Ohio composting industry tour will focus on managing water

This year’s Composting in Ohio industry tour, set for Aug. 20 in southwest Ohio, will focus on managing water.

The stops on the tour will feature, for example, a large-scale composting facility that recently took steps to better control its surface water runoff and a dairy-restaurant complex that treats millions of gallons of graywater in a system of wetlands.

Also covered will be preparing for a possible H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in Ohio and, should it happen, the possible need to compost thousands or even millions of dead poultry.

The event is for anyone “interested in seeing firsthand how to recycle, rather than landfill, organic wastes,” said Fred Michel, event co-planner and associate professor of biosystems engineering in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The tour’s target audience, Michel said, includes compost producers, regulators, consultants, scientists, solid waste district managers, city and county officials, and farmers.

The tour starts at 9 a.m. at the Garick Composting Facility, 11000 Huntington Road in South Charleston, which is where participants should meet. It goes to two other sites in the area, then features three sessions by industry experts.

The event’s sponsors are the college’s Ohio Composting and Manure Management Program and the Organics Recycling Association of Ohio.

Featured on the tour will be:

Garick Composting Facility, a Class II facility that uses the in-vessel Paygro System to compost 145,000 yards of feedstock annually, including manure and food wastes. It then makes a range of consumer and professional compost products for conditioning the soil. The site’s operators recently made upgrades to improve its surface water runoff.

Clark County Mortality Composting, South Charleston. The Ohio Department of Transportation has run the Class II site for 10 years. It composts deer killed on roads in the county.

Young’s Jersey Dairy, Yellow Springs. The stop includes lunch and ice cream followed by a tour of a wetland complex used to treat 4 million gallons of graywater annually from the farm’s restaurant and processing facility.

Also featured will be talks on:

“Developing a Surface Water Prevention Plan (SWPP): A Case Study” by Sharon Barnes and Bob Schanz of Barnes Nursery in Huron, about controlling runoff from composting facilities.

“Future of Organics Recycling in Ohio” by Terrie TerMeer of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, about changes in the state’s waste-management and environmental policies and their possible effects on the economics of composting.

“Planning for Catastrophe: Avian Influenza 2015” by Michel, including identifying compost facilities that could provide large amounts of yard waste and other feedstock for composting the chickens and turkeys that might die in an outbreak.

General registration is $40 by Aug. 17 and includes lunch. Student registration is $25 by the same date and also includes lunch. Download the program flier and registration form at go.osu.edu/2015OhioCompostTour.

Transportation between the tour stops will be by the participants’ own vehicles or by a free vanpool ride leaving from CFAES’s research arm, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster in northeast Ohio, at 6 a.m. and returning by 6 p.m. Space in the van is limited; reserve a space when registering.

Participants will be eligible for the following continuing education credits: Ohio Department of Agriculture Certified Livestock Manager (CLM), 2.0 continuing education hours; and Professional Engineers (PE), 2.0 continuing professional development hours.

For details about the event and registration, contact CFAES’s Mary Wicks at 330-202-3533 or wicks.14@osu.edu.

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