Central Goldfields Shire Council has now had an “in-vessel” composting trial in operation at the Carisbrook Resource Recovery Facility for two years, long-enough to make some preliminary findings about the effectiveness of the system.
The system has proven to be a cost-effective mechanism for disposing of green waste in an environmentally effective manner.
With a potential for composting 1000 tonnes of green waste per year, the facility is currently operating at 300 tonnes p.a. and produces 10,000 x 20 litre bags of high-grade compost which is given back to the residents who volunteered to participate in the trial and purchase a third-bin facility (985 households so far @ $70 per year).
Two hot composting bays and a bio-filter storage unit. Kerbside-collected food and garden waste is deposited in the bays, subjected to forced aeration through a slotted floor and emergent gases are captured and treated by a bio-filter. The system and can be managed remotely via internet connection to heat probes and other monitoring equipment and the actual composting process is fully automated and requires minimal labour: on average 5 operator-hours every 2-4 weeks.
Processing of green waste into compost is completed within 4-6 weeks.
Importantly the system chosen by Council (Spartel FABCOM® composting system) provides a high degree of surety concerning odour management which was a key consideration given community concerns about this issue.
The system is currently operating on a cost-recovery basis. This is expected to change once the final bugs have been ironed out and Council focusses on engaging more households in the trial and expanding the processing quantities close to the 1000 tonne maximum.
It is estimated that operating the facility at full capacity would reduce the net operating costs from $71 per household to under $28 per household, making the system fully profitable for Council (this analysis excludes savings to Council of approximately $150 per tonne of waste diverted from landfill).
To find out more about the trial go to p.53 of the Municipal Organics Management in Regional Australia Final Report (April 2016) here…