Registration is closed, please check back next year!

In order to socially distance, we will be offering a fully remote version of the Vermont Compost Operator Certification Training in winter 2021. Hosted by Compost Technical Services, and presented by the VT Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), this workshop will provide participants with a Compost Operator Certificate, which meets the requirements of ANR for small, medium and large compost facility site operators. Current or future compost site operators will be certified to manage composting facilities handling food scraps or animal mortalities in Vermont. The training is a combination of pre-recorded presentations, review tests, and live webinars. Vermont residents and site operators working in the state have priority registration. Registration is closed for non-Vermont attendees

Topics Covered Include:

  • Principles of Composting

  • Compost Recipe Development

  • Materials (Feedstocks) & Blending

  • Pile Construction

  • Pile Monitoring & Management

  • Trouble Shooting & Neighbor Relations

  • Storm Water & Leachate Management

  • Site & Operating Permit Requirements

Course Format

  • Asynchrinous Video Presentations

    View the majority of the coursework on your own schedule in a "flipped classroom" model. Materials will be released in two phases on or before January 5th and January 20th, leaving 2 weeks for completion.

  • Live Webinars

    We'll meet up twice via a livestream to review key topics and answer questions. There are also additional live Q&A sessions that are optional.

  • Open Book Review

    Those wishing to have a State of Vermont recognized operator certification must pass an open book quiz for each unit. This is our insurance that you've done the work.


  • Benjamin Gauthier - Vermont Agency of Natural Resources - Solid Waste Management Program

  • Guest Operator Conversations with 

- Dan Goossen of Green Mountain Compost

Tom Gilbert of Black Dirt Farm

Rhonda Sherman - Author of The Worm Farmer's Handbook

Course Agenda

Note: The agenda is preliminary and subject to change.

January 5 – Release First Round of Course Content

Unit: One - Principles of Composting                                                

Format: Pre-recorded Video (30 Minutes)


Unit: Two – Compost Recipe, Feedstocks, and Blending               

 Format: Pre-recorded Videos (45-50 Minutes)

January 14  - 2:00 PM - Optional Q&A: Live group discussion with Instructor James McSweeney


Complete By January 19: Units One and Two Review Quiz (30-60 Minutes) – Open Book


January 21: 10-2 pm - Live Webinar - James McSweeney, Ben Gauthier, and Dan Goossen

  • Welcome
  • Unit One and Two Review and Questions
  • 12:30-2 pm Conversation with Dan Goossen of Green Mountain Compost



January 20 – Release Second Round of Course Content

Unit: Three – Pile Monitoring, Management, and Maturity            

Format: Pre-recorded Videos (45-50 Minutes)


Unit: Four – Troubleshooting and Neighbor Relations                       

Format: Pre-recorded Videos (30-40 Minutes)

January 29 - 2:00 PM Optional Operator Discussion and Q&A: Live group discussion with Tom Gilbert of Black Dirt Compost, followed by Q&A with Instructor James McSweeney


Complete By February 1: Units Three and Four Review Quiz (30-60 Minutes) – Open Book


February 3: 10-2 pm - Live Webinar - James McSweeney and Ben Gauthier

  • Units Three and Four Review and Questions
  • Unit Five – Site and Storm Water Management
  • Unit Six – Regulations and Record Keeping
  • 2 pm Optional Conversation with Rhonda Sherman - Author of Worm Farmer's Handbook

February 5 - 2:00 PM - Optional Q&A: 

Live group discussion with Instructor James McSweeney


Complete By February 5: Units Five and Six Review Quiz and Course Evaluations (30-60 Minutes) – Open Book


Contact us with questions

If you are a composter in Vermont and need help accessing this remote course, are facing financial hardship (need the fee waived), or have any other questions about the training, please reach out to:

James McSweeney

james (@)

(802) 224-6888

Presented By:

This course is made possible by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation Solid Waste Management Program.