Ron Alexander, president of R. Alexander Associates, Inc., a compost and recycled organics marketing consultancy, was awarded The Jerome Goldstein Lifetime Achievement Award at the US Composting Council’s (USCC) COMPOST2024 in Daytona Beach, Florida on February 8. Alexander’s contributions to advancing compost utilization and compost product marketing include helping to develop and grow the USCC’s Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) Program; serving as the Industry liaison to the American Association of Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO); developing compost specifications for use by state Departments of Transportation; and providing guidance on compost marketing through many conference presentations, workshops, articles in BioCycle, and in his book, The Practical Guide to Compost Marketing and Sales (2nd Edition published by BioCycle).
The USCC created The Jerome Goldstein Lifetime Achievement Award — in honor of BioCycle’s founder and ecopioneer, Jerome Goldstein — to recognize an individual who has achieved excellence in their field of study and to honor those who have made significant contributions over their professional career to the field of environmental stewardship and natural resource sustainability. “Ron is incredibly deserving of this Award,” said Nora Goldstein, Editor of BioCycle at the Awards Ceremony. “He is a tireless advocate and has volunteered countless hours to the STA program, serving as the AAPFCO liaison, and sharing his knowledge and experience to advance development of compost markets. Like my father, when I summed up Jerry’s contributions to the composting and organics recycling industry in a series of words starting with the letters “P” and “C”, Ron is a pioneer who is prolific, persistent, passionate and pugnacious, as well as a communicator and collaborator committed to the composting community.”
Also receiving a well-deserved award — the Rufus Chaney Award given to an individual who has displayed excellence in the area of compost research over a period of many years — is Bob Rynk, widely known as the Editor of The Composting Handbook but also a well-loved and admired composting instructor, professor at the State University of New York, Cobleskill, and former BioCycle Editor who translated complex science into practical how-to guidance on many topics, from fire prevention to odor management.
The Compost Manufacturer of the Year Award for small-scale facilities that manage less than 10,000 tons/year of material went to CompostNow for its Georgia facility that opened in 2017. “The Georgia facility has been a trailblazer for the composting industry in the state, creating permitting and zoning models for compost facilities and increasing access for small and medium-scale facilities to open in the future,” noted the USCC. The Compost Manufacturer of the Year Award for large-scale facilities that manage more than 10,000 tons/year of material was given to the City of Raleigh (NC) Composting Facility. The operation recently expanded from eight acres of pad area to 45 acres, and processes 50,000 tons/year of yard trimmings into several products. The Organics Diversion Program of the Year Award, given to a public/private program that has successfully promoted and enabled organics diversion to composting or vermicomposting through education and public outreach, went to Prince George’s County in Maryland. The County was recognized for expanding its curbside food scraps collection program, PGC Composts, from approximately 200 households in 2017 to over 104,000 households by the end of 2023.