Susan K. Thoman

The requested page requires an access code.

Susan K Thoman

Susan K. Thoman 
Principal and Managing Director, Compost Manufacturing Alliance


Food Serviceware: Product Development to Zero Waste Models

University of Washington Campus Study: Compostables and Food Waste Diversion 

This session will provide an overview of a four month study conducted for NatureWorks by the Compost Manufacturing Alliance on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Elements include the design and implementation of a solid waste study focused on food service collection areas on the main campus and in student housing areas. Take a deep dive in learning what specific food service packaging items make up the composting collection stream when a full suite of compostable products are employed in food service operations. In addition, CMA will present data on what is still being landfilled, and what the potential benefits are for a higher level of food waste and tonnage diversion when compostable systems include the right food service packaging. Finally, you will learn what contaminants from the study are a challenge for composters, both in public collection areas and in the kitchen, and how these items may create opportunities to increase the development of compostable alternatives and offer opportunities to collaborate on solutions between the compost manufacturing and food service packaging industries.

About Susan K. Thoman

Susan is founder and managing director of the Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), representing twenty U.S. compost manufacturing facilities conducting and collaborating on real world field testing and research for compostable products across various processing systems. Susan has served for over 25 years in the by-products management, solid waste and environmental services sector, and for 12 years on the Cedar Grove Composting leadership team. Prior to that, she worked as national corporate trainer for a $2 billion industrial services company. Susan currently serves on the US Composting Council Board of Directors and on the Recycling Foundation board in Washington state.


Don’t just take our word for it

You can create value by doing something that's good for the world, and I'm not talking about making money and then giving it away. I'm talking about the way you make money is by doing something that the world needs, and so that's what's so -- one of the things that's so inspiring about being here is that that is underlying all the businesses here.
Kaihan Krippendorf
Founder, Outthinker
I'm inspired from the standpoint that I'm coming back from the conference with an understanding of more of the material science. And that's really, really, really important because that means that it's going to impact work that I've got going on in the laboratory right now.
Jesse Hipps
Anyone that's out there, whether you're a product or service provider or just somebody that wants to understand what's happening in the bioplastics industry, I recommend strongly that you think about coming to Innovation Takes Root. This is a conference where you're going to learn a lot, you're going to actually be able to have the opportunity to collaborate with others and develop partnerships that will last a lifetime.
Justin Zeulner
Green Sports Alliance