Tag Archives: composting

WasteExpo 2020, New Orleans

August 10, 2020

WASTE EXPO 2020 HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO AUGUST 10-13, 2020. IT WILL STILL BE HELD AT THE ERNEST N. MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER IN NEW ORLEANS.  Due to the scheduling change, the rooms, dates, times, and other details below are subject to change. We will update them as information becomes available. Information about Waste Expo’s decision to reschedule and its implications can be found here: https://www.wasteexpo.com/en/venue-travel/HealthandWellness.html

Meet SCS Professionals, visit our booth (Booth 3101), get inspired, and find the answers to your waste & recycling challenges at WasteExpo, August 10-13 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Enjoy an interactive conference program, see over 600 exhibitors, and network with 14, 500 of the best and brightest in the industry. SCS professionals Michelle Leonard, Tracie Bills, Lisa Coelho, Amber Duran, Viraj deSilva, and Michelle Hoffman will be in attendance and SCS Senior Vice President Pat Sullivan at booth 3101.

WasteExpo 2020 will feature more educational sessions than ever before!  Conference sessions include SCS presentations such as these:

PFAS Super Session: What is PFAS & How Do We Treat It?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been produced in the U.S. since the 1940s and are used in a wide variety of products and applications. PFAS are persistent in the environment and resistant to environmental degradation. The potential bioaccumulation of PFAS is a concern, and EPA considers PFAS to be emerging contaminants.

This super-session, chaired by Dr. Viraj deSilva of SCS Engineers will address all things PFAS, and is split into two parts:

  • Part I – Laying the Foundation: Laying the Foundation: Part I will set the stage for PFAS, discuss background information, historical legal challenges, and sampling and analytical challenges and opportunities.
  • Part II- Treatment Options : Treatment Options: Part II will focus specifically on treatment options – including underground injection, destruction, and separation.

Organics Diversion and Collection
Moderator: Tracie Onstad Bills, SCS Engineers , will moderate this discussion on the Importance of Organic Waste Diversion; whether Commercial Organics Diversion Mandates are Working in California; and Making Cents of SB 1383: CA’s 75% Organic Diversion Mandate.

Evaluation of Organics Management Options; Composting Odor Control; Equipment Maintenance
Moderator: George Savage, CalRecovery, Patrick Sullivan and Raymond Huff of SCS Engineers with a Comparison of Organic Waste Management Options in Terms of Air Quality and GHG Impacts. This session also covers how to eliminate compost facility odors and maintenance strategies.

The Effects of Organic Diversion Policies on Food Donation
Moderator: Hannah Cather, Food Recovery Network with Tracie Onstad Bills of SCS Engineers presenting on the RecycleSmart Edible Food Generator Survey for the Contra Costa County Solid Waste Authority. Also covered will be Leveraging Organic Waste Mandates, Public-Private Partnerships Support Wasted Food Diversion Efforts, and Vallarta Supermarkets Recycling, Organics, and Food Waste Donations.

Reducing Food Waste and Increasing Recovery in Municipal, Regional, and State Programs
Spotlight Session – Open to All WasteExpo Attendees
Moderator: Evan Edgar and speaker Lisa Coelho of SCS Engineers discuss the Santa Clara County Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) of Food Waste Reduction Program and Food Recovery Efforts. Also included are presentations on Los Angeles County’s Three-Pronged Approach by Michelle Leonard of SCS Engineers, Accelerate Food Waste Reduction Through Collaboration, Eating the Food Scraps Elephant: How Madison, WI is Tackling the Problem of Food Scraps a Bite at a Time through Prevention and Diversion, with John Welch, Director Waste & Renewables, Dane County.

Panel Discussion on the Future of Organics in California
Learn about California’s SB 1383 implementation that will require 75% diversion of organic waste from landfills by 2025. Hear from industry policy leaders and composters in an interactive panel discussion regarding collection, contamination, permitting, and markets of transforming organic wastes into compost and energy products.

This lively discussion will include questions from the audience on how to develop over 100 facilities at a cost of $2 to $3 billion. Moderator Evan Edgar with Tracie Onstad Bills of SCS Engineers and Bill Camarillo.

EREF’s Annual Charitable Auction & Silent Auction

In addition to the technical sessions, The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) will host its annual charitable auction at WasteExpo 2020. The auction supports EREF’s funding of scholarships and grants for solid waste research, as well as EREF’s educational initiatives. Since 1994, the auction has raised more than $18 million. While on the show floor, look for large red balloons indicating those exhibitors who donated to the EREF Auction.

Silent Auction: Tuesday, August 11, 10:00 am – Wednesday, August 12, 4:00 pm

Live Auction: Wednesday, August 12, 2020. Reception begins at 3:00 pm; bidding begins at 3:30 pm

Click here to visit the WasteExpo 2020 website for more details and registration information.



Posted by Laura Dorn at 8:00 am
Tag Archives: composting

Five industry leaders provide insight on organics diversion strategies

February 10, 2020

Recently, Waste360 published “Organics Diversion Drives Changes in Landfill Operators’ Roles,” an article examining the evolving role of landfill operators in organics waste diversion. Five industry leaders provide insight into how landfill operators and the solid waste industry are adapting to accommodate the evolution and the cost of organics management.

Waste360 interviewed:

  • Susan Robinson, senior director of sustainability at Waste Management
  • Robert Gardner, senior vice president at SCS Engineers
  • David Biderman, executive director, and CEO for Solid Waste Association of North America
  • Jason Munyan, manager of engineering for the Delaware Solid Waste Authority, and
  • Jim Stone, deputy director of public works/operations for San Joaquin County, California

The article provides best practices, strategies, technology, and systems that could support or supplement landfill operators’ response plans to the changing policies and contract requirements in more economically sustainable ways. Waste360 rounds up answers to the most common challenges operators and public works departments face including how to reduce permitting time, cost, and environmental impact.

Read the article







Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: composting

2019 Environmental Business Journal Awards Announced

January 28, 2020

SCS Engineers would like to recognize our clients and our professionals who make these environmental achievements possible. Thank you.

EBJ announced on January 23 that it is honoring SCS Engineers with multiple awards for environmental business achievements, advanced technology, and another for ASP composting project merit. The official awards ceremony takes place during EBJ’s Environmental Industry Summit XVIII in San Diego, California, in March.


SCS is receiving the Gold Business Achievement Award for a Large Environmental Firm, for outstanding business performance in 2019. We largely attribute our organic growth to our clients interested in Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) and renewable natural gas (RNG) services. Our SMM programs increase our clients’ solid waste management efficiencies, reduce waste, and support sustainable recycling, and our design and design/build facilities convert landfill gas, dairy digester gas, and wastewater treatment plant digester gas to RNG. In addition, SCS’s Geographic & Practice Area Expansion initiative in 2019 enables us to expand our professional engineering and consulting services for liquids management, wastewater treatment, and emerging contaminants from new offices in the South, Central, and Midwest regions of the United States.


The Information Technology Award for SCS Remote Monitoring and Control® (SCS RMC®) software is especially gratifying. SCS RMC technology helps lower landfill operating costs and maximize gas capture by integrating next-generation supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) opportunities such as 3D imaging from drones and virtual reality (VR). Beyond typical SCADA features, our system uses aerial data to compose topographic mapping, 2D images, and 3D renderings. SCS RMC can also incorporate geographic information systems (GIS), thermal, near-infrared, and methane leak detection data. The 3D model in use by San Bernardino County and other clients incorporates a Microsoft HoloLens VR headset that allows executives, facility management, and operators to “walk the site” from their offices, as well as view and control equipment remotely from almost any internet-connected mobile device. The technology integrates with our SCSeTools® platform, in use on over 600 landfills that help facilities continually gauge operational health and spot trends that help determine when and how to invest in infrastructure.


ASP Composting System diverts 40,000 tons per year of organic waste into rich compost for sale at the Miramar Landfill Greenery.

The Environmental Services Division of the city of San Diego, in collaboration with SCS Engineers, is receiving the Composting Project Merit Award in recognition for the composting operation at the Miramar Landfill in San Diego. In collaboration with the City, SCS designed an innovative covered Aerated Static Pile (ASP) composting system that will divert 100,000 tons per year of organic waste from the landfill. The ASP became operational in August 2019 and will compost 40,000 tons per year into useful by-products (and has capacity for an additional 20,000 tons). It provides an enhanced stormwater control system, and will eventually run on renewable energy generated from the landfill. According to the StopWaste.com calculator, the upgrade reduces greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of removing 19,015 cars from the road.


Test before you invest.

In addition, the recent announcement of SCS’s ASP Composting Pilot Program is making headlines. SCS owns a covered ASP compost system that is mobile and can be set-up on sites within an area of 50 feet by 100 feet, or less. In the covered ASP compost system, process and odor control is pro-active with a shorter composting period. Pilot tests allow waste managers to assess composting and to see if it is the right fit for their situation. The ASP system processes material batches in two months. Additional batches or “recipes” can test in 2-month intervals.

“Managing air, water, and soil pollution prevention are driving state and local regulations,” said Bob Gardner, a Senior Vice President of SCS Engineers. “Offsetting as much of the cost by improving operations, lowering energy consumption, and switching to renewable energy resources is critical to our clients.”


About SCS Engineers

SCS, an employee-owned environmental consulting and construction firm, is celebrating our 50th year in business. We are producing technologies and programs that lower industrial operating costs and reduce greenhouse gases for private and public clients who are establishing goals to reduce their environmental impact.

Our technologies and programs are finding footholds in the agricultural, industrial, and manufacturing sectors as municipalities and companies aim to reach climate change goals without passing all of the expense to consumers. SCS clients entrust us with the management of more than 35 million metric tons of anthropogenic CO2e greenhouse gases every year. We collect and beneficially use or destroy enough to offset greenhouse gas emissions from 7.4 million passenger cars annually.







Posted by Diane Samuels at 10:57 am
Tag Archives: composting

USCC 2020 – Yard Waste Capital Improvement Planning and Organic Stockpile Removal Case Study

January 8, 2020

The City of Raleigh retained SCS Engineers to assist with the process of capital project planning for new and/or upgraded facilities and programs managed by its Solid Waste Services (SWS) Department. Specifically, SCS conducted an operational evaluation and developed preliminary Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) documentation for potential facility improvements and expansions, including the City’s Yard Waste Center (YWC).

There is potential for reviewing and addressing similar organics management operations, specifically in regards to aged stockpiles, whether such piles consist of mixed debris or just leaves. This presentation will review the findings, outline the removal plan development findings as well as other considerations made during the overall effort.

The YWC opened in 1992 and manages the over 150,000 cubic yards (CY) of material each year collected by the City curbside collection program and received from other vegetative waste generators. Organic material, primarily vegetative yard waste, leaves, storm debris, and pallets, are shredded and/or recycled into mulch and compost, both of which are made available to the general public for purchase. Historically, the facility has exported a significantly reduced portion of the total amount of material it receives. While volume and mass losses attributed to drying, processing, and incidental material losses on-site may explain a portion of this discrepancy, it is evident that significant stockpiling of material has occurred throughout the years.

The majority of stockpiled processed material has been placed in the Northwest section of the YWC in what is referred to as the “Legacy Stockpile,” which according to a 2019 estimate, is roughly 200,000 CY in size and primarily composed of degraded shredded woody and vegetative material. In addition, a smaller stockpile of significant portions has also been built up. In addition to the processed brush, significant stockpiled volumes of leaves are located in the northeast quadrant of the YWC, estimated at about 100,000 CY. These volumes are considered to be rough estimates due to the uncertainty of the base grades of the land underlying the piles and do not include a “fluff” factor applied to account for the anticipated volume expansion when the material is excavated, handled/transported, and unloaded and spread.

SCS’s involvement with the planning consisted of an operational review report and drawings showing a phased YWC site plan for infrastructure improvements that could enable the City to improve its yard waste program to eventually develop a sustainable inflow and outflow of material. Prior to implementing such a plan, the City must increase the usable area of its facility by reducing the size of the existing piles and/or transporting them to an alternative location(s) for use or disposal. It must also eliminate the piles in time for an early-2021 deadline set by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ).

As part of the operational review and CIP phased site plan effort, SCS assisted the City by investigating various options, interviewing potential material acceptors, and reviewing the potential for using Mobile Incineration Units (MIU) to reduce the volume of material that will need to be hauled off-site. Currently, SCS is assisting the City with planning efforts to meet the NCDEQ required timeframe and is in the process of implementing a stockpile materials testing protocol.

Learn more about USCC 2020.


About the Presenter:

Mr. Duckett has served as an engineering consultant for landfill, landfill gas, and sustainable materials management operations in SCS’ Richmond, Virginia’ office for five years. He is an NC State University Environmental Engineering grad and licensed Virginia PE pursuing an MBA with an eye for the intersection of engineering, business, and sustainability. His work includes project management for solid waste facilities and program planning, development, and analysis- related projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Mr. Duckett is a USCC member and serves on the board of the Virginia Composting Council. He is also active in SWANA (Old Dominion Chapter), SVSWMA, and ASCE.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am
Tag Archives: composting

Waste Management Celebrates a Decade of Suporting Local Schools at 10th Annual Earth Day Event

April 24, 2019

These kids are among the more than 1,200 students and their families who took the pledge to recycle right at the 10th Annual Earth Day Event celebration hosted by Waste Management at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park. SCS Engineers professionals contributed their support and know-how to celebrate and educate at the environmental event.

Photo Credit: Kara Starzyk
Students from 16 area elementary schools learned about the environment in a fun-filled day at Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park with the support of SCS Engineers.

For the past decade, the event has offered students hands-on recycling, renewable energy and environmental-related activities. One of the most popular activities at the anniversary celebration was a wind machine in which students hilariously tried to catch swirling “hurricane debris.” The most recent storm, Hurricane Irma, added 660,000 tons of debris into the landfill in just four months. Experts explained other inner workings of the Renewable Energy Park such as how landfill gas becomes electricity and “clean” renewable energy.

The day’s activities included stations where students target what can’t be recycled in a bow and suction cup arrow game; don WM vests and hardhats beside the CNG truck which reduces greenhouse gas emissions, make a landfill out of candy before taking a bus tour of the real landfill and use recycled materials to make art with Young at Art and musical instruments with the South Florida Junior Chamber Ensemble.

Proving that being good to the environment is a winning strategy, Miami Dolphins’ former wide receiver O.J. McDuffie and former cornerback Patrick Surtain were on hand to sign autographs and take photos, many of which were shared on social media at #greenbroward, a local initiative in Broward County by Waste Management designed to engage and educate the community on sustainability efforts.

As part of the Earth Day festivities, Waste Management also awarded funds to all participating schools. The Dumpster Art Contest featured the handiwork of 14 schools that all took home gift cards to Michaels for future art projects.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:27 am
Tag Archives: composting

The Challenge with Solid Waste and Recycling Firefighting Technologies – Paying for Them

June 25, 2018

A fire at your transfer station or MRF can cause significant downtime, lost revenue, and added cost to restore the damaged equipment and building components. The fire department can tear a metal building apart just fighting the fire. Fires can also trigger negative publicity and could result in injury or even loss of life. Even with automatic sprinkler systems in place, fires can spread quickly. Traditional fire sprinklers are designed to protect the building from completely burning down. However, in most solid waste processing facilities, they are mounted relatively high in the building. Placement can result in significantly delayed response times to react to a fire which has time to grow and propagate. The delay can result in significant damage to structural elements, insulation, lighting, electrical, roof, and wall panels.

International Fire Protection recently published an article by Ryan Fogelman suggesting an investment in more effective fire technology safety systems to prevent fire incidents rather than mitigating the damage. The author’s solution is using automated detection of excessive heat using military grade thermal detection to pinpoint the exact location, with automated emergency alerts, remote human verification, and remotely controlled coolants to contain the threat of fire. These are all innovative solutions and certainly seem logical to help MRFs, transfer stations, and composting operations minimize the chance of an expensive emergency that could shut down operations.

Now we face the dilemma of how public agencies and businesses can afford the new or improved technology.

SCS Engineers believes that preventative strategies and designs are superior and in the long term are safer and less costly. For example, system costs typically include the monthly 24/7 monitoring and operation and set up for multi-year periods (e.g., ten years). At one MRF that experienced a fire, SCS Engineers estimated the cost to install, monitor, and maintain a 24/7 fire suppression system for the 10-year period was less than the cost of the single fire incident. Operators and owners are challenged with a business problem that requires integrating specialized engineering and technology expertise with financial expertise to create operational efficiencies.

When estimating the cost of new technologies to mitigate emergencies and increase safety, the financial considerations are paramount. Elected officials, public works directors, private sector waste management decision-makers and public utilities must operate efficiently while providing critical community services, and maintain existing service levels. They must do so while keeping rates, fees, taxes, and assessments as low as possible for the residents of a community.

Environmentally sustainable solutions must be economically feasible to achieve consensus by constituents and shareholders.

SCS Management Services™ supports a comprehensive approach to environmental solutions as described in International Fire Protection, by providing financial experts who work in combination with our engineering and technology consultants to design solutions that support MRFs, transfer stations, and composting operations planning for long-term economic and financial sustainability.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am
Tag Archives: composting

How’d they do it? Decentralized Urban Composting

January 9, 2018

The NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse is a program funded by the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), which features a community composting facility, located under the Queensboro Bridge in Long Island City, New York.  The compost facility is part of a community-scale composting network. The finished compost is used in community gardens, street trees, and other public greening projects.

Global Green just published the design-build strategy used in this successful program. The full report covers the following topics:

  • Site design and layout
  • Feedstock mixing
  • Covered ASP system
  • Turned windrows and screening
  • Monitoring
  • Working surfaces
  • Grading and stormwater management
  • Contact water management
  • Electric utility service

Read the full report here or on the SCS website.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: composting

Is your facility’s odor management strategy reactive or proactive? 

October 10, 2017

Additional handling of organics and other odorous wastes can make meeting regulatory requirements more challenging.


Pat Sullivan discusses two case studies that provide examples of two different approaches to odor management. The proactive approach resulted in a more positive outcome than the reactive approach. Although the odor issues never go away completely, the proactive facility has avoided lawsuits and regulatory enforcement and continues to have a positive working relationship with the community.

SCS Engineers freely shares our articles and white papers without imposing on your privacy.

Click to read Part I of this two part series. We’ll let you know when Part II is published soon.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am
Tag Archives: composting

NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse

October 5, 2017


The composting site developed and managed by the NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse is a decentralized, urban composting system that is sustainable and viable for urban settings and helps to advance the technology and equipment needed for sites of this scale.

Similar processing sites could be sited and operated across New York City. Organics comprise 31% of New York City’s waste stream, and a significant portion can be composted locally and returned to the environment to support green spaces. Decentralized community compost operations are part of the solution to recycling food scraps and diverting this material from landfills. Medium-sized community composting sites can exist in dense urban settings because they are neighborhood assets, as education centers, green spaces, and compost sources for community greening projects. With well-designed systems and appropriately-scaled equipment, they can be managed so that no odor or pest issues are created. These sites reduce carting distances and serve as an impetus for changing local land management practices by making high quality compost abundantly available.

Learn how at the ASCE conference October 26-28.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am
Tag Archives: composting

Compost Design: If you have 30 acres, 3 acres, or 1/3 acre available, you have room to compost

July 19, 2017

The compost technologies available today allow facilities to be right-sized to fit your needs and constraints.


Most of us are familiar with small-scale backyard composting and with large-scale yard waste composting on bigger sites, typically outside of urban areas, using open windrows. But did you know there’s a lot of room between those scenarios to compost small to medium amounts of organics on limited land and/or in a more urban environment?

The NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse is one example. This urban food scrap compost facility, funded by the New York City Department of Sanitation, is tucked under the Queensboro Bridge. It uses a covered aerated static pile (ASP) system with the GORE® Cover System technology. The cover controls odors and vectors, and the aeration system and semipermeable membrane cover provide the needed air flow to support composting. The current system processes 400-500 tons of food waste annually, with plans to double that capacity on a new 1/3-acre site, designed by SCS (construction is scheduled for Summer 2017).

The NYC Compost Project hosted by Big Reuse is an urban food scrap compost facility program, funded by the New York City Department of Sanitation. This local compost pile is under the Queensboro Bridge.

For a slightly larger site with a few acres available for compost facility layout, a hybrid approach may be the best bet to balance the needs for odor control, compost quality, and cost control. A hybrid approach may include an aerated static pile system as Phase 1 of the composting process, followed by open windrow processing as Phase 2. The aerated static pile provides a superior process and odor control during the critical initial weeks, while the windrows provide more cost-effective management through the completion of the composting process. A hybrid design proposed by SCS for a city in the Northeast can process about 4,000 tons of food waste plus 6,000 cubic yards of yard debris annually on a 2-acre site, with an estimated processing time of 4 to 5 months per batch.

In Wisconsin, compost facilities are regulated under NR 502; however, facilities processing less than 20,000 cubic yards of yard waste or less than 5,000 cubic yards of source-separated organics are exempt from many of the code requirements. Check out our compost reference Composting Exemption Reference List for details.

Suggested Contacts

Contact the author, Sherren Clark, PE, PG, for programs in the Upper-Midwest, or Greg McCarron, PE, about programs in the Northeast.

Contact Service@scsengineers.com to speak with a professional in your state about getting started.

Suggested Resources

U.S. Composting Council website

SCS Engineers Organics Management and Composting site

State agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control, or Environmental Protection are usually excellent sources of information.







Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am
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