Tag Archives: commercial compost

Proposed compost site causing stink in the suburbs

Original link: http://wgntv.com/2017/03/15/proposed-compost-site-causing-stink-in-the-suburbs/

DES PLAINES, Ill. — Some suburban residents say “not in my neighborhood” to a proposal to build a composting site on a former landfill in Des Plaines.

The site is located across from Oakton Community College and the concern is the odor the compost might create.

The commercial compost site would be located on a landfill that has been closed since 1986 and would utilize 25 of the existing 160 acres.

The composting would not include meat or dairy products.

Attorney Jim Griffin represents the backers of the compost operation. He says a company called Patriot Acres LLC would lease the site from the archdiocese.

“The owner of the parcel is the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago,” Griffin said. “It’s going to be beneficial because it’s going to be good for the environment.”

Cook County’s Zoning Board of Appeals voted in favor of it.

It will now go to the full board for consideration.

Opponents of the proposal who live nearby say it’s going to make an already busy Central Road even more so and widening the road is not an option because of a nearby viaduct.


I always get frustrated when I see opposition headlines about composting in the news.

This all stems from a lack of education and awareness, which are both fixable challenges.  The mythical negative perception of composting seem to hold it back from its true potential.

I find it ironic that the proposed site is directly on top of a landfill.

Although the landfill has been closed since 1986, you can be sure that’s still leaching and emitting away.

I’m a bit baffled about the ‘no meat or dairy’ clause- adding them will create higher quality compost and there’s no reason to leave them out.

The rules of composting are the same whether or not those materials are being utilized- they are organic materials that need to return to the soil.

I hope the site gets approved and they can educate the naysayers- composting is only a good thing.

In Vessel Composting (video)

In Vessel Composting – What happens to my food and garden recycling?

This is a nice happy video I found on Youtube detailing the process of “in vessel composting”.  They show all the steps of the process all the way to the curing and screening.

I wish there was a little more nerd talk during the screening part, or maybe a section talking about the most common contaminants they receive.

Still a great video.  Glad to know the facility exists and I hope more will come online soon!

Composting Method Used to Combat the Cold

Today I was wondering about how waste is collected in different parts of the country, especially during this wintry time of year.  The featured article below just came out showing support for a composting program taking place in Alaska.

The composting process is conducted indoors (“in vessel”) due to cold outside temperatures that make it tricky to maintain an active compost pile.  As a result, it allows for quite a great deal of waste to avoid the landfill year round.

This is some great news for the folks in Alaska.  Although it’s a wild guess, maybe the colder temperatures tend to keep most people from starting their own composting efforts.  If this is the case, it’s even more imperative to enhance in vessel composting programs.

original source: http://www.wasterecyclingnews.com/article/20121217/NEWS01/121219930/composting-method-used-to-combat-the-cold

Anchorage, Alaska — The large drum slowly spins around at Alaska Waste’s headquarters, taking in a grinded mixture of produce, woodchips and horse manure on one side and spitting out finished product on the other.

This is composting, Alaska style, which helps divert about 10 tons of material each week from the local landfill.

Colder temperatures make traditional composting a challenge, and that’s why Alaska Waste turned to an in-vessel approach approximately four years ago.

“The reason for that is because of size and also because of where we are,” said Mike Shrewsbury, who helps oversee the company’s composting and biodiesel operations. “The cold of Alaska, you can produce compost through windrows, but because of that cold you really have to be temperature conscious. If your compost becomes too cold, it will stop digestion and decomposition.”

Putting compost in the unit, which is 30 feet long and has a 10-foot diameter, helps maintain a constant temperature and environment that can be adjusted as needed.

The footprint of the composting machine also allows that work to be located in a building at the company’s Anchorage headquarters.

“This is much more compact than having a lot of windrows that take up a lot of land,” Shrewsbury said. “It’s really the size and the environment, why we went with the in-vessel composting.”

Raw materials are placed in the vessel five days a week and finished compost is removed five days a week. The material sits for 23 hours a day and then turned for an hour. After seven days, the finished product is removed via conveyor belt. The vessel is situated at a 1-degree angle, allowing material to work its way through the vessel during the week before it’s ready to come out of the finished end.

“It’s really key to maintain a constant level of compost in there to maintain the microorganism colonies that are required,” Shrewsbury said.

Alaska Waste, owned by Waste Connections Inc., has one customer that takes all of the compost, Green Earth Landworks LLC, which puts the material into composting socks for erosion control for landscape construction projects. These permeable socks allow water filtration to deliver nutrients from the compost to areas in danger of erosion, such as roadsides, Shrewsbury explained.

The Clash of the Composts! vol. 2

The Clash of the Composts! vol. 2

It’s time for Clash of the Composts round 2, and this time I’m growing chives.  The 4 soil types are: worm castings, tumbler compost, commercial compost and trench compost/dirt.

This time around was pretty much the same…my homemade worm castings and tumbler compost outperformed the commercial compost and the regular dirt by a bit.

One cool thing I noticed this time was how the commercial compost was free of weeds…this is due to the thermal kill levels of mass piles of compost, and it showed.  Perhaps that is also why it didn’t do as well as my stuff.

The obvious conclusion here, like last time, is that compost definitely helps your stuff grow…so use it!

Hit the Like button and let me know if you’ve tried comparing compost types before…it’s actually a lot of fun!  If you haven’t signed up for my free composting course, you should do that on the right hand side of the page.