Kitchen food waste such as fruit and vegetable peelings, plate scrapings, etc, and leaf and yard waste are received at the centre and processed into finished compost, which is a valuable soil amendment. Both In-Vessel (Container) and Outdoor Windrow Composting Systems are used to process organic waste materials.
|Dropping off the Material
Organic material is delivered to the OVWRC where it is tipped inside the processing facility.This facility has a heated floor so that frozen organic material has the opportunity to thaw, usually overnight and then is ready for processing, even on the coldest winter days.
|Sorting out the Garbage
Material is presorted to remove items such as large chunks of wood or concrete and plastics which can cause damage to equipment and contaminate the end product.The material is then shredded into smaller pieces, helping the composting process happen faster.
|Going Under the Magnet
The shredded material goes along a conveyor belt and passes under a magnet which removes small metal items such as cutlery, nails and bottle caps.To ensure the quality of the finished compost these non-compostable items must be removed.
|Mixing the Material: Recipe for Compost
Once the material is sorted and shredded it is ready to be mixed. Moisture and bulking agents such as leaves or wood chips may be blended with the compost to get the required recipe for compost including the correct amounts of carbon (leaves, twigs and wood chips), nitrogen (kitchen scraps) and moisture. Large augers turn and mix the material.Plastics, including biodegradable plastics, become wrapped around the augers, causing severe equipment damage and lost processing time, which is why these materials are not accepted in the Centre’s Organics Program.
Material is loaded into a composting container which is then moved by a truck to an outside monitoring system. Probes are inserted into material to electronically record and track the temperature. Air is circulated through the material for up to 14 days. The temperature must reach 55 degrees Celsius for at least three days in order to kill weed seeds and pathogens. The material is then moved to a paved outdoor composting pad, tipped onto the ground and formed into windrows (long piles) to continue the composting process for about 6 months. During those 6 months the piles are turned using a front end loader. This ensures the piles continue to have adequate temperature and appropriate levels of oxygen to facilitate the ongoing compost process.
|Screening and Selling
The composted material is screened to remove large pieces of wood or contaminates such as plastic.The final product is sold and can be used as a valuable soil amendment on gardens and lawns. Click here for compost prices and sale dates.
|Outdoor Windrow Composting
Leaf and Yard waste is composted outside in windrows (long piles). Check out this video to find out how:
Want to know about Backyard Composting? Click here.