Composting leaders recognized at USCC's COMPOST2019
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.
Composter of the Year - Large Scale was awarded to Texas Pure Products, a facility established in 1992 by the City of Plano in partnership with four-member cities: Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Richardson and North Texas Municipal Water District. The compost they produce is STA certified compost and OMRI listed, made from feedstock collected from groceries, markets and "back of house" preparation of food and yard trimmings.
The H. Clark Gregory Award, which recognizes grassroots education and awareness of composting, was presented to Dianne Hazard of the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation in San Diego, CA. In 1983, Solana Center pioneered the first comprehensive curbside recycling program in
Southern California and is one of the first community-based recycling programs in the U.S.
The City of Minneapolis, Minnesota received the Organics Diversion Program of the Year Award for the education and outreach that has led to 49,350 households (46%) signing up and participating in the city's two-year-old citywide organics recycling program - and with a very low contamination rate (less than 1% in residential curbside organics).
Composter of the Year-Small Scale award went to The Compost Company, a 5,000 ton per year facility in Nashville, TN. The company provides both manufacturing and collection from locations such as Music City Center, Nashville's LEED Gold convention center, as well as The Country Music Hall of Fame which houses three restaurants and caters around 550 events annually, as well as numerous locations around the city through a contract with Metropolitan Nashville.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.