Newsletter Paragon
Aerated Compost Systems

2022 Grant Program

We are excited to announce the kick-off of this year’s Micro-Bin Grant Program for high schools and colleges located throughout the United States and Canada.  We have had a great deal of fun over the years working with students in an effort to stimulate their creative thinking with regard to recycling and sustainability using the Aerated Static Pile (ASP) Method of Composting. Here's how the grant program works:

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  • The student group applying for the grant will contact O2Compost to schedule a free half-hour consultation.

  • Peter Moon (owner) will meet with the students and an adult advisor in a Zoom conference call to explore their ability to initiate and complete a successful demonstration project.

  • When given verbal approval that they will receive the grant, the students will prepare a brief “grant proposal” that addresses the specifics of their particular situation (i.e., who, what, when, where, why and how).

  • Upon receiving the proposal, Peter will send a set of design drawings, training manual and related schematics so that the students can begin constructing one or two compost bins.  Peter will be available to answer questions throughout this step in the process.

  • Once we receive a photo that includes the student group and completed bins, the aeration equipment package will be sent.

  • Peter will conduct a recorded Zoom training session that discusses the basics of aerated composting, the preparation of a suitable “initial compost mix”, and methods for monitoring the composting process.

  • The students will monitor the composting process (i.e., recording their temperature data and observations), and they will work with Peter to troubleshoot the process if needed.

  • At the conclusion of the project, the students will be asked to prepare a brief summary report of the project and to make a presentation to their peers.  

  • And finally, O2Compost will include a short review of the grant project in next year’s January newsletter.

If your student group would like to start the application process, please use the Bookings App
on our website to schedule your free 30-minute consultation with Peter. Let's start composting!


Grant Project for 2020 / 2021
Polytechnic School in Pasadena, California

By Peter Moon & Laura Fleming

 In May 2020, I was contacted by Mrs. Laura Fleming, Environmental Sustainability Manager with Polytechnic School (Poly) in Pasadena, California.

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The 8th Grade Students at Poly had been assigned a project to explore organics diversion alternatives to improve sustainability at the school and reduce their overall carbon footprint. Food waste and yard debris generated on the campus was being hauled 150 miles for disposal, and the cost for disposal had increased year after year.

The students, who call themselves the “Closing The Loop Group”, were divided into three teams to study: 1) the science of composting; 2) regulatory requirements and financial impacts for on-site composting; and 3) practical on-site composting options. The school first became aware of Aerated State Pile (ASP) composting technology through 301 Organics, a consultant for a local project at the Rose Bowl stadium*. Through subsequent online research about ASP composting as an alternative to off-site disposal, students and staff discovered O2Compost and contacted me to schedule a free consultation.

Laura and some of the students scheduled a consultation with me and, at the end of our conversation, I proposed that they apply for a grant for our Micro-Bin Compost Training Program (i.e. following the 10-step process, as described in the previous article).

The students prepared a thorough (and well written) request for proposal and, in turn, I sent them the design drawings, the operations manual, and related documentation for our Micro-Bin System. The students also prepared a PowerPoint Presentation that they gave to Poly's leaders and the facilities management team. The presentation was very well received.  As a result, they were awarded $2,000 to cover the cost of constructing two Micro-Bins.

Bin construction was completed by Poly staff and volunteer alumni. Unfortunately, student participation in the start-up of the compost system was delayed for several months due to Covid-19 and quarantine protocols.

The first batch of food waste and shredded landscaping debris was prepared in August 2020 and pile temperatures increased to well over the 131oF threshold for destroying pathogens, parasites, fly larvae and weed seeds. When students returned to campus in spring 2021, a new 6th grade Sustainability Club led the composting effort with food waste they collected through a new lunch sorting station system that they designed. The original group of 8th graders, now high school sophomores, loaded their first O2Compost ASP bin last October with temperatures again soaring well above the 131oF threshold.

A second set of Micro-Bins has recently been constructed for the campus and the project will continue as middle and high school students learn the best "mix recipe" for the specific type of organic feedstock that Poly generates: food waste and landscaping waste. This project also inspired food waste sorting efforts across the entire K-12 campus.

The students created educational videos to teach peers about how capturing food scraps and on-site composting reduce Poly's carbon footprint, combating climate change. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 quarantine, this has been (and continues to be) a remarkably successful pilot project for all concerned. Media outlets have also taken notice of these students’ climate action work through composting, and their project has been highlighted in the Pasadena Star News and most recently by Spectrum News 1 in Los Angeles.

 *In 2019, O2compost provided technical support to the lead consultant for the Rose Bowl Stadium Pilot Compost Project, Ms. Christine Lenches-Henkel, with 301 Organics.

Composting 101


With composting, it helps to have a vision of what the entire process will look like.  Most of our clients use their finished compost back on their pastures or in their gardens.  Others see themselves selling their compost to cover some of their operating expenses.  Still others have a dream of starting a composting business and making this their primary vocation.  Whichever you choose, O2Compost can help you accomplish your goals.  (More) - A link to expand this discussion to include the paragraphs below

With your composting system, ask yourself what type of finished product do you want to produce?  Is it your objective to better manage the organic “waste” that are being generated on your site or do you want to also receive outside materials such as manure from other farms, or landscaping waste or food waste to produce a blended compost product?

If you plan to use your compost on your own pastures or with field crops or landscaping, what type of equipment will you use to spread it and when?  Do you have a manure spreader or will you use the bucket on your tractor? Will you stockpile your compost to spread in the spring and fall or will you take it straight out to the pastures year round?

If you plan to sell your compost, how do you plan on doing this – as a bulk product or in bags or both?  Who are you going to sell it to, how much will you charge and what will be your method of delivery – will they drop by the farm during certain operating hours or will you take it to them in a dump trailer, or will you sell it at the local farmers market?  To see an excellent website that Brian Smith, one of our early clients created, visit Carolina Compost.

I strongly recommend that you start with a written plan despite that fact that it will undoubtedly change as you gain experience with your compost system.

One of my favorite clients in Tennessee tells a great story about how her plans changed unexpectedly.  Lynn Petr operates STAR, a therapeutic riding stable with about 20 horses. She and some of the volunteers (husbands mostly) constructed a fabulous O2Compost system and when they first started producing compost they used most of it on their own pastures.

Along the way, some of their members started using the compost and word got out to the local gardening community. Now the stable "receives donations" for everything that they produce - and they have a waiting list.  They have gotten so many inquiries that they painted a sign with a green thumbs UP on one side and a red thumbs DOWN on the other to indicate whether or not they have compost available. All of the money that they receive goes back into the therapeutic riding program in support of people of all ages who have physical and mental disabilities.

Reference:  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, 1989



QUESTION: What happens if I outgrow my Micro-Bin System?

ANSWER: If you purchase the Micro-Bin Training Program and later decide to upgrade to a larger system (or one that is the same size but permanently constructed) we will treat the amount you spent on the Micro-Bin as a deposit toward your upgrade. This has always been out policy and does not depend on how long you have been operating your Micro-Bin System. With your upgrade, you will receive all of the benefits of purchasing a new system, including (1) a full set of design drawings; (2) a new equipment package; (3) an operations manual; and (4) unlimited technical support. Our Benchmark, Cornerstone and ASP systems also come with a 30-day discount offer.

If you think you might be ready to upgrade, SCHEDULE a 30-minute consultation with Peter to help you make that decision.

Client Testimonial

Mickey Barkett
Wilson Training and Bloodstock (tenant) - Sorrento, FL
Composting Since: 2020


"We have been so impressed with O2Compost on so many levels. We use our system to compost horse manure from 40 horses. There are no flies and no smell. Peter is always available for questions. The system is easy to use and is saving us a ton of money since we no longer have to pay to haul the manure off the property. As a bonus, I feel great about the positive environmental effects in not wasting this valuable resource in a landfill; creating healthier pastures for our horses and creating pastures that absorb more carbon dioxide as compared to non-composted pastures. It is truly a win-win."


New Micro-Bin System

Bascom Newsletter

Owner:  Kesiah B.
Location:  Lawrence, MA