Pioneering N. Y. Firm Turns Food Waste Into Quality Compost: CEG – Construction Equipment Guide

(L-R): Joe Collazo, general manager of Simplicity Equipment & Service; Eileen Banyra, president of Community Compost Company; and Don Cotrona, New York territory representative of Simplicity Equipment & Service.
(CEG photo)

(L-R): Joe Collazo, general manager of Simplicity Equipment & Service; Eileen Banyra, president of Community Compost Company; and Don Cotrona, New York territory representative of Simplicity Equipment & Service.
(CEG photo)

Community Compost Company, located along Route 209 in Kerhonkson (Hudson Valley), between Ellenville and Kingston, N. Y., roughly 90 mi. north of New York City, was founded by Eileen Banyra to pioneer a change in the disposal plus processing of food waste, climate change and soil health through regional composting.

The company embraces practices that advance the four P’s — planet, people, place and profit — and is committed to producing a quality regenerative compost that supports the region’s health, Banyra said.

The organization collects food scraps that will traditionally would have ended up in the landfill plus produces a very high-quality compost. It will collect meals waste and/or accept foods waste from businesses and institutions, providing them an ecological option in disposing of food materials while educating the public on the importance of food waste reduction.

The business also partners with farms and compost facilities within the Hudson Valley in order to process meals scraps into compost. Compost is a good extremely valuable ingredient in restoring ground by building health and structure to improve its water retention and plant vitality.

In 2016, the sister company was founded — Hudson Soil Company — which is Local community Compost Company’s soil products division. Through this division, finished compost in bags and bulk is sold to garden centers, home gardeners and landscape companies.

The food waste materials that is recycled into compost comes from a large variety of sources, including excess product from farm stands, school cafeterias, grocery stores, restaurants, manufacturing facilities that produce food products, virtually anyone who finds themselves in the situation with food scraps or spoilage, Banyra stated.

Community Compost Company offers collection services in Ulster County, And. Y., northern New Jersey, Hoboken, In. J., plus Jersey Town. Because of the biological diversity within the ingredients its compost is made from, the quality of its compost is excellent, the company mentioned.

The product is brought to market in a number of different ways, including bulk, 1-cubic foot bags and 8-quart hand bags, which are available for purchase at Whole Foods plus several local private retail stores and nurseries. It also sells a bagged item called “Plant Jolt, ” which is a mix of compost and worm castings, essentially worm castings (AKA earthworm manure) and sells worm castings in bags plus bulk. Banyra and her staff have a continuous flow through vermicomposting system that contains hundreds associated with thousands of worms and these bins are specifically designed to harvest the excrement from the worms, which has proven to be an extraordinarily effective dirt amendment. Their products are usually STA (Seal of Testing Assurance) by the US Composting Council & NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) approved for use by organic farmers and their bagged product is being sold in order to local homeowners who want to grow their own organic foods.

Growing natural food has become very popular in the particular metropolitan areas, plus Community Compost Company takes pride within the idea that will it is taking food waste from your metropolitan areas, processing it and returning it in the form associated with a soil amendment to the urban areas that this came from.

Banyra’s entire life literally prepared the girl for her role at Neighborhood Compost Organization — as a child she had an organic garden; within college she studied environmental science; the girl also took a city planning class. This education integrated some of her environment interests with an urban-built environment. After college she spent 35 years as the city planner in the New Jersey area and did some development work in private consulting.

Through her experience with municipal government, the lady became very familiar with how much costly waste was involved within the disposal of foods, and this ultimately led to the girl vision to start Community Compost Company.

“It was really pretty straightforward for me, inch she said. “It costs money in order to put foods in a landfill; it takes up space unnecessarily. That food can become composted, the particular trick is doing it efficiently and profitably. I furthermore wanted to do something which is proactive for climate modify, which putting carbon back into the soil is part of a climate mitigation strategy. ”

When asked if food recycling was mandatory in the area around her facility Banyra stated, “Not yet, but it’s coming.

“Vermont is actually mandating residential food recycling. Parts of Brand new York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island plus Massachusetts have all put some level of mandatory recycling where possible in place with regard to commercial operations that produce large volumes of meals waste. But it’s done a little differently in each state. Here in Nyc, the amount of composting that the facility is required to do will be tied to their proximity in order to a composting facility. In other words, if you are within a reasonable distance of a composting service, you’re expected to use it.

“Facilities like supermarkets, schools, colleges and those types associated with operations are mandated to recycle in case they are usually within a reasonable proximity in order to the composting facility. Municipalities are becoming offered subsidies to begin operating compost facilities. But it is the lot of work and in some cases, they are instead working with private parties such as us to get composting started in their region. ”

Community Compost Company is situated on a relatively small site of approximately 1-1/2 acre. By most standards for the industry, this would be considered a tiny web site and it requires that they make good make use of every inch of it.

A 13-cu. -yd. truck makes daily routes picking upward food waste materials across the area locally and to north Jersey. The meals scraps are usually mixed along with some other biodegradable ingredients such as wood chips, leaves plus manure. These ingredients are thoroughly blended together in the proper recipe and then the piles are pushed from side to part at least once a week, creating what is usually referred to as an aerated static pile.

The piles are usually in a long straight row called the windrow and have perforated plastic pipes running beneath them, forcing air through to keep it aerobic. The air pipes run through the particular windrow, every with a bedding of the wood chips close to it, which gives the air from the pipes a good opportunity in order to be released and circulate into the natural matter. Considering the components that are being handled in the particular composting facility one would expect a rather ripe odor. Surprisingly that is not the case. The ingredients that are usually added to the particular pile are quickly covered by more mature product called a biofilter.

When the truck comes in and drops the load associated with food waste on a concrete pad any contaminants that are not compostable have to end up being removed. The particular food waste is then mixed with wood potato chips and manure after which wheel loaders are usually used to distribute those materials in to the windrows.

Once the particular method mature, Community Compost Company offers its own bagging operation. All compost is definitely bagged on site before it really is sent out regarding retail sale. Bags can be larger 1-cu. ft. luggage, which typically weigh 25 to 30 lbs. depending on moisture content. They also have 8-quart bags which are typically sold into urban markets like New York City.

The firm also handles even smaller bags intended for some of its specialty items like worm castings, which can retail to get as much as $20 a bag. With the limited size of its operation, Community Compost Company currently is producing approximately 3, 000 cu. yds. associated with compost a year. The product ends up in the hands of some farmers, some urbanites with small organic gardens, as well as a few specialized research farms. The customers are paying a premium price with the anticipation of a higher yield, a healthier yield, and a yield that is easier around the environment.

Local community Compost Business owns the Ford F450 truck that is used primarily pertaining to deliveries. One of the key factors in purchasing over the particular road equipment has been the size associated with the equipment itself in keeping this under the CDL requirements, so that basically any of Banyra’s employees with a driver’s license may operate the gear without requiring a CDL license.

Neighborhood Compost Organization is a WBE (Women Business Enterprise), and the majority of the particular employees are usually women. Food waste is very heavy, therefore liftgates have been added in order to the trucks to avoid unnecessary strain upon the workers.

Another key piece associated with equipment for that composing facility is its trommel screen, which can be essential to the mixing of the final product. Due to the size plus scope from the business as they were getting started, the particular machine for this aspect associated with their operation was usually rented.

Community Compost Company might stockpile material and rent a trommel as needed, which worked for a period of time. But when the volume increased and COVID’s impact on the supply chain made the particular availability of the rented trommel screen extremely difficult, the organization began to consider the buy of a trommel screen.

“With us renting a screening plant three or 4 times the year, we had to stockpile product and as was mentioned earlier, using the size of our yard, space meant for stockpiling arrives at a premium. So , another immediate benefit that drove us in order to the decision to purchase a drum screen besides the lack of availability designed for rentals was the fact that we could no longer spare the stockpiling space in our yard, ” Banyra stated.

When asked what process she went through in making her buying decision she replied, “Initially there were to justify the economics. We were spending about $2, 000 in order to $3, 000 every period we rented the screening plant and we would need to rent it 3 to 4 times annually, so our rental cost has been between $12, 000 plus up to $15, 500 a year. But all those cost aspects really became irrelevant once you factored in that without purchasing we’re able to not locate a machine in order to rent due to supply string issues. The other frustrating thing about the particular rental process was paying to lease the machine and then because of weather conditions not being able to use this. You’re shelling out all of that money and not really making any products. inch

The machine that will best fit the need associated with Community Compost Company had been a trommel screen manufactured by Komptech , specifically its Primus model, which was sold in order to them by Simplicity Gear and Support in Westfield, Mass.

“As we started the search process, I started inquiring among other people in our type of business what they recommended. The Komptech was suggested to me simply by another user. I then contacted Komptech’s U. S. headquarters in Colorado, and they referred me to Simplicity Products & Services in Westfield, Mass., who is their own dealer for our area. Put on Cotrona along with Simplicity Tools came plus took care of our needs. We ultimately bought the Primus design machine and we are very fortunate that we did. The particular biggest reason being is certainly that the particular screening grow that we were hiring broke down some time ago and still provides not been available for leasing.

“In preparing to make the purchase, I experienced attended various demonstrations, trade shows and events to gain as much familiarity with the machines plus their procedure as possible. Yet, to be honest, actually one of the most deciding factors within this purchase was that in the end when Don with Simplicity Devices came to visit, he really had a machine available.

“I was impressed with all the overall design of the particular Komptech Primus. Everything pops open, the accessible, the setup is very easy, and Simpleness Equipment & Service has been right there through the process to train us with everything that we would need in order to know. They gave all of us a lot of support before and after the particular sale. Although I really can’t say what kind of mechanical and parts service Simplicity Equipment provides after the purchase because, fortunately, up to this particular point, the equipment has operated trouble free. It was reassuring to know that the machine had been manufactured plus engineered in Austria. Frankly, you just don’t hear about poorly engineered and manufactured Austrian equipment.

“Once we began using the particular Komptech Streber (umgangssprachlich), I was really impressed along with the quality of item that it was producing. The drum by itself has a spiral design which scrubs the materials more effectively than the trommel we were renting. The product we are producing will be 100 percent better than what was coming out of the previous screening herb. The reason, We believe, is that the material is usually spending more ride time within the trommel display itself plus thus produces a better product. We had already been receiving several complaints previously about the particular consistency and sizing of our product and occasional contaminated material. This screener has eliminated the vast majority associated with those issues”

As drum screens go, the Primus is a mid-sized machine constructed on a tandem axle trailer having a 4-yard hopper. The particular hopper walls are built at a steep angle to prevent bridging.

The trommel itself has 172-ft. of effective testing area and can be equipped with a grizzly or wind sifter choice. The Primus is powered by the 51 hp Perkins Diesel engine plus the machine is constructed of heavy-duty components, manually folding discharge belts along with a fuel-efficient hydraulic drive which usually helps enhance the price in order to performance ratio.

The primary purpose of the trommel screener is to sift out larger materials, producing a finer product, give a final mix to the particular composted materials and most importantly, aerate it and break up any kind of clumps so that the customer is receiving as consistent a material as possible.

“The materials that are processed with the Primus trommel possess been aging for four to six months. The materials are fed in to the hopper and gradually moved into the drum area associated with the verification plant.

“Not only does the flower break down clumps and aerate the material, but it also removes oversized pieces of materials such because larger items of wooden and separates them to another pile as they would certainly not be a desirable element in the sellable mulch item.

“The mulch itself is definitely screened in order to 1/2-inch minus. The oversized materials are usually reused as a biofilter within the compost stack. The biofilter keeps gases and odors trapped inside the compost and it also adds biology to the mix because it’s already been composting for six months. The biofilter is a key element in keeping the smells down. Given enough time the particular oversized wood materials crack down and become a part of the usable mulch. ”

By its nature compost is not screened within huge quantities, particularly during rainy periods, that is the particular type of conditions that will Community Compost Company dealt with for most of 2022. Rain will soak in and absorb into the compost just for eight to ten inches of the surface, which creates a very heavy, sticky product which is much a lot more difficult to display screen. Under individuals conditions, the particular Primus screens about 20 cubic yards per hour. Within more ideal, drier problems, it processes up in order to 65 cubic yards per hour.

Either way, according to Banyra, the production can be significantly greater than what they had been experiencing with the rental machine.

When requested if circumstances ever dictate that moisture be put into the heap, Banyra responded “Yes, moisture is a necessary ingredient to the composting process plus if conditions are dry enough we have been equipped to add moisture when need be. ”

Looking down the road at what the future may bring to her company, Banyra first focuses on the scale of the particular operation.

“We are little. By my standards extremely small, and somewhere in the future we need to level this upwards. But we are also diversifying products that can come out of here including liquid extracts.. All of us take compost and vermicompost; we extract it in an aerated water process, therefore now we have been literally selling the water biology in order to farmers.

“The worms castings production is still relatively small, but there is a growing cannabis market for high-quality soils, and the worm castings is highly sought after for that market. Part of the challenge is certainly developing the market for top quality compost items but it can coming. There is a big advantage to the particular grower within receiving compost that is created locally due to the fact they know what’s in it. Products that come from other parts of the country, plus at occasions, other components from the world, have different biology and can contain contaminants that may have devastating effects. ”

Down the road Banyra sees the girl operation growing to additional sites to meet demand. Using the production that she is receiving with the Komptech Primus the girl sees the particular screening vegetable easily getting transportable to multiple sites and meeting the screening process demands of more than one service.

The Komptech Primus was certainly a significant investment but according in order to Banyra, “All things regarded as I don’t know where we would be in the event that we had not made this purchase. We may not have got been able to make any product at all. This offers been the lifesaver, plus we happen to be very pleased working with Simpleness Equipment & Service. Wear spent a lot associated with time with us in the setup procedure. He produced sure our own people understood all the particular fundamentals of operation and the maintenance process. inch

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