ISSUE #21  |  June 3, 2020
Fate Of Compostable
Products During Industrial Composting Of SSO

By Maarten van der Zee and Karin Molenveld
A recent study at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands analyzed the fate of compostable packaging in an industrial composting plant. The central aim of the study, “The fate of (compostable) plastic products in a full scale industrial organic waste treatment facility,” was to gather more empirical data on whether the disintegration rate of compostable products is sufficient to be compatible with current organic waste treatment practices in the Netherlands. In an industrial organic waste treatment trial, nine different compostable plastic products were tested: organic waste collection bags, plant pots, tea bags, coffee pads, coffee capsules, and fruit labels. The authors studied how compostable plastics behave in the current Dutch treatment system for source separated municipal organic waste (GFT) and came to the conclusion that compostable products can be processed well with GFT.

Know Your Enemy —
Primer On SARS-CoV-2
Unfortunately, in the case of COVID-19 it is your friends and coworkers who are the potential enemies and not the compost feedstocks or compost pile. There is an enormous amount we don’t know yet about this virus — the most important being how to stop it from making you sick. The second most important is how to make you better if it does make you sick.

However, from a behavior of a virus in the environment standpoint, there is plenty that we do know. Much of this knowledge is based on the behavior of viruses from the same family as SARS-CoV-2, and increasingly some of it is from the virus itself. As cities and programs react to the pandemic it is very easy for managers to overreact on the side of safety. Programs like biosolids recycling and food scrap collection and composting can be viewed as unnecessary risks and cut. Science and common sense beg to differ. This two-part Connections Column will be a review of the basics of viruses with a focus on coronaviruses. 

USCC Applies
For Stand-Alone
Industry Code

The US Composting Council (USCC), the organization representing the commercial composting industry, has applied to the U.S. Census Bureau for a NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code for “Compost Manufacturing.” The current classification under which composting falls is 325311 Nitrogenous Fertilizer Manufacturing. “[This] is not an accurate designation for Compost Manufacturing,” stated the USCC’s application submittal letter.

Remembering The
King Of The Windrow

We recently learned that Dr. Lester (Les) Kuhlman passed away in April. Les introduced his compost turner — branded as King of the Windrow — in 1975. His company, Resource Recovery Systems International (RRSI), had its origins in the agricultural market, where he already was working as a composting consultant to feedlots and other animal agricultural operations. Born in 1935, Les received a BS in Animal Science from Iowa State University, and an MS in Animal Nutrition and a PhD in Biochemistry from Oklahoma State University.

CalRecycle SB1383
Case Studies

Even though California's SB 1383 regulations don’t go into effect until January 1, 2022, jurisdictions need to start planning now to adequately resource the programs, says CalRecycle, which has made education and outreach tools available. Newly added are eight SB 1383 case studies, compiled by HF&H Consultants under a CalRecycle contract.  The case study topics include franchise agreements, enforcement ordinances, edible food, and procurement.

Is Organic Certification
Right For Your Compost?
By Ron Alexander
The National Organic Program (NOP) is a regulatory program housed within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service, and is responsible for developing national standards for organically produced agricultural products. The intent is to assure consumers that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform standards.

Winning Food Waste Reduction Strategy
By Ana Carvalho
The Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel was the first hotel to join the City of San Diego, California’s voluntary Commercial Food Waste Composting Program in 2012. 
Founding Publisher
Jerome Goldstein

Nora Goldstein

Rill Ann Goldstein Miller

Associate Publisher
Ina Pincus

Senior Editor
Craig Coker
Senior Adviser
Sally Brown, University Of Washington

Contributing Editors
Ana Carvalho, Peter Gorrie,
Michael H. Levin, Robert Spencer

Advertising Director
Teri Sorg-McManamon

Art Director
Doug Pinkerton

Administrative Assistant
Celeste Madtes
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