Johnstown Recycling Ltd

- New Organic Composting Facility

Johnstown Recycling have announced the opening of their new Organic Composting Facility at Slanemore just outside Mullingar.

The new facility is the only one of its kind in the midlands, in so far as it organically recycles all biodegradable waste - including Food Waste - and turns it into compost. The company is fully licenced to accept food waste, cardboard, green waste and paper - and uses an In Vessel system, which meets all European Union regulations.

With an increasing emphasis on environmentally safe methods of waste disposal, it is clear that the new operation is a unique opportunity for a range of businesses - e.g. hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, etc - to safely and legally dispose of kitchen waste.

Over the next few years, under EU legislation, disposal of biodegradable waste will no longer be accepted by landfill - and will, necessarily, be sent to a recycling or composting facility.

This new method of waste disposal will be more cost-effective than the present system of landfill use.

In this regard, Johnstown Recycling has structured its operation so that, not only can the waste be collected from clients' premises - but the company's charges have been held at extremely competitive levels.

Composting System
The CCS composting process at the Johnstown facility consists of the following steps -

Feed-stock blending in a mixer;
Initial high-rate composting within enclosed tunnels;
Screening to remove oversized, undecomposed materials and contaminants;
Storage until the compost is blended, packaged and/or delivered to users.

The CCS composting process begins with the blending of clean source-separated feed-stock materials to achieve the proper balance of nutrients, moisture and porosity for optimal composting. The CCS in-vessel composting system is a computerised tunnel composting system.

The in-vessel system is used for the initial processing of materials within an enclosed environment - so that odours and leachate can be completely contained and controlled, temperatures manipulated and vermin excluded. The in-vessel system utilises a computerised process control system to regulate airflow through the composting tunnels - via a temperature feedback cycle.
The computer system is set up to log critical data, so that regulatory standards for temperature monitoring and reporting can be easily met. All process air from the in-vessel system is forced through biofilters to remove odours.

Once materials have been stockpiled for a prolonged period of time, they are screened to retrieve bulking materials - such as wood chip - in addition to large physical contaminants - such as plastic, rocks, metal cans and other inert matter. Once screened, the finished compost can be stored until it is delivered in bulk to end-users - or is blended with other materials to produce bulk or bagged topsoil, potting soils, organic fertilisers or custom growing media and delivered to markets for sale.

Materials Mixing
An auger mixer, powered by a farm tractor or front-end loader's power take-off unit can be used to mix various feed-stock materials into a homogeneous blend. The auger mixer comes equipped with a scale, so that the different feed-stocks and bulking materials can be blended according to these recipes by weight and volume.

Factors to be controlled in the mixture include - nitrogen, carbon, moisture, particle size, microbial inoculation and porosity or free air space.

Once a proportionate batch is created, the blend is left in the mixer until fully homogenized. This takes approximately 5-10 minutes.

The blend, suitable for composting, is then transferred into the loading bay section by conveyor.

Other methods of material mixing and blending can be used - such as simple turning with a front-end loader or blending - using a specialised blending bucket.

In-Vessel Tunnels
Initial composting occurs within the CCS in-vessel tunnels. These concrete tunnels are 10 metres long by 5.5 metres wide, with a composting mass height of between 2 and 2.2 metres - giving a capacity of approximately 120 cubic metres. Loading occurs with the opening of one of the two hinged steel doors at either end of the tunnel.

The tunnels have numerous aeration grates embedded in the floor, which are connected to a series of aeration pipes buried in the concrete floor. This allows air - blown into the bottom of the tunnel - to permeate through the composting mass. An exhaust duct is located in the tarpaulin roof to draw process air out of the tunnel with the use of another blower and force it through a biofilter. The doors are sealed with a watertight gasket and the tarpaulin roof is bolted tight to the tunnels walls with a rubber gasket to ensure a sealed roof. When it is time to unload the composting materials, the unloading door is opened and the loading shovel drives into the tunnel and removes the material.

All leachate generated in the process is collected in the aeration piping system, which doubles as a leachate collection system and makes its way to a storage tank through the leachate piping network.

The tunnel doors are lined with a high-density epoxy coating on the interior and painted with epoxy paint on the exterior to prevent corrosion.

Two access ports for inserting the RTD temperature probes are located in the unloading door to allow for temperature measurement at both ends of the pile.

Process Control System
The CCS in-vessel system comes with a personal computer (PC) - using Windows XP operating software that is networked to a programmeable logic controller (PLC). Inputs to the PLC are listed according to each tunnel, which can be monitored individually or for each tunnel. Input data include temperature, variable speed drive efficiency and airflow rates.

Temperature is registered on the Celsius scale and airflow rate is registered as a percentage of the blower capacity. Data logging trends include tunnel identification, blower speeds, variable frequency drive (VFD) efficiency and temperature.
Temperature logs are stored on the hard-drive as a data-base file (DBF) for each tunnel and each batch of compost. The PC itself is linked to a modem, which allows remote monitoring of the system and alterations to process variables by named operators.

Aeration System
The in-vessel tunnel system has a positive and negative blower for each tunnel - both of which are controlled by variable frequency drives that are modulated to maintain a differential pressure on the system.

Material Receipt
The following provides a list of acceptable and non-acceptable materials in the incoming loads.

Not Accepted
Garden Materials:
Lawn clippings
Old plants
Cut flowers
Tree primings
Shrub trimmings

Wastewater Sludges
Food based Sludges
Garden Materials:
Broken tools
Garden machinery
Used garden furniture
Empty oil, pesticide or fertilizer containers
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Kitchen Materials:
Tea bags
Coffee grinds and paper filters
Pasta and rice
Plate scrappings
Meat and bones
Egg shells
Fish skin and bones
Paper napkins and towels
Cereal, cracker and biscuit boxes (no plastic liners)
Paper egg cartons

Kitchen Materials:
Plastic bags
Sweet and crisp wrappers
Food tins
Beer and mineral cans
Household batteries
Milk cartons
Light bulbs
Plastic yogurt containers
Glass jars
Plastic meshing
Styrafoam cups, plates or bowls
Old pots and pans
Aerosol cans
Tin or aluminum foil
Plastic butter or margarine tubs
Plastic milk bottles
Mineral bottles

For further information, contact -

Michael Dolan
Johnstown Recycling
Tel: +353 (0)44 9373032
Mob: +353 (0)86 2599165
Email: [email protected]


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