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View Full Version : Need input here in building a nat'l database for all (CERTIFIED!) compost facilities


Marcos
10-22-2008, 01:04 PM
I'd like to know if any of you have had jobs out-of-state, or out of your general region; and have had trouble finding quality, or otherwise state "certified" compost?


One site that I've was made aware of at a trade show some time ago:

http://www.findacomposter.com/
...is obviously blatantly inconsistent and/or lacking in its number of contacts state-to-state.


When you Google the words "national network of composting facilities"...
you can pull up NATIONAL datadases in the first three Google pages for Canada, Italy, and Greece.
(Yeah...you'll also see an assortment of states in there like Alaska and S. Carolina...but try to find a COMPREHENSIVE national database...!)


Yesterday I exchanged business e-mails with Dan Matsch from a company called Eco-Cycle, Inc out of Boulder Colorado.
This is what he had to say about this issue:

"Are you familiar with the US Composting Council, www.compostingcouncil.org? They are the closest thing to what you are looking for. I heartily agree that it would be great if there was a national database for all certified compost facilities that anyone could use. The USCC did get a grant from NatureWorks to compile a list of certified FOOD WASTE facilities, but I do not know of a list of all yard waste facilities. Thatís considerably more research and administration so I would guess they would tell you they donít have the money for such an endeavor, but I encourage you to contact them and ask Ė they need to hear of the demand before theyíll do it."

_____

Well, obviously, when you go to the USCC site...it's not exactly a "help me find the compost" site. It's much more of a "send me the money" site :laugh:.

So......
I'm open to ya'lls ideas! :)
Is there something out there that we're both missing?
Or are we ready & willing to help towards a national lobbying effort towards USCC, like Mr. Matsch suggested doing?
:waving:

treegal1
10-22-2008, 09:51 PM
I would have to drive all day to get out of the state.

and more government and regulation, great idea just what we need!!! can we get some more fees also and maybe a training or apprenticeship to, that way we have to work for someone else first then try and start.

hey maybe even force the small farm scale guys to get involved, make them pay some to..........

DUSTYCEDAR
10-22-2008, 10:18 PM
I turned my compost pile today do i get some cash now????

treegal1
10-22-2008, 10:22 PM
not until you turn it 3 times and get it hot.lolol

DUSTYCEDAR
10-22-2008, 10:28 PM
i go show it some porn to get it hot :weightlifter:

treegal1
10-22-2008, 10:30 PM
it has to be microbe porn, maybe something with molasses.LOLOL

DUSTYCEDAR
10-22-2008, 10:31 PM
ohhhhh the kinky stuff no problem

treegal1
10-22-2008, 10:51 PM
yep the more dirty the better, lets see some mytosis, yeah thats good,,,,,,

Smallaxe
10-23-2008, 09:04 AM
I would prefer something more along the lines of a Consumer Report in which any one adds a name to a site with an approval rating.

When you talk about certified - I think of gov't controlled.
When you get consumer input - I think quality product or thumbs down.

I would definately be suspiscious of a product that is gov't certified.

Prometheus
10-23-2008, 12:35 PM
first define certified and then we can go some place with this??

are you saying tested independently, EPA??? is municipal exempt in there also??? owner producer???US CC ???

wallzwallz
10-23-2008, 04:29 PM
I would be happy w/ just a list of all businesses that sell compost. No government please. Independently tested would be great, but I would still check out any composter in my area.

Smallaxe
10-24-2008, 08:41 AM
Compost test: Smells ok, feels ok, looks ok [can't recognize any of the parent material], no human waste or likelyhood of heavy metals.

Past test, I'll buy a pickup load right now.
But, IF - The producer lies about something - gov't certification does not regain his reputation, because a liar is a liar and Gov't is there to help give validity to the lies.

I read one compost that relied of the 'heat' of the pile to kill the toxins in human waste!?!?!

The pile is NOT an oven! Compost heats up in the middle and is cool to the touch on the outside.
Every cubic inch of the pile has been purified in the center of the pile at one time or another during turning?
How many cubic inches of human waste are you willing to tolerate? Crypto-Sporidium comes to mind.

Marcos
10-24-2008, 10:32 PM
I would be happy w/ just a list of all businesses that sell compost. No government please. Independently tested would be great, but I would still check out any composter in my area.

I completely hear where you're coming from!

And Prometheus, I'm not saying the "certification" has to NECESSARILY come from State or Federal officials. I just would like to see a universal standard adhered to by competing vendors of the same product.
Tell me ..How can this be legitimately done WITHOUT involving some sort of regulation system?

Here's an example of how one state can do things pretty well:

If you Google 'ohio epa'....you'll immediately see a "search" box come up in Google.
Type in the words "registered compost facilities" in that box.
The very 1st listing will be a comprehensive county-by-county listing for the state of Ohio, just like this:

http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsiwm/document/facility_lists/reg_c3_c4_cmpst.pdf

O.K.....now try to repeat this exact exercise for your state! :waving:

_________________________________

Smallaxe,
I sort of like the "Consumer Reports" idea for the reason of getting the exposure of the importance of this issue to the right people, in the right segments of the green industry.
Consumer Reports relys almost exclusively upon feedback from customers who use various products, though.....very heavily retail customers.
Question is...Would enough commercial landscapers contribute sufficient & accurate feedback about their compost purchases nationwide to make such a system work?

_________________________________


I envision a NATIONAL compost internet database where a foreman can go on a computer and simply key in the zip code in which they're currently working ....(or the one for the jobsite "down the road"), and pull up a menu of vendors for what they need.
Or....(like findacomposter.com)...it could be sorted by STATE.

But as I said before, "findacomposter.com" severely lacks in its comprehensiveness and its own internet site updates; and apparently does not have ANY means to regulate the vendors that are listed on it.

That's why I think there should be some type of genuine 3rd party involvement to help regulate it.

If you think "Government" shouldn't get any more involved....fine! :waving:

The next time you get a load of topsoil that has rocks in it...or a load of mulch that has topsoil in it...or a load of compost that is GREEN....COMPLAIN! :realmad:

Prometheus
10-25-2008, 04:29 AM
I did not see any worm farms or dairy's on that list???? why is that????? now top soil is a whole different game all together, we can lay hands on some top soil that is mined and is like heaven for any plant, something in the order of 12% om and all the life and P,K that you could hope for in a soil, that's different. I agree that a voluntary to comply system of standards and regulations need to be loosely regulated to best reward the efforts of composting and not tax and fee us into no existence, especially some of the more responsible com posters!!!! not treated like a thief and bullied at ever turn. I think one day that they may help and finally not just hurt us!!!

treegal1
10-25-2008, 09:11 AM
Compost test: Smells ok, feels ok, looks ok [can't recognize any of the parent material], no human waste or likelyhood of heavy metals.

Past test, I'll buy a pickup load right now.
But, IF - The producer lies about something - gov't certification does not regain his reputation, because a liar is a liar and Gov't is there to help give validity to the lies.

I read one compost that relied of the 'heat' of the pile to kill the toxins in human waste!?!?!

The pile is NOT an oven! Compost heats up in the middle and is cool to the touch on the outside.
Every cubic inch of the pile has been purified in the center of the pile at one time or another during turning?
How many cubic inches of human waste are you willing to tolerate? Crypto-Sporidium comes to mind.there are several ways to heat the entire pile!!!!!! rotary composters are just one. another is in vessel, even turned piles and static wind rows have some way of getting a complete heat up.

let me get this, a septic tank with 5 inches of cool dirt over it is a danger??? better hurry and tell all my neighbors

Marcos
10-25-2008, 11:26 AM
I did not see any worm farms or dairy's on that list???? why is that?????

I dunno.
I'll see if I can get some type of an answer for you next week.

Smallaxe
10-25-2008, 11:50 AM
there are several ways to heat the entire pile!!!!!! rotary composters are just one. another is in vessel, even turned piles and static wind rows have some way of getting a complete heat up.

let me get this, a septic tank with 5 inches of cool dirt over it is a danger??? better hurry and tell all my neighbors

Maybe so, but I don't trust it to handle by hand.
Septic tanks are only a danger while you have your head inside.

I remember the fella that dropped his coat in the tank and was trying to get it out with a stick. His buddy asks, "you don't want that old jacket now, do ya?"
"No , forget the jacket, my lunch was in the pocket"

treegal1
10-26-2008, 02:58 AM
Even better. They have added yucca, sea kelp and other beneficial as well as microbes. To answer your question from the forum, they have figured out a way to feed these guys in the jug. The mycorrizal fungi grow under the side and push the glass off the slide under the scope. Quite an amazing productI am now standing in the BS, and its starting to get warmer, so I can only assume its fresh BS

DeepGreenLawn
10-27-2008, 03:43 PM
I just would like to see a universal standard adhered to by competing vendors of the same product.
Tell me ..How can this be legitimately done WITHOUT involving some sort of regulation system?


Isn't that a sort of oxymoron? A universal standard but not regulated?

It seems to me the only way to do this is to list any and all composters. That is about as far as you can go with it. You have to do your own research as to the quality product and all.

I did this earlier this year, took some time to just find composters. Then determining how it was made, what the base product was, quality, etc etc. I determined I am better off making my own.

A list of all the composters in the area would be nice as that would cut out half the work and then they could post their nonbiased tests on the same sight if they would like along with testimonials such as the consumer report idea.

This is the only way you could help people find their local composters and not have it regulated by any particular standard. There are many different ways to make compost, some are better suited than others for a particular result strived for depending on the situation. Mostly it comes down to how much time it will take. Ultimately at the end of the process you should have a product similar to all the others if done properly.

The problem would be that it would take time to track down your composters and set up the site to get it running. Then get their info and have it updated easy enough for the companies to do on their own... it could be done... maybe a winter a few years down the road...

The amazing thing about this would be that it would be set up and run like everything was suppose to be done in this country. The market sets the qualifications and what not. No govt needed... you do your work and the people decide if you make it or not... amazing concept isn't it?

Marcos
10-27-2008, 05:44 PM
Originally Posted by Marcos
Tell me ..How can this be legitimately done WITHOUT involving some sort of regulation system?


Isn't that a sort of oxymoron? A universal standard but not regulated?

It seems to me the only way to do this is to list any and all composters. That is about as far as you can go with it. You have to do your own research as to the quality product and all.

I did this earlier this year, took some time to just find composters. Then determining how it was made, what the base product was, quality, etc etc. I determined I am better off making my own.

A list of all the composters in the area would be nice as that would cut out half the work and then they could post their nonbiased tests on the same sight if they would like along with testimonials such as the consumer report idea.

This is the only way you could help people find their local composters and not have it regulated by any particular standard. There are many different ways to make compost, some are better suited than others for a particular result strived for depending on the situation. Mostly it comes down to how much time it will take. Ultimately at the end of the process you should have a product similar to all the others if done properly.

The problem would be that it would take time to track down your composters and set up the site to get it running. Then get their info and have it updated easy enough for the companies to do on their own... it could be done... maybe a winter a few years down the road...

The amazing thing about this would be that it would be set up and run like everything was suppose to be done in this country. The market sets the qualifications and what not. No govt needed... you do your work and the people decide if you make it or not... amazing concept isn't it?

I did not present an oxymoron.
I was asking a non-hypothetical QUESTION as to whether or not regulation, of some type or another, should be required to be involved in overseeing the quality standards of compost facilities.

To have each and every vendor place their offerings out there on the 'net...or in the phone books, etc...complete with testimonials and/or referrals regarding the quality of compost / topsoil / mulch / etc is what is generally going on right NOW.
The degree of publishing such information depends upon each vendors' level of professionality, as well as their overall reputation:rolleyes:, of course.

Much testimonial to this effect, though, is often more oriented toward the homeowners & retail buyers....if it even exists at all.

And THAT's what I would like to get away from:
Having to rely so hard on the "buyer beware" premise...especially from the perspective of the wholesale buyer!

You're O.K. with making due with what you've thrown together locally in terms of compost; but I'm sure there's plenty of semi-regional outfits crossing state lines that regularly run into sub-par green manure being passed off as finished compost by some local hack!

We're usually fine in Ohio.
But when we go to KY or Indiana.....:cry:

ICT Bill
10-27-2008, 06:22 PM
I am just catching up with this thread
Marcos, we have the web name "iwantcompost.com and .net and the intention was to hook users to makers, type in the zip code and it gives you list of composters in your area

Long term we are trying to unite the composters in an area to work as a coop and deliver goods to a compost station in the area, much like farmers do it now with wheat or corn. The better the quality the more you are paid for the product just like corn

In theory the compost coop could blend up any type of compost or top soil needed and deliver it to the end user. Being the microbe guys we are we also envision inoculating it or do ferments to bring out certain characteristics

but alas the project needs much more money and time than I have at the time, maybe in 2 or 3 years we can start it

treegal1
10-27-2008, 09:16 PM
oh god no, Bill thats the opposite of diversity, that tends to lead to specialization of soil born organisms, is this what we want???

ICT Bill
10-27-2008, 09:25 PM
oh god no, Bill thats the opposite of diversity, that tends to lead to specialization of soil born organisms, is this what we want???

Oh god yes, it would be the ultimate in diversity, many different composter suppling source compost. 200 different sources of compost, 200 different inputs

the whole thing would have to be based on certain standards, most of which are out there already

DeepGreenLawn
10-27-2008, 10:01 PM
Originally Posted by Marcos
Tell me ..How can this be legitimately done WITHOUT involving some sort of regulation system?




I did not present an oxymoron.
I was asking a non-hypothetical QUESTION as to whether or not regulation, of some type or another, should be required to be involved in overseeing the quality standards of compost facilities.

To have each and every vendor place their offerings out there on the 'net...or in the phone books, etc...complete with testimonials and/or referrals regarding the quality of compost / topsoil / mulch / etc is what is generally going on right NOW.
The degree of publishing such information depends upon each vendors' level of professionality, as well as their overall reputation:rolleyes:, of course.

Much testimonial to this effect, though, is often more oriented toward the homeowners & retail buyers....if it even exists at all.

And THAT's what I would like to get away from:
Having to rely so hard on the "buyer beware" premise...especially from the perspective of the wholesale buyer!

You're O.K. with making due with what you've thrown together locally in terms of compost; but I'm sure there's plenty of semi-regional outfits crossing state lines that regularly run into sub-par green manure being passed off as finished compost by some local hack!

We're usually fine in Ohio.
But when we go to KY or Indiana.....:cry:

sorry... didn't mean to step on any ones toes...

The way I see it is that if you are a contractor you should be aware enough and smart enough to do more research than what is just on the surface of what a company is saying... get a sample and have your own tests done... unfortunately not everything is just handed to you no problems...

Now... I don't believe that you can have a regulatory system that won't get out of hand... the market will weed out the bad ones... and the good ones will thrive...

I think they call it a democracy?

treegal1
10-27-2008, 10:38 PM
Oh god yes, it would be the ultimate in diversity, many different composter suppling source compost. 200 different sources of compost, 200 different inputs

the whole thing would have to be based on certain standards, most of which are out there alreadyI was talking about the inoculating part( with lab grown spores and all)

Marcos
10-28-2008, 01:02 AM
sorry... didn't mean to step on any ones toes...

The way I see it is that if you are a contractor you should be aware enough and smart enough to do more research than what is just on the surface of what a company is saying... get a sample and have your own tests done... unfortunately not everything is just handed to you no problems...

Now... I don't believe that you can have a regulatory system that won't get out of hand... the market will weed out the bad ones... and the good ones will thrive...

I think they call it a democracy?


As far as "toes being stepped on"...
Don't worry about it......you really didn't.

As far as being "aware enough... to do more research than what is just on the surface of what a company is saying"...
Frankly that's easier said than done when your foreman's working overnight sometimes 150-200 or more miles away from home...and relying upon some type of consistency of yard goods.
The thing that REALLY irks me, is that sometimes we even find problems with stuff we've gotten from out-of town facilities... that we've had virtually NO problems from before! :wall



The term you were looking for, I believe, is survival in the "free market" of consumer feedback.
Preferably WHOLESALE consumers.

In Darwinian terms, it could be described in terms of "survival of the fittest" in terms of which vendors are best prepared to take the lead into the future because of BOTH their excellent product(s), AND their superior customer service.

ICT Bill
10-28-2008, 10:10 AM
As far as "toes being stepped on"...
Don't worry about it......you really didn't.

As far as being "aware enough... to do more research than what is just on the surface of what a company is saying"...
Frankly that's easier said than done when your foreman's working overnight sometimes 150-200 or more miles away from home...and relying upon some type of consistency of yard goods.
The thing that REALLY irks me, is that sometimes we even find problems with stuff we've gotten from out-of town facilities... that we've had virtually NO problems from before! :wall



The term you were looking for, I believe, is survival in the "free market" of consumer feedback.
Preferably WHOLESALE consumers.

In Darwinian terms, it could be described in terms of "survival of the fittest" in terms of which vendors are best prepared to take the lead into the future because of BOTH their excellent product(s), AND their superior customer service.

I know what you are saying
Locally, the county started many years ago and with most of the folks around here behind them, as program to collect yard waste, compost it and sell it at minimal price back to the consumer, sounds great doesn't it

the end result has been reduced prices for all composters because the county supports one entity with county dollars so they can produce a product much cheaper than anyone else. The product is in demand so the facility turns compost over so quickly it is typically green and it often burns or creates disease problems from the use.

Great idea but a bad end result

Marcos
10-28-2008, 10:53 AM
I know what you are saying
Locally, the county started many years ago and with most of the folks around here behind them, as program to collect yard waste, compost it and sell it at minimal price back to the consumer, sounds great doesn't it

the end result has been reduced prices for all composters because the county supports one entity with county dollars so they can produce a product much cheaper than anyone else. The product is in demand so the facility turns compost over so quickly it is typically green and it often burns or creates disease problems from the use.

Great idea but a bad end result

I've seen systems like this work very well, other ones fail miserably from the get-go, and still others do very well at the start, and then run themselves into customer relations issues that they can't dig themselves out of (pun intended! :laugh:)

Case in point:One mulch vendor just up the road from here in Waynesville OH, Swartz Mulch, who "sidelines" in compost, was formerly listed as an Ohio class II composting facility.
They accepted leaves from certain local municipalities, as well as manure from given stables, to make their compost.

What was their public relations downfall?.....One of the key reasons why they had to recently scrap the ODA affiliation?

They neglected to pay attention to the fact that the municipal trucks were contributing significant amounts of asphalt to their compost heap! :wall