Roadkilled deer carry many diseases, including chronic wasting disease; so adequate disposal of the carcasses in a manner which removes them from the food chain in a safe and low-tech way reduces risk, as well as producing a usable by-product. In the event of an outbreak of HPAI, on-farm composting both disposes of diseased carcasses on-site, but also minimizes the spread of disease off-site. Protecting workers engaged in this task prevents dual infection with both human and animal influenza, thus reducing the risk of developing a viral form capable of human-to-human transmission and a pandemic. Overall, engaging in hazard reduction practices for composting improves the likelihood that more communities, industries, and individuals will engage in composting as an alternative for disposal and reuse of organic residuals -- a highly desirable alternative for the environment.
impact statement issue
I was presented with these projects as a result of joining the Cornell-wide project work team on composting and land application of sewage sludge.
impact statement response
I researched and/or derived hazard reduction methods for workers engaged in these types of composting. The results include web-based materials (factsheets, training video), as well as conducting training at conferences for national and international audiences. A book chapter will be published in 2013. I have been contacted by people from other states and countries on using my work to train their employees or keep someone working with a reasonable accommodation. I also teach the health and safety aspects of composting in a one-day course for the US Composting Council as a pre-conference workshop for the national conference, as well as teach this topic in the Master Composter course.
impact statement summary
Research and mterials preparation to protect workers engaged in general composting, whole carcass composting, composting of roadkill, and composting as an emergency response method in the event of an outbreak of highly-pathogenic avian influenza. Training on crisis management and recovery planning for compost facilities.