Course to Teach Science of Large-scale Composting

Composting facility

WOOSTER, Ohio -- The Ohio Compost Operator Education Course will take place March 26-27 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster. Participants will gain an in-depth understanding of the composting process and the means to address operational issues at large-scale compost facilities.

The instructors will be facility design engineers, compost industry regulatory personnel, commercial compost facility operators, marketing experts, and scientists from OARDC, which is the research arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 26 and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 27 in OARDC’s Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster.

Registration is $175 for members of the Organics Recycling Association of Ohio (ORAO) and $225 for non-members. The cost includes all materials and continental breakfast and lunch both days. Registration is limited to 25 and is due by March 19.

For more information and to register, contact Mary Wicks of OARDC’s Ohio Composting and Manure Management Program (OCAMM), 330-202-3533,; or download the course flier at (pdf), which includes a list of lodging options.

Contact Linda Robertson at to join ORAO and get the discount registration rate.

Wicks said the course should benefit compost facility operators and managers, public health officials, Extension specialists and educators, farmers, nursery operators and managers, municipal solid waste managers, composting consultants, environmental regulators, and equipment vendors.

The topics will include:

  • The fundamentals of composting, including principles, biology, methods and mixing raw materials; site design and management; and compost testing.
  • Managing a compost operation, including composting regulations and minimizing odor.
  • Economics and utilization, including composting marketing, organic mulches in ornamental landscapes, and value-added uses of compost.
  • Lab exercises on sampling, testing, effects of turning, compost properties, fan efficiency, optimizing mixing ratios and compost stability.

Participants are eligible for the following continuing education credits: 13.0 hours, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Waste Water Certification; and 11.0 hours, Registered Sanitarians.

Co-hosting the program are ORAO and OCAMM. Funding support comes from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Ohio Environmental Education Fund.

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Kurt Knebusch


Mary Wicks