Waste Not, Living the Low Carbon Life Conference, Dec 1, 2018

More and more research around the world has shown the inestimable importance of sequestering carbon into the soil by composting and reducing methane emissions by keeping organic materials out of the landfill.  On December 1st Raleigh area residents and church leaders will gather to learn about how they as individuals and community members can make a real difference in the fight to slow or even reverse climate change.

Waste Not, Living the Low Carbon Life Conference, is being held in Raleigh, NC on December 1st this year.  The focus of the event is to teach people how to reduce their carbon footprint by making the food waste, compost, soil connection.  

The conference includes an array of break-out sessions highlighting the work of local zero waste pioneers and leaders:

CompostNow – a local composting service.

McGill Environmental Systems – Commercial composting and how to use compost.

Nell Joslin – How to compost in an Urban church community

Sue Scope, Every Tray Counts – a program in schools to replace polystyrene trays with compostable trays and reduce food waste

Carl Sigel, Capital Food Network – Food Waste and Moving Beyond Hunger

Sue Ellen Johnson – Agriculture, Environment, Farming, Ecology and Food Systems

Sarah Ogletree and Susannah Tuttle of NC Interfaith Power and Light – Sacred Foodscapes Program

All attendees will be treated with a sumptuous lunch provided by Green Planet Catering, a locally owned and operated business that is unique not only to the Triangle area but the entire country. With a focus on Triple-bottom-line business tactics, Green Planet Catering has made a decision to lead the catering market in developing a business model that is devoted to creating sustainable solutions.

Two Keynote speakers will be featured:

Kevin Drew, Zero Waste Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment

Drew is dedicated to spreading the message of San Francisco’s Zero Waste policies across the globe. As Senior Residential and Special Projects Zero Waste Coordinator at the San Francisco Department of the Environment, he oversees the Fantastic 3 residential collection program. With his oversight, the program diverts 100,000 tons of recyclables and 50,000 tons of organics every year. Drew’s expertise comes from over two decades of directing non-profit recycling and reuse operations and shaping resource conservation policy at local and statewide levels.

Drew works closely with SFE’s Environment Now (EN) team to bring a personal, culturally resonant explanation of programs, with a call to action on climate change and stewardship, to every San Francisco resident. He also manages the Zero Waste and Urban Sustainability grant program which has distributed up to $1,000,000 to non-profits annually.


Noel Lyons, McGill Environmental Systems

Noel Lyons co-founded McGill Environmental Systems with Jim McGill in 1991. The company just celebrated its 27th year in the composting industry with Noel celebrating his 18th year as company President.

Though McGill operates facilities in North Carolina, Virginia and Ireland, North Carolina is home for both the company and Noel, who resides in Cary. The company employs about 100 people and composts about 360,000 tons of biodegradable materials including yard waste, biosolids, and food waste annually. To date, McGill has composted over 5 million tons. McGill’s hundreds of customers include municipalities, Fortune 500 companies, garden centers, landscapers, agriculture and the sports turf industry.

Under Lyons’ leadership, McGill has built its business on convincing customers and regulators that composting can be a serious, environmentally and economically sustainable technology. This has been achieved to a great degree.

He sees as the next big challenge and opportunity the need to inform people of the potential for compost use to mitigate climate change by creating healthy soils that sequester carbon.

Noel’s resume includes more than 25 years of experience in every aspect of compost manufacturing and sales. He holds a degree in Agriculture Science from the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland and a certificate of Technical Competence in Composting from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

The conference takes place at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 125 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603.  For further information and to register for this free event please visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/waste-not-living-the-low-carbon-life-tickets-47025647979


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