BioCycle celebrates 50 years

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Courtesy of BioCycle Magazine

'A New Name For A New Era.”

That was the title of Jerome Goldstein’s January-February 1981 editorial announcing our publication’s change in name to BioCycle. When the magazine was founded as Compost Science, its goal was “rather simple,” notes Jerry: “To report the technical, scientific and practical developments in the field of large-scale composting.”

In January 1978, ownership of BioCycle shifted from Rodale Press to The JG Press, Inc., and the publication’s name was expanded to Compost Science/ Land Utilization (CSLU). In his January-February 1978 editorial, “Turning The Corner With Compost Science,” Jerry notes that the magazine was not only in a transition of ownership, but in a transition of focus. “The journal has been credited with ‘moving the world of composting from small backyard plots to huge metropolitan waste treatment agencies.’ We feel it is no longer enough to be an authoritative reference publication; now it’s time to be an action publication as well — one that makes a great impact upon waste management decisions throughout the nation and the world.”

CSLU was a transitional name, he writes in January-February 1981. More importantly, “our coverage led us into systems and technologies that — while consistent with our editorial philosophy of serving as a clearinghouse for data on converting municipal and industrial organic wastes into useful products — were rather tenuously connected to our official name. Coming up with a new name after 20 years, however, is not a simple matter — at least, it wasn’t simple for us. For reasons you can appreciate, we were determined to find a one-word title.

“The name BioCycle fits well. Our unifying theme is biomass recycling … and biological waste management. It’s a new word, but we see no problem with that. We have entered a new era and the old ways and attitudes of dumping and incinerating are patently unfeasible and unacceptable.”

This 50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition highlights the early, formative years that built the foundation of knowledge and experience we are celebrating in 2009. The following pages include: the inaugural Spring 1960 Editorial; “Compost News” items, the predecessor to Regional Roundup and BioCycle World; a smattering of historic letters; the History of BioCycle, Part I; editorial and article reprints; and many nostalgic photos and figures that illustrate the industry’s evolution.

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