Ohio Compost Operator Short Course Set for March 8-9


WOOSTER, Ohio — The 2016 Ohio Compost Operator Short Course, billed as a “comprehensive program on the science and art of composting,” is March 8 and 9 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in northeast Ohio.

The annual event, which OARDC is presenting in conjunction with the Organics Recycling Association of Ohio, is for people who work at or with large-scale composting facilities, said co-organizer Mary Wicks, program coordinator of the center’s Ohio Composting and Manure Management Program.

The intended audience, she said, includes compost facility managers, public health officials, farmers, plant nursery operators, municipal solid waste managers, composting consultants, public policy consultants, environmental regulators and equipment vendors.

‘A practical understanding of the composting process’

“The course combines the research and engineering knowledge of Ohio State scientists with the experience of Ohio composters,” Wicks said.

Participants will gain a “practical understanding of the composting process and the means to address operational issues involved in the production of compost at large-scale facilities,” she said.

OARDC, which is at 1680 Madison Ave. in Wooster, is the research arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences of The Ohio State University.

Teaching the course will be scientists from OARDC and the college, facility design engineers, compost industry regulatory personnel, compost facility operators, and marketing experts.

Sessions, lab work on 3 main topics

The course, which runs from 8:15 to 4:30 p.m. March 8 and from 8:30 to 4 p.m. March 9, will have sessions and lab exercises on:

  • Composting fundamentals, including principles, biology, methods, mixing, turning, testing and site design.
  • Managing a composting operation, including regulations, minimizing odors, and the effects of pH and salt.
  • Economics and utilization of compost, including marketing, developing value-added uses for compost and using organic mulches in ornamental landscapes.

ORAO members save $50

Registration for the course is $175 for ORAO members and $225 for nonmembers. The cost covers all materials and continental breakfast and lunch both days. Registration is limited to 25.

Participants interested in joining ORAO and receiving the discounted registration rate can contact Marcie Kress at mkress@summitreworks.com.

A brochure with the full list of sessions and topics and a registration form can be downloaded at go.osu.edu/2016CompostOperator.

Participants in the course will be eligible for the following continuing education credits: 13.0 hours, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Wastewater Certification; 11.0 hours, Ohio Registered Sanitarians; and 8.0 continuing professional development credits, Professional Engineers.

For more information, contact Wicks at 330-202-3533 or wicks.14@osu.edu.

CFAES News Team
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Mary Wicks