Host site sought for community-scale composter

KEESEVILLE — AdkAction’s Compost for Good project is looking for a new home for a community-scale, in-vessel drum composter. The 4-by-20-foot design is capable of processing up to 50,000 pounds of food scraps per year and will be made available to a North Country site host to be used as a demonstration site.

The in-vessel system was conceived of by John Culpepper and the late Greg LeClair from Jay as an opportunity for the North Country School Camp Treetops to streamline their composting practices. The duo built the unit out of readily available materials through a grant from NYSERDA in 2015. It has successfully converted tens of thousands of pounds of food scraps into compost while offering educational opportunities for students and visitors alike. Three additional systems were built through the same grant and are now in operation at the Tupper Lake Wild Center, Lake Placid Central School and Hermon Dekalb Central School.

The composter design is open-sourced and readily available for anyone interested in replicating it — which has happened in New Jersey, California and Mexico.

AdkAction was awarded a grant from the USDA Rural Business Development Program in 2021 to build another drum composter to be given to a host site in the area. The system is nearly complete and is being built in Depeyster, New York, by Mud Lake Stalls, which was selected through a competitive process to support their interest in manufacturing more community-scale compost equipment in the region.

AdkAction and CfG are seeking potential recipients of the drum composter — to be selected through a competitive review process. Ideal candidates will demonstrate: strong institutional or organizational support, a willingness to offer site visits and tours, appropriate liability insurance, the footprint to house the composter, funds available to prepare a site (electrical, housing, water, traffic flow, etc.), one individual who will be able to oversee operations, and be willing to engage with CfG to learn the system operations and basic compost operation standards. CfG will support the site host through on-site visits, training, an operating manual, etc.

To receive a copy of the request for proposals, contact Jennifer Perry at jennifer@adkaction.org.

The deadline for completed proposals is Dec. 5. The team anticipates selecting the site host by the middle of December.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for one farm, business, school or other institution to not only take advantage of the tangible benefits of hosting an on-site community scale composter, but to be a leader in sparking a composting revolution in the North Country,” said AdkAction Executive Director Sawyer Cresap. “We’re proud to be working with the CfG team to promote innovative composting solutions that are preventing greenhouse gas emissions and restoring nutrients to our local soil.”

Starting at $1.44/week.

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