John Culpepper

John Culpepper

John Culpepper

Speaker | North Country School and Camp Treetops

Lake Placid, NY | jculpepper@northcountryschool.org

Since 2005, John Culpepper has directed campus operations and maintenance efforts, renovation, new capital construction, and sustainability initiatives for North Country School/Camp Treetops, a middle, independent boarding school and summer camp in Lake Placid, New York. This organization has a long history of engaging children and adults in environmental/sustainability issues. Recently, North Country School/Camp Treetops has committed significant resources toward becoming a leader in the realm of environmental stewardship. Under Culpepper’s leadership, the institution has dramatically decreased its carbon footprint, and developed a path toward campus-wide, energy net-zero status.

Session Name: Technological Innovations for Compost Manufacturers from Small Scale to Large

Session Time: Wednesday, January 29, 4:15 to 5:45 PM

Presentation Title: An Affordable, Commercial-Scale Rotating Drum Composter Designed to be Built For and By Medium-Sized Organizations.

Presentation Summary: Through a New York State grant we have designed an affordable, commercial-scale rotating drum composter capable of processing over 50,000 pounds/year of unsorted food wastes from our campus kitchens. The design, operating manual, multiple videos, and other educational materials are available to the world for free, from our school and camp websites. This composter is designed to be built by DIY maintenance personnel at small to medium-sized organizations and can be built for under $15,000 in materials. All materials can be sourced locally, or at least regionally. The unit is designed to fit within a 40-foot shipping container, or any similar-sized structure. This unit has been in continuous operation for over two years, and there are now four other schools/organizations that have replicated our design. For a carbon-bulking agent we have had success with wood chips, wood shavings, and wood pellets—the type burned in commercial pellet boilers.