Michael Bryan-Brown

Michael Bryan-Brown

Michael Bryan-Brown

Speaker | Green Mountain Technologies

Bainbridge Island, WA | mbb@compostingtechnology.com

USCC Member

Mr. Bryan-Brown earned his degree in Environmental Engineering from Tufts University in 1989. He has 28  years of experience in the fields of composting,  biosolids management and wastewater treatment plant design. He is president and founder of Green Mountain Technologies and holds 4 patents related to aerated composting systems. He has developed systems for a wide range of composting applications from the Earth Tub on-site composter to facilities processing up to 200,000 tons per year. In addition to his work with Green Mountain Technologies, he has worked as consultant to the City of New York Department of Sanitation and EPA to investigate on-site composting systems for food waste.  As consulting engineer to the City of New York Department of Environmental Protection, he was contracted for the assessment of odor impacts from 8 proposed biosolids composting facilities.

Session Name: Emissions and Composting: Sequestering Carbon, Predicting Greenhouse Gas Impacts, Connecting Regulations to Science (A Proposal)

Session Time: Thursday, January 30, 2:00 to 3:30 PM

Presentation Title: Utilizing Life Cycle Assessment for Predicting Greenhouse Gas Reductions with Composting

Presentation Summary: Composting is recognized as a process which has potential to reduce GHG emissions. The EU and states like California, Vermont and New York are banning organic materials from landfills to reduce methane emissions.  Unlike carbon capture from power plants and other unproven technologies, composting is an approach that is available today to address carbon capture and sequestration while improving plant fertility.

Several strategies have been employed to try to assess the actual benefits of composting and the diversion of organic waste from landfills.   One such approach is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which uses cost/benefit models to predict the GHG reductions from processes such as composting. Previous analysis has been favorable of composting:

“The Global Warming Potential generated from 1 tonne of food wastes for each disposal system was analyzed by the life cycle assessment method. The results showed that 200 kg of CO_2-eq could be produced from dry feeding process, 61 kg of CO_2-eq from wet feeding process, 123 kg of CO_2-eq from composting process, and 1010 kg of CO_2-eq from landfilling” Whereas the comparison with waste incineration vs composting, composting was found to have higher GHG emissions and aerated systems having higher GHG than windrow operations.

LCA is also a controversial method due to the dependence on assumptions that are the primary inputs to the LCA models.  The goal of the presentation is to use LCA to more clearly define those benefits to help illustrate to regulators and the greater community the benefits of composting.  The presentation will explain LCA analysis and how the models are applied to composting.  The presenter will show the range of assumptions that are the primary inputs to the LCA models and how they effect the overall outcomes of the analysis.