David Velez

David Velez

David Velez

Speaker | TAWA Compost

TAWA Compost Food Rescue Founder, David Alexander, is a serial entrepreneur who started at the young age of 8 years old in his business pursuits selling popsicles. After spending years focusing on a bicycle business manufacturing tools and unobtainable vintage bicycle components, David became interested in food rescue, formulating the idea of TAWA Compost Food Rescue after volunteering with Food Forward and LA Compost. He realized that there was a disconnect between food rescue and the composting process and believed he could create a significant impact by marrying the two. Subsequently David proposed his ideas to his professor at LA Trade Tech as an urban intervention project in 2021. This project went on to win funding from the US Composting Council in 2022, and has grown into a thriving climate impacting initiative by inspiring new composting businesses to launch food rescue operations. David’s foundation in commerce taught him that many things that are discarded can be transformed to provide value. He applies this principle to TAWA Compost Food Rescue today, turning ‘trash’ into gold.

Session Code: 2C

Track: CREF Research

Session Name: Update on microplastic degradation, remote sensing of compostable packaging, and PFAS

Session Time: Wednesday, February 7, 1:45 – 3:15 PM

Presentation Title: Research results of compostable packaging piles using remote monitoring devices and digital data

Presentation Description: Our session will encompass education, brainstorming, and a how-to presentation on key themes related to technology and compostable packaging. We will delve into these specific themes:

⁃ Appropriate methods for processing compostable packaging in windrows or compost bays;
⁃ Application of remote monitoring digital data sensors; and
⁃ Implementation of solar panels/photovoltaics (PV) to leverage technology effectively

During our discussion, we will provide a comprehensive outline of the setup process, including the necessary materials and considerations for the onsite location. We will explore the utilization of digital data monitoring system and the integration of solar panels as a sustainable power source to enhance the composting operations and optimize efficiency.

Additionally, we will present the results obtained from our monitored compostable packaging piles, highlighting the benefits of remote monitoring devices to minimize the need for manual data tracking. Through our test results, we will showcase different compostability techniques, present visual evidence of the breakdown process, and discuss the challenges currently faced by composting facilities, in a group setting.