Tag Archives: organics

2019 CRRA Annual Conference, Rancho Mirage

August 11, 2019

The California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA) will host its annual conference at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California, August 11-14, 2019.

SCS Engineers’ National Expert on Sustainable Materials Management, Michelle Leonard, will speak at the conference, and our recycling and sustainability expert, Tracie Bills, will be in attendance, along with other SCS professionals.

Each year, the CRRA organizes one of the most comprehensive and informative conferences dedicated to recycling and sustainable materials management in California and beyond. The Annual Conference and Tradeshow attracts over 600 individuals annually and showcases an estimated 30 sessions each year with over 100 industry experts as presenters.

This year’s presentations will cover an array of Zero Waste topics including:
Climate Change
Zero Waste Programs
Food Rescue
California Mandates
China’s National Sword & State of International Markets
Keeping Organics out of Landfills
Illegal Dumping, Stormwater and Marine Debris


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

WasteExpo 2019 – Las Vegas

May 6, 2019

Meet SCS Professionals and visit us at Booth 311, get inspired, and find the answers to your waste & recycling challenges at WasteExpo, May 6-9, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Enjoy an interactive conference program.  With technology and innovation as the underlying themes, expect a conference program that dives deep into recycling/landfill, fleet management/collection, organics, safety, food recovery, and more! The WasteExpo Conference Program, in partnership with the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and Dr. Stu Buckner, is designed to sharpen your skills to help you run your business or department smarter, safer, and more streamlined.

Monday, May 6, Highlights!

Composting, Organics Recycling, Biogas Track
10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Composting Infrastructure Development, Public-Private Partnerships, Air Permitting Requirements, Technology Innovations

Featuring Patrick Sullivan‘s discussion Survey of Air Permitting Requirements for Composting Facilities Across the U.S.; tools for composting partnerships;  managing high solids digestate; the financial and operational benefits of pilot scale recycling projects.


Processing & Disposal Track
3:15 pm – 4:30 pm
Swiping Right: Which Leachate Management Solution Best Suits Me?

Join this panel of experts comprised of leading experts from SCS Engineers, Waste Management, John Zink, WEHRLE, and landfill operators for an all-inclusive review of present designs, operational practices, and technologies considered as part of a sustainable long-term solution for leachate management. Expect to learn the leachate management solutions that best suit your own operations and facilities. Learn about best practices, holistic approaches to leachate and liquids management using flow rate and leachate chemistry, membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology, leachate evaporation, and deep well injection. Plus what to watch out for in 2019 and beyond.


Tuesday, May 7, Highlights!

Composting, Organics Recycling, Biogas Track
9:00 am – 10:15 am
Composting: Increasing Processing Capacity, Improving Process Management, Minimizing Contamination

Join Tracie Onstad Bills for her presentation Methods to Achieve .5% Contamination in Organics; along with improvements to maximize processing capabilities; and a look at high-tech composting.


Food Recovery Forum Track
4:30 pm – 5:45 pm
Source Separation and Collection in Commercial and Municipal Programs: BMP’s, Data Collection and Evaluation, Lessons Learned, Case Studies

In this lively session, Lisa Coelho presents Split-Cart Food Scraps Recycling; plus how to achieve continuous program improvements; capture more and reduce contamination at the source; followed by BMPs for collection from customers.


Wednesday, May 8, Highlights!

Processing & Disposal Track
10:30 am – 11:45 am
Data, Drones & Case Studies: The Latest Trends in Landfill Management

This fast-paced session addresses the latest tools and trends being used in landfill management and focuses on four different case studies including SCS Engineer’s SCS Remote Monitoring and Control® – SCS RMC® system for landfill systems including flares, landfill gas, and leachate systems to identify, troubleshoot, and solve real problems effectively and efficiently.  The session continues with how the World Bank recently utilized drone technology for the St. Maarten landfill; the City of Barrie’s municipal solid waste landfill reclamation and remediation; and EREF results from the first comprehensive analysis of leachate quantity and quality and management practices across the U.S.




Posted by Laura Dorn at 12:00 am
Tag Archives: organics

BioCycle West Coast 2019 – 32nd Annual Conference

April 1, 2019

Meet SCS professionals at BioCycle West Coast 19, a four-day conference covering current core challenges and solutions to Catalyze Organics Recycling.  This 32nd Annual Conference will run from April 1-4, 2019, at the Red Lion Hotel on the River, in Portland, Oregon.

SCS Northern California Director, Sustainable Materials Management, Tracie Bills, will speak about “Achieving 0.5% Contamination in Compost” at the 4:15-6:00 pm session on Tuesday, April 2.

BioCycle West Cost 19 features the faces and minds behind organics recycling – the BioCycle think tank.  Conference topics will include:

  • Program development
  • Organics collection strategies
  • Composting
  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Compost markets
  • Biogas and digestate markets
  • Food waste prevention and recovery
  • BMPs for composting and AD facilities
  • Contaminant management
  • Compostable products

The conference will also feature workshops and site tours, will bring experts together to address current core challenges and solutions to catalyze organics recycling:

  • changing behavior, from households to municipal decision makers, to improve the success and effectiveness of organics recycling programs.
  • Composting facility assessments to upgrade operations to take multiple feedstock streams and build high value compost markets.
  • Business and logistics of renewable natural gas from anaerobic digestion facilities
  • State and local policies that facilitate organics diversion and market development

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

USCC Compost 2019 Conference and Tradeshow – Renew & Regenerate, Phoenix

January 28, 2019

Visit SCS Engineers’ Booth (#316) and meet SCS Project Director Greg McCarron who will be presenting at at the US Composting Council’s annual Conference and Tradeshow, “Renew & Regenerate”, in Phoenix, Arizona, January 28-31, 2019.   SCS professionals Leslie Lukacs and Tracie Bills will also be in attendance.

Compost 2019 will feature Greg McCarron’s presentation “Decentralized, Urban Composting” with co-author Leah Retherford

at the Planning for Organics Recycling in Urban and Regional Settings session on Wednesday, January 30, 8:45 AM – 10:15 AM.

The NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse is a program funded by the New York City Department of Sanitation, which features a food scrap compost facility, located under the Queensboro Bridge. The compost facility uses the GORE® Cover System technology for a covered aerated static pile (ASP) system.


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

Sorting it all out at the EREF Organics Summit

July 27, 2017

Thank you to EREF in partnership with the California Refuse and Recycling Council for the opportunity to present at the Organics Summit in Ontario California.

Tracie Onstad Bills discussed how to sort through policy, program, and infrastructure to focus on the tools and concepts most useful in the thoughtful planning and preparation for organics service.

Tracie is the Northern California Director of Sustainable Materials Management at SCS Engineers.


Sustainable Services Nationwide










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

Environmental Women: CRRA Announces 2016 Service Awards – Two SCS Professionals Honored

June 29, 2016

SCS Engineers’ Tracie Onstad Bills and Leslie Lukacs were both selected to receive the California Resource Recovery Association’s (CRRA) prestigious Service Award this year. According to CRRA Executive Director, John H. Dane, the award recognizes “exceptional individual service to the organization and a contribution of time or resources beyond expectations.” That sounds like an SCSer alright.

Tracie Bills, SCS Engineers' Sustainable Materials Management Northern Director
Tracie Bills, SCS Engineers’ Sustainable Materials Management Director

Tracie Bills is SCS’s Sustainable Materials Management Director and is based in our Pleasanton, CA, location. She has been on the CRRA board for 10 years and has served in several leadership positions within the organization, including as its President for three years. Her expertise revolves around commercial recycling technical assistance, environmental purchasing, large venue and event zero waste programs, research and sustainability planning, garbage hauler franchise compliance and review, construction and demolition program / ordinance analysis and writing, climate inventory compilation, research and feasibility studies to help clients with comprehensive waste prevention and zero waste programs.


Leslie Lukacs serves as a Sustainable Materials Management Specialist in our Santa Rosa, CA, office. She has been on the CRRA board for 12 years and also served in a variety of leadership positions. She also founded CRRA’s Green Initiatives for Venues and Events technical council and was an instructor for CRRA’s Resource Management Certification Program for 5 years. Leslie specializes in the design and implementation of sustainable materials management and zero waste programs and is a pioneer in the greening of venues and events throughout the nation. Her extensive expertise in the logistics of zero waste, recycling, and composting programs, such as outreach management, business assistance, master planning, waste audits and characterization studies, extended producer responsibility ordinance preparation and implementation, compliance, grant writing, and administration are all key to successful long-term programs.

Both women were selected by the CRRA Board of Directors to be the 2016 recipients of the Service Award. The awards will be presented at the organization’s Annual Conference Awards Ceremony on August 9 in Sacramento.


Congratulations, Ladies. We are so proud of our SCS Professionals!


CRRA is California’s statewide recycling association. It is the oldest and one of the largest non-profit recycling organizations in the U.S. CRRA is dedicated to achieving environmental sustainability in and beyond the state through Zero Waste strategies including product stewardship, waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting. The organization provides its members with resources to advance local, regional and statewide waste reduction efforts which result in critical environmental and climate protection outcomes. Members represent all aspects of California’s reduce-reuse-recycle-compost economy and work for cities, counties, municipal districts, and businesses as well as hauling companies, material processors, non-profit organizations, state agencies, and allied professionals.

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

SWANA’s Applied Research Foundation Releases New Report Focused on Recovery of Food Waste from MSW

April 28, 2016

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Applied Research Foundation released a report concluding that: a significant amount of additional food waste processing capacity will be required to achieve national, state, provincial, and local food waste diversion goals. The report also emphasizes the need for local decision-making in selecting and implementing those food waste diversion programs.

a significant amount of additional food waste processing capacity will be required to achieve national, state, provincial, and local food waste diversion goals. The report also emphasizes the need for local decision-making in selecting and implementing those food waste diversion programs.

The report goes on to say that interest in recovering food waste from municipal solid waste is growing to meet goals established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture, but many major metropolitan areas lack the infrastructure to manage the ability to meet the established goals. Two examples were cited:

Several states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut, condition their food waste diversion requirements on the ability of generators to access adequate capacity within a certain distance.

Speaking as SWANA’s Executive Director and CEO David Biderman stated:

We believe that Americans need to rethink how food is handled before it is considered waste, to divert it into programs to feed people, and to find other productive uses for food as food. Once it becomes waste, however, municipal decision-makers, working with their processing partners, need to determine how to best manage the material.

Food Recovery Hierarchy courtesy of www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food page
Food Recovery Hierarchy courtesy of the EPA

The SWANA report focuses on the effects of food recovery at the two lowest tiers of the hierarchy – composting and landfilling/incineration. The report concludes that food waste diverted from landfill operations has the potential to be processed at composting facilities. Then, going on to say that anaerobic digestion (AD) and co-digestion at wastewater treatment facilities are also likely destinations for diverted food waste.

Jeremy O’Brien, Director of the Applied Research Foundation, noted:

The food recovery hierarchy does not apply universally; an analysis of greenhouse gas impacts based on local data and conditions is needed to identify the best food scraps management options for a specific community.


The report encourages solid waste managers to perform a life cycle analysis of economic and environmental costs and benefits based on local needs, system capabilities, and data to identify the most effective ways to manage food waste at the local level.

SCS Engineers and SWANA are both long-time advocates for local decision-making in establishing programs to collect and manage municipal solid waste.

Related articles:


Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 pm
Tag Archives: organics

Cocomposting: How one county in Florida is successfully managing their program.

April 19, 2016

A Florida county conducts a pilot project to gauge its ability to manage yard trimmings
and biosolids using internal resources – and to confirm marketability of the finished

Read the Biocycle article by Beth Schinella and Bruce Clark 

Composting Services

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

Placer County Hires SCS Engineers for Organics Management Study and Cost-Benefit Analysis

September 30, 2015

SCS Engineers will evaluate the collection, hauling, and processing of organic material and food waste for Placer County, California in compliance with the state's mandatory organics recycling law.
Placer County, California


SCS Engineers will evaluate the collection, hauling, and processing of organic material and food waste for Placer County in compliance with California’s recently adopted mandatory organics recycling law. According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, the state disposes of approximately 30 million tons of waste in landfills each year, of which more than 30 percent could be used for compost or mulch.

Read more by clicking here.

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

Yard Waste Composting versus Landfilling, Not a Fight

August 13, 2015

Composting is a viable and important technology for managing organic wastes, as are modern landfills with comprehensive landfill gas collection and utilization systems. Both of these approaches have different capabilities and limitations. Understanding the facets of each approach allows individual communities to make waste management decisions, based on facts by environmental engineers that are beneficial for both human health and the environment.

SCS recently authored a report for the Metro Waste Authority in Des Moines, Iowa regarding their yard waste compost operations. Metro Waste’s yard waste compost system includes a bag and sticker program to support separate yard waste collection, shredding, screening, and windrow composting at the Metro Compost Center, which is co-located atop a closed City of Des Moines Landfill, and at the active Metro Park East Landfill.

The SCS report evaluated the costs, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, and the advantages and the disadvantages of continuing their current operations or alternatively considering a partial or full closing of the compost operations. If operations are reduced or stopped, these materials would be disposed of in the active municipal solid waste landfill. The active landfill has a comprehensive gas collection system, and Waste Management owns and operates an 11.2 Megawatt landfill gas-to-energy facility at the landfill.

The report was used by the Metro Waste Authority in early 2015 to support an amendment to Iowa’s solid waste regulations. The amendment allows for yard waste to be disposed of and be managed in landfills, only if the landfill has an active landfill gas collection and control system with a landfill gas-to-energy facility to effectively control and reduce methane emissions. The legislation was passed as a restricted exemption to the State’s ban on yard waste disposal in landfills. The amendment in the State’s regulations provides landfill operators some flexibility in managing these types of materials, as other states have done as well.

Most media channels fully informed their readers of the science and function of both technologies, explaining that when considering all factors, one landfill operation can reap greater environmental benefits than another operation despite using the same solution. Some organizations view the law and the report prepared by SCS as “anti” composting, or that because SCS’s investigative analysis and report proposed options, SCS does not support composting. SCS Engineers fully supports composting. In fact, we design, permit, and operate compost facilities around the nation.


Read the SCS Organics Management webpage

Read about Anaerobic Digestion here and

Economic Strategies for Solid Waste Planning  here.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 10:13 am
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