2018 Vermont Organics Recycling Summit

Randolph Center, Vermont
Thursday, April 05, 2018

8:15 am  Registration, Continental Breakfast, Exhibitors

9:00 am  Welcome
       Patricia Moulton, President, Vermont Technical College
               Opening Remarks
       Peter Walke, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR)
               State of the State

Josh KellyMaterials Management Section Chief, ANR, Solid Waste Program
9:30 am  Keynote
               Nora Goldstein, Editor of BioCycle, the Organics Recycling Authority

10:15 am  Break

10:45 am  Morning Workshops (descriptions below)
M1. Hauler's Roundtable

M2. Business Strategies: Firsthand Experiences with Organics Diversion
Chris Lyon, Seventh Generation
Steve Miller, Alchemy Brewing
Brittany Sperber, Skinny Pancake

M3. Approaching 2020: How Schools, Towns and the Food Recovery Hierarchy Can Close the Gap on Organics Management
Sarah McGraw, Northeast Resource Recovery Association
Cindy Sterling, Northeast Resource Recovery Association

M4. The Latest Science on Using Compost for Stormwater Treatment
Stephanie Hurley, Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont
Eric Roy, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont
Reed Sims, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

12:15 pm  Lunch, Table Topics (optional), Exhibitors, and a special lunchtime session on The Role of Organics Recycling in Vermont’s Food System (Note: The lunchtime session is scheduled from 12:45-1:30, so there is time to get lunch before this session begins.)

1:45 pm  Afternoon Workshops (descriptions below)

A1. Hauling Food Scraps – Central Vermont’s transition from Public to Private Enterprise
Lisa Ransom, Grow Compost
Bruce Westcott, Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District

A2. Vermont-Scale Community Composting: Success Strategies from Early Adopters
Chris Adams, The Garden at 485 Elm
Cassandra Hemenway, Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District
Sheryl Rapée-Adams, The Garden at 485 Elm
Libby Weiland, Vermont Community Garden Network

A3. Working From the Top: Creative Ways to Reduce Wasted Food in Businesses and Institutions
Carl Diethelm, Green Mountain College
Emily Portman, UVM Dining
Renee Stearns, Center for EcoTechnology

A4. Beyond Rain Gardens: Advancing the Use of Compost for Green Infrastructure, Low Impact Development, and Stormwater Management
Athena Bradley, Northeast Recycling Council
Jack Eaton, Filtrexx
Geoff Kuter, AgriSource, Inc.

3:15 pm  Ice Cream Social, VTC Digester Tour, Exhibitors, Raffle

4:00 pm  Adjourn

Workshop Descriptions

M1. Haulers Roundtable
Facilitated by Tom Gilbert, Black Dirt Farm.
Collecting edible food and food scraps from households, institutions and businesses in Vermont and the northeast region presents unfamiliar management challenges for haulers. Join fellow food rescue and food scrap haulers for a peer-to-peer discussion about curbside collection options and hauling equipment. The workshop is for all haulers regardless of the type of vehicle used or collection program.

M2. Business Strategies: Firsthand Experiences with Organics Diversion
Businesses in Vermont are finding unique, creative, and complex ways to divert organics from the landfill, keep our waterways clean, and inspire conscious culture workplaces. This panel tells the story of three very different businesses who feel a responsibility to their communities and the planet to do whats right, who go above and beyond the legal requirements of Act 148. This discussion will allow ample time for questions and offer resources and next steps for businesses looking to transition their resource recovery systems and inspire mission driven culture in the workplace.

M3. Approaching 2020: How Schools, Towns and the Food Recovery Hierarchy Can Close the Gap on Organics Management
The Northeast Resource Recovery Association is working with the USDA to connect school staff and the next generation of recyclers with their solid waste system by examining capacity gaps in New England’s organic waste stream. Natural Resources Council of Maine is developing a handbook to help schools reduce food waste generated and provide options to manage residuals as a resource. Their approach integrates institutional organics management with experiential curricula for students that connects environment stewardship to composting and school gardens. This workshop highlights ME, NH and VT success stories that schools and municipalities can adopt and modify to save thousands of dollars annually, and address local food insecurity.

M.4 Compost and Nutrient Release: What Science Tells Us
Facilitated by Reed Sims, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services
Hear from two UVM researchers on the state of science concerning nutrient retention and release from compost. Discussion includes how the research can be applied to improve water quality by better understanding the role compost can play and its limitations. Adding compost as a soil amendment or in erosion control and stormwater treatment practices helps increase water absorption, screen sediments and biochemically bind nutrients.

Lunchtime Session: The Role of Organics Recycling in Vermont’s Food System (12;45-1:30)
Web-based resources originally developed for the Highfields Center for Composting will soon be available as part of a website designed to support  food donation and organics management needs from a food system perspective. In-depth interviews with stakeholders were used to identify gaps in the current body of available resources, and community need for additional resources. This information was used to compile an extensive body of resources regarding Act 148, including those developed by the Highfields Center for Composting. These resources were then reviewed by the initial interviewees and other community members. Building a website began in the fall of 2017. The Farm to Plate Food Cycle Coalition has continuously sought feedback from potential site users to ensure relevance and accuracy. Join Sarah Danly, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), and Francesca Boulton, VSJF Intern and UVM Food Systems Graduate Student, to learn more about the site’s features and function. This session will take place in Morey, in the meeting room adjacent to the dining hall. (Note: This session is scheduled for 12:45 so there is time to get lunch before it begins.)

A1. Hauling Food Scraps – Central Vermont’s transition from Public to Private Enterprise
The Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District (CVSWMD) has served solid waste management and recycling needs in dozens of central Vermont communities for thirty years.  In 2004, CVSWMD adopted a Zero Waste Implementation Plan and launched its commercial organics hauling program, a direct result of the organization’s commitment to making the diversion of organic material from waste a key program focus. CVSWMD has been for most of the intervening years the only solid waste district in Vermont to offer a food scrap collection operation for area businesses and schools. In 2017, CVSWMD sold their organic diversion equipment and contracted hauling service in their district to Grow Compost of Vermont. The transition of hauling through the services of the municipality to this private hauling company was successful due to the partnership between these two entities. Having worked together for over 8 years, the parties were able to communicate and educate existing customers and promote this service to potential new customers to create a seamless transition.

A2. Vermont-Scale Community Composting: Success Strategies from Early Adopters
A central component to any successful community compost operation is the people. Organized compost stewards, trained users, and informed neighbors support your operation in overcoming challenges, avoiding conflict, and running an effective system. This session explores effective management of small-scale community food scrap composting systems, including strategies for recruiting and training compost volunteers, tips for talking with neighbors, and in-person advice from compost stewards running a small-scale food scrap composting operation at their community garden in Montpelier. We’ll also pull in the Solid Waste Management Entities perspective to learn more about the role SWME’s can play in small-scale community composting and what resources projects can access to support their work. Participants will go home with new ideas, creative practices, and hands-on tools for supporting the growth and vitality of small-scale community composting in their own town, community garden, school or other community space.

A3. Working From the Top: Creative Ways to Reduce Wasted Food in Businesses and Institutions    
Organics recycling in institutional settings has long been a complicated process, yet there are many colleges and universities diverting food scraps from trash in all levels of the food recovery hierarchy. The vastness of these systems, in quantities of food purchased, customers served, and community impact, illustrates the importance of ensuring sound management practices to maintain food safety and a positive social environment. The panel will start with an overview of institutional strategies for organics recycling and then launch into two case studies, at Green Mountain College and the University of Vermont. Learn about strategies being employed, what is working, and where there is room for improvement. The panel will be about 45 minutes of presentation, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A and discussion.

A4. Beyond Rain Gardens—Advancing the Use of Compost for Green Infrastructure, Low Impact Development, and Stormwater Management
Join a panel of experts as they define Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development (LID) and discuss best management practices for managing stormwater through Low Impact Development. Learn about and discuss barriers to LID and road and ditch maintenance, as well as current compost products and applications integral to Green Infrastructure, LID, and stormwater management.


Contact Information

Payment Instructions

  • Registration Fees:
    :  $65
    Attendee (CAV Member):  $50
    Exhibitor: $200
    Exhibitor (after March 23rd):  $250
    Presenter:  Fee Waived
    Confirmed Volunteer: Contact Natasha for more information on being a volunteer

    Note:  If you choose to pay at the event, please bring cash or check.  Thank you!

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