Minnesota facility, New York composting pioneer site among USCC awards

Minnesota facility, New York composting pioneer site among USCC awards

RALEIGH, NC — The City of Orlando, a longtime Minnesota compost facility and pioneer of community composting in New York City are all being honored as industry leaders in the US Composting Council’s 2021 version of its prestigious annual awards program.

Awardees are nominated by peers and honored each year at the US Composting Council’s Annual Conference and Tradeshow. This year’s awards will be announced at COMPOST 2021, the USCC’s virtual conference.

The City of Orlando’s Green Works Orlando Program is being recognized with USCC”s Organics Diversion Program of the Year, which is awarded to a program, public or private, that has successfully promoted and enabled organics diversion to composting or vermicomposting through demonstrated education and public outreach activities. Over the course of six years, Green Works Orlando has created three creative new operational services to address the wasted food in the City’s municipal solid waste stream. Since this commercial pilot’s inception in 2014 with just 3 starting locations, the program has grown to 34 locations. Program customers include: sporting venues, large hotel chains, educational institutions, numerous offices, restaurants, and retail outlets.

Small-Scale compost manufacturer, given to facilities producing 10,000 tons or less, is awarded to Big Reuse, New York City Compost Project. Big Reuse operates two community composting facilities in NYC, In Brooklyn and Queens. Big Reuse redeveloped a garbage-strewn lot into an effective facility beneath the Queensboro Bridge on NYC Parks land. Big Reuse works with the New York City Department of Sanitation, community organizations and NYC Parks to collect food scraps and leaves for composting. Big Reuse composts 2 million pounds annually.

The USCC’s large-scale Composter of the Year Award, given to a facility of more than 10,000 tons per year, is being awarded to Specialized Environmental Technologies, LLC of Minnesota. SET is one of the largest compost producers in the Upper Midwest and the largest processor of organic materials in Minnesota, with 30 employees, six operations and affiliates in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. SET produces more than 80,000 tons of yard and wood waste materials a year, handling more than 19,000 tons of Source Separated Organic Materials (SSOM) in 2018. SET expanded the operations to 10 metro yard waste composting operations, one organics composting operation and three solid waste transfer stations. Sadly, one of SET’s founders, Kevin Tritz, died last fall in the business’s 21st year, after decades of industry leadership.

Receiving the Presidents Award is Patrick Geraty of St. Louis Composting. The members of the US Composting Council wish to recognize and extend grateful appreciation for his contributions, service, and commitment to further the goals of the Council as president. Patrick has led USCC as president for the past three years. With his guidance the Council has become stronger, more financially stable and poised for growth.

Jeff Bradley, Robert Michitsch and Sarah Martinez all receive special service awards for their time on the board. Bradley, of Vermeer, during his three-year tenure served on both the Nominations Committee and the Annual Conference Committee. Bradley has provided great insight with the logistics of displaying large equipment at the convention center and also with demo day.

Michitsch, during his six years on the board, was also liaison the Compost Research & Education Foundation, and connected the USCC to academia, contributing to the YP program and our conference research session selection.

Martinez, during her time at EcoProducts, served on the board for five years, including time as Board Secretary. She was instrumental in the formation of the Food Waste Task Force, now the Target Organics Committee, which she co-chaired for two years. Sarah was one of the voices for compostable serviceware. Sarah has moved on to The Clorox Company where she is Director of Strategic Engagement.

Two USCC committee leaders are receiving the USCC Board of Directors Service Award. Bob Engel of Engel & Gray, is being recognized for more than10 years of service as Chair of the Market Development Committee. Bob has contributed over decades to compost marketing and the STA Program during his tenure. From providing his knowledge and insight of marketing compost, to loaning his staff to provide graphic design support for logos and artwork, Bob has also contributed tremendously to industry marketing over the years

Additionally, Chuck Duprey of Naturcycle will be recognized with a Board of Directors Service Award for more than 10 years as vice chair of the Market Development Committee. Over the years Chuck has provided the Market Development Committee with detailed knowledge of the Seal of Testing Assurance Program, marketing strategies to specific market segments such as Landscape Architects and DOT’s. Chuck is also the Market Development Committees representative on the STA Advisory Committee.

The 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award award is being given to Amy Freeman. Over the past 20 years of the annual conference Amy has been a repeat volunteer. She has worked in trenches from stuffing trade show bags to helping out with volunteers and working with both the Young Professionals and Community Composters. This past year Amy has has chaired the Composting Research and Education Foundation’s International Compost Awareness Week Committee.

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