is a productive and effective approach to waste reduction. Facilities seeking
to take advantage of the benefits of composting must first overcome a number of
challenges involved in the process.
First, waste must be sorted to separate
organic and inorganic waste. This effort requires significant behavioral
changes in staff and management. It also requires excellent communication among
staff and a well-designed plan that can be executed with precision. Another
challenge is finding a commercial facility that will accept compostable
material. The numbers of these facilities are increasing as composting gains
support. www.findacomposter.com is a good resource.
material, if not being processed on site as in the case of some agricultural
colleges and other rural facilities, must be hauled. If it has to be stored
until the next hauling date, the material can cause problems by harboring
unhealthy bacteria, attracting vermin and creating unsanitary runoff. Some
facilities refrigerate the material, but most don’t have the equipment or
amount of space necessary for this approach.
Pulping or dehydrating compostable materials, or doing both, can solve many composting challenges. These processes
reduce the material to an odor-free, dry compostable material. It is easier to
store and less costly to haul. Somat has the Pulpers and Waste Dehydrators that
help with your composting program. Pulpers take food service waste
and mix it with water to create a pulpable slurry that is approximately 95%
liquid and 5% solids. The slurry can then be transported to a dehydrator, which
removes most of the water and discharges the
semi-dry pulp into a container for disposal or composting. The extracted water
can be re-used in the pulping process. A Somat ecoSHRED Compostable Waste Shredder is
another excellent way to make composting effective. It grinds and shreds waste,
drains it of excess water and compacts it to create an ideal mixture for
cost savings realized can in many cases offset the cost of equipment—to learn
more visit Somat’s ROI Calculator.
While colleges and universities nationwide have composted
organic materials to reduce waste and limit their environmental impact, few are
taking the next step and turning their compost into electricity. With the help
of a Somat pulper and a finely tuned waste management program at the school,
Elizabethtown’s composting program produces enough energy to power 200 homes
and significantly cuts waste – proof that even a small college can make a big
step toward protecting the environment.
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Phone: 1-800-237-6628 • Fax: (717) 291-0877 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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