South Carolina Seeks Composting Entrepreneurs
In summer 2014, South Carolina updated its regulations for larger scale compost producers to include pre and postconsumer food waste, with the intention of attracting commercial composters and compost-related businesses. According to Allison Skipper, spokeswoman for the South Carolina Department of Commerce, state officials plan to, “actively pursue composting businesses as part of our growing recycling industry, which provides an estimated $13 billion in economic impact to the state each year.”
On September 24, 2014, the Department of Commerce, in conjunction with the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, will hold a one-day event for entrepreneurs, organics recycling professionals, and any other party interested in learning about the new composting regulations and potentially starting a composting business. “We’ve missed out on several hundred million dollars in investments because those [organics recycling] companies out of state did not have the infrastructure to locate with us,” says Chantal Fryer, senior manager of recycling market development for the commerce department. Register for the workshop
New ASTM Standards For Sustainability Of Manufacturing Practices
In July, ASTM International, one of the world’s largest development and delivery systems of standards and related products and services, announced ASTM WK35702, Guide for Evaluation of Environmental Aspects of Sustainability of Manufacturing Processes. The new standard assesses environmental impacts at the manufacturing process level, and is designed to increase resource efficiency. “WK35702 will help identify opportunities in operations planning, provide guidelines for collecting data and give insight into how to calculate metrics on which informed decisions can be made,” states ASTM member Paul Witherell with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. According to Witherell, the primary users of WK35702, pending its approval, will be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to incorporate sustainable initiatives into their production line. “While other documents may discuss sustainability in generalities, there is currently no standard to provide SMEs with technical and measurement guidelines on implementing sustainable manufacturing practices into their process decisions,” he adds.
WRAP Releases Annual Gate Fee Report
The United Kingdom’s Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP) recently released its annual Gate Fee Report: Comparing the Costs of Alternative Waste Treatment Options, a comprehensive analysis of charges throughout the UK for different waste treatment, recovery and disposal options. A major finding of the 2014 report is that use of anaerobic digestion (AD) technology by regional authorities has nearly doubled since last year. The average gate fee for AD facilities is $68/ton (£40/ton), but ranges from $32/ton (£19/ton) to $107/ton (£63/ton). Additional findings include:
The average open air windrow composting gate fee is $41/ton (£24/ton) and the average charge for In-Vessel Composting (IVC) of “mixed food and green waste” is $78/ton (£46/ton). The IVC fee for “green waste only” is $46/ton (£27/ton).
Gate fees for waste to energy facilities differ depending on when the facility was built: For facilities built before 2000, average fee is $99/ton (£58/ton); For facilities built after 2000, average fee is $164/ton (£96/ton), an increase of $10/ton (£6/ton) from last year
Average disposal cost for non-hazardous waste to landfill rose to $174/ton (£102/ton), comprised of a gate fee of $38/ton (£22/ton) plus $136/ton (£80/ton) in landfill tax (tax increased $14/ton [£8/ton] since last year)
To access the full report, visit www.wrap.org.uk/content/wrap-gate-fees-report-2014-0.
July Article Correction
In the print version of July (2014) BioCycle, there were several errors in the article titled, “Adding SSO To Yard Trimmings Composting Operations.” On page 42 in the article, the title for Table 1 should read: Materials received — 2007-2008 (cubic yards). The data was originally noted as pounds. Also on page 42, the same error was cited in the text. The sentence currently reads: Table 1 shows that for 20078/08, a total of 33,288 lbs of organics were delivered to the site. That should state a total of 33,288 cubic yards. We apologize for the error, and refer readers to http://www.biocycle.net/2014/07/15/adding-sso-to-yard-trimmings-composting-operations/
Rhode Island Establishes Organics Ban
In July, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an organics ban into law that will require generators of 104 tons or more of organics per year to divert that material from the landfill if they are located within 15 miles of a certified processing facility. The ban is set to take effect in January 2016. Rhode Island is the fourth state in New England to adopt an organics ban, following in the path of Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts.
US Composting Council Announcements
The US Composting Council (USCC) is seeking candidates for the 2015 Board of Directors Nominations and the Annual Award Nominations. This year, six USCC Board seats are becoming vacant. Three seats are Composter positions and three are Affiliate positions, all 3-year terms. Submission deadline for nominations: September 1, 2014. The USCC is also asking members to nominate candidates for their seven annual awards that include the Composter of the Year; Hi Kellogg Award; and the Jerome Goldstein Lifetime Achievement Award. Submission deadline for award nominations: October 1, 2014. For more information, contact Brian Fleury, Nominations & Awards Committee Chair by phone (845-753-2242) or email, email@example.com.
The USCC’s Board of Directors announced on July 17, 2014 that it is undergoing a restructuring to prepare the organization for rapid growth. The USCC plans to shift more of its resources towards development of educational programs and outreach to membership to tap into expanding interest in composting, especially as more states take actions to increase food scraps diversion. As part of the restructuring, the Executive Director, Lori Scozzafava, is no longer with the Council. A transition team is integrating the executive director search into the restructuring process.
Calendar Of Events
Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania association is hosting a Compost Technician Training, September 9 at the Waymart State Correctional Institution (Waymart, PA).The course is designed for equipment operators and other field personnel who operate the equipment and work at an industrial-scale composting facility. Upon completion of this course, participants receive a Penn State certificate verifying 0.7 CEUs. Contact Michelle Glenny, firstname.lastname@example.org
US Composting Council will hold a week-long Compost Operations Training course in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 15-19. http://compostingcouncil.org/training
Compost Council of Canada is hosting its 24th Annual National Compost Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 22-24. Presentations, tours, training and exhibits. www.compost.org
EcoDistricts Summit, “dedicated to regenerating cities from the neighborhood up,” is in Washington, D.C. on September 24-26. “With the District of Columbia as exemplar, The 2014 Summit will focus on strategies for making collaboration, equity and diversity the cornerstones of every project.” http://ecodistrictssummit.org/summit-2014
7th Annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is October 7 and 8 in Dubuque, Iowa, one of the most “sustainable” cities in the Midwest. www.GSCDubuque.com
FDA Controls On Animal Feed
Ever since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed its “Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Controls for Food for Animals” rule change last fall, industry has flooded the agency and Congress with demands for its revision. As it stands, say industry stakeholders, the new rule — part of the 2011 Food Safety and Modernization Act — would send tons more food by-products to landfills rather than to animal feed. The comment period ended on March 31, with over 2,000 predominantly critical comments from groups such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the National Renderers Association, and brewers and distillers that have diverted spent grain to animal feed for decades. The FDA had already issued a HARPC (hazard analysis and risk-based preventive control) for human food in January 2013, and the new animal feed rule seemed to indicate that anyone making animal feed with food by-products would have to create another set of food safety plans and documentation. The extra cost burden, said comments from the GMA, for instance, would result in as little as 22 percent of food by-products going to animal feed, compared to nearly 70 percent today.
The FDA says the animal feed revision should be issued this summer, but won’t specify a date. In the meantime, however, a blogpost in FDA Voice by FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael R. Taylor clearly attempted to allay fears. “We’ve heard from trade groups and members of Congress, as well as individual breweries, raising concerns that the FDA might disrupt or even eliminate this practice by making brewers, distillers, and food manufacturers comply not only with human food safety requirements but also additional, redundant animal feed standards that would impose costs without adding value for food or feed safety,” Taylor wrote. “That, of course, would not make common sense, and we’re not going to do it. In fact, we agree with those in industry and the sustainability community that the recycling of human food by-products to animal feed contributes substantially to the efficiency and sustainability of our food system…we have no intention to discourage or disrupt it.”
University Introduces Biorenewable Systems Major
Pennsylvania State University (PSU) recently announced the BioRenewable Systems Program (BRS), an applied major that connects the study of engineering, technology, sustainable materials, and agriculture with fundamentals of business, entrepreneurship and management. The BRS major provides students with two options: Agricultural Systems Management and BioProducts. Students choosing Agricultural Systems Management will learn how to apply technology for managing agricultural production systems to meet economical and sustainable needs. The BioProducts option is focused on the characteristics and uses of sustainable materials, including their production, processing and conversion into bioproducts and marketing and sold, and how bioproducts can be recycled or repurposed. Visit http://abe.psu.edu/majors/biorenewable.