Ohio Compost Operator Course Is March 28-29, Offers New Grants for Attending

WOOSTER, Ohio — Registration is open for this year’s Ohio Compost Operator Education Course, March 28-29 in Wooster. And for the first time, professional development grants — a total of four of them — are available to help pay for the cost of attending.

The course is a “comprehensive program on the science and art of composting,” said co-organizer Mary Wicks of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Research Center (OARDC), which is hosting the course.

It’s for anyone involved with large-scale composting, she said, including compost facility operators, public health officials, farmers, nursery operators and municipal solid waste managers.

The course is now in its 17th year.

OARDC is the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Practical understanding, operational solutions

The instructors will be from the college and industry. They’ll provide the participants with a “practical understanding of the composting process and the means to address operational issues involved in the production of compost at large-scale facilities,” Wicks said.

Day 1 of the course will cover composting fundamentals, including principles, biology, methods, mixing, testing and site design.

Day 2 will look at managing a compost operation, including minimizing odors and meeting regulations; and economics and utilization, including value-added products and marketing.

Participants will be eligible for continuing education units in three areas: Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Wastewater Operator Certification, 13.0 hours; Ohio Registered Sanitarians, 11.0 hours; and Ohio Professional Engineers, 8.0 hours.

Save $50 as ORAO member

Registration for the course is $225 for members of the Organics Recycling Association of Ohio (ORAO) and $275 for nonmembers. The cost includes materials, lunches and continental breakfasts. Other meals and lodging are extra. Participation is limited to 25 people. Complete course details and a registration form can be downloaded at go.osu.edu/2017CompostCourse.

ORAO is presenting the course together with OARDC.

Apply for grants by March 1

ORAO also is providing the new grants, which are two $250 grants for ORAO members and two $150 grants for nonmembers. Details and an application form are available at go.osu.edu/2017CompostGrant. The deadline to apply for the grants is March 1.

OARDC is at 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. The course will be in the campus’s Shisler Conference Center. Wooster is about 30 miles east of Akron, 60 miles south of Cleveland and 95 miles north of Columbus.

For more information on the course and grants, contact Wicks at wicks.14@osu.edu or 330-202-3533.

Details on joining ORAO and receiving the discount registration rate are available at ohiocompost.org/about.html or from Marcie Kress of the group at mkress@summitreworks.com


Kurt Knebusch


Mary Wicks