Municipal Composting System - Engineered Compost Systems
A successful municipal composting system—that is, a method in which various types of waste from a community or geographic area are processed into compost—is no simple undertaking. To process waste on such a large scale, be it food waste, biosolids, or other waste (that is, feedstock type), all while adhering to various regulations surrounding odors, groundwater contamination, and other environmental impacts requires very specialized knowledge and equipment.
How to Develop a Municipal Composting System
Before selecting a composting system, there are several critical factors to consider:
Characteristics and quantity of the anticipated feedstock
Desired final product
Odor and emissions considerations
Site footprint and potential layout
Zoning requirements and location relative to the community being served
Regulatory requirements and environmental impact studies for the current, or future composting facility location
Once the above design criteria have been established, you’ll be in a better position to select which type of industrial composting system best suits your needs—something you’d ideally work with an expert on to ensure the most viable, economical, and environmentally successful outcome.
The Biggest Challenges with Municipal Composting Systems
The following are some of the greatest challenges associated with operating a municipal composting system, and ECS has successfully addressed each of these challenges with every project they have supported over the years. A few examples:
Odor management. In the case of the City of Long Beach project, ECS offered a tunnel type in-vessel system for primary composting, a roof covered aerated static pile (ASP) for secondary composting, and a four-auger feedstock mixer. The sealed, insulated design of the concrete vessels minimizes both the weather effects and most important to the challenge of odor management, minimizes “fugitive” emissions.
ECS offers odor modeling to quantitatively predict the odor impact from operations of a given municipal composting system.
Maintaining semi-optimized process conditions for composting over the long-term. In the case of the Freestate Farms project, due to an increased demand for volume of materials to be composted, ECS designed an aerated static pile composting system that included low-friction trench aeration floors, which require low levels of maintenance—ideal for composting over the long term.
Water Management. In the case of the Napa Composting project, due to the City wanting to upgrade its compost facility to process more yard waste along with the addition of food waste and digestate (while still adhering to rigorous permit conditions required by the state water board) ECS provided extensive technical support throughout the long permitting process.
ECS offers water modeling services to help calculate the water generation and water consumption for a composting facility.
Available Industrial Composting Systems Through ECS
Since 1999, ECS scientists and engineers have helped with the design, development, and maintenance of more than 80 municipal composting systems around the world. These installations include an assortment of composting system solutions and industrial composting technology:
ECS is committed to helping our customers maximize composting stabilization while minimize capital cost. Our designs focus on optimizing process control, which thereby:
-speeds up the process
-shortens the required retention time
-minimizes the footprint and associated costs
Here are some examples where we have helped deliver systems within customer defined budgets.
Composting is a biological process which slows down when material freezes. Fortunately, ECS has developed some cold weather techniques to facilitate semi-optimized process conditions even during harsh winters. See some of our cold weather deployments below, and contact us to learn more.
ECS applies composting science and best engineering practices to our equipment designs to facilitate process control and enable our customers to achieve low odor operations. We also work to provide operator training and the automated tools to monitor key performance indicators. Learn more below, or contact us to schedule a visit and 'smell the difference'.
ECS strives to understand our customers target markets and stability goals to help us develop correctly sized systems. We use a mix of technology and operational procedures to optimize process control and stabilization rates. See some of our example projects below that use different ECS tools to meet customer Product Maturity goals.