Pre-Conference Workshops & Activities

 

Tuesday, January 20th

8:30 AM to 4:30 pm: Half and Full Day WOrkshops

Scroll down to see the list of this years workshops.

12 pm to 4 pm:  “Sneak Preview” of the Equipment Show and Demonstrations

Take a free bus out to the Garden-Ville Compost Facility and see the equipment that will be demonstrated on Friday in a more relaxed and personal environment

1:30 pm – 4:30 pm   Compostable Plastics Task Force Meeting

Open to all! Hear updates from the three working groups: Labeling and Information, Legislation and Enforcement, and Standards and Practices.  Get involved in future plans. Meets in Wedgewood Room

Meeting sponsored by BPI and NatureWorks


 

WORKSHOP INFORMATION

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,click on the links to the right.
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: $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.



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: $275
Non-Member Price: $350

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: $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.



How to Use Compost: Fruit, Vegetables, Landscaping, 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 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.

Instructors: Dr. Monica Ozores Hampton and David Crohn

Start Time: 8:30
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 30
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. David Crohn earned his doctorate in 1992 from Cornell University in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Since then he has been a professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. His research emphasizes the beneficial use of municipal and agricultural residues as soil amendments and fertilizers. If used beneficially, these materials can improve soils, crops and landscapes, but appropriate use requires consideration of their potential impact on ground and surface waters. By applying a systems approach, Dr. Crohn has developed tools to assist farmers and is scheduling applications of manures and other organic fertilizers. He works closely with the compost industry and state agencies, assisting them in identifying quality products for use in landscape to promote plant health and in construction areas to control erosion. Recently, he has published novel approaches for determining environmental pathogen survival functions where temperatures vary over time and where occurrences represent events that are seldom observable.



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

This workshop will provide you with the foundation you need to design and execute a successful community composting program.  Along with a primer on the principles and applications of community composting, this course will teach you how to reduce operational costs through strategic partnerships, scale your program through the use of appropriate technology & human infrastructure, apply green marketing strategies to grow your business, and much more.  Participants will leave the workshop with a road map to build a community composting program from the ground up, or improve an existing program. Led by the founder of the most successful community composting program in the country, this engaging and interactive workshop will bring the subject matter to life through real-life case studies and tailor to participants’ specific needs.

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 the founder and CEO of The Compost Pedallers, an Austin-based community composting startup that uses a fleet of cargo bikes to deliver residential and commercial organics to a network of over 35 urban farms and gardens. For the last two years, the Compost Pedallers have been at the forefront of the community composting revolution with their blend of technology, community engagement, and operational savvy. In this workshop, you'll get an inside look at the playbook of the largest community composting program in the country. Want to build a composting program that reduces waste, enriches your community, AND dramatically cuts down your operational costs? You will walk away from this engaging and fast-paced workshop with the blueprints you need to launch or grow your own program back home.



Diverting Compostables: Tools for Recycling Coordinators, Sustainability Directors, and others

Planning and implementing a source-separated organics collection is complicated! Fortunately, the CCREF has collected a number of tools to help you have a successful SSO program in your community. This course is designed to help you understand every link in the chain from cradle to compost by exploring the Cradle2Compost toolkit. We will discuss the best and leading practices currently being used and show case studies of what works and what to avoid.

One of the key decisions you will face in designing your program is around compostable plastics (CP). CP has been shown in increase collection volumes, but now all composters accept them. A second toolkit, devoted exclusively to CP, will also be highlighted as part of this workshop.

Bring your questions and stories and together we will move food waste collection forward.

Draft Agenda:

  • Introductions and review of the course material to be covered
  • The 7 or 8 links in the chain needed to have a successful SSO program
  • Using the C2C toolkit—resources for each link
  • Compostable Plastics—orientation and exploration of the CP toolkit
  • Case Studies
  • Sharing stories and ideas

Instructors: Rick Lombardo and Doug Hill

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

Instructor(s): Rick is the Director of Business Development for North America for Natur-Tec®, a business unit at Northern Technologies International Corp. (NTIC). He manages Natur-Tec marketing, distribution, and sales strategies for North America. Rick has extensive experience in working with brand owners, channel partners, community stakeholders, and regulators to define the role of compostable plastics as an enabler to organic waste diversion efforts. He is a frequent invited speaker at industry and client forums on bioplastics and sustainable practices throughout the county. He is currently involved with the Sustainable Materials ACTION Team, an Elemental Impact Task Force, focusing on implementing best and better zero-waste practices at both public and private entities in Georgia and North Carolina. Rick has a Bachelor of Science in Packaging from Michigan State University. Doug Hill is the Owner and President of EcoVision Environmental, an innovative full service company dedicated to the triple bottom line and working on both recycling and organics diversion programs for municipal and commercial customers. In addition to program development, EcoVision Environmental offers a wide range of products to support their customer’s waste diversion programs. Throughout his career, he has developed and launched several successful environmental products and has several more being developed. Doug he has created an abundance of meaningful, long term relationships that have enabled him to cultivate an extensive and professional network of colleagues globally. He possesses the essential balance of experience, integrity and credibility that always produce outstanding results for his customers. Doug has made significant contributions to municipal governments in the area of environmental program and policy development. He has spoken at conferences across North America and volunteers his time to several organizations in the non- profit sector. He has held positions with a variety of Boards in an advisory capacity.



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.



Collecting Organics at Fairs, Festivals and other Venues: Best Practices to Make it Work

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.



Collecting Organics–How Haulers can connect 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., JD Lindeberg, P.E.

Start Time: 1:00
End Time: 4:30
Max Attendees: 30
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. JD Lindeberg, P.E. is a Principal and President of RRS. JD has worked for 27 years with leading US non-profit and private institutions on green business planning, financial assessment and project management. JD also has extensive practical knowledge in biomass energy systems, capital project planning, design engineering, organics and “green” housing projects. He has been instrumental in the development of the organics recovery infrastructure in both the State of Michigan as well as across the United States. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the US Composting Council. He is a noted expert in the field of biomass supply and financial due diligence -- a role in which he has evaluated the quality of numerous food waste supply contracts and recovery companies. Finally, he has been a tireless advocate for making the connection between quality soils, organic foods, and beneficial reuse of recovered