See 4 unique ways NE Ohio is composting

This year’s Composting in Ohio tour, set for Aug. 22 and co-sponsored by CFAES’ Ohio Composting and Manure Management Program (OCAMM), will feature four unique large-scale composting facilities located in Cleveland and Akron.

Tour-goers, organizers say, will get a close look at the sites’ operations and a chance to learn from experts.

Tour stop 1, Rust Belt Riders

Rust Belt Riders in Cleveland provides composting services as a sustainable alternative to landfilling food waste. In addition to making and selling compost-based soil mixes, Rust Belt Riders provides commercial hauling, zero-waste event services, and educational workshops.

Tour stop 2, Rid-All Green Partnership

Founded by three childhood friends, Cleveland’s Rid-All Green Partnership has created a thriving urban farm. The farm grows food, including fish, and composts food scraps, including coffee grounds and hops, to produce a rich soil. The farm and Class II compost site are used for a variety of training programs that further the partnership’s mission of transforming communities.

After the second tour, lunch, which is included with registration, will be at the Akron Zoo and will feature a presentation on the food waste composting being done by Summit County’s ReWorks solid waste authority.

Tour stop 3, Akron Zoo composting

The Akron Zoo unveiled its “Big Hanna” in-vessel composter in 2018, designed to help the zoo reach its zero waste goal by diverting material from landfills. A Class II composting facility, it handles zoo-generated organic materials including animal manure and food waste.

Tour stop 4, KB BioEnergy

In 2013, Akron replaced the aging biosolid composting system at its municipal wastewater treatment plant with anaerobic digesters, partnering with KB BioEnergy to do so. The digesters produce energy that is used to generate electricity. The digesters’ effluent is dewatered, heated, and dried to meet EPA Class A requirements for use as a soil amendment.

Register by Aug. 8

General registration for the tour is $40. Student registration is $25. Both registrations include lunch. A registration form and program details may be downloaded at The deadline to register is Aug. 8. Registration is limited to 40 people.

Free van transportation from the CFAES Wooster campus, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, is available, leaving at 6:45 a.m. and returning by 5:30 p.m.; those wanting to ride in the van can sign up when they register. Participants also can drive their own vehicles to the tour stops, starting at Rust Belt Riders, 1288 Marquette St. in Cleveland, at 9 a.m.

Continuing education credits for registered sanitarians have been requested.

The Organics Recycling Association of Ohio also is a co-sponsor of the tour.

For more information, contact OCAMM’s Mary Wicks at 330-202-3533 or (Photo: Getty Images.)

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