Managing Waste Program Work Team Annual Meeting

November 7, 2002

9:30-2, Bistro Q Restaurant, Ithaca NY



Aman, Bob, Aman Farm, 56 Foote Crossing, Candor, NY 13743;; 607-659-7253

Bonhotal, Jean, CWMI, 101b Rice Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;; 607-255-8444

Darling, Mark, Ithaca College, 201 Physical Plant Bldg, Ithaca, NY 14850;; 607-274-1777

Eller, Bob, CCE of Wayne County, 1581 Rt 88N, Newark, NY 14513;, 315-331-8415

Fiesinger, Tom, NYS ERDA, Corporate Plaza W, 286 Washington Ave Ext, Albany, NY 12203-6399;; 518-862-1090 x 3218

Gillett, Jim, Dept. of Natural Resources, Cornell University, 216 Rice Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853;; 607-255-2163

Grant, Jennifer, IPM Turf, NYS AES, 15 Kennedy Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853;; 315-787-2209

Hammond, Steve, NYSDEC, Solid Materials, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233;; 518 402-8651

Haith, Doug, Dept. of Ag and Bio Engineering, Cornell University, 308 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853;; 607-255-2802

Harrison, Ellen, CWMI, 100 Rice Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;; 607-255-8576

Haizlip, Marjorie, President, NYS Assn. For Reduction, Reuse and Recycling; Western Finger Lakes SWMA, 9 Pearl St, Bx 36, Lyons, NY 14489;; 315-946-7650

Hosking, Linda, Empire State Development, EMIG, 30 S Pearl St, Albany, NY 12245;; 518-292-5340

Lim, Ly, NYSDEC, Solid Materials, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233; lylim; 518 402-8709.

Marion, Jim, NYS Assn. For Reduction, Reuse and Recycling, Organics Recycling and Composting Council, NYS DOCS, ENYCF, Division of Industries, 601 Berme Rd, Napanoch, NY 12458;; 914-647-1054, 1653

Mathers, Kevin, CCE Broome County, 80 Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905;; 607-772-8953 x130

Michaelides, Adam, CCE of Tompkins County, 615 Willow Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850;; 607-272-2292 x 124

Patterson, Connie, Patterson Farms, 1131 A-S Town Line Rd, Auburn, NY 13021;; 315-253-9220

Richardson, Tom, Tompkins County Solid Waste, 122 Commercial Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850;; 607-273-6632

Schmidt, Kate, CCE of Sullivan County, 69 Ferndale-Loomis Rd, Liberty, NY 12754;; 845-292-6180 x 108

Telega, Lee, ProDairy, 90 State St, Ste 600, Albany, NY 12207;; 518-462-2553

Trowbridge, Peter, Dept of Landscape Architecture, 440 Kennedy Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;; 607-255-2738

Walker, Bob, Earthworks, PO Box 68, Claverack, NY 12513;; 518-392-0819

Wellin, Lauri, CWMI, 101b Rice Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853;; 607-255-1187


Introductions, confirm agenda

1. Update on what people are doing

            Research (including info re the clopyralid proposal)


            Management (what composters are doing)

            Summary of findings of National Academy sludge report

2. Where to from here

            Research needs

            Outreach/extension needs

            Other activities

3. Update on NYS 360 Regulations

4. Labeling/standards/testing for composts

status of APPFCO model law

Potential for multi-state labeling program

To Do:

Harrison- Contact Bassuck and share info re soil amendment needed for urban soils. Get and share specs for use in landscape industry from Trowbridge. Check with Will Brinton re relationship of Rodale Compost certification to use on organic farms

Work with NYS Nurserymen’s assn, regional section of American Society of Landscape Architects to develop specs and make presentations.  Current ERDA funded CWMI/Horticulture/Landscape Architecture project will work towards this.

CWMI - develop Advanced Short course - work with Walker and Marion from this group (and anyone else who wants to volunteer to be involved in planning let me know).

Haizlip- new president of NYS Assn. for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling, would like to reactivate NYSAR organics council.

Mark Darling would be glad to work with NYSAR on increasing university composting making use of zero waste initiatives.

Kevin will contact Rhonda Sherman and Mary Applehoff to see if there is info on health risks of vermicomoposting. Vermicomposting – can we address and do fact sheet re health issues (some schools have banned it)?

Fiesinger and Telega will share info on new EQUIP rules coming out soon for comment. We need to look at them to be sure aggregation idea is fundable.  We should consider commenting as a group.

Research Needs

Haith - Research needs – looking for compost of certain quality.  Designer compost for specific properties – to predict solids, pH, nutrients etc.   

Walker - Any composter can tell you what they will find in the compost – the quality as it relates to inputs.  Mysteries are microflora, bacteria, funguses. 

Harrison – air emissions from composting facilities are they a research need? An issue?

Darling – has an odor control plan to implement if needed.  Would be helpful to bring in trained noses.  Washington state U had an article in Biocycle – progressive odor control plan. 

Marion – re odors: Dept. or Corrections has a trouble-shooting person, has procedures, complaints are investigated, have retrofitted leachate collection and treatment systems on all pads.

Bonhotal – Pete Wright has odor questionnaire to help id farm practices to the odors

Lim – permitted composting facility under NYS Part 360 rules may have to apply for air permit and address odor control if it is a covered facility.  Part 360 says you must produce compost without nuisance odors, but this is hard to prove. 

Hammond – there would be value in looking at bioaerosols especially molds from large compost operations.

Marion – chronic asthma issue – would that be a source of funding?

Harrison – should we try to get USDA research $ on this.

Harrison – how about a clearinghouse and development of a testing protocol for use of industrial byproducts in agriculture.

Hammond – NE Waste Mgmt Officials have been sharing info about beneficial use determinations for residuals. DEC tries to allow a lot of degrees of freedom in testing to avoid rigid non-relevant tests.  DEC does a wide spectrum analysis and includes DAM, DOH.  Within DEC have Beneficial Use section that gives the permits.  DEC will be facing fewer staff and fewer regulations.

Harrison -Is burning and on-site dumping of agricultural plastics an issue we should be addressing?

Marion – yes this is a problem, more bales being wrapped, tarps, etc

Hammond – good solutions are coming for pesticides containers

Telega – not high on radar screen so unlikely to be EQUIP funding.

Marion – works closely with Franklin Co CCE, where they were going to collect and bale ag plastics, but farmers don’t even have time to collect and store it.

Walker - research chemicals coming in through animals, what happens to them in composting processes?

Grant – Need research on what difference does compost make? Document benefits on athletic fields, golf courses and how to incorporate in to management practices.

Lim- Research and outreach re pathogen reduction in biosolids compost.

Aaron Gabriel – has an interest expressed via email in looking at use of different recycled materials for construction of compost pads.

Marion – is doing work using recycled asphalt and testing it

Walker – trying in situ stabilization with lime, but it isn’t working. 

Aman – using stone dust over compacted soil and it is working well.   An advantage is that if it gets into the compost it disappears.

Toad Hollow – with ESD $ did some expts with different pads.

Outreach Needs

Harrison – CWMI is considering  holding a Compost Advanced Short Course next autumn. Walker, Marion volunteered to help plan.

TOPICS for such a course:

micronutrients and fungi, etc; testing and quality control; spreadsheets do computations; understanding the science between compost and plants; microbiology of manure composting; practical and cost effective ways to compost to meet product demand; risk communication and interface with public, neighbor issues, odors; regulatory update; bioremediation of soils by composting it eg composting treatment; marketing and promotion. 

One person suggested that we don’t need an equipment show for an advanced course.

A tour is a good idea.

Hazilip – reactivate NYSAR3 organics council is a goal of hers are incoming president of NYSAR3.

Darling- interested in outreach to other universities regarding composting.

Work with NYS Nurserymen’s assn, regional section of American Society of Landscape Architects to develop specs and make presentations.  Current ERDA funded CWMI/Horticulture/Landscape Architecture project will work towards this.

Haizlip- new president of NYS Assn. for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling, would like to reactivate NYSAR organics council.

Mark Darling would be glad to work with NYSAR on increasing university composting making use of zero waste initiatives.

Kevin will contact Rhonda Sherman and Mary Applehoff to see if there is info on health risks of vermicomoposting. Vermicomposting – can we address and do fact sheet re health issues in vermicomposting (some schools have banned it)?

Fiesinger and Telega will share info on new EQUIP rules coming out soon for comment. We need to look at them to be sure aggregation idea is fundable.  We should consider commenting as a group on draft EQUIP rules.

Clopyralid in composts:

In response to concerns raised at last year’s PWT meeting, a research proposal was developed on investigating NYS composts for carryover of the herbicide Clopyralid.  It was approved, but was withdrawn since DOW chemical voluntarily cancelled the use of clopyralid in residential settings. 

DEC took samples of some NYS composts in August 2002 and will have them analyzed for clopyralid in December.

One composter reported that his compost showed moderate stunting in plant trials (tested by Woods End Research Lab) that seem to indicate clopyralid contamination although he takes no grass clippings.

Discussion of use of compost in landscaping

Trowbridge – Faculty member Nina Bassuck who works on urban soils is finding a need for 50-70% organic matter amendment by volume to overcome urban soil compaction.  In comparison to amendments like peat, compost has added benefits of nutrients.

Specifications for compost use in Landscaping (ie. Use in major building projects involving creating of landscaped spaces).  Parameters like pH, soluble salts, weed seeds and herbicide residues are important. Product must fall within a range. Products must be available in volume, Might need >1000 yd cu at one time. Sometimes landscape architect will go to a brand name product, assuming consistency.  However, even such a product may exhibit significant variability and may not be tested for parameters of concern such as soluble salts.  Trowbridge, in his role as private service provider, sends samples of compost out for tests and has found high soluble salts causing burn, and high pH (which is often a surprise to landscapers).  In order to market composts we need predictability and quantity.

In Landscaping, probably biggest market asset for compost is not fertility but soil texture and water retention.  They tend to use bark as mulch which is easily available for erosion control.

Eller – texture is a critical issue for landscapers. 

Trowbridge yes – if fine, blowing, eroding so you want compost somewhat coarse. But size is not generally addressed in specifications.

Walker – produces 2000 yds this year, want to get to 4000 next year.  He finds in his area that landscapers are just buying “cheap dirt.”  So education is needed for them to understand the value of composts.

Telega – Herrington (farm that composts) is near Walker and is selling to landscapers.  He has 4-5 products.

Aman – some of his compost being used on sports fields. Farmers doing compost are finding themselves competing with each other. Agway was taking his compost but found a cheaper source.  Aman was NOFA approved.

Role of NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets

Telega asked about how/whether DAM is addressing composts.

Harrison said that DAM seems surprisingly uninvolved since many farms are composting to address manure management.  They were invited to this meeting.

DAM is the agency that regulates fertilizers and soil amendments.  Current rules are a problem for composts since if any information is provided on nutrient content, compost would fall under the fertilizer rules which are not appropriate.  This year, APPFCO, an association of state plant food control officials, has dropped consideration of a model law for compost and moved to consider modifications of the current model law for soil amendments to better address composts.


Bonhotal – We should consider use of a broker to work with several farms to market composts. 

Telega – like a feed company  -blending, selling.

Trowbridge – There may be an interesting model.  Bassuck has patented a soil for urban areas now being used around the world.  It is being sold in a method sort of like franchising.  A distributor gets a license which makes them responsible for meeting performance specifications.. 

Patterson and Aman – as individual farms handle their manure, we need middleman to market product.  Dairy farmers aren’t experienced marketers. The timing is also bad for farmers with compost use in spring and fall which are farmer’s busy seasons. 

Walker – broker idea is good one, there is a person doing this in NC.  The yard waste composting facilities have the carbon, farmers need it. See Brinton article on Bavarian model – farms get yard and food wastes from towns. 

Fiesinger - Idea of aggregating composts – Synagro is working with 25 farms in central NYS to compost digester solids.  ERDA may try to invite proposals to address aggregation/broker.

Hosking- Environmental services unit of ESD. She is getting calls relating to small farm composting are increasing.  6-10 small farms in central NY are talking together about potential project to look at feasibility of aggregating.  Will be meeting with NRCS about this is.  There will be more projects coming through on composting.  Research ideas gained from this meeting. 

Current activities of participants

Marion – Dept. of Corrections is doing carcass composting at all 8 livestock farms.  At 2 sites also working with DEC and DOT on roadkill.  Also butcher waste. 32 facilities are composting food waste. 15,000T/yr using several technologies.

Darling – Ithaca College is in its 10th year of food waste composting. New facility is now operating.  Mark responds to many requests for information from universities across the US. It takes a long time to move universities. Some successful starts in NYS.  Mark would be glad to work with NYSAR on increasing university composting making use of zero waste initiatives. Motivations for universities include cost avoidance, but reputation for environmentally sound approach is valuable as well.  There is a need to get the word out better.

Telega – educator of dairy industry.  Manure treatment for odor control.  Almost all manure treatment is now funded by USDA.  Need to do more movement of manure off the farm. Need to build “rear end nutrient management system”. How to pay for capitalization?  How do you market the C fraction?  Farm bill – livestock industry got increase in limit to $450k for manure capital cost share projects.  Energy title is new to farm bill.  Digestion is being thought of. But you still have manure. To get farm bill EQUIP $ must conform with NRCS spec. There is one on composting. Working on one for digestion.

Marion – legislation in NYS has made electric generation a farm practice – relevant to right to farm, tax implications.

Bonhotal – NRCS putting together new spec for carcass composting.

Michaelides – works on education of public primarily home composting. Vermicomposting class last week – diverse people in the audiences.  Questions: volunteers ask about municipal collection and composting; can pet feces, meat be composted. 

Fiesinger – ERDA funding of composting projects must find energy component.  Easier to fund digesters, but to make them economic need to deal with the product including composting.  Can also rationalize composting in energy efficient manner.  A new project will compile and extend info from past projects,. Current CWMI marketing and labeling project – data from 30 farms.  Looking particularly at consistency of product over time and how closely these composts meet various standards/guidelines.

Hammond – new dewatering technology being used on sludge and paper industry and can get to 40-50%. A tube, gravity, low energy. 

Haith – why put all the water in in the first place?  Co-composter shows if you add water, it doesn’t make economic sense.  Most nutrients are in the liquid.

Walker – It is feasible to compost wet manure, but need lots of wood chips.

Mathers – primarily home composting and school.  Vermicomposting – can we address and do fact sheet re health issues (some schools have banned it)?  Concern about spores, fungi as well as pathogens from other kids in post-plate wastes. 

Haith –  work on Co-composter model – on dairy farm economics and engineering spreadsheet calculations.  Available free on CWMI www site.

Grant – working with Lamboy on compost top dressing to athletic fields for disease suppression.  Have not found any significant differences in turf grass quality and “playability” between compost products and between compost and controls.  4 sites for 2 years, 2 sites for 3 years.  Have not yet looked at structure of soil.  Another LI project on golf course – comparing standard vs IPM practices with compost. Disease suppression positive result for golf (not an issue for athletic fields).  Public schools don’t have $ for fertilizer but if compost is free the N might be of interest.  She will share results when available. 

The new NYS DEC Compost Rules (part 360)

Lim – regulation revisions have been underway for 10 years – Envir Bd will meet to approve in late Nov.  If approved, then effective in about 90 days.  [note, the board did approve them on November 25.]

Major provisions: register if, exempt <1000cuyd/yr food waste, land application of food and leaf waste exempt, fish hatchery waste exempt  Biosolids – trying to incorporate the federal 503requirements into the state rules which would allow delegation from EPA; septage – regulated under part 364 will be brought under 360 to make it more uniform. Septage must be limed to pH 12 for 30 min and also require incorporation.

Two major divisions – composting, chemical stabilization and heat drying; land application. Generate 1000 t/d of biosolids in NYS about 50% “beneficial use.” 31%incinerated, 17% land fill, 1% other. Only 1% is Class B land spread on about 4000 acres.  Estimated 800 farms taking N-Viro.   Most of the pellets being spread in FL. Some Class B to Colorado.  Some to composting facility in VA. Biggest heat drying in world is in NYC.

Eller – are regulatory issues different for different feedstocks?

Lim – register if < 1000 cu yd/yr food waste, instead of register if, exempt <1000 cu yd/yr food waste.  Land application of leaves is exempt, instead of land application of food and leaf waste exempt.  51% "beneficial use", instead of 50% "beneficial use".  <3000 yards annual input of yard waste no permit, instead of < 3000 yards annual input of anything no permit.  Under new regs from 3-10,000 yds of yard waste need to register, not permit, instead of under new regs from 3-10,000 yds need to register, not permit.


Compost Labeling/Guidelines

Harrison – presented potential www site info re compost specs and labels. Need to add guidelines for use.  Need to address topdressing of turf, veg gardens, flower beds. Propose to allow farms to post test results of their composts on the www site.

Walker – do users care? in 5 years, only one landscaper asked for pH.  Out of 4 farmers, only one wants chemical analysis. However, it would be useful to post on www sites

Grant – generally turf people are not looking at analyses.  They are not asking.

Marion – pH, feedstock, NPK, maturity in analyzing 30 farms data, see what testing parameters are inexpensive and give you most info – eg maturity related to plant response. 

Harrison – weed seed seems important.

Multi state Label common to NE– The group liked the idea of listing ingredients by weight, process used, how long it has been composted/cured, enduse recommendations, HOW about adding x lbs at y% moisture, %OM – concern is mixing with sand so ingredients % would cover this but it would not cover inadvertent mixing in of soil from dirt pads.