Part 3 of Webinar Series on Composting in the Time of COVID-19
Tuesday, April 14th 1-2:15pm EDT
In Part 3 of this webinar series, we heard from a panel of for-profit, nonprofit, and government food scrap collectors. They shared their experience in adapting drop-off and curbside collection programs in response to COVID-19. The discussion covered new safety protocols, defending right to collect food scraps for composting, services paused, and new services offered (such as home composting kits and food delivery for local businesses).
Note: Question about the use of vinegar as a disinfectant/sanitizer came up on the webinar. Vinegar is NOT effective against COVID-19. For more information, please visit:
- These Common Household Products Can Destroy the Novel Coronavirus (Consumer Reports)
- FAQs about Hand Hygiene for Healthcare Personnel Responding to COVID-2019 (CDC)
This webinar is Part 3 in the US Composting Council’s series: Composting in the Time of COVID-19. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is collaborating with the USCC to offer this series.
For more information on the series and to view and listen to past webinar recordings, click HERE.
|Daryl Braithwaite, Public Works Director for the City of Takoma Park, Maryland, will share how her municipality serving ~1,800 households with opt-in food scrap collection has implemented safety protocols from assigning each truck to a dedicated driver to providing ample uniforms and professional laundering service. Daryl has worked for the City for over 30 years, starting as the first recycling coordinator in 1988. She has held positions including Solid Waste Manager, Assistant Public Works Director, and has been the Director since 2006.|
|Dan Matsch, Eco-Cycle, Bouder, Colorado, will share how his nonprofit has temporarily modified its compost guidelines to exclude tissues and paper towels that may have been in contact with anyone experiencing symptoms of illness, but otherwise continues to advise that organic material be composted. Eco-Cycle is a nonprofit recycler that works with cities along Colorado’s Front Range. Founded in 1976, Eco-Cycle helped make Boulder one of the first 20 communities in the U.S. to offer curbside recycling. In 2004, it became the first commercial food waste collection program in Colorado when it started collecting source-separated organics from hundreds of businesses of all sizes throughout Boulder County. Dan leads Eco-Cycle’s composting collection and advocacy efforts. He is a former organic farmer and longtime small-scale composter who works at local, state, and national levels for food waste diversion from landfills, distributed community-scale composting infrastructure, and use of compost to sequester carbon. Dan is the co-chair of Colorado’s state chapter of USCC and also serves on the steering committee of the Community Composter Coalition, which ILSR convenes.|
|Eileen Banyra, founder, Community Compost Co., New Paltz, New York, and member of the USCC Board of Directors, will share how her company – based in the Hudson Valley of NY and northern New Jersey – is navigating COVID-19. Eileen founded the Community Compost Co. in 2013 to address climate change and improve soil health through regional composting of food waste. The company collects food scraps from residential and commercial accounts and composts food scraps at a nearby farm in New York. A lifelong environmentalist and city planner by profession, Eileen has worked in both public and private sector planning, providing land use and zoning guidance to both rural communities and cities throughout northern New Jersey.|
|Ceci Pineda, Executive Director, BK ROT, Brooklyn, New York, will share their experience as a nonprofit food scrap collector and composter based in the current epicenter. BK ROT continues to adapt its response as this unprecedented situation evolves. In order to prioritize the safety and well-being of their team and community as a whole, BK ROT has paused its drop-off program while continuing to provide commercial hauling and home composting kit services. Ceci first joined BK ROT in 2016 as a pick up household member and volunteer. Ceci is dedicated to climate justice and addressing deep climate inequities. They find hope in community practices that further land regeneration and reciprocally heal our communities.|
|Jeremy Brosowsky, Founder/CEO, Compost Cab, Washington, DC, will discuss how Compost Cab successfully defended its right to continue its City-sponsored drop-off collection at DC farmers markets and pivoted his vehicles and drivers into a new business, Brijit, that delivers food made or grown in DC. With every purchase, Brijit clients are supporting local small businesses at a moment when they need it most. Jeremy started Compost Cab in March 2010.|
|Natasha Duarte, Director of the Composting Association of Vermont (CAV), will share the options rural community composting sites in Vermont are considering in order to continue to operate. In addition to her policy, education, and outreach initiatives with CAV, Natasha is currently contributing to a USDA Rural Utilities Services funded project focused on implementing rural community composting in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.|
|Brenda Platt, Director, Composting for Community Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), Washington, DC. Brenda and her team at ILSR are supporting community-scale composters via forums, webinars, podcasts, guides, policies, trainings, and more. In 2017, the US Composting Council awarded her its H. Clark Gregory Award for outstanding service to the composting industry through grassroots efforts. In 2019, BioCycle magazine featured Brenda as one of its organics recycling trailblazers.|
Header image credit: Compost Cab