The 2016 Rhode Island Compost Conference and Trade Show will be held on Thursday, March 10 from 9 to 3 in the Student Union at Rhode Island College in Providence. The conference is annually organized by the Compost Initiative of the Environment Council of Rhode Island, and this year is being held in partnership with the Office of Sustainability of Rhode Island College.
As the wave of the Green Economy washes over Rhode island and the planet, composting food scrap is often the odd man out after solar energy and storm water management. But creating a compost industry needs to be front and center in the Green Economy as it is part of both healing ecosystems and providing new resources for the economy. Creating and using compost reduces trash, stores carbon in the soil, reduces runoff, and improves the size and quality of the food supply, while offering jobs in the places in RI that could really use them.
The way Rhode Island deals with food scrap is changing. The organics collection law passed in 2014 has taken effect, and with facilities coming on line to compost and digest the food scrap, New regulations are going into effect that will boost the development of community and neighborhood composting.. The annual compost conference is the best place to learn about what is going on and to connect to the people making it happen.
This year the keynoter will be Michael Bradlee of Earth Appliance. Bradlee is a long time composter and compost bin innovator and will talk about his work with the pilot compost project in Providence, his data on how much compost you can get from food scrap, and where he thinks the industry is going on Rhode Island. Bradlee’s talk will be particularly informative for school, Community Gardens and Urban Farms.
Workshop presenters include:
- Richard Pederson, the longtime City Farm Steward for Southside Community Land Trust, will be speaking on Urban Agriculture Composting
- Waylon Pleasanton of Sustainable Generation, was the Facilities Operations Supervisor for the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s Cherry Island facility and now works with Sustainable Generations customers to get operations up and running. He will discuss “Lessons Learned in a Food Waste Composting Operation.”
- Marissa Desautel is an environmental attorney who will explain Rhode Island’s new compost law and regulations.
- A new Vermiculture cooperative, the Rhody Worms Cooperative is getting off the ground. Monique Bosch and Bob Barnes will lead the discussion about what they are doing and how you can participate.
- Michael Bradlee will join Leo Pollock, one of the founders of The Compost Plant, and some surprise guests for a discussion of where RI is going. Speakers will offer their perspectives on how the industry is progressing in Rhode Island and what some of the obstacles and opportunities are. This is also an excellent opportunity for others to share what they are seeing in RI as the speakers are just to get the ball rolling.
- We are also still trying to add a speaker from one of the anaerobic digesters being built in Rhode Island
The focus at lunch time will be the annual trade show. Exhibitors include:
- Buxton Hollow Farm
- Earth Appliance
- ecoRI News
- EJ Prescott/Filtrexx
- O2 compost
- Rhody Worms Cooperative
- URI extension
- The Wormladies of Charlestown
There is still room for additional exhibitors.
The day will end with a panel of Christine Beiling of USEPA, Michael McGonagle of RI Resource Recovery Corporation and Christopher Shafer of RI Department of Environmental Management.
This panel will focus on what our government agencies are doing to reduce food waste and where this is heading from the government’s perspective,.
Information and registration are available at http://www.environmentcouncilri.org/content/2016-compost-conference-trade-show Admission is $35 including lunch Questions can be answered if you call the ECRI office at 401-621-8048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org