uscc

May 1, 2024

SCS Engineers Composting
Standardized definitions and terminology can help specify compost products and systems of production, along with testing requirements to verify the compost is safe for the environment and appropriate for the intended application.

 

The collection and processing of organic materials has received renewed attention and government resources, given the large fraction of organic materials in the solid waste stream. Reducing organic waste material reduces greenhouse gases significantly while providing a useful green resource and job creation.

The MNCC is the Minnesota state chapter of the USCC, U.S. Composting Council. As a state affiliate of the USCC, the MNCC is dedicated to developing, expanding, and promoting the composting industry based on sound science, principles of sustainability, and economic viability.

MNCC recently published Standardizing Compost by Defining Properties, Products, and Systems in Minnesota, a white paper with recommendations to establish clear guidelines for compost producers and government agencies to understand when a product can be labeled and marketed as compost in Minnesota.

While there are numerous state laws, rules, and guidance documents, there is no single, consensus-based definition for all stakeholders, including citizens, to describe what constitutes a quality “compost” product. Without consensus, no enforcement of non-permitted composting facilities claiming to sell clean, safe compost to end users is possible.

Standardizing Compost Benefits

The goal of Standardizing Compost is to recommend a standardized set of specifications, definitions, terminology, and potential new regulations to share across agencies wishing to purchase and monitor the quality of compost products and composting facilities to help assure these materials are safe, mature, and stable. Enhanced standards of compost product definitions, feedstock specifications, and composting process requirements should help move the Minnesota composting industry to the next generation of professionalism.

Recommendations in this publication are useful for stakeholders, including state agencies, local government, waste management organizations, engineering firms, and ultimately end-users. There will be long-term strategies (e.g., changes in state legislation or rules) and short-term strategies (e.g., updated guidance documents and MNCC tactics).

Besides providing MNCC with recommendations to establish clear guidelines for compost producers and government agencies to understand when a product can be labeled and marketed as compost in Minnesota, it will provide compost buyers and users with the consistent information needed to help ensure they get comparable quotes on similar compost products processed through centralized composting facilities.

Finished compost products benefit the soil for the intended purpose and are safe for the environment if meeting the criteria Minnesota is establishing, including:

Recommendations for standardizing policies and guidelines to be used by government entities in Minnesota to ensure the compost product produced is safe, mature, stable, and appropriate for the specific application.

Document current compost regulations and programs and the differences, deficiencies, and opportunities for improving the current system of approving compost for use.

Recommending a standardized set of definitions and terminology as guidelines agencies can adopt to help specify compost products and systems of production, along with testing requirements to verify the compost is safe for the environment and appropriate for the intended application.

Helping advance markets for finished compost by working towards a more level playing field for all compost producers and providing consistency for consumers expecting a high-quality, reliable product.

Recommendations for future research, such as the CREF factsheets specific to the needs of Minnesota agencies, contractors, and soil conditions. The compost blend depends on the end-use and organic feedstock available.

 

Read or download Standardizing Compost by Defining Properties, Products, and Systems in Minnesota here.

 

Additional Resources:

  • Organics Management, Composting – Organic materials management, composting, and anaerobic digestion are driven by emerging state regulations for diversion of organics from disposal facilities into useful products and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Composting Pilot Program – Test before you invest to find the right blend and system.
  • Waste Characterization – Identify new diversion opportunities.

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

January 8, 2024

SCS Engineers Organic Composting
Organic Composting – permit and build a regional compost facility that will accept food and yard waste.

 

At USCC 2024 Dave Aldridge of the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority and Greg McCarron of SCS Engineers present Planning and Development of a Public Compost Facility based on a compost facility and programs when disposal capacity is nearing its limit.

The Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority (SCRRRA) is the waste management and recycling authority for its twelve member municipalities. Since 1984, SCRRRA has been responsible for implementing solid waste recovery systems, and coordinating recycling and disposal services. Due to the closure of a major waste-to-energy facility in July 2022, Connecticut has a shortfall in disposal capacity that has resulted in an estimated 860,000 tons of municipal solid waste being shipped out of state for disposal, mostly to landfills. SCRRRA estimates that disposal tipping fees will exceed $100 per ton in the near future.

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy recommends implementation of organics collection programs and processing facilities, in an effort to manage waste within the state. Aldridge and McCarron’s presentation covers the planning and development steps taken by SCRRRA to permit and build a regional compost facility that will accept food and yard waste. The proposed facility will accept organic material from all of its member towns and regional businesses, and produce a high-quality soil amendment for farmers and gardeners. SCRRRA will also provide finished compost, at reduced cost, to disadvantaged communities in the region, for community gardens and beautification projects.

Planning and Development of a Public Compost Facility covers the following topics:
1. Regional waste landscape.
2. Permitting and execution of an aerated static pile (ASP) pilot test.
3. Preparation of a feasibility study and pro forma.
4. Site options and considerations.
4. Local site permitting, and,
5. Next steps, including design and construction.

 

About Aldridge & McCarron: David Aldridge is the Executive Director of the Southern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority responsible for implementing solid waste recovery systems, recycling, and disposal services in twelve Connecticut municipalities with a population base of 230,000. Dave has been the Executive Director of SCRRRA for over 12 years, responsible for all financial, administrative and operational functions of the Authority using his 25 year background as a logistics industry executive responsible for transportation and distribution with expertise in process improvement and operational efficiency.

Gregory McCarronAs a Vice President, Greg McCarron is responsible for overseeing SCS’s nationwide organics management practice. He works closely with SCS’s national and regional clients, completing projects covering all aspects of solid waste management, including composting and anaerobic digestion. Typical these include designing, permitting, constructing, and operating compost and anaerobic digestion systems and facilities for public and private clients. His experience includes operations, project management, design, permitting, regulatory support, construction oversight, system start-up, economic analysis, and technology assessments. Reach out to Greg at m or on LinkedIn.

Both speakers are engaged with many associations, coalitions, and committees focusing on leading edge waste management in the U.S. including the US Composting Council.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

December 6, 2022

SCS Engineers

 

PFAS Legislation

 

PFAS compounds have been used for decades in everyday materials, such as cookware, cosmetics, packaging, outdoor clothing, and firefighting materials. Since they are widely used and the products disposed of, the compounds now exist throughout our environment and have the potential to contaminate composting material.

Legislation and regulations aimed at curbing PFAS are well-intentioned but put the responsibility on waste management and operations such as composting that reuse material to avoid disposing of valuable organic resources in landfills and incinerators. Why not place the responsibility with the sources of PFAS instead?

The diversion of food waste and biosolids from US landfills to composting avoids approximately 2.7 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions from the atmosphere annually. Organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all recognize the importance of composting with benefits above and beyond lowering carbon footprints.

The US Composting Council is posting helpful information for communities with composting operations or considering composting on its website. The Council recently called for bans on products containing synthetic chemical compounds known as Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS).

Take action here!

 

Learn more about how composting benefits communities.

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

September 28, 2022

The world’s largest composting event, USCC Compost 2023, Jan 24-27 in Ontario, California, is the premiere professional meeting for composting, organics recycling, and related topics.  SCS Engineers is sponsoring the State Chapter track, including the Networking Soiree on January 26.

Featured this year during Concurrent Session D1 California Track Regulatory Trends and Experience, on Wednesday, January 25 at 8:15 – 9:45 am is

Lessons Learned – 1383 Compliance with Srividhya Viswanathan. Vidhya and Michelle Leonard will illustrate SCS Engineers’ comprehensive planning process and tool, including a timeline, to achieve SB 1383 compliance. SB 1383 requires California to massively increase organic waste collection and recycling infrastructure in under ten years. The regulation requires a collective effort from entities, including jurisdictions, haulers, recyclers, and businesses, who will need to fund significant capital investments.

Click to see the all USCC Compost 2023 Program 

 

Find Additional Resources Below:

Compare and Contract Composting Systems VIDEO:  Greg McCarron and Vidhya discuss managing tons of food scraps and other organic materials using different compost approaches. This forum is a resource for landfills, Solid Waste Departments, municipalities, and agencies working toward achieving waste diversion goals and lowering carbon footprints.

Composting Pilot Program:  evaluate your organic waste streams and whether composting is a viable solution for your waste management program. The SCS pilot program includes everything you need to test before you invest.

Making Composting Work in High-Population Spaces:  Managing hefty organic waste streams and associated costs while reaching lofty sustainability goals are among urban jurisdictions’ toughest pursuits. Some municipal solid waste operators set up local compost sites to help achieve these ambitions. They are finding other benefits along the way—from new, valuable products with a strong, local market to a way to …

California’s first fully solar-powered compost facility shines brightly:  Republic Services’ Otay Compost Facility at the Chula Vista, California, Otay Landfill is open for business. The compost facility helps communities in San Diego County meet the requirements of California’s SB1383 law mandating the diversion of organic waste from landfills. The composting facility designed by SCS Engineers in collaboration with Sustainable Generation operates 100% on solar power …

Posted by Diane Samuels at 11:03 am

July 21, 2021

scrrra
Compost use helps produce lush green growth; the long-term benefits are even more impressive and expansive.

 

With support from the Town of Stonington, the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority (SCRRRA) began a four-month food waste composting demonstration project at the Stonington Town Transfer Station on June 30, 2021.  The environmental consulting and contracting firm SCS Engineers is supporting the project.

SCRRRA currently manages approximately 135,000 tons of garbage for its 12 member municipalities (East Lyme, Griswold, Groton, Ledyard, Montville, Preston, New London, Norwich, North Stonington, Sprague, Stonington, and Waterford).  About one-quarter of the volume of garbage, or 33,750 tons, is organic waste.

The development of an organics facility could convert organic waste into a valuable organic soil amendment. The demonstration project is an integral part of a larger study that SCRRRA has undertaken to determine the feasibility of developing a commercial-scale food waste composting facility in Southeastern Connecticut.

Pilot projects such as this allow the region to quickly gather information about the collection and sources of organic materials, then test and refine a high-quality compost mix. The project also provides hands-on experience and can help spark innovative waste management practices.

Compost is produced using a mix of feedstocks, raw organic materials, such as leaves, wood, and food scraps. The composting process in the SCRRRA demonstration project uses wood mulch produced by SCRRRA at the Stonington Transfer Station and food waste supplied by two Connecticut companies Blue Earth Composting of Hartford and Willimantic Waste of Willimantic.

Communities across the U.S. report success diverting organic waste from landfills and producing a viable commodity with significant benefits, as the U.S. Composting Council describes in its Factsheet. For more information and outcomes from the SCRRRA project, contact SCRRRA Executive Director David Aldridge.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

April 30, 2021

 

The Virginia Composting Council is the state affiliate of the US Composting Council; its mission is to support the efforts and initiatives of the USCC and bring the practice of composting to more Virginians. The Composting Council is growing because of increased efforts by communities to divert food waste from disposal. Demand is growing with increased awareness of composting’s beneficial uses.

The Virginia Council, led by President Ryan Duckett of SCS Engineers, cites the obvious benefits of less waste going to landfills and lower greenhouse gas emissions in the environment. He also points out the jobs and business development potential and using compost for stormwater management, erosion control, and other green infrastructure as benefits. Expanded programs also offer the opportunity to collect edible foods for non-profits feeding many in need while diverting non-edible organics to composting.

The Council brings together manufacturers, municipal managers, organics collectors, researchers, and other compost allies in the waste industry. The group works to educate state regulators, local officials, and the public about composting’s value in a circular system. Members also help develop positions on regulations and legislation that affect composting and the market.

USCC has 13 state chapters that do local work to advance the composting industry alongside the national advocacy and programs. Without their on-the-ground education, attention to and work in regulations and legislation, and building networks of people in the industry, USCC could not be effective.

Learn more about composting.

 

Our congratulations to Ryan and the entire USCC for the help and support they bring to our communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

February 16, 2021

big reuse
USCC 2020 Award-Winning Project

 

The 2020 Compost Awards recipients, nominated by peers were honored this year at COMPOST 2021, the USCC’s virtual conference. The 2020 Small-Scale Compost Manufacturer Award, given to facilities producing 10,000 tons or less, was awarded to Big Reuse, New York City Compost Project. Big Reuse operates two community composting facilities in NYC, one in Brooklyn and the other in Queens. Big Reuse redeveloped a garbage-strewn lot into an effective facility beneath the Queensboro Bridge on NYC Parks land. Big Reuse works with the New York City Department of Sanitation, community organizations, and NYC Parks to collect food scraps and leaves for composting. Big Reuse composts 2 million pounds annually.

How’d NYC solve the challenges of urban composting? Find out here.

 

Meet SCS’s National Expert Greg McCarron, PE and USCC Certified Composting Professional

Gregory McCarronGreg has 35 years of experience in all aspects of solid waste management, including composting and solid waste management plans. He is SCS’s national expert for organics management projects. SCS offers comprehensive services including the design, permit, construction, and operations of compost and anaerobic digestion systems and facilities for public and private clients. Greg’s expertise includes all of these services and regulatory support, economic analysis, and technology assessment.

Outside of work, Greg is the Compost Team Leader for a community garden in Bergen County, New Jersey. The garden produces about 1500 pounds of produce annually, which is 100% donated to soup kitchens in Newark and New York City. He also manages a backyard compost system for use in his own garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:09 pm