James McSweeney and Noah Fishman, staff at Highfields Center for Composting, presented at REFOR13*, BioCycle Magazine’s 13th Annual Conference on Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling, held in Columbus, OH, on October 20-23, 2013.
James presented at a session titled, “Science, Biology Of Composting and Anaerobic Digestion”. James’ presentation, “Hacking the Heat: Compost Heat Recovery R & D in Vermont”, highlighted compost heat recovery operations in Vermont that James and Highfields helped develop, including at Jasper Hill and Autumn Star farms. James also discussed the successful Kickstarter campaign that Highfields spearheaded to fund compost heat recovery research at our Research and Education compost facility in Wolcott, VT.
“Cultivating Community Composting” was the first-ever national event dedicated towards community composting. This one-day workshop brought together community composting organizations, community composters, community gardeners, and interested citizens from across the nation to begin dialogue around the growing movement that is community composting. Total attendance for the workshop was around fifty participants. The day’s events included panels, speakers, and charette-style conversation, culminating in an open discussion on the development of a national forum for community composting, to be hosted on BioCycle’s website, at www.biocycle.net/communitycomposting.
Noah Fishman, program manager of Close the Loop, gave a brief overview of the Close the Loop program during the “Breadth and Depth of Community Composting”. Noah’s presentation, “Community Sustainability and Community Composting: Understanding the Links”, outlined the Close the Loop program, and provided strategies for developing community composting programs. Noah focused on topics such as “asset-based community development” and regional networking, both techniques that help to foster Close the Loop programs across the state of Vermont.
*REFOR conferences bring together industry leaders, experts, technology developers, academics, and vested stakeholders to discuss anaerobic digestion, biogas production, organics recycling, and composting. REFOR13 was the official conference of the American Biogas Council, the chief organization responsible for the promotion of anaerobic digestion and biogas production.