Plenary Session: Introductions and Keynote Address Are We There Yet?

Status of Mortality and Slaughterhouse Residuals Composting

Submitted by:

Nora Goldstein, Executive Editor, BioCycle, Journal of Composting and Organics Recycling (presenter), 419 State Ave., Emmaus, PA 18049, ph. 610.967.4135, ext. 26; fax 610.967.1345, e-mail:,

Robert Rynk, Environmental & Agricultural Engineering Consultant

Prepared for the Symposium on Composting Mortalities and Slaughterhouse Residuals

Portland, Maine

May 24-25, 2005

Composting livestock mortalities has been practiced on farms for a number of years. Recently, however, the practice has received more attention as other management options for animal mortalities — rendering in particular — have become more costly and subject to end product market difficulties due to concern over “Mad Cow” disease. This situation has made composting a leading option for management of livestock mortalities and slaughterhouse residuals. Concurrent with the increased use of composting on farms is application of the practice to wildlife road kill. Composting methods developed for mortalities and slaughterhouse residuals, and used for wildlife, appear to be effective, both in terms of processing capabilities and cost-efficiencies. This talk will review the evolution of composting methods utilized, provide highlights of research findings, and discuss constraints, caveats and questions that remain to be answered.