The Ontario Waste Management Association’s http://www.owma.org/home.asp Organics Subcommittee held a successful one day seminar on compost quality today. The seminar was attended by 40 people that represented a cross section of the composting industry including the public sector, private sector operators and consultants. the intent was to provide attendees with some detailed information on compost quality.

I had the opportunity to present an overview of composting guidelines and have attached a copy of this presentation. Compost Product Guidelines Ontario

Greg Patterson of A&L Laboratories (http://www.alcanada.com/Agricultural-Compost.htm) led the day and provided a comprehensive overview of compost quality and the benefits of compost. 

A key part of the discussion centred around adding value to our composts to help battle damage done to soils from our use of herbicides and to fight plant diseases. There is considerable research taking place in these areas.

There was much discussion about the use of compost on agricultural lands. This has always been an obvious market but one which is largely untapped. While there are excellent efforts taking place to communicate with farmers and through field tests there is still a long way to go see my recent article http://www.2cg.ca/pdffiles/letsmakeadeal.pdf.  Compost was initially marketed to agriculture on the basis of its fertilizer value and this has created long-standing challenges to marketing compost in this very obvious sector. It should really be marketed on the basis of its organic matter content, which is critical to soil health.

The next seminar will cover Anerobic Digestion and look at how the solid waste industry can interact and work with the agricultural sector.

 

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