The State Of Organics Recycling In The U.S.

BioCycle asked states to complete an organics recycling “Snapshot Survey” to collect most recent data on composting, anaerobic digestion and quantities of organics diverted.
Nora Goldstein
BioCycle October 2017, Vol. 58, No. 9, p. 22

Measurement, Motivations And Opportunities To Waste Less Food
Figure 1. External influences on household food waste dynamics and individual behavior

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality releases findings on psychological, socio-economic and structural drivers that contribute to generation of preventable wasted food in households.
Ashley Zanolli
BioCycle September 2017, Vol. 58, No. 8, p. 39

Organics Disposal Bans And Processing Infrastructure
Figure 1. County population per square kilometer

The implied logic is that if a supply of organic feedstock can be created, the infrastructure to process it will be built. Has that happened in New England states with bans? Part I
Carol Adaire Jones
BioCycle September 2017, Vol. 58, No. 8, p. 54

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Composting Roundup
Central Soils' (New Zealand) Loadscan volumetric scanner

BioCycle August 2017, Vol. 58, No. 7, p. 13

BioCycle World
"The Exchange" is a plate rental system and commercial dishwasher on wheels.

BioCycle July 2017, Vol. 58, No. 6, p. 6

On-Site Food Waste Pretreatment
Food Waste

Guide to equipment and systems for businesses, institutions and venues that manage food waste on-site.
Nora Goldstein and Charlotte Dreizen
BioCycle  July 2017, Vol. 58, No. 6, p. 31

Los Angeles Coliseum “Modernizes” With Zero Waste
Most service ware at the LA Coliseum has been switched out with compostable products such as cups (top) and cutlery, and paper and fiber-based trays, clamshells and bowls. The Coliseum’s zero waste team opted to go with only compostables and recyclables bins (bottom) in the consumer-generated waste areas.

The football stadium, home to the USC Trojans and the LA Rams, went from zero to an average of 83 percent diversion in two seasons. Organics are key to this success.
Marsha W. Johnston
BioCycle June 2017, Vol. 58, No. 5, p. 17

Calculating Economic Impact Of Commercial Organics Ban
Figure 1. Average number of employees per business

Quantitative and qualitative analysis conducted in Massachusetts indicates growth in employment and revenues
after implementation of the commercial organics waste ban.
John Fischer and Elizabeth Johnston
BioCycle March/April 2017, Vol. 58, No. 3, p. 36

Composting Roundup
Perdue Farms composting

BioCycle February 2017, Vol. 58, No. 2, p. 13

Advancing Composting In Tennessee
Montgomery Bell State Park composts preconsumer food prep scraps, coffee filters and tea bags from the park’s restaurant.

Grants and new rules help facilitate start-up of composting operations, establishing a framework to improve organics management in the state.
Alle Crampton
BioCycle February 2017, Vol. 58, No. 2, p. 19

BioCycle World
Vermont landfill vs. diversion

BioCycle January 2017, Vol. 58, No. 1, p. 6

Deep Dive Into Feedstock Management
Compost Feedstocks: Yard trimmings, Agricultural residuals, Wood waste, Manures, Food scraps, Biosolids

First article in 5-part series discusses issues related to feedstock acceptance and management, and reviews main categories of compostable, digestible and edible organics. Part I
Rich Flammer
BioCycle January 2017, Vol. 58, No. 1, p. 24

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Composting Roundup
Symptoms of leaf and petiole distortion on samples were consistent with chemical injury from a growth regulator-type of herbicide.

BioCycle November 2016, Vol. 57, No. 10, p. 10

Critical Operations Go Under Cover

Fabric buildings are employed in the organics recycling industry for feedstock receiving and mixing, compost storage and blending, and most recently, to house food waste depackaging.
Nora Goldstein
BioCycle November 2016, Vol. 57, No. 10, p. 14

Fresh Look At Organics Bans And Waste Recycling Laws

New report evaluates why handful of bans and laws that restrict food waste disposal are promising models — and suggests how to strengthen them to increase food recovery and rescue.
Emily Broad Leib, Christina Rice and Jill Mahoney
BioCycle November 2016, Vol. 57, No. 10, p. 16

Connections: Not So Tidy Change
Sally Brown

Sally Brown
BioCycle November 2016, Vol. 57, No. 10, p. 37

Solution Driven Organics Recycler

Ag Choice hauls, depackages and produces animal feed and compost. Founders Jay and Jill Fischer embrace new opportunities, and then figure out how to maximize efficiencies and profitability.
Nora Goldstein
BioCycle September 2016, Vol. 57, No. 8, p. 26

Compostable Products And Postconsumer Food Scraps
Food scraps and compostable products

A recent blog exchange between a restaurant group and its organics collection service captures the challenges and opportunities around postconsumer food scraps diversion.
Nora Goldstein
BioCycle August 2016, Vol. 57, No. 7, p. 21

Organics Recovery On Rise At University Of Alberta
Figure 1. Timeline for SUB and HUB programs

University utilizing a “characterize-implement-evaluate-adjust” approach to its Zero Waste pilot projects to optimize program performance and diversion. Part II
S. Leblanc, J. Kwasny, K. Yan and D. McCartney
BioCycle August 2016, Vol. 57, No. 7, p. 24

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BioCycle World

BioCycle July 2016, Vol. 57, No. 6, p. 6

BioCycle Portals To Organics Recycling In U.S. & Canada
New home page BioCycle FindAComposter.com

Updated BioCycle FindAComposter.com and the brand new BioCycle FindADigester.com and FindOrganicsHauler.com are launched and open for listings.
Nora Goldstein
BioCycle June 2016, Vol. 57, No. 5, p. 16

Organics Management In Western Canada
Metro uses ads animated by humanized food scrap characters for public education in its bus and transit shelters, as well as in its social media.

Two-part series on western Canada starts with an update on British Columbia and Manitoba — including a report on the first year of Metro Vancouver’s organics disposal ban. Part I
Marsha W. Johnston
BioCycle June 2016, Vol. 57, No. 5, p. 38

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Plate To Garden Compost Program
Compost is transported in bulk to the host site. The participating group and their volunteers bag the compost with tools and supplies from the MNCC.

Minnesota Composting Council’s Plate To Garden Compost program gives schools and organizations participating in SSO diversion an opportunity to sell finished compost as a fundraiser.
Marcus Zbinden, Anne Ludvik and Jake Duame
BioCycle May 2016, Vol. 57, No. 4, p. 18

University Of Alberta Strives For Zero Waste
The number of material streams was simplified from six to four, and new signage was developed accordingly for the Zero Waste stations.

Campus analyzes costs, collection systems and logistics to increase diversion of organics, which will be processed at City of Edmonton’s new AD facility. Part I
J. Kwasny, S. Leblanc, K. Yan and D. McCartney
BioCycle May 2016, Vol. 57, No. 4, p. 21

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Composting Roundup

Adding Food Scraps To Green Waste Bin; Youth Enriched By Composting Project; New Rules To Ease Small-Scale Composting; Residential Organics Collection Routes

Imperfect Produce Spawns Business Start-Ups

Two companies purchase cosmetically imperfect produce from growers and repackage it to sell to households and businesses.
Claire Siegrist
BioCycle February 2016, Vol. 57, No. 2, p. 22

Composting Roundup
Zero to Go (ZTG), an education-oriented company that provides recycling and organics collection services at small (under 500 people) and large (3,000+ people) events in the Hudson Valley.

BioCycle January 2016, Vol. 57, No. 1 p.14

Farm Aid Plants Seeds Of Sustainability
Farm Aid’s 30th Anniversary Concert was held at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island last summer. It was the venue’s first experience collecting a compostables stream (green bin with green bag, above and at left). Farm Aid requires that all food service items coming into contact with food be compostable.

Venues hosting Farm Aid’s annual concert are required to serve food sustainably grown by local family farmers and institute organics recycling.
Stephanie Katsaros
BioCycle January 2016, Vol. 57, No. 1 p.55

Composting Roundup
New York City’s (NYC) decommissioned newspaper boxes are being reimagined as receptacles for organic waste collection.

BioCycle December 2015, Vol. 56, No. 11, p. 12

California MSW Organics Digester Prepares To Launch
During construction, the foundation was also poured for the Phase 2 build out, which will include another four digesters (Phase 1 digesters during construction in foreground above).

Phase I of CR&R’s yard trimmings and food waste digester gets ready to move into start-up mode.
Nora Goldstein
BioCycle October 2015, Vol. 56, No. 9, p. 51

Vermont Composter Evolves With The Times
Lisa Ransom and Scott Baughman started Grow Compost in 2009.

The roll out of a new state recycling law, revised hierarchy for using food residuals, and change in permitting are dramatically affecting how a Vermont composting facility runs its business.
Molly Farrell Tucker
BioCycle September 2015, Vol. 56, No. 8, p. 54

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Pioneering An Organics Disposal Ban
In response to the Province of Nova Scotia’s ban on disposal of compostable organic materials in 1997, almost all municipalities launched 3-stream curbside collection programs.

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia banned landfill disposal of all compostables in 1997. Almost 20 years later, BioCycle checks in on organics diversion progress.
Peter Gorrie
BioCycle August 2015, Vol. 56, No. 7, p. 23

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Evaluating On-Site Organics Management Options
Options evaluated include storage (1) for transportation off-site, and aerobic in-vessel systems (2, 3) that create a ready-to-cure material or, in some cases, a ready-to-use soil amendment that can be applied on-site.

A 2015 organics disposal ban in the Metro Vancouver Region of British Columbia, led to creation of a guide for businesses and institutions considering managing their organics on-site.
Terry Fulton and Veronica Baker
BioCycle August 2015, Vol. 56, No. 7, p. 26

Controlling Contamination In Collected Organics
Physical contaminants of most concern to composters are the Big Three: Plastics, glass and produce stickers (above).

The Washington Department of Ecology, local governments and composters are working together to identify reasons behind increasing amounts of physical contamination and ways to reduce it.
Mary Harrington
BioCycle July 2015, Vol. 56, No. 6, p. 22

Calculating Costs Of Organics Processing
Figure 1. Equipment cost model

An understanding of what equipment costs to operate — by calculating machine rates — is part of sound financial management of an organics processing facility.
Craig Coker
BioCycle May 2015, Vol. 56, No. 4, p. 25

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Toronto Expands Anaerobic Digestion Of Source Separated Organics
The City of Toronto’s new anaerobic digester, the Disco Road Organics Processing Facility, has capacity to process about 83,000 tons/year of residential source separated organics (SSO).

Canada’s largest city started up its second digester to manage SSO collected from the residential sector, and is expanding capacity at its original facility.
Peter Gorrie
BioCycle February 2015, Vol. 56, No. 2, p. 40

Mountain Town Zeros In On Food Scraps Diversion
The tipping fee at the PCSWC for organics is $35/ton (compared with $52/ton for standard trash).

“SCRAPS”— a joint program between the City of Aspen and Pitkin County, Colorado — is an example of how motivation and collaboration can propel organics diversion within a municipality.
Nate Clark
BioCycle February 2015, Vol. 56, No. 2, p. 20

Composting Roundup

BioCycle February 2015, Vol. 56, No. 2, p. 10

New York City Organics Collection
NYC residential curbside waste pie chart

Two-year pilot program to collect residential and school source separated organics is into its second year. This update reviews progress, challenges and next steps.
Bridget Anderson
BioCycle January 2015, Vol. 56, No. 1, p. 64

Source Separated Organics In Large New York City Apartment Buildings
Residents, managers and workers who are spearheading the process of apartment building-level SSO say they don’t really know what happens to the materials they are diverting.

Research at buildings with 10 or more units that are part of NYC’s curbside SSO pilot identifies five themes that have implications for the program’s near-term future.
Samantha MacBride
BioCycle January 2015, Vol. 56, No. 1, p. 67

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Organics Recycler Services Midwest Region
Agricultural and horticultural grades of compost are manufactured. Prices range from $8 to $20/ton.

With almost 30 years of organics processing under its belt, Iowa-based Chamness Technology manages a variety of feedstocks in several states.
Dan Emerson
BioCycle January 2015, Vol. 56, No. 1, p. 25

BioCycle World
BioCycle World

BioCycle January 2015, Vol. 56, No. 1, p. 8

Composter Brings On Residential Food Scraps Stream
The mass bed is turned a minimum of every 7 days with a Vermeer elevating face compost turner.

Eight months into processing curbside collected source separated organics from the City of Seattle, Lenz Enterprises’ strategy for contaminant removal is effective.
Nora Goldstein
BioCycle December 2014, Vol. 55, No. 11, p. 20

Composting Roundup
Athens, Greece organics collection pilots

BioCycle December 2014, Vol. 55, No. 11, p. 12

BioCycle Live: Opening Plenary Session, BioCycle East Coast Conference 2014

Unedited video from opening plenary session of BioCycle East Coast Conference, October 28, 2014.

Assessing Organics Processing Capacity In Massachusetts
Massachusetts permitted food waste processors

The state’s ban on disposal and combustion of commercial organics became effective October 1, 2014. Currently, approximately 49 permitted food waste processors have a combined capacity of 1,100 tons/day. Part I
Zoë Neale
BioCycle October 2014, Vol. 55, No. 9, p. 18

Composting Roundup
University City District’s (Philadelphia) Dirt Factory

BioCycle October 2014, Vol. 55, No. 9, p. 11 Seattle, Washington: City Sets Organic Waste Fine To Meet Recycling Target Beginning next July 1, Seattle area households, apartment buildings and businesses that include more than 10 percent organic waste by volume in their bins or dumpsters will be fined, following the City Council’s unanimous vote

The Time Is Ripe For Food Recovery
Philabundance, a large regional food bank serving the Philadelphia (PA) region, holds “Fresh For All” distribution events each week to distribute fresh produce to those in need.

Assessment of environmental benefits and efficiency of local and regional food donation events shows big win for all participants. The challenge is how to grow the ranks of surplus food donors.
Steven M. Finn, Tom O’Donnell and Matthew Walls
BioCycle September 2014, Vol. 55, No. 8, p. 42

Advancing Organics Recycling On The East Coast
Demo plots have been installed on the Turf Valley Country Club grounds (adjacent to Conference hotel) to compare standard treatment for turf establishment to “suburban subsoiling” via decompaction and compost amendment. Inset image features core sample of soil prior to treatment.

Meeting demand for organics processing infrastructure, building climate-resilient communities and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed are hot topics for discussion at BioCycle East Coast Conference 2014.
Nora Goldstein
BioCycle September 2014, Vol. 55, No. 8, p. 28

BioCycle World
BioCycle World

BioCycle August 2014, Vol. 55, No. 7, p. 6

City Residents Adapt To (And Like) Food Scraps Diversion
Outreach to residents includes a newsletter and a telephone hotline, as well as educational materials such as this poster.

Portland, Oregon switched to every other week trash collection with weekly recycling and organics service in 2011. Response to the initiative remains positive.
Katrina Mendrey
BioCycle August 2014, Vol. 55, No. 7, p. 33

Food Scraps Diversion Goes To School
Charleston County School District food waste diversion

Beginning with the youngest, more and more residents are learning to source separate organics in Charleston County, South Carolina.
Nate Clark
BioCycle May 2014, Vol. 55, No. 4, p. 21

Rolling Out A Statewide Organics Ban
The largest generators of food scraps (>104 tons/year) must start separating them on July 1, 2014 if there is a permitted composting facility within 20 miles to receive them. Green Mountain Compost in Williston, Vermont, a municipally-funded operation, is permitted to take food scraps.

Vermont’s Act 148 makes state first in the nation to mandate residential food scraps recycling and pay-as-you-throw solid waste collection to incentivize diversion.
Robert Spencer
BioCycle March/April 2014, Vol. 55, No. 3, p. 82

Washington State’s Revised Composting Rules
Cedar Grove Composting did not have to make design or operational changes at either of its composting facilities in Washington State to comply with the revised state rule.

The amended rule, which became effective in April 2013, specifically deals with issues seen to hinder development of the composting industry. Katrina Mendrey BioCycle October 2013, Vol. 54, No. 10, p. 26 Prior to 2003, legal standards regarding composting in the State of Washington were minimal and incorporated into the established solid waste regulations known……

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Tapping Hidden Energy In Organic Waste
Kenneth L. Kimmell

Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, shares insights on anaerobic digestion potential in an interview with the American Biogas Council.
Patrick Serfass and Nora Goldstein
BioCycle September 2013, Vol. 54, No. 9, p. 28

Big Business Of Bioproducts
Figure 2. Catalyzing cluster formation

Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center leads the charge to commercialize biorefining.
Dennis Hall and Ron Smith
BioCycle September 2013, Vol. 54, No. 9, p. 54

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Advancing Organic Materials Management In Puerto Rico
The program engaged students to demonstrate organics management science and systems, as well as compost’s use to support food production (students at a high school in Vieques seen here).

Recycling partnership is building a local coalition of sustainable materials management stewards by engaging college students and other community members to foster organics diversion through composting.
R. Fernández, A. Arache, J. Alsina, J. Bonhotal, A. Arroyo-Rodríguez and C. Pacheco
BioCycle August 2013, Vol. 54, No. 8, p. 40

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Anaerobic Digestion And Algal Raceway System
Figure 1. Flowchart of Novel Integrated Farm-Based Biorefinery

Michigan State University integrates AD with other biological processes to convert organic wastes into value-added fuels that are needed to enhance the economic and environmental performance of organic waste management.
Louis Faivor, Wei Liao and Dana Kirk
BioCycle May 2013, Vol. 54, No. 5, p. 29

Implementation Realities Of Organics Ban In Massachusetts
Figure 1. Food waste generators in Massachusetts

Anticipated disposal ban on commercial and industrial organics is expected to be added to the state’s existing ban structure. The more pressing issues are ensuring robust generator training and hauling and processing capacity are in place to manage the materials. Part III
Zoë Neale
BioCycle April 2013, Vol. 54, No. 4, p. 34

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Integrated Organics Management In Central Washington
Figure 1. Components of PacifiClean’s organics processing facility

PacifiClean Environmental is building a composting and anaerobic digestion facility about 90 miles from Seattle to process a wide range of source separated organics.
Nicole Rinauro
BioCycle March 2013, Vol. 54, No. 3, p. 52

BioCycle World
Ohio State University achieves its goal of going zero waste at its stadium

BioCycle World
BioCycle December 2012, Vol. 53, No. 12, p. 6

Massachusetts Sets The Table For An Organics Ban

The state recently issued final rules amending its solid waste site assignment and wastewater regulations, streamlining permitting of facilities needed to process materials generated by an expected disposal ban on commercial and institutional organics. Part I
Zoë Neale
BioCycle December 2012, Vol. 53, No. 12, p. 30

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BioCycle World
Halton Region multifamily collection bins

BioCycle November 2012, Vol. 53, No. 11, p. 6

Organics Diversion Policy Developments
Mater-Bi® compostable shopping bag

The United Kingdom’s organics recycling industry is thriving as a result of pioneering legislation and a surge in source separation of household organics.
Tony Breton
BioCycle November 2012, Vol. 53, No. 11, p. 38

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Anaerobic Digest
New digester for Port of Tillamook Bay industrial park

BioCycle November 2012, Vol. 53, No. 11, p. 17 Diamond Bar, California: RFP For Emission Control Technologies For Biogas Engines The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has released an RFP to solicit proposals for the deployment of selective noncatalytic reduction (SNCR) emission control technologies for internal combustion engines operating on landfill and/or digester

Composting Roundup
Jane Curtis Gazit, Keep Magnolia Clean

BioCycle November 2012, Vol. 53, No. 11, p. 12

Practical Plan For Hospital Food Waste Recovery
A typical 1,000-bed hospital reported serving over 8,600 meals/day. Over half were patient meals, and the rest divided between the main cafeteria, small food service vendors and the doctors’ dining room.

A comprehensive food waste progam for a typical 1,000 bed hospital can be carefully designed to become successful and sustainable.
Nicole Chardoul and Beth Coddington
BioCycle September 2012, Vol. 53, No. 9, p. 29

Composting Roundup

BioCycle September 2012, Vol. 53, No. 9, p. 12

Plastic Bag Ban And Residential SSO Diversion

Italy’s nationwide ban on plastic shopping bags in 2011 exempts compostable bags, which has in turn benefited organics diversion.
Christian Garaffa and Rhodes Yepsen
BioCycle August 2012, Vol. 53, No. 8, p. 48

Composting Roundup

BioCycle July 2012, Vol. 53, No. 7, p. 10

Depackaging Organics To Produce Energy

Systems designed to separate packaging from its contents — in this case food and liquids — are being installed at facilities in the U.S. and Canada.
Dan Sullivan
BioCycle June 2012, Vol. 53, No. 6, p. 42

Tribal Community Launches SSO Facility
Food waste from Gedney Pickle to be composted at Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s Organics Recycling Facility

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s composting facility opened last fall, with capacity to process 400,000 cy/year of source separated organics.
Dan Emerson
BioCycle May 2012, Vol. 53, No. 5, p. 21

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Fresh Composting Start In Guelph, Ontario
Guelph, Ontario composting tunnel

BioCycle April 2012, Vol. 53, No. 4, p. 37
New facility is designed to process 33,000 tons/year of source separated organics from residential curbside collection.

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Connections: Food Fight
Sally Brown

BioCycle April 2012, Vol. 53, No. 4, p. 60
Lines are being drawn. Battles are being fought. And all over the organic residuals that in many places, are still considered to be garbage. To understand the basis for these battles, it is really important to understand the role that fixed carbon plays in so much of the discussion about climate change, food security and the dwindling reserves of fossil fuels.

Farm Digester Industry In America
Figure 1. Anaerobic Digester Projects 2000-2011

Growth in facility installations is steady, but lack of capital and antiquated energy policies remain obstacles to realizing the broad suite of benefits that manure-based digester systems could achieve.

Allison Costa and Chris Voell
BioCycle February 2012, Vol. 53, No. 2, p. 38

Composting Roundup
Community gardens use compost, Lorain County, Ohio

Biosolids composting facility expansion; Vermicompost; New business offers organics pick up; Food waste recovery; Community gardens

BioCycle February 2012, Vol. 53, No. 2, p. 12