Compost 2016 Soils for a Greener World conference and trade show highlights need for quality compost.

Compost2016-Thurs-0581Demonstration Day features the latest in composting and mulching equipment.

by Jon M. Casey

Historic winter weather in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions did not stop most of this year’s attendees to the Compost 2016 Soils for a Greener World conference and trade show January 25- 28 at the Hyatt Riverfront Convention Center in Jacksonville, FL. While a few of the planned attendees were unable to make the trip due to a mid-Atlantic nor’easter the previous weekend that dumped more than two feet of snow on the nation’s capitol and nearly three feet further north and west of D.C., the conference was well attended. Upwards of 1000 people were on hand for the four-day event to take in seminars, an industry trade show and a demonstration day event on Thursday that featured more than 40 pieces of equipment.

Seminars, Trade Show and Demo Day  

During the four day event, attendees had the option of attending seminars on a variety of topics including sessions on food waste recycling, compostable plastics and how to expand from a mulch operation to a composter, among others. They also enjoyed visiting with more than 100 exhibitors at the conference trade show. On the final day of the event, more than 575 visitors attended the Demonstration Day at the new, J.B. Coxwell, Otis Road Landfill, to witness equipment on active and static display. Shredders, grinders, trommels, specialty screen units and compost turners shared time in the spotlight. Other new specialty equipment like the Terex TWH 226 Material Handler, the McCloskey ST80TF Feeder Stacker, the Loadscan LVS03TMM load volume scanner and the Terex/CBI AirMax material as attendees watched the equipment going through their paces.

Among the sixteen manufacturer’s brands onsite, major event sponsor, Terex Environmental Equipment (TEE), used this opportunity to host their first U.S. dealer event under the new TEE banner. Following the recent working partnership agreement with Continental Biomass Industries (CBI) as a primary source for high speed grinders and shredding equipment, the new Terex division kicked off their marketing campaign with targeted dealer/customer events and demonstrations (see Terex coverage elsewhere in this issue of WHEN).

“We were very impressed with how each of our machines operated at Compost 2016,” said Steven Aiken, TEE product manager and marketing manager. “There’s been a lot of preparation that went into the equipment show and to see everything run as smoothly as it did was great. Each of our TEE service technicians was outstanding in their product support. A lot of credit also goes to the United States Composting Council. Working with them was a pleasure as we coordinated the equipment site layout.”

Demonstrations were divided into three kinds of equipment, grinders, trommel/screeners and compost turners. Each class was demonstrated in timed sessions both morning and again in the afternoon. Between demonstrations of the various equipment pieces, attendees were allowed to inspect the equipment and ask company representatives questions pertaining to the individual’s specific needs. Even with deteriorating weather in the mid-afternoon, most of the attendees continued to stay to watch the equipment in action.

Industry Recognition

This year, The U.S. Composting Council recognized seven composters with six awards at the Closing Plenary on January 27. The Composter of the Year went to the Rockland County (NY) Solid Waste Management Authority for their efforts of co-composting 400,000 tons of biosolids and 200,000 tons of yard trim since 1999.

The Jerome Goldstein Lifetime Award, one of the USCC’s highest recognitions, was given to Rufus Chaney, is a USDA research agronomist who has spent 33 years in crop and soil science. The Rufus Chaney Award went to K.C. Das, of the University of Georgia Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Unable to attend this year’s ceremony because of the adverse weather conditions, K.C. Alexander and Sumner Martinson of the CT/DEEP/MA-DEP programs, jointly received the Hi Kellogg Award for outstanding service to the composting industry, via online video conferencing. KC and Sumner were leaders of the compost industry and organics recycling in the pioneering states of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Christine Datz-Romero, director of the Lower East Side Ecology Center, received the H. Clark Gregory Award, which recognizes grassroots education and awareness of composting. Texas State University’s Bobcat Blend Composting Program, San Marcos, Texas, was honored with the Composting Program of the Year award. This honor recognizes composters of less than 10,000 tons of feedstock.

Compost 2017 is planned for January 23-26, 2017 in San Diego, CA. For more information, visit compostingcouncil.org .

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