Will They Breakdown at my Compost Facility? The Compostable Field Testing Program

Original Broadcast: December 11, 2019 1:00 PM Eastern

The growth of the compost manufacturing industry is challenged by an ever-expanding line of compostable serviceware and packaging coming from our restaurants, events, stadiums, etc. Although lab-based certifications exist for these products and set a necessary baseline for product acceptance, the results don’t always match what happens in the real world. More and more people and businesses are adopting compostables and compost manufacturers are left having to figure out what breaks down, and what doesn’t. 


Join the CREF to hear about the International Compostable Field Testing Program (CFTP), a path for composters to do real-world disintegration testing as part of a collaborative, open-source, international project. The data collected in this program will be used to identify what products do and don’t break down under real world conditions. You’ll hear from Emily McGill and Wayne Howard, Coordinators of the Program, and participating compost manufacturers Marisa DeDominicis and Charles Bayrer from Earth Matter (NY) and Laura Hamilton from the City of Calgary.


Who is this Program for?

  • Compost facility operators
  • Compost researchers
  • Recycling/Sustainability/Zero Waste Coordinators
  • Compostable Product Manufacturers and Distributors
  • Composting enthusiasts and advocates



Webinar Speakers

Emily McGill
BSIbio Packaging Solutions
Emily is the Manager of Research and Communications for BSIbio Packaging Solutions, a founding partner of the Compostable Field Testing Program. Emily's areas of expertise are in waste prevention and resource recovery, especially at the intersection of food and waste. She has designed and managed field testing with compost manufacturers since collaboratively founding the testing program in 2015. She also co-founded and co-facilitates Master Recycler Vancouver, an adult education program for waste prevention and reduction, has worked as a Project Engineer with Tetra Tech Canada's Solid Waste Management Planning team, and consulted for the National Zero Waste Council's Product Design & Packaging Working Group. With a Bachelor in Bioresource Engineering, Emily brings a passion for integrating research, analysis and design for systems change.

Laura Hamilton
City of Calgary, Alberta
Laura Hamilton is a waste diversion specialist with The City of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She manages the municipality’s Green Cart program working closely with the largest in-vessel composting facility in North America. Her role includes regular monitoring of industry composting trends, education and programming service for residents and planning annual compost giveaway events for thousands of attendees. Laura has also worked as a waste educator working with businesses and organizations to share best practices for implementing diversion programs. Prior to joining The City of Calgary she worked as operations manager at a startup composting facility developing processes to ensure worker safety, regulatory compliance and compost quality.

Marisa DeDominicis
Earth Matter, NY
Marisa DeDominicis is the Executive Director and co-founder of Earth Matter NY Inc. Earth Matter is a not for profit, located on Governors Island in the  NYC harbor. We work in partnership with The Trust for Governors Island to develop Zero Waste Island. The Trust mandates use of compostable serviceware by vendors and event producers. This year, with generous support from the Department of Sanitation, we processed over 1,340,000 lbs of food scraps, compostables and yard waste, generated on the island, and also, neighbor food scraps dropped off at NYC farmers markets. 

Working 18 yrs. as an environmental educator for the The Trust for Public Land's cities program developed Marisa's awareness of the need for "the commons" - public green spaces that can be used to build green culture. She heads up the Farm's training program, and she also works at our Compost Learning Center hosting open hours and processing work days with the goal of engaging individuals and groups in composting. 

Wayne Howard, CREF

Wayne Howard is the Program Manager for the Compost Research & Education Foundation. His duties include coordinating the Foundation’s Compost Operations Training Program, oversight of the Compostable Field Testing Program, and development of educational tools such as the compost sampling videos.

Prior to joining the Foundation, he worked as a Review Engineer with the North Carolina Division of Water Resources evaluating municipal and community water systems’ water supply planning programs. As a Project Engineer with Agri-Waste Technology, Inc. he developed livestock wastewater application packages. He holds a Masters Biological Engineering from NC State University.


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