Organics Management Project

Submitted by: Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.
Contact: Athena Lee Bradley, Projects Manager; 802.254.3636
This project will:
• Develop an Organic Materials Best Management Practices Guidance Document for rural communities, including waste reduction options, composting and mulching operations, and marketing of organics.
• Deliver six training sessions (one in each targeted community/region) to educate and train transfer station operators and municipal employees about state requirements for organics management, best management practices for maintaining and operating an organics diversion program, and implementation strategies for successful and cost-effective organics and disaster debris management preparedness.
• Deliver on-site technical assistance in six communities for handling organics, starting a municipal composting program, or expanding or improving an existing organics management system, and debris management preparedness.
• Hold a series of 12 state-specific Webinars (three in each participating state), as well as one national Webinar, covering best management practices for municipal organics diversion programs, and debris management preparedness, and highlighting successful operations occurring in rural communities.
• Provide educational resources for managing organics cost-effectively within local and regional rural economies and ways to stimulate local economies by making viable, marketable products from organic materials in the workshops, Webinars, and Guidance Document.
Project Details: Training Sessions and Technical Assistance
Training Sessions for transfer station operators and municipal employees. Half-day workshops will be held in each state1 to provide an overview about best management practices for organics and debris management preparedness.
The Trainings will include information about:
• Why to implement organics and debris management programs.
• Types of organic and debris materials generated and management options for each.
• What is involved in organics and debris management programs (time, staff, costs, equipment, resources, etc.).
• Short-term, mid-term, and long-term planning options.
1 Three workshops will be held in New York State.
• Local and regional resources for setting up and sustaining programs (leveraging existing equipment, farm and community options, and potential funding).
• Regulatory framework.
• Recommended best management practices.
• Options for leveraging limited community resources by developing rural regional collaborative strategies for organics management.
• The potential for stimulating the local economy through compost and mulch marketing.
• Identifying stakeholders and encouraging involvement.
• Weighing costs and benefits.
• Examples of successful programs.
The Trainings will be promoted regionally, with the intent of including representatives from many rural communities, including Indian Tribal communities within each state. Workshop participants will be asked, at the workshop, to complete a survey about existing organics and debris management practices, goals and objectives for organics and debris management, how the workshop has (or has not) provided them with the tools needed to support organics and debris management in their community. Each workshop participant will be provided with a copy of the Guide on CD.
Advisory Committee members will be asked to help identify and secure locations for the workshops. The intention is to have free space offered in locations convenient to many rural communities.
Because the workshops will be half-day events, light refreshments and beverages will be served. We have budgeted for 25 people per workshop.
On-site technical assistance. NERC will spend one day (one visit) in each participating community with town leaders, solid waste staff, and volunteers to review existing organics and debris management practices, discuss the community’s needs assessment results, and work through program planning and implementation requirements. The visits will provide context and a fuller understanding of the local circumstances in order to guide and inform the adoption of best management practices within the community. Regional opportunities, identifying existing and potential infrastructures for managing organic materials and debris management preparedness, identifying stakeholders, and organics marketing opportunities will be discussed. The site visits coincide with the workshops. Notes about the site visits, a summary of the recommendations made, assistance requested and provided, and an outline of management scenarios and “steps forward” (near term, mid-term, and long-term) for each community will be written and provided to the community.
Participating Towns
• Town of Skowhegan (Maine)
• Town of Effingham (New Hampshire)
• Greenwich Village (New York)
• Town of Watkins Glen (New York)
• Town of Woodstock (New York) & Ulster County Resource Recovery Association (New York)
• Town of Chelsea (Vermont) & Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District