Waste Connections - The Compost Factory

Puyallup, WA 1998
Aerial view of the Compost Factory
Aeration ductwork and controls
Aerated turned pile
Aerial view of the Compost Factory
Aeration ductwork and controls
Aerated turned pile

Client Needs

The Compost Factory is an enclosed facility designed to compost up to 250 tons per day. The permitted feedstocks included biosolids, post-consumer food waste, and yard waste. The size of the facility and its odor-sensitive location demanded precise automatic controls and monitoring functions, including:

  • Control of 17 aeration zones
  • Processing time and temperature data for regulatory compliance
  • Tracking individual compost batches as they are turned/moved from zone to zone through the facility
  • Provide ongoing, knowledgeable, and timely facility and process support to facility staff

ECS Solution

The 1998 ECS CompTroller™, Aeration Control and Monitoring System, could already manage an unlimited number of composting vessels or zones. It was easily adapted to accommodate The Compost Factory’s 17-zone facility.

At that time the CompTroller™ operator interface ran on Windows software located on the operator’s PC (located in their office).The CompTroller™ included a “click and drag” graphical compost batch tracking function that allowed accurate reporting of temperature histories for regulatory compliance as the batches moved sequentially through the aeration zones, including when they are combined with other batches midway through the process. The operator interface displayed and logged process temperature data; and the status of blowers, dampers, leachate tanks and biofilters to the CompTroller™ database. The CompTroller™ software and database could be accessed remotely via a dial-up modem. (Remember those?)

That system worked well for about ten years, and in 2007 ECS upgraded the RF Teleprobes™ master device for receiving the Teleprobe signals. The master device included an upgraded firmware with a custom PC application for configuration. 

By 2012 software and electrical components had evolved so rapidly that a complete overhaul of the control system was required. The old controller hardware, an RCM2300, was obsolete and was upgraded to a CMS Control Server using web-based CompTroller™ Version 6. The upgrade included a fully web enabled/accessed operator interface that allows for remote operation by personnel and ECS without special software, a more flexible and fault-tolerant dedicated server system that runs the control system independently of the operator PC, an auto-archiving feature that records batch history data in PDF and raw text formats, and pressure sensors to monitor exhaust plenum back pressure for determining the condition of their biofilters.

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I’ve worked with ECS for over 17 years and they are easily the best! Tim, Steve, and all the employees are always friendly and professional. Their compost systems have been key to our success. Don Taylor Area Division Manager, Composting Operations Waste Connections Puyallup, WA

Contact ECS to learn more.

We want to learn how to support your composting goals!

4220 24th Avenue West
Seattle, Washington 98199

Tel: (206) 634-2625
Fax: (206) 634-1309