Composting In The Time of COVID-19
Composting In The Time of COVID-19 Webinar Series

Webinar Series Part 1

Reviewing Safe Procedures for Composting Feedstocks with Possible Coronavirus Contamination

What can science tell us about composting and the virus that causes COVID-19? What do we as composters need to know to control the disease and prevent it from spreading? In this webinar we will review safe handling procedures and meeting pathogen reduction standards (PFRP) at compost sites.

Click here to watch the video (the webinar starts at minute 4)

Click here to see Pat Millner's Slides

Click here to see Jean Bonhotal's Slides


Pat Millner | US Department of Agriculture

Pat has worked with biological waste management since 1976 and was instrumental in the development of the Aerated Static Pile method of composting. She has expertise in microbiology of composting, compost products, food safety, and pathogen reduction. Pat has been an extraordinary advocate for organics recovery and composting for more than 20 years.

Jean Bonhotal | Cornell University

Jean has worked at the Cornell Waste Management Institute in solid waste education for over 20 years, first working for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Broome County, then for the Cornell Waste Management Institute. Reducing, repurposing, recycling and composting solid and organic residuals to mine and redirect resources from our waste stream is a systematic way to manage our waste stream.
She received an M.S. degree in Education and Communication from SUNY Binghamton in 1991, a B.S. in Biology from Utah State University in 1984 and an A.A.S. in Natural Resources from SUNY Morrisville.

Webinar Series Part 2

Composting IS an Essential Service

Compost manufacturers large and small are having to adapt to doing business during the pandemic. A panel of operators from across the country will answer questions about how they are managing during the emergency. Topics will include keeping employees safe, handling sales, contingency planning, and YOUR questions.



Lora Hinchcliff | Living Earth

Lora Hinchcliff is the municipal solutions manager at Living Earth. She leads partnering with municipalities to design and execute sustainable solutions for municipal diversion of green material and commercial diversion of vegetative food scraps. Lora is a SWANA Certified Manager of Composting Programs and a Texas Certified Nursery Professional. She serves as chairperson of the Houston-Galveston Area Council Solid Waste Management Committee and is a member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments Resource Conservation Committee.

Justen Garrity | Veteran Compost

Justen Garrity, President of Veteran Compost, has been collecting organics in the Baltimore-Washington region first at a facility in Aberdeen, MD, and later expanded to a farm in northern Virginia and is currently developing two more facilities to serve the region. He has a BS from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Penn State University.

Pierce Louis | Dirt Hugger

Pierce Louis is a co-founder at Dirt Hugger, a composting company located in Dallesport, WA. At Dirt Hugger, Pierce serves as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ focusing on business development, marketing and finance, but leaving time to run loaders and screen compost. In ten years Dirt Hugger has built two facilities in two states including a 62,000 ton per year turned aerated static pile facility. Pierce received a BA from University of Virginia, an MBA from Oxford and currently serves on the board of the US Compost Council. Pierce is a member of the Board of Directors of the US Composting Council.

Brian Fleury | WeCare Denali

Brian Fleury is a Senior Vice President of WeCare Denali, LLC, a division of Denali Water Solutions, LLC. WeCare Denali specializes in residual management with a focus on Beneficial Reuse through composting, anaerobic digestion, land application and other advanced technologies. Brian has worked for WeCare for 17 years in various roles including Sales & Marketing, Operations and Project Development. He oversees large-scale composting facilities, including the New York City Department of Sanitation’s composting facilities and the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority’s in-vessel co-composting operation. He is a graduate of SUNY Oswego. Brian is vice president of the US Composting Council.

Webinar Series Part 3

Navigating COVID-19 for Small-Scale Food Scrap Collectors (4.14.2020)

Join this webinar to hear from a panel of for-profit, nonprofit, and government food scrap collectors. They will share their experience in adapting drop-off and curbside collection programs in response to COVID-19. The discussion will cover new safety protocols, defending the right to collect food scraps for composting, services paused, and new services offered (such as home composting kits and food delivery for local businesses).

Click HERE to watch COVID WEBINAR 3

Click HERE to download the SLIDES


Daryl Braithwaite | City of Takoma Park

Daryl is public works director of a municipality serving ~1,800 households with opt-in food scrap collection. She 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

Eco-Cycle is a nonprofit recycler that works with cities along Colorado’s Front Range. Founded in 1976, 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.

Jeremy Brosowsky | Compost Cab

Jeremy is founder and CEO of Compost Cab in Washington, DC. He 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 | Composting Association of Vermont

Natasha is executive director of CAV, and 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.

Eileen Banyra | Community Compost Company

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. She is a member of the US Composting Council Board of Directors.

Ceci Pineda | BK ROT

Ceci, executive director of BK ROT, a nonprofit food scrap collector and composter based in the current epicenter. 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 pickup household member and volunteer. Ceci is dedicated to climate justice and addressing deep climate inequities, finding hope in community practices that further land regeneration and reciprocally heal our communities.

Webinar Series Part 4

The Re-emergence of the “Victory Garden”: Selling Compost to Customers Sheltering in Place

Gardening is an empowering act. While everyone is sheltering in place, how can we reach out to customers in new ways? How can we assure our customers that we're using safe practices to sell compost? Topics will include marketing the re-emergence of the Victory Garden, transportation issues, marketing how you are keeping your customers safe, and YOUR questions. A panel of compost manufacturers from around the country will discuss how they are managing during the emergency.


Emma Yates | WeCare Denali

Emma markets and sells compost in the tri-state area. The facilities she primarily sells out of are the two Denali operated Department of Sanitation of New York City (DSNY) facilities and Denali operated Rockland County Co-Composting facility. The DSNY facilities create a compost composed green waste and food waste. The Rockland County facility produces a biosolids compost. Both are enrolled in the USCC STA program. Between these facilities, approximately 38,000 CY of compost was sold in 2019. Emma markets all of this compost in bulk sales. Typically, our compost is purchased by topsoil blenders, larger landscape contractors, or site work contractors. There’s also a large focus on landscape architects and specification development. These sales and markets are captured through cold calling (in-person, phone, email), website traffic, and networking at trade shows/events.

Clinton Sander | A1 Organics

Clinton Sander is the marketing manager at A1 Organics in Colorado who operates 4 sites with an average of 425,000 tons organics recycled annually. Additionally A1 processes over 30,000,000 gallons a year in liquids. A1 employees 45-50 individuals and sells 90% of their material (compost and mulch) in bulk to Colorado cities, landscapers, retail landscape yards, and out of three retail yards in the Denver Metro area and Northern Colorado. A1 Organics has a board range of accepted feedstocks from traditional logs, limbs, leaves and grass, to beer residuals, yogurt, grain, meat processing waste, and SSO from curb side recycling programs. Clinton manages company and product branding, digital marketing strategies, community outreach programs, and developing B2B and B2C marketing efforts.

Shota Austin | Tank’s Green Stuff

Shota is a former U of A Compost Cat, has experience in producing, marketing, and selling both food waste and green waste compost. Shota has been in the agricultural industry for 14 years working with livestock (goats, sheep, cattle, chickens), cotton, alfalfa, nursery crops, orchards, and vegetable production. He has been working in  compost for the last 8 years, and now work’s for Tanks Green Stuff in Tucson Az as Compost Operations Manager. Shota also manages the Tank’s Green Stuff Social Media, assists with customer service, sales, and product development.

Webinar Series Part 5

Tuesday, April 28, 1 pm EDT

Engage Your Customers In the Victory Garden Movement

Learn to use tools to help your customers join the Victory Garden Movement!
A USCC Members Only Event.

Record numbers of your customers are creating Victory Gardens. This is a perfect time to engage, and the USCC is here to help you! Whether you are a marketer, or the thought of social media makes your head hurt, you will leave this webinar feeling like a champ, armed with the tools and steps you need to create engaging social media posts. Let’s work together, create a movement, and make this go viral! #VforVictory

The webinar is open to non members, but the toolkit is only accessible to USCC members. If you want to JOIN US you can take advantage of our spring special by clicking here! We'd love to have you join the movement!

Watch Recording


Suzanne Longacre | Laurel Valley Soils

Suzanne Longacre is Marketing Manager for Laurel Valley Soils, and a USCC Market Development Committee member. Suzanne holds a University of Delaware Food Marketing degree. She has a passion for taking the deep dive to develop branding and marketing strategies, and then moving onto the creative side to bring them to life. Suzanne is a repeat guest on You Bet Your Garden, and is a judge for University of Delaware’s Hen Hatch. Laurel Valley Soils provides post-harvest mushroom compost and soil blends for bioretention, green roofs, gardens, and topdressing to mid-Atlantic wholesale customers.

Linda Norris-Waldt | US Composting Council

Linda Norris-Waldt is Communications Director for the US Composting Council, and has been in the recycling industry for 30 years, having spent 10 years as the recycling manager for Frederick County, MD.
Linda began her career as a local newspaper reporter before becoming a a business communicator, 17 of those for manufacturing companies. She is a University of Maryland graduate, is on the Steering Committee for the MD-DC Composting Council, is a leader in a citizens advocacy group for composting and food waste in Frederick County, MD and is an avid vermicomposter who teaches community classes based on courses at the Rodale Institute and Rhonda Sherman's NC State conference.

Hilary Nichols | US Composting Council

Hilary Nichols is Market Development Coordinator and STA Certified Compost Manager for the US Composting Council, and has been in the horticulture industry for 20 years. Hilary is a horticulture graduate of North Carolina State University. She has written for Fine Gardening Magazine, been a frequent guest speaker on UNC-TV’s Almanac Gardener, and a leader in both the national and Georgia Perennial Plant Association. Hilary has taught horticulture at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Sarah P Duke Gardens, and is a founder and educator at her local Seed Libraries. She lives in Durham, NC.