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Compost2020: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Compost2020: Review and Outlook

Last week, I went to Charleston, South Carolina to participate in Compost2020, where I was lucky enough to be selected as the speaker. Compost2020, hosted by the American Composting Council, is the industry's preeminent composting conference and trade show, which showcases trends, problems and new thinking surrounding organic matter recycling and composting.

As the waste transfer manager and head of organic recycling for Rubicon®, I work with companies of all sizes to help design, implement, and manage organic recycling programs in North America and other regions.

The following is a brief overview of my presentation on Compost2020 and what I learned from the conference.

My Compost2020 presentation

My speech at Compost2020 focused on how Rubicon can ensure that food waste is maximized in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) food recycling hierarchy, the importance of unpacking waste food, and how Rubicon can help your company. Sustained development provides comprehensive solutions to the needs of the role.

I was very excited about the turnout rate of my speech and the friendly comments from the audience afterwards. Before I continue my summary of Compost2020, I would like to thank Nora Goldstein of BioCycle and Scott Jenkins of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Thank you for your kind words to my speech, as well as Joseph McMillin, Gary Nihart, Jorge Montezuma, Leslie Rodgers and Jim Davis from Atlas Organics, South Carolina, Anna DeLage from South Carolina Department of Commerce, B-Corps Natural Organic Processing Enterprise (NOPE) from Virginia, and Eco-Products from Colorado. Thanks Their teamwork and collaboration during the meeting.

Essentials of Compost2020

In the past, I have written articles about compostable food server equipment many times, most recently in an influential column in Waste Dive.

I pointed out in my waste diving article that although compostable food servers have their challenges, we should not abandon it. After participating in Compost2020, I feel more strongly about this emotion. At Rubicon, we help compost organic and compostable food servers for restaurants, grocery stores, and other types of businesses. Before adopting reusable materials globally, unless certified compostable materials are part of the solution, how will we advance food service utensils and packaging?

Pierce Lewis of Dirt Hugger gave a wonderful conference on pollution, which is another huge challenge for the organic recycling industry. Studying the details of how to combat pollution in composting facilities, Pierce provided valuable insights to prevent non-compostable materials from entering the composting system, which is critical to ensuring the continued quality of the finished product and the effectiveness of this food method.

On Compost2020, I had a great time and met old and new friends. Thank you so much to everyone who came to watch my speech, talk to me afterwards, and who I spend time with them at the conference.

If you want to know more about Rubicon organic recycling products, please feel free to contact me at

Ryan Cooper is Rubicon's waste transfer manager and head of organic recycling. To stay ahead of the new global partnerships and cooperation announced by Rubicon, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us immediately.

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