In the late 1980s Vancouver-based Recycling Alternative founder Louise Schwarz was driven by the ambition to help change the culture surrounding waste management and advance the transition away from a "throw-away" society. She still is. She began by collecting office paper from local businesses in a hatchback car, and co-founder Robert Weatherbe soon joined as a partner.
Building on the Model Compost Rule Template
USCC planning most intense year of outreach in 25-year history – Targeting Organics for Future Growth and Increased Sustainability
Consider these facts. There are more than 4,700 facilities composting organics in the U.S., as per the "2017 State of Organics Recycling in the U.S." report released this fall by BioCycle magazine. There are 3,007 counties in the United States, most of which are required to update solid waste management plans on a regular basis. More than half of all U.S. states are in the market for a regulatory update and many of the rest are in the process of updating outdated regulations. That's a lot of regulatory and legislative action on the horizon for the compost manufacturing industry.
In response, the US Composting Council (USCC) for 2018, is planning one of its most intense years of outreach to counties and states in its 25-year history - to bring national cohesion and a level of regulatory standards and confidence to the process of establishing compost facilities.
Because of the continuously growing infrastructure for organics recycling in North America, the timing couldn't be better.
The expansion of the organics recycling industry is currently being driven in part by the need to tap into the value of organic residuals, and to quench the thirst for zero waste initiatives in our growing urban world. Waste disposal costs and the need for managing eco-services like stormwater management are also increasing due to less landfill space, more hardscape and less natural areas for stormwater infiltration. Municipalities must look ahead and plan for sustainable growth. Pulling organics from the waste stream to compost manufacturing can deliver a sustainable solution that is very beneficial to growing urban landscapes.
The Model Compost Rule Template
In 2013, a two-year process of public-private stakeholder discussion and follow-up produced the historic USCC Model Compost Rule Template. These model permitting rules had three primary intentions: to make the job of state governments easier, to base the rules on proven science and performance standards, and to make the rules of the game for establishing compost production facilities more predictable. Since then, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Michigan have all used the USCC's Model Compost Rule Template, either in its entirety or as a framework, for their conversations with industry and the public, in developing their permitting and infrastructure.
The model rule, at its most basic, places composting in three tiers:
• Tier One: Source-separated green waste only;
• Tier Two: Source-separated green waste, manures and food scraps;
• Tier Three: All feedstocks above, plus mixed solid waste and biosolids.
Under this template, the rigours of siting, operation, stormwater collection and other impacts increase with each tier.
Since the Model Compost Rule Template was established, the USCC, through its Legislative and Environmental Affairs Committee and member feedback (two-thirds of members are compost facility operators) has found changes in technology and other circumstances that have led to updates.
We consider it to be a "living document." We have reassembled a technical steering taskforce of regulatory, private sector and government compost operators to look at such things as: definitions for community composting, urban agriculture and digestate; exemptions with respect to agricultural and community composting feedstock; and the latest technology for design requirements for groundwater separation and facility pad specifications.
The Model Compost Rule Template is available on the US Composting Council website, at www.compostingcouncil.org.
The Solid Waste Management Plan Outreach Project
It is clear from the multitude of requests we receive by phone and email that the public is hungry for access to organics recycling. With that comes the need to increase existing capacity and develop infrastructure where it doesn't exist. One visible barrier to this goal is the number of counties which do not consider centralized (large-scale) compost manufacturing in their solid waste management plan options.
To address this, we are launching a massive outreach effort to inventory the needs of U.S. counties, including a survey of county governments asking whether they have considered large-scale composting, zoning definitions and other issues such as local permitting for compost production and sales. We will also reach out with specific information about ecosystem benefits that result from addressing compost within their codes, about how compost ties into the goals counties have for stormwater management, soil productivity, and about economic benefits such as the employment that results from compost operations.
We'll use the data collected through survey and outreach to develop a guideline document that will include "myth-busting" factsheets about compost, and information about less-known benefits, like carbon sequestration, which are increasingly being sought by counties in search of sustainability.
The USCC is fortunate after 25 years to have gathered a depth and commitment of expert members to help carry out these far-reaching projects. Along with the many ‘Certified Compost Operations Managers' we expect to have graduated from our new program in the coming years, we look forward to a large and qualified expansion in the number of facilities in North America by the time we see the next study of the organics recycling industry.
Frank Franciosi is the executive director of the US Composting Council.
This article was originally published in Recycling Product News, November/December 2017, Volume 25, Number 8.
More from Composting
Composting facilities in Texas and Tennessee, a non-profit program in San Diego, California, and an energetic organics program in Minneapolis, were among those who were honoured by their peers by the US Composting Council at a January ceremony. Awardees are nominated and honoured each year at the US Composting Council's (USCC) Annual Conference and Tradeshow. This year's program was held at the Renaissance Hotel, Glendale, Arizona, from January 28-31.
Tidy Planet ships Rocket Composter to island in Paris's River Seine for large-scale food waste composting project
Organic waste expert Tidy Planet has expanded its globally-acclaimed range of Rocket Composters, with the creation of the B1400 - a machine specially commissioned for its French distributor, Les Alchimistes' large-scale composting project in the middle of the River Seine. The French social enterprise is dedicated to increasing the value of food wastes on a localised and social scale - with community reintegration at the heart of its projects - collecting the food waste stream by bicycle, from supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels, from across the French capital.
Diamond Z's high-capacity, low maintenance DZH 7000 Series horizontal grinder is designed for any large-scale wood waste and land clearing grinding operation. The latest models are equipped with an internal drive feed roller which allows for less moving parts, quick and easy screen change and maintenance access, very aggressive feed and one of the largest crush roller and hammer mills in the industry. With 1,200 horsepower and proven production capacities in excess of 1,000 yards per hour, Diamond Z's DZH 7000 Series is ideal for the most difficult jobs. No other horizontal grinder can imitate this machines compliment of power, unparalleled production capabilities, versatility in difficult environments, innovation, and the attention to detail that stands out in every DZH 7000.
Bandit Industries, through a newly established partnership with Poland-based company, Pronar, Sp. z o.o., will commence offering select trommel screens and conveyor stackers. Bandit will unveil and demonstrate the Model 60 GT-HD stacker and the Model 7.24 GT trommel screen at the U.S. Composting Council's Conference and Tradeshow in Glendale, Arizona, from January 28-31.
Compost contains a multitude of essential nutrients for plant growth, such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), and can also be a source of organic matter. However, recent concerns and criticisms have been directed toward composts with a high concentration of soluble salts. Soluble salts refer to the amount of soluble ions, such as calcium (Ca2+), potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg2+) and sodium (Na+), present in compost. Soluble salts are measured indirectly and cumulatively through electrical conductivity (EC).
Stora Enso and Sulapac continue to combat the global problem of plastic waste by introducing a demo of a sustainable straw at Slush 2018, a global leading startup event gathering of 20,000 tech enthusiasts. The demo, targeting industrial scale production, is designed to replace traditional plastic straws with renewable ones. The straws are based on Sulapac's biocomposite material – made of wood and natural binders – designed to be recycled via industrial composting and biodegrade in marine environment.
University of Delaware completes life cycle assessment of BioHiTech Digesters for food waste management
BioHiTech Global, Inc., a technology and services company that provides cost-effective and sustainable waste management solutions, has announced the results of an independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of its aerobic digester solution for food waste conducted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware.
Morbark hosts 12th Demo Days, debuting new 23X Chiparvestor and showing latest grinders and chippers
Morbark's Demo Days event always brings a great deal of excitement to the area and its guests, and this year was no exception! From September 26-28, Morbark welcomed more than 250 guests within the forestry, biomass, recycling, sawmill and tree care industries from 14 countries for its 12th Demo Days event!
Electrolux announced recently that it is investing in Sweden-based Karma, a leading startup that helps restaurants and supermarkets reduce food waste by selling unsold food to consumers. The investment is part of a wider USD 12 million round with other investors. Electrolux and Karma are also initiating a strategic partnership to explore common solutions in reducing food waste.
Two of Canada's largest food retailers have joined with local and provincial governments and agencies to launch a national Love Food Hate Waste campaign today, which aims to change Canadians' behaviours around food and dramatically reduce the significant amount of food wasted across the country every day.
Despite the rain, the second annual food rescue event, Feeding the 5000 (F5KYYC), was a huge success thanks to community partners and supporters. F5KYYC provided a free lunch to Calgarians on June 14 while teaching attendees about food waste. The event served 7500 portions of food and saved over 700 kg of food from the landfill.
A&W Canada has celebrated World Oceans Day 2018 by announcing it will remove plastic straws from its restaurants and instead offer its customers paper straws by the end of the year.
Morbark, LLC, a leading manufacturer of forestry, biomass, tree care, sawmill, and wood recycling equipment, recently debuted two new machines: the 6400XT Wood Hog Horizontal Grinder and the 50/48X Whole Tree Drum Chipper.
Guests at the 2018 Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Expo had the first-ever look at CBI's newest horizontal grinder: the Magnum Force 6800CT. CBI premiered the 6800CT along with the TSC 80T Tracked Conveyor May 11-12 at the Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Expo in Vermont. CBI equipment was paired with Terex Ecotec's TWH 226 Material Handler, showing the complementary value of both Terex Corporation brands in a single operation.
May 6 - 12, 2018 is International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW), the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry. It is celebrated in Canada, the U.S. and in other countries each year during the first full week of May. Started in Canada in 1995, ICAW has continued to grow as more people, businesses, municipalities, schools and organizations are recognizing the importance of composting and the long-term benefits from organics recycling.
The National Zero Waste Council has introduced new guidelines aimed at providing clarity and advice to the Canadian food industry and organizations across the country that are looking to donate or receive high quality nutritious food that would otherwise go to waste.
Power Knot is debuting the company's fifth-generation LFC-V Liquid Food Composter that converts solid food waste into drain-safe wastewater through bio-digestion, at WasteExpo 2018, Booth 1245, in Las Vegas, April 23-26. Also being unveiled is Power Knot's SBT Bin Tipper that lifts and tips all popular waste skips and bins into the new composter.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), out of Montreal, has released a comprehensive report on the state of food loss and waste in Canada, Mexico and the United States, developed through the CEC's North American Initiative on Food Waste Reduction and Recovery. Characterization and Management of Food Loss and Waste in North America documents adverse socio-economic and environmental impacts of food loss and waste, and actions that the industrial, commercial, institutional, government and nongovernmental sectors can implement to mitigate these impacts.
Peterson Pacific Corp., has introduced the new Peterson 3310B drum chipper. "The new-3310B drum chipper is smaller and lighter than our previous model, but still packs impressive performance," said Jody Volner, President of Peterson Pacific Corp. "The 3310B can operate on even tighter landings for biomass and land clearing operations. We are excited about the capabilities of this remarkable machine."
Doppstadt's INVENTHOR Type 9 shredder, from the SMART SHREDDING LINE, is a new high-performance machine that is setting new market benchmarks when it comes to quality and performance. By bringing together the most innovative mechanical developments, innovative control and regulation systems, and a brand new noise emissions concept, Doppstadt has created an environmentally friendly cost-effective one-stop solution for the recycling sector. Thanks to its modular service-oriented construction and range of suspension variants, this machine is equally suited to use as a stationary fixture or in the service industry sector.
Now available in North America from Ecoverse Industries, the Doppstadt SM 617 Flex trommel is state-of-the-art screening technology with a high price-to-performance ratio, providing all the functions required for composting and organics recycling operations.
The LFC from Power Knot is a biodigester that automatically converts solid food waste into drain-safe waste water. The operation is free of odour, slashes the costs for the disposal of waste, and greatly benefits the environment. Continuous bio-digestion allows food waste to be added at any time.
The Topturn X-series is getting a new member. At IFAT 2018, taking place from May 14-18 in Munich, Germany, Komptech is presenting the Topturn X5000, a new self-propelled windrow turner that is ideal for the medium to high throughput range. Since introduced, the Topturn X4500 has proven itself as a starter machine for smaller compost facilities. The new Topturn X5000 model is the perfect machine for five metre-wide by two metre-tall windrows, as used at many larger facilities. If all of its performance potential is used to the fullest, the X5000 can turn up to 4,000 cubic metres of compost in an hour.
David Donaldson, Head of the Green Growth Unit at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) is one of the authors behind a recently released report outlining solutions to North America's organic waste issue. Recent statistics show that Canada, Mexico and the United States generate nearly 265 million tonnes of organic waste every year, with less than 75 million diverted through composting and anaerobic digestion, and approximately 190 million tonnes ending up in landfills.
Nine locations of The Bobcat of St. Louis dealer network across Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee have joined Bandit Industries' growing network of authorized dealers, increasing the reach of Bandit to offer the company's line of Beast Horizontal Grinders and other equipment to hardworking professionals involved in wood and organic waste recycling and processing.
Rotochopper owners and operators gathered at Rotochopper's manufacturing facility in St. Martin, MN for training during the last two weeks of February. The customer service department hosts Rotochopper University annually for companies that have purchased Rotochopper grinders the past year.
"Green Boost your business" is the motto under which Komptech is presenting its new communications technology Connect! at IFAT, along with all-new and updated machines for shredding, screening and turning. IFAT 2018 takes place in Munich Germany, from May 14-18.
The popular Vermeer CT718 compost turner can now be equipped with full-length steel tracks, an option best suited for rough and muddy ground conditions. The new full track option is one of four drive systems available for the CT718 compost turner that also include two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive and two-wheel plus two short tracks drive system.
The EDGE TRT516 Trommel Screener is a screening solution ideal for mid-size operations with on-site space restrictions and for those operators who wish to regularly reposition their screen onsite. The TRT516 Track Trommel combines a robust durable machine with a quick and easy transport design. It is ideal for the processing of compost, topsoil, domestic household waste and construction and demolition waste.
New report finds European mechanical biological treatment systems provide valuable lessons to North America
A new report issued by the Solid Waste Association of North America's (SWANA) Applied Research Foundation (ARF) presents valuable lessons that can be learned from the implementation and operation of Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) facilities in Europe.
Watch this: CBI and Terex Ecotec demo grinding, shredding and screening equipment at US Composting Council event
Continental Biomass Industries (CBI) and Terex Ecotec drew big crowds at the US Composting Council's 2018 Conference and Equipment Show, held in Atlanta, January 22 through 25. More than 1,200 guests attended the trade show with hundreds of industry professionals stopping by the demo site to see CBI and Ecotec machines run live. CBI showcased the 5800BT and 6800BT horizontal grinders. Terex Ecotec ran the TDS 820 Slow Speed Shredder, the Phoenix 2100 Trommel Screen, and the TWT 500 Windrow Turner throughout the day.
Komptech Americas secures Tyalta for distribution in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwest Territories
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Bandit Industries has added an additional option to The Beast horizontal grinder lineup by introducing the Model 2460XP. Available as a towable or track machine, the Model 2460XP is a machine built from the ground up, and is designed to outperform every other horizontal grinder in its class.
CBI and Terex Ecotec will be demonstrating equipment live at the United States Composting Council's annual equipment show on January 25th in Ellenwood, Georgia. CBI is running the 6800BT Horizontal Grinder and 5800BT Horizontal Grinder. Ecotec is demonstrating a TDS 820 Slow Speed Shredder, a Phoenix 2100 Trommel Screen, and a TWT 500 Windrow Turner.
Sulzer has announced that it has completed the acquisition of JWC Environmental, LLC. JWC is a leading provider of highly engineered, mission-critical solids reduction and removal products including grinders, screens, and dissolved air flotation systems for municipal, industrial and commercial wastewater applications, as well as for applications in solid waste management.
BossTek has introduced the newest model in its growing family of self-powered dust suppression equipment, as BossTek announces the debut of the DustBoss DB-30 Fusion. The new design is a versatile and transportable atomized mist unit, engineered with a workhorse electric motor and 30 KW generator. Permanently mounted on a rugged road-worthy trailer, the company's Fusion lineup is proving to be a popular and effective means of delivering powerful dust suppression technology to sites that lack a convenient power source.