Pre-Conference Workshops, Tours & Other Activities

Two new tours this year! Click here for details.


Foundations of Composting

This intensive one-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, organic material collection methods, review of major processing methods, and an overview of markets for compost.

Serves as a review in preparation for the Certified Compost Operations Manager test.

Instructors: Dr. Robert Rynk and Matthew Cotton

Robert Rynk Matt Cotton
Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees:
Member Price: $275
Non-Member Price: $350

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.



Planning and Implementing Organics Diversion for Businesses and Special Events

This workshop is designed to provide restaurants, hotels/hospitality, casinos, hospitals/healthcare, campus/institutional and grocery stores managers a simple detailed format for organic diversion program development and implementation. It will provide attendees with a comprehensive step-by-step review of how to develop and implement a successful organic diversion/recycling program.

Instructor: Leslie Lukacs
Leslie Lukacs

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

Instructor(s):



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:
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.



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 com- post biology, feedstock management, equipment selection, financing and maintenance, measuring compost quality, health and safety con- cerns, 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

Room: Clearwater

Start Time: 8:00
End Time: 4:00
Max Attendees:
Member Price: $275
Non-Member Price: $350

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.



Collecting Organics—Connecting Generators and Composters to Maximize Organic Recycling

This half-day seminar will provide expert guidance to seasoned and new yard waste and food waste haulers on how to gain new business with institutional, commercial and municipal waste generators through collaborative partnerships that minimize collection and hauling costs, lower GHG impacts on the environment, and utilize and grow local (on-site and off-site) composting options. Learn how customized services such as certified compostable foodservice ware, cart and dumpster rental, container washing, training on in-house collection procedures, ease of use, and odor minimization can develop a long- term sustainable program for generators, as well as a consistent and quality supply of organics to composters.

Instructors: Nicole Chardoul, P.E.

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

Instructor(s): Nicole Chardoul, P.E., is a Principal and Vice President of Resource Recycling Systems (RRS). Nicole has 18 years of experience in engineering, pollution prevention, recycling and composting facility construction oversight, as well as equipment and system procurement. Nicole has trained compost site operators in Michigan since 2002 and serves on local food policy and composting committees to encourage food diversion from the landfill. Nicole is actively working with universities, healthcare and urban farming organizations in Michigan to build capacity for composting of food scraps from food service operations and to support healthy, local food supply.



Aerated Static Pile Composting: Applications & 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 dis- cussed, 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.

Instructor: Peter Moon

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 12:00
Max Attendees:
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



How to Use Compost: Fruit, Vegetables, Landscaping, Green Infrastructure and Other Applications

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 principals and promote the improvement of soil physical, chemical and biological properties by the correct use of composts. To evaluate the effective- ness of the training, pre and post-tests will be administered before and after the training program.

Instructors: Dr. Monica Ozores Hampton and Dr. David Crohn

Dr. Monica Ozores Hampton Dr. David Crohn
Start Time: 8:00
End Time: 4:00
Max Attendees:
Member Price: $275
Non-Member Price: $350

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



Best Practices in Community Composting Workshop

This full-day workshop is for community composters to network, share best practices, and build support for community-scale composting. From a neighborhood compost plot to operating a compost team for multi-site processing, we will walk through practices that work.

Topics include: creative financing, operator training, engaging community and recruiting participants, food scrap collection, equipment and small-scale systems, site planning, complying with regulations, outreach and communications, cooperative structures, technology platforms, marketing compost, measuring impact, managing the compost process, and overcoming roadblocks. We will address how to take your community-scale composting to the next level. Walk away knowing how to adapt the efforts and achievements of other programs for your community. Open to community-scale composters who are composting on-site at schools, community gardens and farms or otherwise keeping the process as local and small-scale as possible while engaging the community through participation and education. Pedal-powered collectors welcome.

Facilitators/hosts:
Brenda Platt and Nora Goldstein

Start Time: 8:30am
End Time: 4:30pm
Max Attendees:
Member Price: $275
Non-Member Price: $350

Instructor(s): Brenda Platt is the Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and heads up its Composting Makes $en$e Project and Neighborhood Soil Rebuilder Composter Training Program. She is the co-author of Growing Local Fertility: A Guide to Community Composting, is a trained composter, and has been licensed in Maryland to operate commercial scale composting facilities. Nora Goldstein is Editor of BioCycle, the Organics Recycling Authority, published by The JG Press, Inc. in Emmaus, PA (www.biocycle.net). BioCycle is in its 56th year of publishing. Nora has authored numerous articles on all facets of zero waste, food recovery and recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion. Additional responsibilities at BioCycle include BioCycle National Surveys, and BioCycle’s FindAComposter.com®, a free online directory. She is a recipient of the US Composting Council’s Hi Kellogg Award for Outstanding Service to the Composting Industry, and the American Biogas Council’s Biogas Visionary Award.



Tour 1—Compost Production 8:30 AM to 4 PM

(https://goo.gl/maps/yR8ZKYVyN712)

Join us as we tour three of the major composters in the LA Basin:

  • Burrtec Waste Industries, Fontana: In the fall of 2014, Burrtec installed a GORE Compost System to provide green and food waste recycling solutions for their customers. GORE Compost technology utilizes forced aeration coupled with a semi-permeable cover. The technology is a three phase process that includes the first phase of high rate active composting, the second phase of maturation curing composting, and the final finishing phase which turns the compost into a stable product ready for market.  Burrtec’s Humic Compost is enrolled in the USCC STA program to ensure a high quality compost and is approved for use in Organic Farming by both OMRI and CDFA.
  • Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA), Rancho Cucamonga:  IERCA operates the nation’s largest indoor biosolids composting facility, producing a wood-based, nutrient-rich compost made from green waste, biosolids and horse stable bedding.  The IERCA focuses on producing top quality compost under the guidelines in the USCC STA Program.  IERCA’s quality assurance program guarantees our compost to be a consistent stable product.  In addition, our staff has earned Master Composter Certificates through the University of CA Extension Riverside
  • Tierra Verde Industries (TVI), Irvine: TVI is a green waste, wood waste, and construction & demolition materials recycler.  TVI accepts these feedstocks and after processing, produces over 20 different green waste and wood waste based products for landscaping, gardening, and agricultural use.  Among the products TVI manufactures are:  compost, topsoil, planter mix, green waste and wood waste mulches, wood fines for tree farms, designer colored wood chips, and bodyguard playground fall protection chips.
Start Time: 8:30am
End Time: 4:00pm
Max Attendees:
Member Price: $145.00
Non-Member Price: $195.00

Instructor(s):



Tour 2—Compost Marketing and Uses 8:30 AM to 4 PM

Join compost marketing guru Ron Alexander on this one-of-a-kind tour of innovative compost uses. While the specific stops are still be identified, they will include erosion control, water-efficient landscapes, and stormwater and green infrastructure applications. The capstone will be tour of the Kellogg Garden Products bagging facility. You will see first-hand how Kellogg’s maintains quality control through greenhouse and field testing while distributing 100’s of SKUs across America.

During the tour Ron will be answering questions and facilitating discussions about compost marketing and sales.

Instructor:
Ron Alexander

Start Time: 8:30am
End Time: 4:00pm
Max Attendees:
Member Price: $145.00
Non-Member Price: $195.00

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.


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