamental and organic growers and producers are interested in potential benefits of its use.  Appropriate compost utilization for agriculture, horticultural and landscape products must ensure a proper balance between organics, applied nutrients and the nutrients needs of the particular crop being produced. Consideration must also be given to potentially harmful effects such as plant phytotoxicity and the presence of heavy metals.  Workshop participants will learn proper compost use for specific crops and other applications.  Training will be based on composting principles and promote the improvement of soil physical, chemical and biological properties by the correct use of composts.  To evaluate the effectiveness of the training, pre and post-tests will be administered before and after the training program.

Instructor: Dr. Monica Ozores Hampton

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $265
Non-Member Price: $335

Instructor(s): Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton, Research Associate at the University of Florida/SWFREC, has more than a decade researching compost production and utilization.



Aerated Static Pile Composting: Applications and Advancements

This course is for experienced composters (municipal, farm, non-profit or for-profit) who would like to expand beyond the basics of leaf and yard waste composting into food residuals, manures, biosolids and other challenging materials.

Participants will learn the differences among various aerated compost systems, how to determine fan size and piping, and procedures for constructing and monitoring an ASP System.  Many examples of aerated compost systems will be discussed, ranging in size from 2.5 to 25,000 cubic yards and processing all varieties of organic by-products from municipal, institutional and agricultural sources.  This workshop includes group exercises, useful planning tools, and an open-discussion format to explore student’s specific needs.

Pre-requisite: USCC Foundations of Composting or similar basic compost operations course.

Instructor: Peter Moon

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 12:00
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $175
Non-Member Price: $225

Instructor(s): Peter Moon, PE, O2 Compost, Snomish, WA. Peter has 25 years of consulting experience. Having studied, tested and resolved nearly every mistake imaginable, he understands what works and more importantly what does not work. Peter founded Price-Moon Enterprises in 1996 as an environmental consulting firm specializing in composting facilities; O2Compost is the Training Program Division of Price-Moon Enterprises. The objective has always been to enable all composters, no matter what the size of their facilities, to compost their by-products with aeration and to keep this process simple, systematic and affordable



Developing a Community Composting Program

Description coming soon!

Instructor: Dustin Fedako

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 12:00
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $175
Non-Member Price: $225

Instructor(s): Dustin Fedako is Founder and CEO of Austin Compost Peddlers



Compostable Plastics: Tools for educating your citizens, clients and customers

Description Coming Soon!

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 12:00
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $175
Non-Member Price: $225

Instructor(s): Jeff Krump is an Environmental Services Specialist with the City of San Jose (CA) Environmental Services Department and has helped lead the development of the Compostable Plastics Toolkit



Management of Odor Issues at Compost Facilities

This workshop will provide information and discuss odor management for various handling systems and control technologies for composting. Methods of odor assessment will be presented. Odor modeling and its value will be discussed. There have been several studies concerning odor as a potential public health issue. As a result there have been several legal actions against operators. This aspect will also be discussed.

Instructor: Jeff Gage

Start Time: 1:00
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $175
Non-Member Price: $225

Instructor(s): Jeff Gage is a System Designer and Project Manager for Green Mountain Technologies. He has a BA in Advanced Environmental Studies / Energy Systems from Evergreen State University. He has been designing composting facilities since 1985 and has constructed and/or operated over twenty-five large scale composting facilities across the United States. He has published his composting research, served on public composting boards and has earned multiple awards and certifications. He founded and was a lead instructor for the WSU Compost School. In addition to working at GMT, he teaches composting fundamentals throughout the world including the UK, the Middle East and the Americas.



Tools for Diverting Organics at Fairs, Festivals and other Venues

Have you run into obstacles with composting at venues? With the right tools, planning and staffing, you can successfully divert the majority of event waste. A comprehensive plan is the key to a successful zero waste event. Your plan should include investigating local policy, knowing how many staff and volunteers you have and their skills, site logistics including what’s in the waste stream and where it will go at the end of the event, signage to educate attendees and volunteers what needs to be separated and what can be comingled, hauling requirements and so much more.

After attending this session, you’ll be able to
1) Develop a long range plan for your event
2) Train vendors, volunteers and staff to execute your plan successfully
3) Document your success and develop recommendations for improvements at the next event

Instructor: Leslie Lukacs

Start Time: 1:00
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $175
Non-Member Price: $225

Instructor(s): Leslie Lukacs is a founder and principal of L2 Environmental (L2), and has more than 15 years of experience providing sound environmental consulting services for both the private and public sectors. Leslie specializes in the design and implementation of comprehensive sustainability and zero waste programs for large institutions, public agencies, venues and events throughout the United States. Leslie has been instrumental in pioneering the greening of venues and events throughout the United States and is a leading advocate for the industry. She has implemented diversion programs at national football stadiums, government facilities, universities, theme parks, convention centers, performing art centers, fairgrounds and numerous large events. Leslie is founder and Chair of the Green Initiatives for Venues and Events (GIVE) Council, an organization dedicated to increasing the awareness of implementing green programs at venues and special events. Leslie currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Resource Recovery Association, the state's largest resource conservation organization.



Anaerobic Digestion–Working with Composters to Maximize Organic Recycling

Description Coming Soon

Start Time: 1:00
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $175
Non-Member Price: $225

Instructor(s): Leaders from the American Biogas Council will present this workshop--details coming soon!



Collecting Organics–How Haulers can connect Generators and Composters to Maximize Organic Recycling

Description Coming Soon!

Start Time: 1:00
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 30
Member Price: $175
Non-Member Price: $225

Instructor(s):