Compost Facility Operator Training
O2Compost is unique in that we offer comprehensive training, primarily for compost facility owners and their personnel. We also train entrepreneurs and investors; educators; local and state regulators; and other interested stakeholders. Training includes a thorough classroom review of composting basics combined with practical hands‐on field exercises, all with a focus on Aerated Static Pile (ASP) Composting.
Peter Moon is the President and founder of O2Compost. Between 1998 and 2003, Peter conducted training programs and workshops for farmers and landscapers, under contract with the Solid Waste Management Divisions of Snohomish and King Counties, Washington. These training programs were built on the foundation created by Peter’s start‐up of Bailey Compost in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey’s is considered a model farm composting facility.
As a result of these county‐sponsored training workshops, Peter has helped set up 12 composting systems for agricultural manure and green waste, located throughout the Puget Sound region. The success of these training workshops led to Peter’s involvement with the Compost Facility Operator Training Class offered each October by the Washington Organic Recycling Council. He has served as one of the lead trainers since 2005, presenting on topics such as: 1) composting as a manufacturing process; 2) aerated static pile (ASP) composting principles; 3) compost facility design and permitting; and 4) process controls for odor management.
Since 2008, Peter has also conducted an all‐day workshop on the Advancements and Applications of ASP Composting at the annual conference sponsored by The U.S. Composting Council. As a follow‐up to this classroom workshop, Peter created a 3‐day Hands‐On ASP Workshop held each March and October at Bailey Compost. With this training program, the participants help to assemble a 150 cubic yard ASP system, and learn the basic principles of airflow and compost process management.
As mentioned earlier in this Statement of Qualifications, O2Compost helps a wide range of institutional and private sector clients set up pilot projects to test the ASP Method of Composting. Every pilot project includes an operator training component consisting of both on‐site and remote training technical assistance. With many of these projects, O2Compost is asked to help with full‐scale compost facility design and permitting.
In addition to pilot projects, O2Compost is frequently asked to perform third party inspections of permits and documentation. The overall objective is to work with the facility manager and staff to improve overall efficiency and “solve potential problems before they occur”.
Individual Training Programs
In 2003, O2Compost developed a unique concept in compost training programs that has since evolved to include the following five systems:
- Micro-Bin Compost System, ideal for small waste volumes, research and pilot projects;
- Benchmark Compost System, perfect for the do-it-yourself owner / operator
- Cornerstone Compost System for somewhat larger volumes of organic by-products
- Sterling Compost System for large volumes of more challenging wastes
- Paragon Compost System, a complete kit structure shipped to your doorstep.
While each of these individual training programs is tailored to our client’s specific needs, they each contain the following four basic elements:
- A Complete Set of Design Drawings (Plans, Specifications, Materials List and Bid Sheet);
- Concise yet thorough Training Manual with step-by-step instructions;
- Unlimited Technical Support throughout construction, startup, and long-term operation;
- Aeration Equipment Package, including:
(1) electric blower – high impact plastic or steel industrial grade, with warranty;
(1) variable setting cycle timer to operate the blower;
(3) 4-inch diameter gate valves; and
(1) 36-inch long temperature probe.
Group Hands-on Training Workshops
After many years of conducting classroom-based seminars and workshops, it became apparent that very few of the students moved forward with ASP systems of their own. The missing component was taking the information presented in the class and actually constructing a large scale aerated static pile and then monitoring its performance (e.g., airflow velocity, pressure, pile temperatures, etc.).
From this came the idea of offering group hands-on workshops – literally hands-on. O2Compost now offers group training classes at our client’s compost facility. Alternatively, our clients and their staff can be trained at our facility in Snohomish, Washington (Bailey Compost, about an hour north of Seattle - Link). In all cases, our workshop participants have an “AH-HA” moment and say such things as “This is really easy, isn’t it?” Our motto for these Hands-on Workshops is:
“Seeing is Believing – Doing is Understanding”
Following every ASP Hands-on Workshop, O2Compost provides remote technical support at no additional cost. The objective of providing technical support is to answer questions, review field and laboratory data, help resolve logistical constraints, and troubleshoot any challenges that arise. In situations where there is a periodic transition in personnel, O2Compost is available to provide training of the new operating crew.
The Business of Composting
For individuals who are thinking about starting a new compost business, we offer one-on-one mentoring to help them answer the question, “Is Composting Right for Me?” To answer this question, it is important to take their idea about possibly running a compost business from concept to reality, both quickly and at minimal cost. This is best done with a Pilot Project.
In addition to hands-on training, Peter Moon, founder of O2Compost also conducts annual workshops and webinars for the following organizations:
- Washington Organic Recycling Council
- US Composting Council Annual Conference
- Webinars: dates and times are announced in our semi-monthly Newsletter
- Guest Presentations by invitation