Ron Alexander

Ron Alexander

Ron Alexander

Speaker and Workshop Instructor | R. Alexander Associates, Inc.

Apex, NC | ron@alexassoc.net

USCC Member

Mr. Alexander has over 35 years of experience in all aspects of compost and other organic recycled product manufacturing, marketing and utilization. He has authored 500 articles and presentations on organic recycled product marketing and utilization, and is the author of ‘The Practical Guide to Compost Marketing and Sales’. Mr. Alexander is a past USCC Board member and past Co-chair of the Market Development Committee. He is also the recipient of the USCC’s “Hi Kellogg Award for Outstanding Service to the Composting Industry”, and it’s “Clean Water Award”.

Session Name: Knowledge is Power: Deep Dive into the STA Certified Compost Program and How to Get the Most Out of It

Session Time: Wednesday, January 29, 1:45 to 3:15 PM

Presentation Title: Using the STA Program to Improve Market Development

Presentation Description: The STA Certified Compost program was established in 2000

To improve customer confidence in compost selection and utilization,
To improve overall customer satisfaction, as well as ‘field’ results,
To improve compost purchasing decisions,
To promote customer-oriented composters, and
Move industry towards standardized test methods.

The program has expanded to certify almost 10 million cubic yards of compost per year, and has grown to

Act as a framework to allow the implementation of established numerical product specifications (e.g., State DOTs, other), Assist in the implementation of inspection or quality verification programs, Serve a quality control function for composters, and Standardize a set of test parameters (and methods) for use in evaluating compost product quality.

The STA Certified Compost program has allowed for the specification and use of compost on large land projects, while raising composts profile and confidence in product usage. It also acts as an internal quality control program for composters, and can be used as a product differentiator when selling compost ‘in the field’.

The paper will discuss how the STA Certified Compost program can be used to expand compost usage and out compete non-STA Certified Compost products. It will also outline tools developed to promote STA Certified Compost.


Session Name: Municipal Composting 3: There’s Green in Them Thar Piles!

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

Presentation Title: Marketing Municipal Compost: Q&A with a Panel of Practitioners

Presentation Description: Marketing your finished compost and compost-based products can provide significant income, often making the difference between net profit and loss.But for municipal governments and agencies, who are service-driven and not for-profit, even the act of selling compost can be controversial.Fear of accusations of unfair competition with the private sector is an issue.Just managing the bureaucracy can be a hurdle.Listen to 3 municipal compost managers explain how they are working to overcome these and other barriers in this interactive session.
Introduction and Moderator: Ron Alexander, R. Alexander Associates, Inc.
Panelists:
Tim Gainer – City of Raleigh (Yard Debris)
Elliot Schneider – City of St Peters (Biosolids and Yard Debris (separate products))
Jeff Ziegenbein – Inland Empire Utilities Agency (Biosolids)


Session Name: Step It Up a Notch: Deeper Understandings of Market Forces and Opportunities

Session Time: Thursday, January 30, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Presentation Title: Affects of Phosphorous Regulation on Compost Sales

Presentation Description: For decades, compost (and other organic recycled product) application rates have been governed by the amount of plant available nitrogen they provide. However, over the last 5-10 years, concerns about phosphorous application, and its effect on the environment, have led to State regulation limiting its application. Currently, 16 states have phosphorus regulation in place, and in many states, it limits the amount of compost that can be used in specific applications. In most states, politically expedient and not scientifically valid regulations have been established. The hardest hit markets are turf maintenance, which can be high value markets for compost.

The paper will outline Findings identified in the development of a Minnesota white paper on phosphorous risk in various applications of compost,
Suggestions on limiting phosphorous risk, and Options for how the composting industry can curtail the expansion of phosphorous regulation.


Workshop Time: Tuesday, January 28, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Workshop Title: Compost Marketing for Public Facilities

Workshop Description: Operating a public composting facility can face very different challenges from those of a private composting facility. A significant challenge can be compost market development, with barriers such as a lack of marketing/sales staffing, as well as related internal systems and policies. In some cases, ordinances must be modified in order to even ‘sell’ the compost product, and in others, more workable pricing policies must be established to allow for expanded marketability (volumes). In cases such as these, specific marketing and sales strategies must be employed.

The workshop will provide municipal staff operating compost sales and marketing programs with ideas to simplify and successfully implement their programs. Issues related to focusing your marketing activities and improving product placement will be discussed, as will approaching specific market segments. Subjects will also include: understanding the product (and how characteristics affect product placement), focusing efforts to approach specific market segments, best practices in compost marketing, and more…