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Large scale organic waste recycling  RSS feed

 
Jason Nicoll
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A local council is looking for ways to recycle the organic waste that is collected each week by trucks. Currently they dump it into landfill and let it putrefy, poison the land and water-tables and release methane. They are interested in exploring alternatives.

Are there any examples of large scale organic waste recycling already in production? Examples exist of shopping malls and education institutes that have started using bokashi systems to process their food court and canteen waste. However, I haven't heard of anything quite on the scale of municipal waste (hundreds of tonnes of organic waste per week). I think bokashi could scale to that size but finding containers big enough to seal the waste within could be challenging.

Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated.
 
Mike Jay
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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San Francisco has city-wide composting. I'm not sure how they do it (public, private, contracted) but they might have a system you could copy.
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Travis Johnson
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We have two near us.

One company has several other branches but they say this one is the only one actually making money. Myself I have mix feeling about it. Part of me dislikes the sludge they use (the 1% that cannot be treated at sewer treatment plant), however what do you do with that 1%? They are at least composting it and not dumping it into municipal dumps...so it is an answer to a problem. But...its sewer treatment sludge too?

The other one not far from us is slightly different than a compost facility, its actually a methane digester. They bring in municipal waste, but also mix it in with their 1200 cow dairy farm manure, and then in a process what is essentially a cows stomach, pull off the methane and burn it in a 1 megawatt generator and put power on the grid. But it does not stop there. With the methane removed, they then extract the NPK out of the manure and trace minerals and use that to fertilize their fields. But they still are not done. Since now all they have left is dehydrated cellulose from the grass and corn silage; they reuse it for bedding instead of buying sawdust or using shredded newspapers. Its an ideal set up, but also costs 10 million dollars.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Here's a large scale composting facility which also raises chickens: http://geofflawton.com/videos/grow-chickens-without-buying-grain-feeding-compost/
 
Dave de Basque
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Location: Basque Country, Spain-42N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
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Tyler, could you possibly repost the video link? Our dear friend Geoff seems to have let one of his domain names lapse!
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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The City of Vancouver, Canada, takes all green waste in regular pick up at the curb.  Woody material under 10 cm thick and 50 cm long, garden waste, kitchen scraps, pizza boxes, plate scrapings.... everything... whatever goes into the green bins goes.  It all gets chipped and mixed together into huge compost piles and then, once partially broken down, sold back to the population, or given to community garden projects.  Vancouver, B.C., Green Waste Program 
 
Alex Sonnenschein
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Location: Whittier, California
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The word Putrefaction comes from the same Latin roots (put-/pot-) providing us the word Power. Fundamentally, putrefaction is decomposition, and not toxicity. What we call organic compost (organic recycling), is essentially the positive culmination of decomposition (as active principle). In a healthy, natural environment (with a minimum of soil, minerals and vegetation), decomposition is the careful, diligent separation of mixed organic materials further built and appointed by both macro and micro organisms to provide accordingly to the specific niche in which the process happens. 

Land, along with water, can't be poisoned (because both of them are the origin and providers of everything that would theoretically poison it). Single organisms are poisoned. Land and Water aren't organisms, they are environments, holding and promoting the life of numerous individual species, single organisms and particular niches in which both species and individuals function and relate optimally.

Where I live there are bins designated to fresh organic material and rancid organic material. The bins for fresh material take plants from the yard and solid plant scraps from the kitchen or any other production of food made from solid plants only and non-oiled papers. The bins for rancid organic material take oiled papers, oiled food scrap preparations, cooking oils and dead animals or dead animal parts (either cooked or uncooked).

Both those bins have their materials directed to two different compost systems. The fresh material system works with a superficial compost, above the ground level. The rancid material works with a subsurface compost, also called landfill, constructed as a hole or ditch. In both fresh and rancid cases, constant human-led management is necessary (providing numerous regular and full-time jobs that involve both hands-on maintenance and continued scientific certification for niche-appropriate adjustment and healthy organic development).

Now, to consider a brand new introduction of these two systems to any locality, not just the holding environment and it's various relative niches have to be carefully assessed but also the actual physical spaces available to include the entire mass of organic material rendered through a standard local consumption pattern (flexible by season). In my county there are endless available private lots which could be used for exposed (fresh) compost production and contained (rancid) compost production, both of which are not (and in effect cannot) be intrusive to the neighborhoods in which they would take place.
You could have a restaurant on one lot, and two lots next to it for fresh and rancid compost. You could have a hospital or a veterinary instead of restaurant, you could have a plant nursery, you could have a kindergarten school, you could have a farm, an urban garden, you could have a park, or a sports field, you could have an apartment complex, you could have a residential house or condominium. In essence, you could have anything at all next to those two compost systems, because they would be the stabilizers and promoters for a functioning economy based on regular (seasonal) consumption patterns. Soil regeneration. Food reallocation. Varied occupation.
 
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