|Buena Vista Palace|
Industry colleagues and dear friends from across the Americas converged on the Magic Kingdom to learn, share and explore the composting industry current status and future directions. Beyond the superb pre-conference tours | workshops, conference sessions and post-conference equipment demonstrations, energy sparkled during the abundant social interactions, where the "real business" happens.
|Composting Tour Group|
The conference officially opened with an excellent morning plenary session featuring keynote speaker Vonda Lockwood, Walmart director of sustainability for U.S. operations. Vonda's tenacity was vital to Walmart taking the national leadership role in commercial food waste diversion from landfills.
|Mitch Kessler introducing|
Scott was joined by George Dreckman - City of Madison, William Caesar - Waste Management, and Jeffrey Leblanc - Wecare Organics for a diverse, balanced panel. After his pertinent prepared questions, Mitch reserved ample time for audience questions.
|Lynn Dyer @ podium|
On the conference opening day, tradition dictates an early evening reception in the exhibitor hall before folks embark on dinner adventures. The reception is perfect for new friends and long-time pals to relax, review the day's powerful sessions and plant seeds for important future action.
|Compost Gurus: Brenda, Wayne|
On the second and final educational session day, Ei founder Holly Elmore joined colleagues to present on the Food Waste in Focus panel moderated by Tim Goodman of NatureWorks. As the opening presenter, Holly shared the successes and challenges inherent in bringing zero waste practices, including food waste separation for composting, to food court operations. Holly's slide on the NRA's purchase of the Zero Waste Zones in late 2012 was a natural segue for Jeff Clark with the NRA to present on the strong USCC | NRA relationship. In addition Jeff showcased the NRA foodservice sustainability programs and policies in development stages.
|Food Waste Focus Panel: Jeff,|
Tim, Dan, Holly & Robin
At the conference, Ei focused on food waste and packaging oriented sessions. Yet the educational opportunities ran the gamut for those interested in any aspect of composting ranging from technologies, equipment, legislative updates to odor prevention | control.
For a pictorial conference recap, visit the Ei FB album, 2013 U.S. Composting Council Conference.
The Magic of Compost - a perfect description for the excellent conference. After all, the microbial community is its own magical kingdom!