Tags
Composting

Harvest Quest inoculants Key to Charleston County’s rise to compost industry leader

Charleston County uses Harvest Quest inoculants and the modified aerobic static pile method.
Charleston County uses Harvest Quest inoculants and the modified aerobic static pile method.

Charleston County, South Carolina opened their compost facility in 1989. Back then, the concept was quite visionary and progressive - the idea of a municipality operating a compost site was still rather nascent. But for the first 20 years the outcome was moderate at best, as the operation mostly stockpiled green waste and let time do most of the work. That all changed dramatically in 2011 when they reached out to Darren Midlane of Harvest Quest. After applying Harvest Quest inoculants and committing to the MSAP (modified aerobic static pile) method, Charleston County's composting facility has transformed from the "armpit" of the landfill to a crown jewel of national waste management.

"All that we had been composting was strictly vegetative waste," admits Harvey Gibson, who was at the time the Bees Ferry Facility Manager where they managed Charleston's green waste. "Green material, we would grind up and just let sit in piles for a long time. But there was no method or discipline to the process. Sometimes you would see six- or seven-foot trees sticking out of our rows."

An Entirely New Approach
Harvey met with Darren Midlane of Harvest Quest who was then brought in as a consultant to provide advice and insight on how to improve Charleston county's composting operations. What Darren had to offer was an entirely new methodology and biology that would dramatically overhaul their compost process - and the outcomes they were capable of.

"Just prior to working with Darren, we realized that you can't compost green waste alone," continues Harvey. "So we started bringing in some food waste and mixing it in our rows. But all that got us is a compost we called Carolina Muck! It was some black dirt-type substance that was never brought to proper temperature so it would be mixed with rotting wood. Piles of it would be left here from year to year and it was just not a good recipe."

According to Midlane, Harvest Quest transforms the composting process by starting with a precise organic mix recipe, applying a proprietary microbial inoculant and following a strict 60-day curing method that requires a minimal amount of turning. This modified static aerobic pile method has been demonstrated at compost facilities around North America, and has been proven academically at several major universities and endorsed by USDA regulators.

At first though, Harvey Gibson was as skeptical as they come.

"When I was first hired here at the compost site, I was told to go learn everything that Darren knows," recalls Harvey. "I didn't really know much about compost but what I was hearing Darren explain seemed counter to everything I saw others doing, especially the lack of turning."

Harvey could not refute the results.

"Honestly, what really impressed me was that Darren was able to predict everything that was going to happen," explains Harvey. "Everything. We built our row and he added the inoculant and Darren said ‘in a day you're going to see your row turn white' and less than 48 hours later our pile was turning white. Then Darren said ‘in a few more days your pile is going to reach 130 degrees', and within 72 hours the pile temperature was exactly that. And clearly it was the inoculant taking effect because on other piles where we added nothing the temperature was only about 10 degrees over ambient."

Harvey remained skeptical throughout that first 60 days, but eventually came to understand that the Harvest Quest process was as effective as Midlane had explained.
"Every step of the way, everything that Darren told me would happen worked exactly as he predicted," Harvey says. "There are a lot of ‘snake oil' additives out there but really, after 72 hours it was clear that this is different. Darren said not to turn for 30 days and predicted the temperatures at that point too. He said not to turn again until 45 days and explained what the material would look like at that point and he was exactly right. 

"The MSAP method really took us from a fledgling operation to a top-of-the-class facility."

A Nationally Recognized Site
In 2014, just three years later, Charleston County was recognized as the USCC Composter of the Year.

Today, the facility hosts frequent tours from national organizations and other municipalities alike who come to use the site for training and observation. Additionally, the operation has been able to increase the price of the compost they sell which generates a nice financial benefit to the community.

"We sell every ounce we make now, which means it leaves our site as soon as it's done," says Harvey. "Annually, we bring in roughly 70,000 tons of green waste and 5,000 tons of food waste. We put down rows every day and a half, and when they're done we screen and that product is gone in a day and a half. We're far more efficient with our 19-acre site than ever."

And Harvey Gibson, once the skeptic, is now himself one of the leading authorities on composting.

"Compost is a biological process that excels in the proper conditions. And Harvest Quest has clearly cracked the code to create and maintain the perfect conditions throughout the composting process," he says. "In the end, you not only get incredible compost, but you overcome just about all of the traditional challenges of running a composting site: no odour, good quality product, small footprint, less cost, less manpower, faster curing. 

"I get excited to share what we've achieved here with other compost operators now. There is a way to do this right, and when you do, the results speak for themselves."

This article was originally published in Recycling Product News, Volume 25, Number 8, November/December 2017.

Charleston County being recognized as Composter of the Year in 2014.
Charleston County being recognized as Composter of the Year in 2014.

Company Info

Latest News

Tags
Metals Recycling
Paper Recycling
Plastics Recycling

SWANA Urges China to Delay Implementation of Import Restrictions

SWANA Urges China to Delay Implementation of Import Restrictions

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has submitted comments to the World Trade Organization urging China to delay implementation of its waste import restrictions scheduled to take effect in early 2018. SWANA's request is included in its response to the November 15, 2017 Notification from China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).   

Read More

Refind to install latest OBS500 optical battery sorter in Norway

Refind to install latest OBS500 optical battery sorter in Norway

Refind has announced that the company's latest optical battery sorter, an OBS500 machine, has been sold to a Norwegian leader in battery collection and recycling - AS Batteriretur. According to Refind, AS Batteriretur recently moved to a new modern facility in Fredrikstad, close to the Swedish border, and is in the process of implementing many new processes and machines - one of them being the Optical Battery Sorter 500. The commissioning will take place in the early spring of 2018. 

Read More

Van Dyk test facility to feature world-class equipment from TOMRA, Lubo and Spaleck

 Equipment is arriving for Van Dyk's new test facility located in their Norwalk, CT campus. The site is currently home to their extensive spare parts warehouse (which holds over 13,000 different parts) and baler rebuild center (which fully reconditions balers for resale), and is their future headquarters intended to house their main offices and training classrooms.

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling
Organics Recycling
Composting

Basic 518 Screen provides economic separation of materials in compact size

A basic solution for smaller enterprises or recycling plants, the 518 trommel has what it takes for a first step in the separation of material mixtures.

With the new trommel screen Basic 518, the environmental specialist Doppstadt has placed a basic solution for small and medium municipal environmental services and recycling plants on the market. The innovation has a telling name: The Basic 518 has got exactly what it takes for a first step into the separation of material mixtures. 

Read More

Tags
Paper Recycling
Plastics Recycling
Wood Recycling

​Green Recycling first in UK to invest in Max-AI robotic sorting technology

​Green Recycling first in UK to invest in Max-AI robotic sorting technology

Essex, UK -  Leading UK industrial & commercial waste specialist, Green Recycling, has announced the purchase of a Max-AI™ AQC (Autonomous Quality Control) to increase recovery of recyclables without adding additional manual labour at the company's commercial and commingled dry recyclables MRF in Maldon, Essex. Green Recycling is the first company in the UK to invest in this new technology, which has already been successfully installed in three US MRFs. Green Recycling's Max-AI AQC will be operational in Q1 2018.

Read More

Tags
C&D Recycling

Keestrack introduces R5e hybrid impact crusher

Compact output: the new diesel-electric 50 tonne Keestrack R5e crusher unit with a double-deck primary screen and double-deck post-screen module delivers up to 350 t/h defined final fractions.

In its drive to reduce costs through the electrification of its track-mounted processing units, Keestrack is currently concentrating on hybrid crushing technology. Following teh lauch of its  fully hybrid H4 cone crushers and B4e jaw crushers, Keestrack is now  introducing the R5e hybrid impact crusher unit, designed to guarantee full capacity at low power consumption costs with the aid of a directly driven 350 t/h crusher and electrical transport and screen components.

Read More

Tags
Composting

Building on the Model Compost Rule Template

Building on the Model Compost Rule Template

Consider these facts. There are more than 4,700 facilities composting organics in the U.S., as per the "2017 State of Organics Recycling in the U.S." report released this fall by BioCycle magazine. There are 3,007 counties in the United States, most of which are required to update solid waste management plans on a regular basis. More than half of all U.S. states are in the market for a regulatory update and many of the rest are in the process of updating outdated regulations. That's a lot of regulatory and legislative action on the horizon for the compost manufacturing industry. 

Read More

Tags
Industry News

Martin Weissburg appointed President of Mack Trucks

Martin Weissburg appointed President of Mack Trucks

Martin Weissburg, currently President of Volvo Construction Equipment, will become President of Mack Trucks effective June 1, 2018, in which capacity he will continue to be a member of the Executive Board for the Volvo Group. Martin Weissburg was born in 1962, and has served as President of Volvo Construction Equipment since 2014. He joined the Volvo Group in 2005 as President of Volvo Financial Services Americas, and in 2010 became global President of Volvo Financial Services. He will be headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA.

Read More

Tags
Glass Recycling

Breaking down the factors behind scrap glass prices

Machinex’s Pierre-André Mongeon at the Quebec City glass recycling facility.

Recycling Product News recently had the opportunity to ask a series of questions about the factors behind scrap glass market prices, and the nature of scrap glass as a recycled commodity, to Pierre-André Mongeon, Machinex's glass recycling solution specialist and an active member of the Glass Recycling Coalition (GRC).

Read More

Tags
Fleets & Technology
Industry News

​Daimler Trucks North America Announces Changes in Senior Management

​Daimler Trucks North America Announces Changes in Senior Management

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has announced that David Carson, currently president of Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC), has been appointed president of Western Star Trucks and chief diversity officer of DTNA. Carson succeeds Kelley Platt who has been promoted within the Daimler AG global organization to president and chief executive officer of Daimler's truck joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA) in China.

Read More

Tags
Plastics Recycling

GreenMantra Technologies Launches New Website

GreenMantra Technologies Launches New Website

BRANTFORD, Ontario -- GreenMantra Technologies, a rapidly growing clean technology company that produces high-value polymer products from waste plastics, has launched a new website to provide customers, investors and other stakeholders with in-depth information about its revolutionary technology and products and their applications. The GreenMantra Technologies website can be found at www.greenmantra.com.

Read More

Tags
Metals Recycling
Solid Waste

​SENNEBOGEN'S MAXCAB NOW OFFERS MORE COMFORT

The newly upgraded SENNEBOGEN Maxcab is longer, providing the operator with both more personal space and additional room for creature comforts and storage.

Standard on SENNEBOGEN machines, the updated version of the Maxcab is about 3" (70 mm) longer than the previous generation. The resulting cab expansion not only provides more space for the operator to work comfortably. It also offers additional room for an optional electric cooler behind the seat, as well as additional storage space for other necessities.

Read More