BioCycle World

BioCycle March 2004, Vol. 45, No. 3, p. 6

Across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, International Compost Awareness Week will be celebrated May 2-8, 2004 with the message: “Be Resourceful – Compost!” All types of organics recycling – from backyard to large-scale, community-wide – will be promoted.

Introduced in 1999, Compost Awareness Week is a multimedia publicity and education initiative that showcases production and utilization. Past years have featured proclamations, posters, tours, demonstration gardens, tree planting projects, pumpkin growing contests, TV shows – even “Compost Tea Parties.”

The U.S. Composting Council will be developing a list of activities, press releases, public service announcements, etc. for the event. From Susan Antler, Composting Council of Canada, comes news that the Grand Opening of downtown Toronto’s new community gardens will take place during Compost Awareness Week as will the Compost Sale-a-bration & Party at Landscape Ontario. A national program with Starbucks Coffee will feature in-store information about composting and packets of used coffee grounds for backyard compost piles. There will also be “facility tours at our members’ compost sites across the country,” Antler writes. The UK Composting Association is planning four “National Giveaways” in central parks of London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast to “highlight the benefits that organic resources possess as high-quality soil conditioners and what individuals can do at home. “Our specific aims are to enhance public perceptions about organic resources and how they can be recycled; and to raise public awareness of the beneficial uses of compost,” e-mails Tony Breton of the UK. Websites to contact USCC —; CCC —; U.K —

BioCycle’s web site,, has been redesigned to offer subscribers and visitors more content-based information. The web site provides easy access to current and recent articles published in BioCycle, as well as the ability to search the site. At this point, a password is not required to access any articles on the site. However, in about six months, the site will be password protected and BioCycle subscribers will be asked to register on-site to get a password for complimentary access to current/recent articles published in BioCycle. Please visit today, and sign up for BioCycle Alert – a monthly electronic bulletin highlighting news-breaking developments in the world of composting and organics recycling plus announcements about upcoming conferences and just published reports/guides. To receive BioCycle Alert on a complimentary basis, please click on “Enter your e-mail address here” on the front page of

The site also offers links to companies who advertise in BioCycle regularly. Visitors to will find a subject index which lists articles published in BioCycle by category. BioCycle Conference agenda is posted, and the opportunity to register on line is available. Subscribers can continue to service their subscriptions (renew, change address, enter new subscriptions).

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As part of the research supported by the Biomass Programs at the Center for Natural Resources at Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, an investigating team at the University of Florida is continuing to analyze the characteristics of compost supply in the state. Based upon surveys of 115 facilities licensed for organics recycling, the first observation is that “compost is not the number one product” of those facilities; compost production is less than half of mulch production. Based on responses, only 70 percent of the industry capacity was used.

A subsequent survey by M. Rahmani, A. Hodges and C. Kiker of the University’s Food and Resource Economics Department, focused on these objectives: To estimate the potential and actual annual quantity of compost and other products by organics recycling facilities in Florida; To document the types of products that are generated by organics recycling facilities; To estimate the total amount of compost that is taken out of compost facilities for various agricultural uses; and To collect data on the distance from compost producing facilities to end users. Future reports will summarize findings from the survey.

At its annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, the U.S. Composting Council announced its annual awards to individuals “for services to our industry.” Here are the recipients who were named for 2004:

Rod Tyler, Filtrexx International, Inc. – the Hi Kellogg award for outstanding service to the composting industry;

Frank Shields, Soil Control Lab – the Rufus Chaney award for research excellence;

Michele Young, City of San Jose – the H. Clark Gregory award for outstanding grassroots efforts to promote composting;

George Belmont, Hawk Ridge Compost Facility, New England Organics – the Composter of the Year;

Jean Schwab, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – the USCC Clean Water Award, sponsored by Filtrexx.

In California, the San Diego City Council recently approved a study to evaluate recycled water opportunities, launching a Master Plan Update to begin this month. The objectives, developed with local environmental groups, include evaluation of all aspects of water reuse as well as information concerning potential impacts of the wastewater stream on water quality and health. The project’s public involvement component is now being developed, and a panel of experts will review the entire process. BioCycle will report on the San Diego reclaimed municipal wastewater program in a coming issue.

Meanwhile the city of Corona, California began pipeline construction last month on its recycled water system expected to be completed in July, 2005. The system will include reservoirs, two pump stations, and approximately 30 miles of underground pipeline to carry recycled water from the wastewater treatment plant to irrigation connections. Recycled water will be used to irrigate landscaping at schools, parks, churches, freeway medians and homeowners’ association-governed landscaped areas, reports Water Reuse News.

An article, “Water Reuse Supports Grow in Georgia,” in the February 2004 issue of Public Works, describes how reclaimed water from the Pumpkinvine Creek, Georgia Water Reuse Facility has been irrigating area golf courses. That plant is one of 24 wastewater treatment facilities in the Atlanta area generating recyclable effluent. “An individual 18-hole golf course can absorb up to half a million gallons per day during summer months,” notes Public Works.

According to estimates by officials in San Diego, where no recycled wastewater goes to residences, the Torrey Pines golf course – owned and operated by the city – takes about 400,000 gallons daily for landscaping purposes. The San Diego campus of the University of California uses around 130,000 gallons of reclaimed wastewater each day for up to 40 percent of its irrigation needs.

The latest issue of the OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) Update (Winter 2004) includes a report that leaders from agriculture departments of all 50 states expressed broad support for organic farming at their recent National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) meeting. “These state agriculture leaders have demonstrated they recognize the importance of organic agriculture to U.S. farmers, processors and consumers,” said NASDA president Miles McEvoy. The policy statement supports: Efforts to increase economic growth of the organic industry with marketing assistance; Increasing activity in organic research and education; and Collecting statistics on organic production and market growth to provide reliable information about the industry to farmers, marketers and elected officials.

A knowledgeable friend and astute agricultural analyst, who lives in central Ohio, told us months ago that a court-ordered closure of a huge egg laying operation would not be the end for Buckeye Egg Farm. A news report now informs us that Buckeye Egg has been sold to a new company called Ohio Fresh Eggs LLC, but Buckeye must pay a civil penalty of over $880,000 and more than $1.4 million on pollution controls. A consent decree with the U.S., Department of Justice makes Buckeye liable for violations. At two of its original sites, Buckeye must install a particulate collection system at every barn; the company had capacity to house 12 million birds in over 100 barns with a total production estimated at 2.6 billion eggs in 2002. At those two sites, the company intends to use an enzyme on the manure which is reported capable of cutting ammonia emissions in half. At a third site in Croton, Buckeye and/or Ohio Fresh Eggs – will be required to install new manure handling systems in all barns within five years. (Maybe there’s a possibility for a bioproduct with a label that reads Buckeye Big 10 Compost.)

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