Minnesota Compost Leaders, Non-Profit Advocate Among Awardees Being Recognized at USCC’s COMPOST2017

January 19, 2017

Reston, VA (Jan. 2, 2017) –Two dedicated Minnesota compost regulators and a non-profit advocate and researcher on compost economics are among those who will be honored by their peers by the US Composting Council at the upcoming January 25 awards celebration.

Awardees are nominated by peers and honored each year at the US Composting Council’s Annual Conference and Tradeshow. This year’s program will be held at the Los Angeles Westin Bonaventure during the Closing Plenary on January 25, 2016 at 3:30 p.m.

Composter of the Year will be awarded to Tanks Green Stuff of Tucson, AZ, which in 2012 began accepting and composting green waste at the Ina Road Land Reclamation Facility, a reclamation of a former 30-acre sand and gravel pit. Their product is OMRI and STA certified and volume is 40,000 cubic yards per year, and is sold in more than 42 retail locations—expanding to 43 more in the next year—in Arizona.

The Rufus Chaney Award will go to Marcus Zbinden, Environmental Specialist for Carver County (MN) Environmental Services. During his 26-year career he has led in the expansion of organics recycling through extensive work on regional and state legislative and permit design efforts; has increased knowledge of compost and organics recycling through comprehensive backyard compost education efforts; and written articles and research papers on compost issues.

Ginny Black will receive the Hi Kellogg Award, for outstanding service to the composting industry. Ginny began her career in 1987 as a solid waste management specialist for the State of Minnesota, assisting counties with their Solid Waste Management Plans, become lead planner for the state in 1995. She transitioned to a specialization in compost, including source-separated and municipal solid waste composting; served from 1995-2010 on the Board of Directors of the USCC and is currently chair of the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation. She was also a founding member of the Minnesota Composting Council.

The H. Clark Gregory Award, which recognizes grassroots education and awareness of composting, will be given to Brenda Platt, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and leader of the organization’s Composting Makes $en$e and Composting for Community projects. She has led groundbreaking research on the jobs and other economic benefits of recycling and composting, and has documented a wide variety of model programs and policies, and has fought in her State of Maryland for initiatives to advance the compost industry.

Central Contra Costa County Authority’s RecycleSmart “Home Composting for Busy People!”program, Walnut Creek, CA wil be honored with the Composting Program of the Year award recognizing composters of less than 10,000 tons of feedstock. The organization’s Home Composting program, celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2015. The program promotes backyard composting and other yard and food waste reduction and reuse practices. Additionally, the program assists local communities to meet state-mandated AB 939 waste reduction goals, and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at local landfills.

For more information or to attend, go to or contact Samantha Stallybrass, education coordinator; for information about the Conference and Tradeshow, go to