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THE CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF NELSON

REQUEST TO APPEAR AS A DELEGATION


DATE:
TOPIC:
PROPOSAL:

May 19, 2015 Committee of the Whole


On-Site Composting Presentation (15 minutes)
On-site composting options for commercial and institutional
buildings in Nelson
PROPOSED BY: Staff
_____________________________________________________________________
ANALYSIS SUMMARY:
Fiona Galbraith of FJG Consulting was contracted by the City to review the on-site
composting options for commercial and institutional sites within the City of Nelson and
has requested an opportunity to present the highlights of this initiative to Council.
BENEFITS OR DISADVANTAGES AND NEGATIVE IMPACTS:
The presentation is for Council and the publics information.
LEGISLATIVE IMPACTS, PRECEDENTS, POLICIES:
It is within Council mandate and authority to hear the presentation.
COSTS AND BUDGET IMPACT - REVENUE GENERATION:
There are no costs associated with hearing the presentation.
IMPACT ON SUSTAINABILITY OBJECTIVES AND STAFF RESOURCES:
There are no costs associated with hearing the presentation.
COMMUNICATION:

Hearing the presentation educates Council and the public about composting options for
the City of Nelson.
OPTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES:
1.
Receive the audience and thank the presenter
2.
Refer to staff with further direction
ATTACHMENTS:
Presentation and Report
RECOMMENDATION:
That Council hears from Fiona Galbraith and thanks her for attending.
AUTHOR:

REVIEWED BY:

_______________________________
DEPUTY CORPORATE OFFICER

______________________________
CITY MANAGER

City of Nelson
On-Site
Composting
Review
Presented by Fiona Galbraith
May 19th, 2015

Overview
Potential
pilot sites

Comparison of
systems, review
of concerns

Recommendations
Case
studies on
existing
systems

Review of existing
studies

Purpose of the Report


Identification

of on-site composting
options for commercial and institutional
buildings in Nelson
Will not be addressing residential organics
diversion as this falls within RDCK scope

Background
Why

compost?

Organics in landfills produce methane


Composted organics generate carbon
dioxide

RDCK

Resource Recovery Plan

Residential composting will be considered


as part of 2017 amendments
Cooperative effort between RDCK and
municipalities

Review of Existing Studies


Creston

Valley Composting

CSRD

Composting Review

Earth

Matters Composting Report

Metro

Vancouver On-Site Composting


Review

Types of Systems
Large Scale

Small to Mid Scale

Small to Mid Scale Systems


Multi-Bins

Vermicomposters

[J

Factors in Selection
Processing
time
Space and
housing
requirements

Processing
capacity

Cost

System
Selection

Ventilation

System Comparison
Cost

Processing
Time

Capacity
(# people)

Minimum

$700

7 days

15

Maximum

$72,000

90 days

300

Average

$26,000

30 days

140

Composting Concerns
Odours

Management

Pest Control

Leachate

Case Studies
Selkirk College
Earth Tub

Thompson Rivers University


Jora JK5100

Potential Pilot Sites


Selkirk College
Kootenay Lake Hospital

ALPIAKE
SUITES

Commercial Waste
Services
Largest

provider of services is Waste


Management Canada
Diverting food and recycling from waste
stream can reduce volumes by up to 60%
Cost savings can be gained through
diversion of organics to on-site system

Recommendations
Identify

grant opportunities & partner


organisations
Waste audits for pilot sites
Designation of support person, similar to
EcoSave
Continued education and
communications with identified pilot sites
Sharing of information with other
institutional and commercial facilities in
Nelson

THANK YOU!

On#Site(Composting(Review(for(
Commercial(&(Institutional(Sites(
(
May(10th,(2015

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.! Executive Summary ...................................................................................................... 1!
2.! Introduction ................................................................................................................... 2!
3.! Background ................................................................................................................... 2!
3.1.! Organics Diversion & Greenhouse Gas Emissions ............................................ 2!
3.2.! RDCK Resource Recovery Plan ......................................................................... 3!
4.! Literature Review.......................................................................................................... 4!
4.1.! Creston Valley Composting Options Analysis and Project Definition ............ 4!
4.2.! CSRD Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Technology Review ................... 4!
4.3.! Earth Matters Community Composting Report .................................................. 4!
4.4.! Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review ............................. 4!
5.! Composting System Types ........................................................................................... 5!
5.1.! Large Sized Composting Systems ...................................................................... 5!
5.2.! Small to Mid-Sized Composting Systems .......................................................... 6!
6.! Composting Systems..................................................................................................... 8!
6.1.! Overview ............................................................................................................. 8!
6.2.! Composting System Comparison ........................................................................ 8!
7.! Commercial Waste Management .................................................................................. 9!
8.! Composting Concerns ................................................................................................... 9!
8.1.! Odours ................................................................................................................. 9!
8.2.! Pest Control ......................................................................................................... 9!
8.3.! Leachate ............................................................................................................ 10!
8.4.! Management of the System ............................................................................... 10!
9.! Case Studies ................................................................................................................ 11!
9.1.! Selkirk College, Castlegar BC Earth Tub Composter ................................... 11!
9.2.! Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops BC Jora JK5100 Composter ......... 12!
10.!Potential Composting Sites ......................................................................................... 14!
10.1.! Alpine Lakes Suites .......................................................................................... 14!
10.2.! Selkirk College 10th Street Campus .............................................................. 14!
10.3.! Kootenay Lake Hospital ................................................................................... 15!
11.!Business Case Analysis............................................................................................... 15!
12.!Report Recommendations ........................................................................................... 16!
13.!Appendices.................................................................................................................. 16!
13.1.! Appendix A Resource Contact Information .................................................. 16!
13.2.! Appendix B Composting System Specification Sheets................................. 16!
13.3.! Appendix C Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review ... 16!
13.4.! Appendix D Dalhousie University Waste Audit Procedures ........................ 16!

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

1. Executive Summary
The purpose of this report is to provide a review of on-site composting options for commercial
and institutional facilities within the City of Nelson. These sites would not be included in the
residential organics diversion being considered by the RDCK and this report is meant to provide a
complementary piece to the RDCK waste planning process.

Key!targets!within!the!City!of!Nelsons!Low!Carbon!Path!to!2040:!!Community!
Energy!and!Emissions!Plan!are!an!increase!in!organics!diversion!rate!to!50%!by!
2020!and!80%!by!2040.!

Composting!can!reduce!greenhouse!gas!emissions!by!over!90%!in!contrast!to!
sending!the!same!waste!to!a!landfill.!

Selkirk!College!in!Castlegar!and!Thompson!Rivers!University!in!Kamloops!both!
operate!successful!onNsite!composting!systems.!

A!wide!variety!of!onNsite!composting!technologies!were!reviewed!ranging!in!cost!
from!$700!to!$140,000!and!in!capacity!from!30!kg/week!to!600!kg/week.!

Potential!composting!pilot!project!sites!include!Alpine!Lakes!Suites,!Selkirk!Colleges!
Nelson!campuses,!and!Kootenay!Lake!Hospital.!

Cost!savings!can!be!achieved!by!reducing!commercial!waste!removal!needs!through!
the!diversion!of!organics,!but!this!would!need!to!be!assessed!on!a!site!specific!basis.!

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 1 of 16

2. Introduction
The City of Nelson has shown a strong commitment to sustainability and climate change through
their planning and implementation of programs that reduce energy consumption and greenhouse
gas emissions. This includes the Path to 2040 Sustainability Strategy, Low Carbon Path to 2040:
Community Energy and Emissions Action Plan, Corporate Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan,
EcoSave Home Energy Retrofit Program, as well as exploration of a downtown District Energy
System and a Community Solar Garden.
In a continuation of these emission reduction plans and programs, the City of Nelson is
investigating options for the diversion of organic waste away from landfills. Within the Low
Carbon Path to 2040 Plan, the diversion of organic materials is identified as an important
component of greenhouse gas emission reductions. The key targets outlined in the plan are an
increase in organics diversion rate to 50% by 2020 and 80% by 2040.
As residential organic waste diversion falls within the scope of the Regional District Central
Kootenay (RDCK), the focus of this review is on composting options for institutional and
commercial sites within the community that will not be directly addressed by the RDCKs waste
management plans. After assessing a variety of composting options, the review was narrowed
down to on-site systems that do not require transportation of materials.
These systems could be suitable for a variety of users, from schools to seniors residences to the
hospital to the mall, and so on. Or potentially they could be sited in a neighbourhood. The
information gained in this review can be used to encourage new or existing developments or
institutions to incorporate this technology; and it can also be piloted on a neighbourhood basis.

3. Background
3.1. Organics Diversion & Greenhouse Gas Emissions$
When organic waste is placed in a landfill it decomposes gradually over decades and creates a
significant amount of methane due to the absence of oxygen. In contrast, when organic waste is
composted it decomposes within one year, if left to itself, and predominantly creates carbon
dioxide because oxygen is made available.
Because methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a 100-year global warming
potential basis, composting can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 90% in contrast to
sending the same waste to a landfill. Although the exact number can vary, the Provincial
Governments Green Communities Carbon Neutral Framework estimates that every tonne of
organic waste that is diverted from a landfill into a centralized composting system will result in
roughly a tonne of greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

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In BC, waste management accounts for approximately 5% of the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Managing organic materials that are traditionally part of the waste stream using other, lowemission methods is becoming a key part of waste management. Not only does diverting organics
from the landfill reduce methane emissions, it allows this valuable resource to be reclaimed for
other beneficial uses and reduces the need for the development of additional landfills.
3.2. RDCK Resource Recovery Plan$
As part of this composting review, discussions were held with Mike Morrison, Resource
Recovery Manager, at the RDCK.
Waste management at the RDCK is comprised of 3 sub-regions the central (including Nelson),
west, and east sub-region. Waste management for each of the sub-regions is addressed through
the RDCKs Resource Recovery Plan (RRP). The Provincial Government requires that these
solid waste management plans are revised every 5 years. Currently, the RDCK is working with a
plan that was amended in 2012, so the next revision will occur in 2017.
The strategic priorities of the existing Resource Recovery Plan are the redevelopment and
upgrade of transfer stations as well as the centralisation and/or closure of landfills. These
priorities have been completed in the east sub-region, so the 2015 project year will focus on
wrapping up these priorities in the central sub-region and the 2016 year will address the west subregion. Once completed, attention will shift to developing a new set of priorities for renewal of
the management plan in 2017.
As part of the 2017 amendments to the Resource Recovery Plan, the RDCK will be considering a
composting system that could receive regional organic waste. This would need to be done in
cooperation with municipalities, since residential curbside waste removal is a municipal service.
As part of the existing plans to centralise landfill locations, the Salmo landfill site has been closed
and central sub-region waste is being diverted to the Ootischenia landfill site in Castlegar. The
RDCK is currently preparing the Salmo landfill as a potential site for organics processing,
although the exact form of a composting system has not yet been considered.
The purpose of this review is to provide composting options for locations within Nelson that
would not be included in residential organics diversion being considered by the RDCK and to
provide a complementary piece to the RDCK waste planning process.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

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4. Literature Review
In order to reduce a duplication of efforts, existing composting reports were reviewed and
assessed based on their relevance to Nelsons project. Below is a summary of the key reports that
were identified.

4.1. Creston Valley Composting Options Analysis and Project Definition


This report was completed for the RDCK East Sub-region in 2013 to assess opportunities for a
composting facility in the Creston Valley. An inventory was completed of the various feedstocks
in the region including municipal biosolids, fruit culls, and municipal and commercial food waste.
This study assesses a system that would be much larger than those being examined in the current
review and would be more on scale with a regional central composting facility such as that being
considered for the Salmo landfill site. The information contained in this report would be useful
when the RDCK begins to look more closely at a centralized composting system.

4.2. CSRD Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Technology Review


Also in 2013, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) worked with the communities of
Golden, Revelstoke, and Salmon Arm to assess the potential for an organic waste diversion and
processing program that would complement existing yard and wood waste diversion programs.
Similar to the Creston Valley report, this assessment focussed on large scale community
processing of organics that would be much larger in scope than what is being reviewed by the
City of Nelson. As in the Creston report, this information would be valuable when the RDCK
considers organics as part of the 2017 Resource Recovery Plan amendments.

4.3. Earth Matters Community Composting Report


In 2008, the Nelson CARES Society commissioned a feasibility study and developed a business
plan for a central composting facility that would include a pickup service in the Nelson area. As
with the previous studies, the focus of this report is on a more regional system that would include
residential organics diversion and is not directly relevant to the current review.

4.4. Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review


This study was completed in 2012 for the Regional District of Metro Vancouver. It focuses on
various technology options for on-site composting and has been a valuable resource in this review
process providing the most relevant information. The report includes detailed case studies of
sites where on-site composting has been implemented. For each case study, a description is
provided of the project history, technology, composting process, system support, and system
evaluation. This study has been provided courtesy of Metro Vancouver and is included in
Appendix C.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

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Follow up has been completed on the case studies highlighted in the Metro Vancouver report to
determine if the composting technologies reviewed are still operational.
Case%Study%Location%

Composting%Technology%

Status%(as%of%May%2015)%

Quayside(Village(Cohousing(
North(Vancouver,(BC(

Three(Bin(System(

Still(in(operation,(program(is(
going(well(and(have(expanded(to(
6(bins.(

Bellingham(Cohousing(
Bellingham,(WA(

Worm(Wigwam(

No(response.(

Cercle(Carre(Co#operative(
Montreal,(QC(

JORA(JK400(

Still(in(operation(and(going(well.(

White(Dragon((GG#30)(

No(longer(operational.(

Earth(Tub(

No(response.(

The(Rocket(A900(

Still(in(operation(and(very(
successful.(

Big(Hanna(T240(

No(response.(

Mulberry(Retirement(Residence(
Burnaby,(BC(
Grandview(Earth(School(
Vancouver,(BC(
Lakefield(College(School(
Lakefield,(ON(
McGill(University(
Montreal,(QC(

5. Composting System Types


The systems that would be considered for small to mid-sized facilities such as those being
targeted in this review are quite different than those that would be suitable for large scale central
composting facility.

5.1. Large Sized Composting Systems


Large scale central composting sites often have enough land available for space intensive aerobic
systems such as those listed below and have the capacity to process feedstock on a regional and
community level.

Open Windrow: organic waste is placed in long, low rows and turned periodically
throughout the processing life to allow the waste to aerate and heat and water to be
distributed.

Aerated Static Piles: organic waste is piled overtop of some form of air
distribution/collection network that aerates the piles from underneath using fans. This
system does not require regular turning and has no set configuration of pile formations,
so it can be designed specifically to the site. The piles can also be outfitted with covers
to reduce odours and provide protection from precipitation.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

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Statically Containerized System: organic waste is placed in an enclosed container and


then aerated for 2-4 weeks. At the end of this process, the material must be further cured
and matured before being used as a soil amendment.

Rotating Drum Technology: consists of a steel drum positioned on a small incline to


allow gravity to assist the flow of organic material from the upper end to the lower end,
where it is removed.

Agitated Container and Vessel Systems: feedstock is injected into one end of the
system and slowly moved to the discharge end in a continuous flow. This system is most
similar, although larger in scale, to the on-site technologies evaluated in this review.

5.2. Small to Mid-Sized Composting Systems


Like the large scale system category, there are a variety of small to mid-sized composting systems
that are suitable for small institutions and commercial establishments including schools, hospitals,
multi-unit residential buildings, and grocery stores. These systems can vary from a basic 3 bin
system, similar to that of a backyard composter, to more technological equipment such as invessel systems.

Multi-Bin System: allows for the continuous processing of large amounts of material.
A typical system would consist of 3 bins where materials can be turned and mixed from
one bin to the next while the third bin is used for curing and finishing. The volume of
processed organics depends on the size of the bins, but a 1,590 L system (530 L per bin)
could handle approximately 9 kg per day or 31 residents (assuming 0.5 kg/L of organic
waste and a 3 month composting period).

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

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Vermicomposting System: processes organic waste through earthworms. This is


system would be suitable to smaller groups of households as it is a smaller scale system
that can process up to 4.5 kg/day of organic waste which would accommodate 16 people.

In(Vessel$Systems:!!a!composting!process!whereby!material!is!enclosed!in!a!
container!and!maintained!under!uniform!conditions!of!temperature!and!moisture.!!
Typical!systems!will!use!forced!aeration!and/or!mechanical!agitation!to!promote!
rapid!composting.!!Of!the!inNvessel!systems!reviewed!for!this!report,!there!are!many!
types!that!can!handle!a!range!of!food!volumes!from!10!kg/day!to!1,100!kg/day!(35!N
4,000!people).$

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

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6. Composting Systems
6.1. Overview
There are an assortment of in-vessel composting systems available on the market that range in
capacity, technology, and cost. All of the systems involve the enclosure of materials within a
container and typically involve agitation of materials and the addition of oxygen to promote the
composting process. Some systems may involve the addition of heat, if located outdoors, to
speed up composting in the winter months. Most in-vessel systems also require a curing period
after the initial processing period. Curing or "finishing" is the process of allowing materials in
the compost system to finish the composting process at lower temperatures. After the initial
composting period, the material is removed from the vessel and allowed to sit for an additional
period of time. Composting systems will be classified as continuous or batch, depending on how
the material is added and processed. Continuous systems can accommodate the regular addition
of materials and often have a secondary compartment that allows for an ongoing process of
composting. Batch systems require a stage where no organic material is added for a period of
time and the existing batch is allowed to process. In this case, two systems can be purchased to
allow for a more continuous process in which one batch sits, while material is added to the second
system.
In 2012, Metro Vancouver completed a review of on-site composting technology. This review
provides a comprehensive description of each of the composting systems included in this report.
Given that Metro Vancouver was willing to share this report for municipal use, the information
has not been duplicated in this report, but can be found in Appendix C.
In the following section, a sample of available systems have been evaluated and additional
information can be found in the vendor specification sheets in Appendix B.

6.2. Composting System Comparison


See the table on the following page for a comparison of various on-site composting systems
available within Canada. Systems ranged in cost from $700 to $72,000, in processing time from
7 days to 90 days, and in service capacity from 15 people to 300 people. There are many
different systems available on the market and the optimal system will be specific to each site.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

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OnNSite1Composting1System1Comparison
Company

Website

System

Nearest1
Company1
Contact

Composter1Type

Agitation

Processing

Capital1Costs

#1Persons1
System1Size1
Capacity1 Capacity1
(2kg/person/
Space1Req'ts
(m3)
(kg/year) (kg/week)
wk)

Processing1
Curing1Time
Time

Housing1
Requirement

Ventilation

1.

Cedar&Creek&
Enterprises

www.cedarcreekenterprises.com

Kitsilano&Model

Vancouver,&
BC

3&Bin&System

Manual

Continuous

$975&CDN

1.59&

Small

3,180&

61&

31&

3&months

In&system

Outdoors,&no&
shelter&needed

Openings,&manual

2.

Earth&Works&
Composting&Supplies

www.wormMcomposting.ca

Worm&Wigwam

Chilliwack,&
BC

Vermicomposter

Not&Applicable

Continuous

$1590&CDN

0.73&

Very&Small

1,655&

32&

16&

Information&
not&provided

In&system

Outdoors&or&
Indoors

Openings,&manual

3.

Green&Mountain&
Technologies

www.compostingtechnology.com

Earth&Tub

Bainbridge&
Island,&WA

InMvessel

Manual

Batch

$9975&USD

9.35&

Large

18,250&

351&

175&

2&weeks

4&weeks

Not&required

Mixing&auger,&
biofilter

4a.

Jora&Canada

www.joracanada.ca/en

Jora&NE401

Kamloops,&
BC

Drum

Manual

Continuous

$689&CDN

2.12&

Medium

3,640&

70&

35&

3&weeks

In&system

Outdoors&or&
Indoors,&no&
shelter&needed

Openings,&manual

4b.

Jora&Canada

www.joracanada.ca/en

Jora&NE20T

Kamloops,&
BC

InMvessel

Automated

Continuous

$45,000&CDN

6.80&

Large

20,020&

385&

193&

3&weeks

In&system

Indoors,&needs&3&
phase&power

Internal&
ventilation&system

5a.

GreenGood&
Composter

www.greengoodcomposter.com

GGM10

Vancouver,&
BC

InMvessel

Automated

Continuous

$13,500&CDN

0.56&

Very&Small

9,855&

190&

95&

1&week

3&weeks

Indoor,&with&
outdoor&venting

Internal&
ventilation&system

5b.

GreenGood&
Composter

www.greengoodcomposter.com

GGM30

Vancouver,&
BC

InMvessel

Automated

Continuous

$25,500&CDN

1.49&

Small

31,025&

597&

298&

1&week

3&weeks

Indoor,&with&
outdoor&venting

Internal&
ventilation&system

6a.

Mass&Environmental

www.massenv.com

Rocket&A500

Lakefield,&
ON

InMvessel

Automated

Continuous

$27,100&CDN

2.28&

Medium

15,600&

300&

150&

10M14&days

6&weeks

Outdoors&under&
cover&or&indoors

No&ventilation&
required

6b.

Mass&Environmental

www.massenv.com

Rocket&A700

Lakefield,&
ON

InMvessel

Automated

Continuous

$34,950&CDN

3.78&

Medium

18,200&

350&

175&

10M14&days

6&weeks

Outdoors&under&
cover&or&indoors

Internal&
ventilation&system

7a.

Big&Hanna&Composting

www.bighanna.com

Big&Hanna&T60

Northfield,&
Ohio

InMvessel

Automated

Continuous

$61,800&USD

3.88&

Medium

13,000&

250&

125&

6M10&weeks

Information&
not&provided

Outdoors&or&
Indoors

Internal&
ventilation&system

7b.

Big&Hanna&Composting

www.bighanna.com

Big&Hanna&T120

Northfield,&
Ohio

InMvessel

Automated

Continuous

$71,800&USD

6.39&

Large

26,000&

500&

250&

6M10&weeks

Information&
not&provided

Outdoors&or&
Indoors

Internal&
ventilation&system

7. Commercial Waste Management


Waste Management Canada is the largest provider of waste removal services in the Kootenays
and handles approximately 90% of the commercial waste removal in the Nelson area.
Conversations were held with Neil Cook, District Manager, at Waste Management of Canada to
discuss organics diversion at commercial buildings and how this would impact existing waste
removal services. It was suggested that Waste Management Canada could play a role in the
management of on-site composting systems and this was deemed something worth considering,
should a system be implemented.
Fees for commercial waste removal are a combination of weight of material, as this factors into
tipping costs, and pickup frequency/number of bins. It is estimated that the diversion of both
food waste and recycling combined can reduce waste removal volumes by up to 60%. Recycling
costs charged by commercial waste companies may vary depending on the value of the
commodity and the markets available to use the material. For example, cardboard is currently
valued at $50/tonne, but it costs $80/tonne to process and get it to market. Given the disparity in
the value of the recyclable material versus the processing costs, it is expected that commercial
waste management recycling fees will rise. However, waste removal cost savings resulting from
the implementation of an on-site organics diversion program could help offset rising recycling
fees.

8. Composting Concerns
The concept of on-site composting may inspire concern regarding a variety of issues. The most
commonly cited concerns are outlined in this section and recommendations put forward as to the
best method for addressing the concerns.

8.1. Odours
Odours primarily become an issue in composting systems when the system is out of balance (i.e.
too wet, too dry, not enough bulking agent, etc.). The best method for addressing odours is a
preventative one in which the system is well managed and kept in balance. Good signage and
training is essential for anyone managing and using the system. In-vessel technology is most
often used when odour control is essential. At Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops BC, an
in-vessel composting system is located in the lobby of the Culinary Arts Building. The system is
vented with a simple fan into the main ducting of the building. After 6 months of operation, there
were no issues with odours and no noticeable smell when walking by the equipment (see Section
9.2 for case study).

8.2. Pest Control


A discussion was conducted with Joanne Siderius, WildSafeBC community coordinator,
regarding composting and pest control. The primary pest control concern around Nelson is bears
and household compost is ranked as the third highest attractant for bears. Given that bears will
learn the site of a food source, it is essential that measures are taken to prevent access to compost

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 9 of 16

sites. This can be done using bear resistant containers, electric fencing, or enclosing the system
in a secure shelter/building.
In-vessel composters typically keep the organic material enclosed, so that its not accessible to
wildlife. The Earth Tub at the Selkirk College Castlegar campus has been in operation since
2010 with no bear encounters related to the composter itself. There have been a couple of bear
related incidents involving material being left at the composting site when an operator was not
available. Students are permitted to use the Selkirk system for their personal compost, but are
required to drop it off during set hours. The bear incidents occurred when material was dropped
off outside of regular hours, so students have been encouraged to only leave material during
designated hours.
Another important consideration is how the organic material is stored prior to being added to the
composter. At Selkirk College, the organic waste is added to the composting system the same
day it is picked up. If, for any reason, there is a delay in adding the material, it is kept in a secure
building until the system operator is able to add it to the composter.
When composters are not bear resistant and are to be located outside, such as a multi-bin system,
they should be fitted with an electric fence to prevent access for bears. Electric fencing systems
can be found at local Nelson suppliers and would cost in the range of $500. WildSafeBC is
available to provide recommendations on electric fencing systems and to assist in the setup.

8.3. Leachate
When water contacts solids and the extracted materials from the solids become dissolved or
suspended in the water, the resulting liquid is leachate. In a composting system, leachate may
contain any combination of organic matter, nutrients, and soluble chemicals extracted from the
organic material. Although leachate is a concern and needs to be addressed in large scale
composting systems, a small to medium in-vessel system generates minimal leachate. Some
manufacturers even make the claim that their system is leachate free. The multi bin system will
also have minimal leachate if the moisture of the pile is well managed.

8.4. Management of the System


When implementing a composting system, it is important to establish a management practice. In
the case of Selkirk College, janitorial staff collect the organic waste and deposit it at a central site,
while a work study student is employed to oversee and add the materials to the system. In
addition, the composting system falls within the scope of facilities maintenance and the manager
of this department supervises both the collection of the compost and operation of the composter.
This can be a paid role that is incorporated into staff responsibilities as in the case of an
organization or a volunteer role as in the case of a residential complex or a hybrid of the two
systems. The main point is that there are designated individuals who are responsible for
maintaining the balance of the system. Another possibility is the role of a waste management
company in providing staff to operate and oversee the composting system. Through discussions
with staff at Waste Management Inc., the primary commercial waste management company in the
region, interest was expressed in being involved in organics diversion. This would need to be
explored further, if implementation of a composting system was going to be considered.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 10 of 16

9. Case Studies
Operational on-site composting systems can be found at both Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC
and Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. These systems process organics collected at
each school and typically use the end material on site.

9.1. Selkirk College, Castlegar BC Earth Tub Composter


A site visit was conducted at the Castlegar Campus of Selkirk College in the spring of 2014 to
view their in-vessel composting system. A follow up meeting was held in the spring of 2015 for
an update on the system. Ron Zaitsoff is the Director of Facilities at Selkirk College and oversees
the composting program.

Composting site located behind the facilities


maintenance building

Mixing of the material

In 2010, an Earth Tub composting system was installed at a capital cost of $10,000. The system
is a plug and play type that comes fully assembled. The only additional installation required
was the set up of a power supply at the site for operation of the augur in the tub.
The Earth Tub composter can handle cooked food, but no meat or dairy is added and the majority
of the compost comes from the kitchen facilities. The end material is used on campus at the MIR
Centre gardens. Both the material going into the system and the final product require sorting. At
Selkirk, the tub is turned twice a week and requires 2-3 people for turning when full. Once the
bin is full, it is cured for 30 days in the bin, then cured for an additional 30 days outside of the
bin, so two bins would be needed to keep the system operating continuously. The Earth Tub at
Selkirk is stored under a car port cover, but loses a significant amount of heat to the outside.
Selkirk College advised that a better system would be to store the tub in an insulated shed with a
wash station and floor drain for maintenance of the bins and collection containers.
The composter is managed by custodial staff, a work study student, and the director of facilities.
The custodians pick up large collection bins located around campus twice a week and deliver
them to the compost area. A work study student is hired each semester to sort the compost and
keep the Earth Tub operating optimally. The director of facilities oversees both the work study

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 11 of 16

student and the custodial staff. The system requires 2.25 hours/week of custodial time for
collection and 3-5 hours/week of student time for sorting and management.
The following are a few of the key lessons learned during the implementation and management of
the composting system:

Venting of the system in the winter months drops the internal system heat too much, so it
is better to place the Earth Tub in a location where it doesnt require venting in the colder
seasons.

A hot water source should be located near the composter with good drainage in order to
easily wash out the collection bins.

Maintenance of the system can be labour intensive and needs to be included in job
descriptions.

The project needs a champion and someone to oversee the work being done. In this case,
it falls under the facilities department and is managed by the director of facilities.

Although it is anticipated that a diversion of organics would result in a reduction of waste


management costs, the specific savings have not been tracked and are difficult to determine given
the variability in waste management costs from year to year. When questioned regarding their
satisfaction with the system, Selkirk College said they were happy with the Earth Tub and
wouldnt hesitate to buy the system again.

9.2. Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops BC Jora JK5100 Composter


Discussions were had with Jim Gudjonson, Director of Environment and Sustainability, and
James Gordon, Environmental Programs and Research Coordinator, at Thompson Rivers
University regarding their on-site composting program.

Composting system located in the lobby of the


Culinary Arts Buildings

Removing the finished material

The composting system is a Jora 5100 in-vessel system that has been operational since January of
2014 and is located indoors in the lobby of the Culinary Arts Building. The system was
purchased at a cost of $35,000. The composter is comprised of two chambers and can
accommodate 700 L (approximately 350 kg) of food waste per week. Food is chopped with built

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 12 of 16

in blades and mixed via a motor in the first chamber, then transferred to a second chamber for
curing. The system also adds the required amount of carbon content via wood pellets.
For the first 6 months, the system was run as a pilot project with a student operating the system
throughout this phase. After the 6 month pilot phase ended, maintenance of the system was
transferred to custodial staff. During this transfer, it was necessary to assist staff in becoming
familiar with the system and tweak the process in order to reduce the yuck factor. The process
was revised with:

the use of compostable plastic bags that can be added directly into the composter and
reduce cleaning requirements of collection bins;

pickup schedules that ensured organic waste was not left sitting for long periods of time,
and;

consideration of a metal detector that will exclude the need for materials to be sorted
prior to adding to the system, as metals are the one thing that will damage the machine.

In addition, an industrial grinder was purchased at a cost of $8,000 as the system would get
gummed up with biodegradable cups and bags. The industrial grinder is able to grind everything
into a mash prior to addition to the composter, including materials such as soup bones, and speeds
up the composting process.
The system has now been in operation for over a year and there have been no complaints or issues
with odours, even in the middle of summer, despite its location indoors with occupants working
nearby. The composter is vented with a simple fan that connects into the main ducting of the
building and exhausts the air via the buildings HVAC system.
Installation of the Jora Composter is part of a larger waste management plan being implemented
by Thompson Rivers University that includes a zero waste strategy. Since the start of the plan,
there has been a 60% reduction in landfill waste which has also resulted in a reduction of tipping
fees. The university currently pays $60,000 a year in tipping fees and estimates the cost will
decrease to $30,000 a year when the zero waste strategy is full implemented. This diversion of
waste material includes paper, plastic, and bottles, in addition organics, and was implemented
simultaneously, so it is not possible to separate out the exact savings of the organics diversion
from the rest of the zero waste strategy initiatives.
Currently, the end material from the composting process is offered up to staff, groundskeepers,
and the horticultural department. It is kept in large plastic bins and requires that individuals bring
their own containers to collect and transport the material. If the end material volume gets to a
point where it is too large, it may be bagged to facilitate the process of giving it away.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 13 of 16

10.

Potential Composting Sites

Prior to the implementation of a composting program and installation of a system at a pilot site, it
is recommended that a waste audit is completed. This would provide valuable information on a
facility that can be used in selecting a composting system including the volume of material
generated per day, the amount of bulking agent available, the types of food scraps, and the
porosity and moisture content of the organic material (see Appendix D for a guide to performing
waste audits).

10.1. Alpine Lakes Suites


Alpine Lakes Suites is a 48 unit multi-residential building with approximately 100 residents at
any one time. They were identified as a potential pilot site given their participation in the
Provincial Climate Smart Program and their enthusiasm in developing a sustainable community.
The Climate Smart Program is offered by the Provincial Government and provides businesses
with the opportunity to be climate smart certified through a baseline and ongoing measurement of
their carbon footprint as well as options for reducing their footprint.
Based on the waste data collected for the Climate Smart Program, Alpine Lakes Suites generates
approximately 1,600 kg of waste per month. They have 1 dumpster that gets picked up twice a
week, collecting approximately 200 kg of waste with each pickup. Waste removal is at a cost of
$540/month for garbage and $70/month for recycling. Estimates for organic composition of
residential waste typically range from 25% to 40%. Using those estimates, Alpine Lakes Suites
would generate 100 kg to 160 kg per week in organic waste.
A bin compost system had previously been in use at the Suites, but it was not large enough in
volume to handle all of the residential organic material and had to be shut down as it was
overflowing. According to the property manager, Ray Stothers, they would be very interested in
renewing an organics diversion and composting program. There is also a great deal of interest in
using the end material on site or potentially transporting it to another site with the same owners as
Alpine Lakes. There are plans to landscape the area around the property which would include the
creation of a retaining wall and a 40 ft. W x 12 ft. D x 8 ft. H area that could be dedicated to
composting and recycling. Alpine Lakes also expressed a desire to improve the aesthetics of a
compost system over their previous attempts.

10.2. Selkirk College 10th Street Campus


As outlined in the case study (see Section 9.1), Selkirk College has an existing composting
system at the Castlegar campus. Additional systems at both the Tenth Street and Rosemont
campuses in Nelson have been considered in the past, but not implemented due to logistical
issues. These issues could be overcome and there is still an interest in expanding the Colleges
composting system to the Nelson campuses.
At the Castlegar campus, there are environmental studies students with an interest in working on
the compost system as part of the work study program and there is a day time custodial shift who
are able to collect organic materials throughout the facility.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 14 of 16

At the Nelson campuses, there is no daytime custodial staff and no study program that would
directly relate to a composting program. Although these factors could pose a logistical barrier to
implementation of a composting system, there are ways in which they could be addressed and
Selkirk College is interested in pursuing options for the expansion of their composting program to
the Nelson locations.

10.3. Kootenay Lake Hospital


Contact has been made with Tanja Stockman, Manager of Environmental Sustainability at
Interior Health, who is based out of Kelowna. Given the size and centralization of the Interior
Health Authority, it will take more time to determine the potential for Kootenay Lake Hospital as
a composting pilot site. Currently, discussions are being had amongst staff within the
organisation to review the idea and further follow up will be needed to assess the feasibility of an
on-site composting system.

11.

Business Case Analysis

Given the variability in waste removal costs, it is challenging to determine a general business case
for on-site composting systems. This would be very specific to each facility and their waste
profile. Both Selkirk College and Thompson Rivers University were consulted to determine if
they had observed a decrease in waste removal costs as a result of their composting programs, but
neither organisation was able to pinpoint the specific effects of the composting program on waste
management costs, as these costs are tied into many other factors.
As a high level example, Alpine Lake Suites generates approximately 1600 kg/month of waste
that is removed 8 times a month (twice weekly pickups). If the residents were able to divert 25%
to 40% of their waste, in the form of organics, into an on-site composting system, waste removal
services could be reduced to 5-6 pickups each month (1000 kg 1200 kg). This could represent a
monetary savings in the range of $130 to $200 each month and a yearly savings of $1500 to
$2400. It is important to note that this example is for the purposes of illustration only and that the
cost savings and waste profiles would need to be further developed and confirmed over the
lifespan of a system for an accurate business case.
In order to determine the savings to be gained from an on-site composting system, an analysis
would need to be completed on a site specific basis,, but there is potential cost savings to be
gained through avoided waste removal fees.

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 15 of 16

12.

Report Recommendations

This report provides a starting point for the development of on-site composting systems within
the community and can be used as a point of reference for organisations interested in
implementing a composting program. The following are recommendations to be considered for
further development and promotion of on-site composting systems:

Identification of grant opportunities

Identification of opportunities for partnering on grant proposals

Waste audits for potential pilot sites to determine moisture content and porosity of
material either performed by a professional company or completed in-house
o

See the Dalhousie University Waste Audit Procedures (Appendix D) for a


comprehensive guide on completing a waste audit

Designation of a support person for questions and provision of expertise, similar to that
which is provided to home owners and businesses through the EcoSave Program

Continued communications with identified pilot sites to encourage consideration of an


on-site composting system

Contact of other potential sites to introduce information from the report and gauge
interest in a composting program

13.

Appendices

13.1. Appendix A Resource Contact Information


See Attached
13.2. Appendix B Composting System Specification Sheets
See Attached
13.3. Appendix C Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review
See Attached - Provided courtesy of the Regional District of Metro Vancouver
13.4. Appendix D Dalhousie University Waste Audit Procedures
See Attached

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Page 16 of 16

APPENDIX A RESOURCE CONTACT INFORMATION


1. Neil Cook, District Manager
Waste Management Canada
ncook1@wm.com
2. Fiona Galbraith, Environmental Consultant
FJG Consulting
fiona@fjgconsulting.ca
3. Jim Gudjonson, Director of Environment and Sustainability
Thompson Rivers University
jgudjonson@tru.ca
4. Mike Morrison, Resource Recovery Manager
Regional District of Central Kootenay
mmorrison@rdck.bc.ca
5. Joanne Siderius, Community Coordinator
WildSafeBC
siderius@netidea.com
6. Tanja Stockmann, Manager, Environmental Sustainability
Interior Health Authority
tanja.stockmann@interiorhealth.ca
7. Ray Stothers, Property Manager
Alpine Lake Suites
alpinelakeray@gmail.com
8. Ron Zaitsoff, Director of Facilities
Selkirk College
rzaitsoff@selkirk.ca

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

APPENDIX B
COMPOSTING SYSTEM SPECIFICATION SHEETS

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Model / Product Information


Kitsilano Triple Bin System

3
2

SYSTEM

Single Bin

APPROX. SIZE

3 W x 2.5 D x 2.5 H

APPROX.
CAPACITY

FEATURES

531 litres

Double Bin

6 W x 2.5 D x 2.5 H

1060 litres

Triple Bin

9 W x 2.5 D x 2.5 H

1590 litres

1.
2.
3.
4.

Wire mesh lining


Hinged lid (s)
Back supports for opened lids
Star-shaped knobs on
removable fronts

www.cedarcreekenterprises.com / Phone: 778-838-1094 /


Email: info@cedarcreekenterprises.com / cedarcreekent@shaw.ca

THE WORM WIGWAM


Revolutionary, Flow Through
Vermicomposting System by
Sustainable Agricultural
Technologies Inc. Easy to use
and produce a Superior Organic
Soil Amendment!
Recycle and reuse your kitchen or
cafeteria waste, garden waste, yard
debris, livestock manure, even reduce
office waste by composting paper.
Flow Through Vermicomposters are designed to
process large amounts of food and organic
waste. The finished product is a microbial rich,
natural fertilizer and soil conditioner that is a
readily usable or salable product reducing the
need for chemical fertilizer.

The Worm Wigwam is probably the smallest


industrial grade flow through vermicomposter
available. When working at full capacity, its
simple, unique design makes producing up to 75
pounds of finished vermicompost per week a
breeze. The worms do all the work! Harvesting is
carried out simply by turning an extremely
durable, lightweight crank. This system was
designed to meet the vermicomposting needs of
small restaurants, school cafeterias and the like.
It is also highly suitable for families and
neighbours who wish to combine recycling resources in one very efficient, easy to
manage operation. If you are serious about composting, this is the one for you. Please
call for an appointment to view our demonstration unit at 1-855-823-2280.

Price: $750.00 plus tax F.O.B. Chilliwack. Please call for quote on delivery and bulk
worms.

You will be amazed how quickly, and efficiently the Worm Wigwam
converts your kitchen, yard and garden waste to Vermicompost.
The Worm Wigwam features make Vermicomposting easier and more efficient than
ever before. The Worm Wigwam is an economical, odorless, flow through
vermicomposting system powered by the red worm. The unit is heated and insulated for
year round use and can be conveniently located indoors or outside away from intense
sunlight or other extreme weather exposure.

The Worm Wigwam is easy to set up


and because the worms do all the
work maintenance is easy too.

This diagram shows how bedding and


organic material are alternately layered by
adding new layers on top. The worms
continuously rise to feed on fresh layers,
leaving a rich mixture of castings humus,
worm cocoons, micro-organisms and
organic material in varying stages of
decomposition behind. This "worm free"
vermicompost is easily sifted out with a
quick turn of the crank and retrieved,
ready for use, through the door at the
bottom.

Worm Wigwam Specifications


Start up worm inoculation 10-15 pounds
Processing capacity - 1/2 the weight of the worm
population
Output - Up to 75 pounds of finished
vermicompost per week.
Dimensions - 3 ft. wide x 3 ft. high
Space requirements - 4 ft. x 4 ft. work area

m
43480 Yale Road, Chilliwack, BC, V2R
4J6
Toll Free 1-855-823-2280
www.worm-composting.ca

Green Mountain Technologies, Inc.


The Composting Technology Company

Earth Tub Pricing & Specifications


Effective March 2013

The New Earth Tub (Version 9.0) is now available!


We've listened to our customers and incorporated great new features and benefits into the new Earth Tub design!
Easier to mix! The tub and lid design has been modified for smoother turning of the lid.
Better protection against rain! Lid has a new sloped design to help it shed rain water and prevent rain from
entering the Earth Tub.
No leachate requirements! Leachate is now recycled back into compost. No need to manage leachate.
Easier to unload compost! The Earth Tub now has a new larger, discharge door that provides better access
to the interior of the Tub.
Easier to clean! No more perforated floor. The smooth surface of the Earth Tub tub floor makes removing
compost and cleaning easier.
Recycled content! The Earth Tub vessel is now made with recycled content plastic!*
Cool new look! Enhanced structural design imparts a sleek, rugged aesthetic. Neutral colors look great in a
variety of environments.
* Tub base is made of 50% post-consumer and 50% post-industrial recycled content plastic. Lid is made of 50% postconsumer recycled content plastic.

1 Earth Tub Package - $9,975.00 (USD):


One Earth Tub Package provides all equipment required for a site to process up to 100 pounds of organic waste
per day. For individual component pricing choose the custom package option.
Assembly Includes:
Earth Tub LLDPE insulated plastic body and lid (89x89x72/795 lbs. each):
o 2Hp 3 phase totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) auger motor (208/230/460V 50/60 Hz)
o In-line Helical Gearbox with UHMW support bearing
o 12 stainless steel auger and track assembly
o Optional leachate drain port
o Locking discharge door and loading hatch
o Retractable electric cord
One 36 hand-held temperature probe
One Bio-filter which includes an aeration blower and odor filter
2 aeration ducting and fittings to connect Bio-Filter to Earth Tub

Contact:
Tel (802)368-7291
Fax (802)368-7313
sales@compostingtechnology.com

Green Mountain Technologies


5350 McDonald Ave NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

2 Earth Tub Package - $17,895 (USD):


Two Earth Tub Package provides all equipment required for a site to process up to 200 pounds of organic
waste per day. With this option, both units need to be sited in the same location if there is a desire to share
electrical components (e.g., variable frequency drive).
Assembly Includes:
Two Earth Tub LLDPE insulated plastic body and lid (89x89x72/795 lbs. each):
o 2Hp 3 phase totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) auger motor (208/230/460V 50/60 Hz)
o In-line Helical Gearbox with UHMW support bearing
o 12 stainless steel auger and track assembly
o Optional leachate drain port
o Locking discharge door and loading hatch
o Retractable electric cord
One 36 hand-held temperature probe
One Bio-filter which includes an aeration blower and odor filter
2 aeration ducting and fittings to connect Bio-Filter to Earth Tub

3 Earth Tub Package - $26,975 (USD):


Three Earth Tub Package provides all equipment required for a site to process up to 300 pounds of organic
waste per day. With this option, all units need to be sited in the same location if there is a desire to share electrical
components (e.g., variable frequency drive). A three tub installation comes complete with two bio-filters.
Assembly Includes:
Three Earth Tub LLDPE insulated plastic body and lid (89x89x72/795 lbs. each):
o 2Hp 3 phase totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) auger motor (208/230/460V 50/60 Hz)
o In-line Helical Gearbox with UHMW support bearing
o 12 stainless steel auger and track assembly
o Optional leachate drain port
o Locking discharge door and loading hatch
o Retractable electric cord
One 36 hand-held temperature probe
Two Bio-filters which includes an aeration blower and odor filter
2 aeration ducting and fittings to connect Bio-Filter to Earth Tub

Contact:
Tel (802)368-7291
Fax (802)368-7313
sales@compostingtechnology.com

Green Mountain Technologies


5350 McDonald Ave NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Add-Ons:
Earth Tub Variable Frequency Drive - $895.00 (USD):
A VFD is required for sites that lack 3 phase power. One VFD can be shared with multiple Earth Tubs using a
retractable cord with quick-disconnect.

Earth Tub Positive Aeration System - $349.00 per Tub (USD):


This recommended aeration system pushes air up though the compost, increasing oxygen levels, raising
composting temperatures, speeding decomposition and preventing odors.

Earth Tub On-Floor Heating System - $299.00 per Tub (USD):


This resistance cable heating system provides back-up freeze protection to the interior of the Earth Tub in
case compost temperatures drop suddenly during severe weather. For maximum effectiveness, this heater
is usually installed in concert with the Aeration System above.

Additional Temperature Probes - $99.00 each (USD)


One-Year Extended Warranty - $395.00 per year (USD):
Extended warranties are available on our parts-only warranty. Limit two additional years of warranty
extension beyond the standard one-year warranty.

*All prices listed do not include taxes, shipping or installation costs. Please contact us to receive a complete quote including shipping costs.

Contact:
Tel (802)368-7291
Fax (802)368-7313
sales@compostingtechnology.com

Green Mountain Technologies


5350 McDonald Ave NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

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Tech Specs

A500 Rocket
Size (mobile)
Length

2.5m
Width

.. (I-IANGE
BEGINS
:wmuusT

ffM"

Height

1.3m
Capacity

600 litres per week mixed organic waste


Optional

Up to 900 litres per week (combined with MASSerator & Dewaterer)


Motor

0.18kWh
Power Requirement

Single-phase 240-volt, standard plug socket


Average Power Consumption

20kWh per week


Heater Element

0.85kWh Thermostatically controlled


Temperature Recording

Manual hand held probe as standard


Optional 4 channel recorder and software
Ventilation

Not required
Housing Requirement

Under cover on hard standing (non-porous)


Equipment Options

MASSerator and Dewaterer package increases capacity to


900 litres per week

Power sieve for refining end product increasing product usage

'-

?;oNE_ST

0.7m

Temperature datalogger and software ideal for educational programs and accurate reporting

P.O. Box 400


Lakefield, ON K0L 2H0
Telephone: 705 652 6544
Fax: 705 652 1757
www.massenv.com

Tech Specs

A700 Rocket
Size (mobile)
Length

3.0m
Width

.. (I-IANGE
BEGINS
:wmuusT

ffM"

Height

1.4m
Capacity

1,400 litres / week of mixed organic wastes (approx 700 kg / week)


Food waste capacities: Up to 700 litres / week (350kg) or 2,100 litres /
week when used with MASSerator & Dewaterer (Sold separately)
Carbon Footprint Reduction Potential

409 Tonnes C02 equivalent per year can be saved by composting


using this Rocket to compost organic wastes
Motor

0.75kWh
Heater

2 x 0.85kWh Thermostatically controlled


Power Requirement

240-volt, Single-phase, standard plug socket


Power Consumption

26kWh per week (Average)


Heater Element

0.85kWh Thermostatically controlled


Temperature Recording

4 channel temperature recorder and software


Ventilation

Optional (available on request at time of order)


Housing Requirement

Under cover on hard standing (non-porous)


MASSerator and Dewaterer packages to increase capacity to 2,100
litres of food waste per week

'-

?;oNE_ST

0.9m

Equipment Options

P.O. Box 400


Lakefield, ON K0L 2H0

Power sieve for refining end product increasing product usage

Telephone: 705 652 6544


Fax: 705 652 1757

Garden waste chipper, various types available

www.massenv.com

Company%Information
Company(Name
Address

FOR%Solutions
555(E.(Main(St.,(Chester,(NJ((07930

Phone

917M613M0239((Ed)(or(973M945M9150((Nick)

Website

www.forsolutionsllc.com

Contact(Name(

Ed(Friedman(or(Nick(SmithMSebasto

F@R
SOLUTIONS

efriedman@forsolutionsllc.com(or(
nsmithsebasto@forsolutionslls.com
USA/NJ

Email
Country/State

Technical%Specifications
Model(name(and(number

Model%500
All%food%scraps%including%meat,%bones,%shells,%dairy,%
Material(types(accepted(
produce,%napkins%and/or%paper%towels,%compostable%
(liquids/dairy/produce/meat/bones/napkins/etc.)
plates,%etc.
Material(types(not(accepted
Fats,(oils,(grease.(NonMcompostable(materials
Operation(method(and(process(description
Aerobic(inMvessel(rotary(drum(digestion
Additional(inputs(required?((Wood(chips,(
Bulking(agent/carbon(source.((Recommend(dried(wood(
enzymes,(etc.)
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APPENDIX C
METRO VANCOUVER ON-SITE
COMPOSTING TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
Provided Courtesy of The Regional District Of Metro Vancouver

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Metro Vancouver
ON-SITE COMPOSTING TECHNOLOGY REVIEW

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver; excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

Table of Contents
1

Executive Summary ..................................................................................................... 4

Introduction ................................................................................................................ 7

General Methodology ................................................................................................. 8

Literature Review ........................................................................................................ 9

Study Sites ................................................................................................................ 10


.................................................................. 11

Three Bin Wood & Wire Composter at Quayside Village Cohousing, North Vancouver, BC ...... 12
5.1

Detailed Case Study ......................................................................................................... 13


5.1.1

Project History...................................................................................................... 13

5.1.2

The Technology .................................................................................................... 13

5.1.3

The Composting Process ...................................................................................... 15

5.1.4

System Support .................................................................................................... 16

5.1.5

System Evaluation ................................................................................................ 16


............................................................................... 19

Worm Wigwam at Bellingham Cohousing, Bellingham, WA ....................................................... 20


5.2

Detailed Case Study ......................................................................................................... 21


5.2.1

Project History...................................................................................................... 21

5.2.2

The Technology .................................................................................................... 22

5.2.3

The Composting Process ...................................................................................... 23

5.2.4

System Support .................................................................................................... 24

5.2.5

System Evaluation ................................................................................................ 26


............................................................................ 27

Jora Model JK 400 at Cercle Carr, Montreal, QC .................................................................... 28


5.3

Detailed Case Study ......................................................................................................... 29


5.3.1

Project History...................................................................................................... 29

5.3.2

The Technology .................................................................................................... 30

5.3.3

The Composting Process ...................................................................................... 30

5.3.4

System Support .................................................................................................... 32

5.3.5

System Evaluation ................................................................................................ 33


........................................................... 35

White Dragon - Model GG-30 at Mulberry Retirement Residence, Burnaby, BC ........................ 36


5.4

Detailed Case Study ......................................................................................................... 37


5.4.1

Project History...................................................................................................... 37

5.4.2

The Technology .................................................................................................... 37


This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

5.4.3

The Composting Process ...................................................................................... 39

5.4.4

System Support .................................................................................................... 40

5.4.5

System Evaluation ................................................................................................ 41


......................................................................................... 43

Earth Tub at Grandview / uuqinak'uuh Earth School, Vancouver, BC ....................................... 44


5.5

Detailed Case Study ......................................................................................................... 45


5.5.1

Project History...................................................................................................... 45

5.5.2

The Technology .................................................................................................... 45

5.5.3

The Composting Process ...................................................................................... 46

5.5.4

System Support .................................................................................................... 48

5.5.5

System Evaluation

48
50

Rocket - Model A900 at Lakefield College School, Lakefield, ON ................................................ 51


5.6

Detailed Case Study ......................................................................................................... 52


5.6.1

Project History...................................................................................................... 52

5.6.2

The Technology .................................................................................................... 52

5.6.3

The Composting Process ...................................................................................... 54

5.6.4

System Support .................................................................................................... 56

5.6.5

System Evaluation ................................................................................................ 56


.................................................................... 58

Big Hanna - Model T240 at McGill University, Montreal, QC ...................................................... 59


5.7

Detailed Case Study ......................................................................................................... 60


5.7.1

Project History...................................................................................................... 60

5.7.2

The Technology .................................................................................................... 61

5.7.3

The Composting Process ...................................................................................... 62

5.7.4

System Support .................................................................................................... 63

5.7.5

System Evaluation ................................................................................................ 65

Conclusions ............................................................................................................... 66

Appendix A:

Glossary of Terms & Abbreviations .......................................................... 67

Appendix B:

Comparative Overview Analysis Tables .................................................... 69

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

1 Executive Summary
Metro Vancouver has expressed its commitment to sustainability and livability in the Sustainable
Region Initiative and supporting strategies. How Metro Vancouver manages its waste in the region
is a significant factor in creating a sustainable future. In order to move beyond the current fifty-five
percent diversion rate, Metro Vancouver has set a new interim target of seventy percent; their
Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management sets out a course of action, based on the 5Rs
hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recovery and Residuals). Diverting compostable organics is a
priority, given that it makes up roughly 40 percent of the overall waste stream. The Regional Food
System Strategy (2011) sees a two-fold benefit to reducing organic waste. Food scraps, yard and
garden materials and soiled paper can be composted, and thus transformed into a valuable source
of natural soil amendment. In addition to beautifying the landscape, urban farmers and
community gardeners can also grow food locally and help to strengthen the community food
system. The On-Site Composting Technology Review is part of Metro Vancouver's initiative to
encourage waste reduction and organics diversion while providing quality compost to local
gardeners. The review focused primarily on suitable applications for multi-family residential
housing.
From late November through December 2011 seven on-site composting operations were
examined. The technologies ranged from low to high tech units, capable of processing from 20 to
100 tonnes of organic waste annually. Three of the operations were located in Metro Vancouver,
three were in eastern Canada and one in Washington state. The technologies included a traditional
three bin wood and wire system (Quayside Village, North Vancouver), the Worm Wigwam
vermicomposting unit (Bellingham Co-Housing), the Jora JK-400 (Cercle Carr Co-operative,
Montreal), the Earth Tub (Grandview / uuqinak'uuh Earth School, Vancouver), the White Dragon
GG-30 (Mulberry Retirement Residence, Burnaby), the Rocket A900 (Lakefield College, Lakefield,
Ontario) and the Big Hanna T240 (McGill University, Montreal).
The project team developed an interview questionnaire for data collection. The key data sought
was installation and operating requirements and costs, maintenance, ease of use, staff
requirements, reliability, scalability, compost product quality and suitability for various
applications. In most cases, multiple interviews were conducted for each site, some in person
during site visits, by phone and through email correspondence. Compost operators, technology
distributors and manufacturers, community partners including urban farmers and non-profits
involved in the projects, and other key players were all consulted. Both qualitative and
quantitative information was gathered. The project team also reviewed a number of existing
reports and studies as well as researched manufacturer and distributor websites to inform both
the questionnaire and best practices.
After comprehensive analysis and evaluation, five of the seven technologies investigated were
found to be well suited to multi-family housing. The Earth Tub had many unforseen installation
costs that doubled initial capital investment. The White Dragon had a number of ventilation
problems, primarily indoors, that raised air quality and health concerns.
Capital and installation costs are much higher for the automated systems. Total capital costs
(including install) range from the low end of under $3,500 to the highest for the Big Hanna at
nearly $150,000. Operating costs, not including labour (volunteer or paid) vary from under $150
for five of the systems to $1,000 and $4,000 for the White Dragon and Earth Tub respectively.
This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

In terms of space requirements, the Jora and the Big Hanna have a small footprint, the White
Dragon and the Three Bin are medium and the Earth Tub, large. As for capacity, four of the
locations were processing well under 20 tonnes of organic waste per year and three were in the 30
to 50 range. It should be noted that several of the units process minimal yard trimmings (Worm
Wigwam, Jora, White Dragon, Earth Tub). With respect to processing time, the Three Bin,
Wigwam, Jora and Big Hanna systems are considered slow (up to three months). The Earth Tub
and Rocket are medium (up to four weeks). And the White Dragon is fast (up to one month). All of
the systems are scalable in one form or another, different models are available, additional units
can be added or optional equipment can be attached to increase capacity. For example, Quayside
Village Cohousing installed two three bin units side-by-side and Cercle Carr had two Jora JK400s
in the same room.
With the exception of the Three Bin and Worm Wigwam, all other systems require extra curing
and maturation time at another dedicated space. Although this requirement could be as simple as
open ground space, there may be financial costs related to containment or esthetics.
To ensure a successful on-site program, the site must have a champion or group of champions
willing to spearhead and oversee the operation. Generally volunteers run the lower tech systems
(Three bin, Worm Wigwam, Jora) and paid staff operate the automated sytems (Earth Tub, White
Dragon, Rocket, Big Hanna). If the site has no garden or landscaped areas to apply the finished
product, then a partner is required to remove the finished product.
It is important not to make assumptions regarding high tech versus low tech systems. The low to
mid tech systems (Jora) performed very well and are still viable options for multi-family settings.
The Three Bin still provides excellent rodent resistance. While the manufacturers make promises
on their websites, in reality, the high tech systems may not quite live up to the promotional hype.
For example, one would assume that by being enclosed, the high tech units would offer a high
level of odour and leachate control. But even with the exhaust air being treated with a biofilter,
smells were an issue with both the White Dragon and the Earth Tub. In addition, the leachate
system on the latter was improvised and not functioning very well. So much depends on the
balance of carbon and nitrogen inputs and how well the system is being managed.
There are, however, certain commonalities across the high tech systems. Certainly they are more
vandal and pest resistant due to their construction. And with the high temperatures they can
achieve, pathogens and weed seeds are likely killed.
Some of the manufacturers have conducted their own compost tests and the results are available
from them. All of the finished products were deemed suitable for applying to lawns, shrubs, trees
and even food crops, if they make up no more than ten percent of a total soil mix.
Several key criteria were identified to determine which technology is best for a specific multifamily complex including whether the potential compost area is indoors or out; whether the
residents desire to compost cooked as well as raw food and yard trimmings; and whether or not
sufficient funding is available to purchase, install and maintain the higher tech systems. The higher
tech automated technologies are likely most suited to businesses, institutional and public facilities
(community centres, schools, neighbourhood houses) with paid compost system operators.

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

Given that the regional organics management infrastructure is not yet fully developed, on-site
composting can serve as part of an integrated solution for diverting organics from the waste
stream.

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

2 Introduction
Metro Vancouver has expressed its commitment to
sustainability and livability in the Sustainable
Region Initiative and supporting strategies. How
Metro Vancouver manages its waste in the region
is a significant factor in creating a sustainable
future. In 1995, Metro Vancouver set out to reduce
the amount of solid waste going to landfills by fifty
percent. Through residential recycling programs,
municipal recycling depots, backyard compost bin
distribution, yard waste collection, disposal bans,
extended producer responsibility programs (EPRs)
and other efforts in the institutional and
commercial sectors, Metro Vancouver achieved
and exceeded their target one year ahead of
schedule. Despite the gains, waste continues to increase, with more than 3.5 million tonnes of
solid waste generated annually.
In order to move beyond the current fifty-five percent diversion rate, Metro Vancouver has set a
new interim target of seventy percent; their Integrated Solid Waste and Resource Management
Plan (ISWRMP) sets out a course of action, based on the 5Rs hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,
Recovery and Residuals). Diverting compostable organics is a priority, given that it makes up
roughly forty percent of the overall waste stream (2007 / 2009 Metro Vancouver Waste
Composition Studies). This strategy is identified in the ISWRM. The Regional Food System Strategy
(2011) sees a two-fold benefit to reducing organic waste. Food scraps, yard and garden materials
and soiled paper can be composted, and thus transformed into a valuable source of natural soil
amendment. In addition to beautifying the landscape, urban farmers and community gardeners
can also grow food locally and help to strengthen the community food system.
As a regional government body, Metro Vancouver has a number of advocacy and facilitation roles
to play, including working with municipalities, many of whom have implemented curbside pick-up
of food scraps. Metro Vancouver will also help to establish the additional organics processing
facilities required to manage the materials, as more municipalities come on board, and implement
additional phases of their programs.
Beyond the introduction, this report is divided into
an additional four sections. The general
methodology (Section 3) describes the work plan
and how it unfolded. The literature review (Section
4) lists the various studies and reports that were
read to inform the data collection sheets and best
practice recommendations. Section 5 covers all
seven detailed case studies and summarizes and
highlights the lessons learned.

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

3 General Methodology
For the On-Site Composting Technology Review, the Garden Heart Productions (GH) project team
reviewed seven existing on-site composting operations using technologies capable of processing
from 20 to 100 tonnes of organic waste annually. For the purposes of this study, on-site
composting programs are defined as where the organic waste materials generation, composting
activities and the end use of the generated compost material all occur (if possible) on the same
site. This is in contrast to neighbourhood or community composting programs where organics are
generated by one or more parties or buildings and composted and used for soil supplement on
another site.
Although the work took place simultaneously in some instances, it was divided into three main
phases: Data Collection, Data Analysis and Final Report.
The project team developed an interview questionnaire for data collection. The questionnaire
includes contact information, installation and operating requirements and costs, maintenance,
ease of use, staff requirements (time, expertise, volunteer or paid, etc.), reliability, scalability, and
compost product quality (quality of inputs and output), and suitability for various applications
(lawn, trees and shrubs and vegetable gardening).
Additional information gathered included: whether or not the operation had done a waste audit;
partnerships/business relationships; training/ education programs; promotional efforts/ signage;
unique characteristics (eg. use of social media, use of public art to enhance community
acceptance).
In most cases, multiple interviews were conducted for each site, some in person during site visits,
through email correspondence and by telephone. Compost operators, technology distributors and
manufacturers, community partners including urban farmers and non-profits involved in the
projects, and other key players were all consulted. Both qualitative and quantitative information
was gathered from composting projects and technologies in the region and internationally. The
level of information collected varied by site and access to some of the desired interviewees was
not possible given the time of year (end of school term, holiday season). The Rocket and the Big
Hanna were not seen in operation as the sites were located back east. While the Jora study site
was in Montreal, the project team was able to see a similar model in operation locally.
The project team reviewed a number of existing reports and studies as well as researched
manufacturer and distributor websites to inform both the questionnaire and best practices.
Detailed case studies were written. The strengths and weaknesses of the technologies were
evaluated and analyzed and compiled into this report to provide credible process for adapting,
implementing and maintaining successful on-site composting programs at multi-family residences
throughout the region. The initiative will aid in source reduction of organics and provide quality
compost for urban agriculture and other landscaping purposes.

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Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

4 Literature Review
The project team reviewed a number of reports and studies. Manufacturer and distributor
websites were examined along with various documents provided by them. The following reports
were reviewed and informed the interview questionnaire and best practices, where links are not
provided, the reports are included in the appendices.
"Best Practices Guidelines for Organics Diversion in the Food Service Sector" (March 2010) by
Green Table Network Survey of food service operators;
Best Practices Manual, Commercial Composting Demonstration Project: In-Vessel
Composting (April 2000) by Anne Donahue, City of Eugene;
"Compost At Work, On-Site Composting for Businesses in Alameda County" by
StopWaste.org out of the Bay area;
http://stopwaste.org/docs/compost_at_work.pdf
"Creation of a Successful Community Composting Centre," by Eco-Cartier (Montreal)Details
the composting efforts in Montreal including the Tourne-sol Neighbourhood
CompostingSystem;
http://www.compost.org/English/PDF/WRW_2010/Edmonton/S%20Barrington%201,%20U%
20McGill.pdf
"Curbside Collection of Residential Food Waste," (2008) by Solid Waste Association of North
America;
http://swana.org/www/Portals/ARF/Curbside_Collection_of_Resid_Food_Waste-SWANAARF-FY08.pdf
"Neighbourhood Scale Composting Systems," 2008 presentation by Esther Berube, Project
Engineer, Metro Vancouver;
"On-Site Food Digester, Client Case Study," by Keystone Waste, 2011. Report on pilot phase
of White Dragon at the Mulberry Retirement Residence;
http://www.keystonewaste.ca/casestudies/on-site-food-digester
"On-Site Versus Off-Site Composting: What are the benefits of each?" (September 2011) by
Louise Henault-Ethier, Canadian Compost Council Conference Prince-Edward-Island;
Using In-Vessel Systems to Compost Food Residuals, On-Site Composting Takes Root in King
County by King County Solid Waste DivisionReport on schools and businesses in Seattle
using in-vessel systems to compost food residuals. It showcases Earth Tubs and
vermicomposting systems;
http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/garbagerecycling/documents/Onsite_food_pilot_final-report.pdf
"Vancouver Recovered Food Assessment" (2006) by Vancouver Food Policy Council
Identifies opportunities & barriers for recovery, reuse, and recycling of food;
"Will Composting Work for Us? A Decision Guide for Managers of Businesses, Institutions,
Campuses and other Facilities" (June 1997) by The Clean Washington Center.
http://www.cwc.org/organics/org976rpt.pdf/

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10

5 Study Sites
The following sections detail the study sites. Each study location contains a technology
specifications sheet, a one page summary and a detailed case study. The specification sheet lists all
the technical features of the technology and is a hybrid of manufacturer, distributor and site
supplied information. The one page summary gives a snap shot of how the technology works at
that location. The detailed case study goes into much more depth.
All measurements have been converted to metric standards for consistency. An estimate of two
kilograms (kg) of food scraps per person per week has been used to make a number of calculations.
That number is based on an estimate (4.4 kg/household/wk) provided by Metro Vancouver and
adjusted upwards to allow for heavier cooked food and meat inclusions, the vegetarian factor
(higher output) and an additional margin of safety. The value is consistent with values used in
other jurisdictions.

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Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review


11
Three BinMetro
Wood
& Wire: Technology Specifications

Technology Specifications
Manufacturer

Cedar Creek Enterprises

Place of Origin

North Vancouver, BC

Distributor

Manufacturer

System Type

Manual

Capacity kg/year

3,180*

# of Persons
Output

kg/year

up to 43** persons
3,180*

Volume Reduction

Approx 50%

System Processing
Time

3 months

Curing Time

In system

Unit Construction

Western red cedar

INCLUSIONS:
21 gauge 0.635 cm wire mesh and
19 gauge 1.27 cm wire mesh for
rodent control

Specifications:
Length (cm)

270

Width (cm)

80

Height (cm)

75

Weight Empty (kg)

90

Power Supply

Not required

Energy Consumption
(approx)

Not applicable

Electrical Certification

Not applicable

Ventilation

Outdoors, no shelter

Surface Requirement

Level ground, porous surface


preferable

C:N Ratio (inputs)


Estimated Life Span
Warranty
Price

3 Bin can be constructed of recycled


plastic wood manufactured in
Squamish BC
$1,900 CAD
o Longevity greater than red
cedar
Custom bin with front panel removal
o Install concrete footings on
own (required)
o Cedar
$900 CAD
o Plastic Wood
$2,050 CAD

openings, manual

Housing Requirement

Bulking Agent

OPTIONAL:

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


www.cedarcreekententerprises.net

Typically dry leaves, straw


Approx 50:50
8-10 years
Not available
$ 800 CAD
delivery included if within 30
km of North Vancouver BC

*Calculated from bin capacity of 530 litres and based on 2kg


food scraps per person per week.
**Refer to Table A1 for details on calculation origins.

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12

Three Bin Wood & Wire Composter


at Quayside Village Cohousing,
North Vancouver, BC
Location
Quayside Village Cohousing is a two-storey
complex with a mixture of townhouse and
apartment style homes, common areas and
commercial space housing a small grocery store.
It is located near a commercial district. There are
pocket food gardens and a small community
garden on site, as well as trees and shrubs.
Already avid recyclers, the residents were very
motivated to compost their food scraps.

after a month, and finally into the third bin for


another month of maturing. The bins reach
temperatures of 68oC The entire process is
completed in three months.

Technology
For thirteen years, the 33 to 40 residents have
been composting all of their food scraps using a
traditional three bin system. The bins are sited
outdoors on a concrete pad in the back of the
complex near the community garden. The
compost operator uses the traditional method of
filling one bin, then turning it into the second bin

Accepted Organic Materials


The operator composts all fruits, vegetables and
garden trimmings. Although it is not
recommmended for this type of system, he also
composts meats, grains, fish, bones; this includes
cooked food. He adds chicken manure for
additional nitrogen and to increase temperature.
For carbon, he uses mostly shredded paper.

Site

Quayside Village Cohousing


North Vancouver, BC

Technology

Three Bin System


2 Sets: One cedar wood &wire
and one recycled plastic & wire

Installation Date

Wood: 2002
Recycled Plastic: 2011

Organic Material
270 kg / wk
Processing
Finished
Compost

50 kg / wk

Unit Cost

$ 800 CAD (cedar)


$1,900 CAD (recycled plastic)

Capital Cost

$ 2,700 CAD

Installation Cost $ 640 CAD


Operational Cost $ 0
Contact

Cedar Creek Enterprises


www.cedarcreekenterprises.net

Collection System
Residents collect, sort, chop and then deposit
their own compostables. Some drop off their
materials every day, some every few days. The
operator does regular checks to make sure the
food is covered with carbon material, located
next to the bin.
Curing / Harvesting
The compost material is stored in the third bin, or
shoveled out and used as needed on property
gardens.
Management Team
The bin is maintained by one volunteer resident
who is an enthusiastic recycling and composting
champion.
Challenges
Some odours likely due to composting of cooked
food, grains and meats. Leachate leaks onto
patio.

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13

5.1 Detailed Case Study


5.1.1

Project History

Quayside Village Cohousing is a two-storey complex, a mixture of 19 townhouse and apartment


style homes with common areas and a small grocery store at street level. There are up to 40
residents who live there, with a mix of ages and ethnicities. The units range from bachelor suites to
three bedrooms. Four of the homes were sold at below market value and will remain so in
perpetuity; an additional two bedroom suite is reserved for low income rental and is fully
accessible. Quayside is located near a commercial area. On the grounds, there are pockets of food
garden space including a small community garden as
well as vines, berry bushes, fruit trees and native
shrubs.
For 13 years, Quayside has been composting all of
their food scraps. They began with plastic bins offered
by the municipality, then when more residents wanted
to join in, they added capacity by moving to a three
bin wood and wire system. They recently added a
second three bin system, made of recycled plastic. The
bins are sited outdoors on a concrete pad in the back
of the complex, off an alley and near the community
garden. The area is also designated for recycling.
Sidewalk art, mosaic tiles embedded in concrete in the
form of worms, identify the composting area.
Quayside Village community garden
The bin is maintained by one volunteer resident who is
an enthusiastic recycling and composting champion. He was featured in the movie, The Clean Bin
Project (www.cleanbinproject.com). He has done his own composting research over the years and
has visited the City Farmer Compost Demonstration Garden in Vancouver and corresponded with
the staff there.

5.1.2

The Technology

The three bin composting system has been used


by gardeners for generations in backyards. It has
also been on display at compost demonstration
gardens throughout Metro Vancouver and
promoted by groups such as City Farmer and
Seattle Tilth for several decades. The system
consists of three adjacent bins and may be made
of wood or other materials. The traditional way of
using this system is to build a pile in the first bin
with layers of green and brown materials, then
after approximately one month turn it into the
second bin and ultimately the third bin. The
compost is aerated every two weeks with a pitch
fork; transferring the contents to the next bin also
helps mix and aerate. The full cycle takes ninety

Quayside Village Three Bin made of recycled plastic

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days and the compost can continue to cure or be stored in the third bin. An alternate common
practice for maintaining the system is to fill one bin and let it sit, then move on to the next bin, fill
it, let it sit; and on to the third. If the capacity is lower, the third bin can also be used for carbon
storage. With this less vigorous bin management approach, the compost could take up to six
months to fully decompose and cure.
The three bin system is considered rodent resistant when there are no openings larger than a
quarter inch (6 mm) and they are lined with minimum 16 gauge, 1/2 inch (13 mm) hardware cloth
(heavy duty wire mesh). The bins at Quayside were constructed by Cedar Creek Enterprises. They
are lined with both the 1/2 inch mesh to keep rats out and another layer of 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) to
keep mice out. Metro Vancouver also has construction plans for both the single and triple bin
system on their website.

Cranberry Commons
Cranberry Commons, a cohousing complex in Burnaby, BC also uses a three bin system. The bins
were much taller than at Quayside and would be difficult for shorter people to work in. Also they
almost never aerate, because a strong person with a pitchfork (rather than an aerator) is needed
for the wood systems. The composting area was shared with recycling and the space was
cramped. The recycling bins have to be moved before compost could be harvested. Some of the
older residents complained that the lids were too heavy and hard to lift off to feed the bin.
Cranberry has work parties to harvest and screen the compost. The residents noted that in a coop or cohousing complex, volunteerism is required, it is part of the philosophy. It may be harder
to get volunteers in other developments. But if there are gardeners, then there's a better chance.

The compost operator at Quayside uses the traditional method of filling one bin, then turning it
into the next bin after a month, and finally into the third bin for another month of maturing. The
bins reach temperatures of 67oC.
The bins are easy to feed, just lift the lids up (can be a bit cumbersome) and deposit. The various
storage and collection containers are washed from the nearby rainbarrel. There is also access to
hot water in the adjacent communal kitchen.
SPECIFICATIONS
Material
Construction

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Wood (cedar)
and wire

Inclusions
Length

270 cm

Width

80 cm

Height

75 cm

Weight

90 kg

Equipment/Tools:
Shovels, pitchfork, wheel
barrow, aerator, hand trowel,
5 gallon pails, blue boxes
Green 38L totes for larger
volume collection of food
waste
Hose/nozzle for cleaning
buckets/bins
Compost thermometer
Screen for sifting compost

Infrastructure:
Composting area
(approx 8' x 40')
allows for 2x3-bin
systems, walkway,
storage for tools,
equipment, plastic
tool shed

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Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

5.1.3

15

The Composting Process

The compost operator checks the bin daily to ensure that


the food waste is covered with carbon (brown) materials.
Residents deposit their own food scraps, so there is no
record of input weights. But the operator keeps track of
the process, what stage each bin is at and what he's
testing in a compost log. They estimate that they are
processing approximately 270 kg of food scraps a week in
the two systems.
5.1.3.1 Organic Materials
According to the operator, they are composting
"everything." He is also adding chicken manure for
additional nitrogen and to increase temperature. They
used leaves at first, but found they were not fully broken
down at 90 days. So they switched to shredded office
paper. One of the residents acquires plain newsprint from
the local library and shreds it all while watching TV. The
backup is printed newspaper. The operator has some
Collected compost materials going into
concerns over ink toxicity and is doing some research on
Three Bin
the topic. The carbon materials are sourced on site or
locally. The carbon to nitrogen input ratio is roughly 50:50 by volume. Dry fall leaves or straw are
the typical and best use carbon inputs. They are readily available and often free. It is usually
recommended that the contents be layered with greens and browns, roughly five to ten cm of
each, thinner layers when using straw.
The operator is quite adventurous and experimental in his approach. He is also testing
biodegradable and compostable plastics. As a best practice, this type of product should only be
processed in an industrial system.

other

manures

yard
trimmings

dairy

grains

shells

cooked
food

fish bones

fish

meat bones

meat

egg shells

coffee
filters

coffee
grounds

fruit & veg


scraps(raw)

Nitrogen (Greens)

other

cardboard

shredded
newspaper

shredded
paper

soiled
paper

sawdust

wood
pellets

straw

leaves

Carbon (Browns)

5.1.3.2 Collection System


Residents collect, sort, chop and deposit their own compostables. Some drop off their materials
every day, some every few days. The operator manages and monitors the inputs and collects the
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16

food waste from under the sink in the communal kitchen. It is collected in a kitchen catcher, a
stainless steel lidded bucket sold by a local gardening outlet.
5.1.3.3 Harvesting/Curing/Storage
The operator uses the traditional transferring method, so the material can be stored in the third
bin, or shoveled out and used as needed. In order to harvest, the front panel of the bin has to be
taken off and the lugnuts can be difficult to remove. Cedar Creek can custom build with front
removable panels that come off in three sections.
There is high demand by the residents for the finished product to use in the various on-site
gardens. It is sometimes screened before use.

5.1.4

System Support

5.1.4.1 Customer Service/Support


Cedar Creek is a local manufacturer and is
readily available if there are any issues or
repairs needed. Cedar Creek did a retrofit on
the original three bin recently, replacing the
horizontal wood rails. The life expectancy of
the wood bin is eight to ten years, but the
wood will rot eventually. Cedar Creek also
helps with the installation. There is a lot more
involved with the installation of the recycled
plastic bins, including pouring concrete
footings which the complex must complete
prior to delivery. At Quayside, they had to use
a crane to put it in place.
5.1.4.2 Education
Initially residents transferred their food scraps into
buckets and only the operator composted the materials,
but that was very labour intensive. Now residents are
educated enough to feed the bin themselves. The
operator created the initial signage, other residents have
improved on the signs over the years. In the common
house kitchen, the recycling area under the sink directs
people to separate the materials. There is a "What to
leave in/ What to leave out" sign at the back door to the
compost area. The operator takes the lead on in-house
training/communication to residents, although it is
informal.

5.1.5

Installation of recycled plastic Three Bin in 2009

Quayside Village kitchen recycling system

System Evaluation

There have been some issues with odour, likely due to composting of cooked food, grains and
meats. This practice is generally not recommended for this system due to increased odours. That
has caused some problems with both residents and neighbours off the back alley who are
concerned about rodents. There was a rodent issue in the building previously and although the
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17

compost bins have never been affected, the composting was blamed. The operator realizes more
education is required.
Originally, the operator wanted to place the compost bins on paving stones to allow the leachate
to naturally drain through the cracks and soak into the ground. But instead a concrete pad was
installed and the leachate leaks onto the patio. The black liquid stains the concrete and can be an
esthetic concern for some.
There is only one highly motivated and well
informed person managing the system. He gives
it a lot of time and attention and has taken
ownership in the composting process. Someone
from the gardening committee could potentially
take over if he left, but would likely not be able
to keep up to this degree of supervision. This
scenario is not the norm; and in group settings,
at community gardens in particular, bins can
become overloaded and full of undesirable
materials as was the case at a community garden
on the UBC campus in the adjacent picture. It is
vital to have the managing committee well
trained and on top of the inputs at all times.

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CATEGORIES
General Siting

STRENGTHS
Outdoors only
Esthetically pleasing, fits in with
garden

18

WEAKNESSES
Need garden space for end use
or partner/repository

Capacity

< 20,000 kg/yr

Duration of Cycle

Slow (3 mos); see Table 6.1.2.a

Costs

Ease of Use

Low capital & operating cost


Volunteer staff

Low tech - easy to use &


maintain

Compostable
Materials

Food scraps & yard waste

Harvesting

With front panel removed, easy

Curing

Cure and store in system

Storage

Wood will rot eventually


Unless the bin has removable
front panels; hard to remove
output
Aerating can be challenging,
need to use a pitch fork (not a
wingdigger)
More labour intensive if the
contents are transferred from
bin to bin
No cooked food

May need additional storage

Pest Resistance

Rodent resistant

Residual
Management

Drains into ground

Leaches onto concrete

Temperature

Generally lower temperatures


unless adding grass, manures;
some slow down in winter

Ventilation

Openings between boards


Manual aeration

Moisture

Managed with inputs

Safety

No concerns
Requires attachment of locks to
avoid dumping

Security
Scalability

Can add additional bins to


increase capacity

Reliability

Long life span


Local manufacturer
Easy to repair

Additional bins require


incremental increase in space
requirements

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Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review


WormMetro
Wigwam:
Technology Specifications

19

Technology Specifications
Manufacturer

Sustainable Agriculture
Technologies Inc.

Place of Origin

Cottage Grove OR, USA

Distributor

Earthworks Compost
Supplies, Chilliwack BC

System Type
Capacity

kg/year

# of Persons
Output

kg /year

Volume Reduction*

Vermicomposting
1820*
(or the weight of the worms)

15-20
Up to 1,769*
3%

System Processing Time

3 months

Curing Time

In system

Unit Construction

Plastic

INCLUSIONS:
Heating pad

Specifications:
Length (cm)

90

Width (cm)

90

Height (cm)

90

Weight Empty (kg)

41

Power Supply
Energy Consumption
(approx)

Electrical Certification
Ventilation

AC 110V (for heating pad,


use GFCI without an
extension cord)
Nominal and occasional

Openings
Outdoors or Indoors

Surface Requirement

On pallet works best

Bulking Agent

Typically shredded paper and


leaves

C:N Ratio (inputs)

1:3: Fill unit 1/3 full of carbon


for set up, top up as needed

Warranty
Price (excludes delivery)

Start-up worm inoculation: 7-9 kg


worms (approx. $700 cost)

OTHER MODELS:
Sustainable Agriculture Technologies
offers larger volume vermicomposting
options for institutional and industrial
large scale operations

Not applicable

Housing Requirement

Estimated Life Span

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


www.worm-composting.ca
www.wormwigwam.com
www.yelmworms.com

10 years
Information unavailable from
distributor
$ 695 CAD
FOB Chilliwack BC

*Estimate based on Bellingham Cohousing data. Refer to


Table A1 for details on calculation origins.
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Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

Accepted Organic Materials


All fruit and vegetable scraps and some soiled
paper can be composted. For carbon, they are
using shredded paper, some wood shavings and
leaves, all sourced on site. They are processing
approximately 35 kg a week.

Worm Wigwam
at Bellingham Cohousing,
Bellingham, WA

Location
This development sits on nearly six acres with 33
privately owned homes in a rural setting adjacent
to municipal/regional park land. The complex is
divided into two-, three- and four-plexes with a
number of common areas including private and
community gardens. The majority of residents are
over 50 years old and esthetics are important to
them.
Technology
The Wigwam is a small-scale continuous-flow
vermicomposting system
with mechanical
harvester. The unit has 100% recycled plastic
sidewalls with interchangeable top and bottom
lids. Worms separate from their castings naturally.
It is fed from the top and the castings are
harvested from the bottom. The unit sits on a
slatted wooden deck at the front of one of the
duplexes, with a bamboo fence shielding it from
view.
Site

Bellingham Cohousing
Bellingham, WA

Technology

Worm Wigwam

Installation Date

November 2009

Organic Material
Processing

35 Kg / wk

Finished Compost

34 kg / wk

Unit Cost

$1,395 CAD (incl worms)

Capital Cost

$1,645 CAD

Installation Costs

$100 CAD

Operating Cost
Contact

20

Nominal

(commercial
bulking agent if required)
Earthworks Composting Supplies
www.worm-composting.ca

Collection System
Five families currently use the system. They collect
food scraps in their own buckets, often an ice

Entrance to Bellingham Cohousing complex

cream pail and deposit them into the Wigwam


themselves every other day. They cover the scraps
with shredded paper or other carbon source that is
in a covered bin next to the unit.
Curing / Harvesting
The organic materials compost in about thirty
days. There is a handle on the side of the unit that
is turned daily. The operator modified the handle
using a bike pedal and gear. When turned, a grater
scrapes across the bottom of the perforated food
tray and allows the worm castings to fall through
to the base of the unit for easy harvesting.
Management Team
One resident volunteer maintains the system and
ensures it is turned regularly.
Challenges
The system is not very rodent resistant. Although
there have been no issues to date, the various
openings could easily be accessed by mice or
chewed through by rats.

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Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

21

5.2 Detailed Case Study


5.2.1

Project History

Bellingham Cohousing sits on nearly six acres with 33 privately owned homes in a rural setting
adjacent to municipal park land. The complex is divided into two-, three- and four-plexes with a
number of common areas including private and community gardens. The development is very
beautiful with neat and well managed landscaping. There is a grassy playground area at the centre
of the complex. There are many food gardens, both communal and individual. With permission,
the residents are also growing fruit trees on the municipal green space that borders their property.
The majority of residents are over 50 years
old. Esthetics are important to them and they
do not want anything that might look messy
on the property. For example, the younger
residents would like to add chickens to their
farming efforts, but there has been some
resistance.
There are also several different composting
areas on site with a range of systems, from
the Compost Tumbler and Soil Saver to wood
bins and even compost piles. Some of the
systems are for private use, some are
communal, others, like the ones in the
community garden area, are mostly used for
garden waste.

Worm Wigwam at Bellingham Cohousing

The grandson of one of the residents moved in to the complex in the late fall of 2009. He had just
finished a farm internship through Evergreen State University in Olympia, WA where he learned
about the Worm Wigwam system. He purchased a used Worm Wigwam for around $500 from
Yelm Earthworm and Castings Farm, the Washington distributor.
A neighbour offered space at the front of his duplex. Due to the esthetic concerns, the operator
installed a bamboo fence to shield the unit from view. The unit sits on a raised wooden deck.
There is additional space to store a few tools and a bin for the carbon materials.
The operator enlisted five families to contribute food scraps. He currently uses one Worm
Wigwam and would like to add a second one. Just the one resident volunteer maintains the
system.

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5.2.2

22

The Technology

The Worm Wigwam is a small-scale continuous-flow


vermicomposting system with interchangeable
bottom and lid and with plastic sidewalls. It is fed
from the top and the earthworm castings are
harvested from the bottom. To begin, the operator
must add 15 to 20 pounds of worms to a 15 cm layer
of carbon bedding material, typically a mix of
shredded paper and leaves, but other materials like
straw, coir, shredded cardboard, wood shavings and
sawdust (avoid cedar as it is toxic to microbes). Then
the food waste is buried in the bedding and eaten by
the worms. The bedding needs to be topped up
occasionally to ensure that the food is well buried.
The carbon to nitrogen mix is roughly one to three.
The leachate is not captured, it drips through holes
in the bottom tray and down through the wooden
deck.
Worm Wigwam side cut view.

I estimated that I would need about 100 to 120 lbs of my favorite starter bedding material, a
mix of shredded cardboard, peat moss, sawdust and a dash of lime (dolomite!). This does indeed
fill the composter to a depth of about 6" which is approximately 1/3 of the total.
Robert Crofton-Sleigh, owner, Earthworks Composting Supplies
The worm castings are harvested by a grater that is turned manually with a handle at the side of
the unit. The operator turns the handle daily. He modified the crank, replacing the handle with a
bicycle drive system. The higher crank position is easier for him to use and gives him a little more
turning power. There is very little management required. He makes sure there is adequate carbon
material on site, that the food waste is covered with bedding and that the heating pad is plugged
in and placed inside the bin when it is cold.
SPECIFICATIONS
Material
Construction

100% recycled plastic

Inclusions

Heating pad
(Standard 110V)

Length

90 cm

Width

90 cm

Height

90 cm

Weight

41 kg

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
15-20 pounds of worms
Flat head shovel
Thermometer
Large rake
Hand trowel
Various bins for carbon storage

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5.2.3

23

The Composting Process

They are composting primarily fruit and veggie scraps. They are using shredded paper, some wood
shavings and leaves, all sourced on site. The contamination is minimal; there was a previous
problem with window envelopes. The Worm Wigwam is currently processing 35 to 40 kg of food
scraps a week. The capacity is generally half the weight of the worm population.

other

manure

yard
trimmings

dairy

grains

shells

cooked
food

fish bones

fish

meat bones

meat

egg shells

coffee
grounds
coffee
filters

fruit & veg


scraps(raw)

Nitrogen (Greens)

other

cardboard

shredded
newspaper

shredded
paper

soiled
paper

sawdust

wood
pellets

straw

leaves

Carbon (Browns)

5.2.3.1 Collection System


Five families currently use the system. They collect food scraps in their own buckets, often an ice
cream pail, and deposit them into the Wigwam themselves every other day. They cover the scraps
with shredded paper or other carbon source that is in a covered bin next to the unit.
5.2.3.2 Harvesting / Curing / Storage
The organic materials compost in about 30 days. By
turning the handle, the grater scrapes across the
bottom of the perforated tray and allows the worm
castings to fall through to the base of the unit for
easy harvesting. There is no need to take the unit
apart. The material can be stored in the base as well,
and used as needed. The castings are usually very fine
and would not require sifting before use. The
operator estimates that they are producing around
150 kg of finished worm compost a month. The
output is dictated by the size of the worm population.
The operator and residents of Bellingham Cohousing use the worm castings on food crops. The
operator is very happy with the production in his garden areas.

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24

The compost operator is growing greens under homemade


cloches to extend the season

5.2.4

System Support

5.2.4.1 Customer Service/Support


Not much customer service is required. When corresponding with both the Washington and lower
mainland distributors and the manufacturer in Oregon regarding this study, the response time was
very fast and helpful.

UBC AMS Worm Wigwam


The UBC Alma Mater Society has been piloting a Worm Wigwam as a student project. Their unit
is inside a locked garbage room. It is on a raised wooden platform with hardware cloth (16
gauge, 1/2 inch or 13 mm) underneath for added rodent resistance. They are collecting preconsumer fruit and vegetable scraps from one of the restaurants in the Student Union Building.
They have installed a light that shines down onto the unit to prevent worm crawl. Sometimes
the worms leave the unit, in the early stages, or when the conditions aren't right. The results of
the pilot have been very positive and will be documented in a report to come in early 2012.
They plan to add eight more units on campus.

5.2.4.2 Education
The operator learned about the Worm Wigwam during a farm internship. He also learned by trial
and error. Initially, he collected the food waste himself from the five families and was able to
deliver door to door education. Now he troubleshoots by email with the participants.

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CITY FARMER WORM BINS


City Farmer has been using a three bin worm composting system at its demonstration site for a
couple decades. The system works in much the same way as a regular three bin composting
system, except there is no turning or transferring from one bin to the next. The worms do all the
work. The bin is lined with wire mesh for added rodent resistance. The bottom is only mesh, so
that the worms can migrate from one bin to the next. The first bin is filled with a 50/50 mix of
stripped up dampened newspaper and fall leaves or straw. Worms are added. Food scraps are
buried in alternating corners each week. The worms gradually break down all the materials. When
the compost is nearing the finished stages, the next bin is filled with bedding material and the
worms will migrate to the next bin. Storage and curing are all contained within the three bins. City
Farmer did add locks to the bins at one point because the worms were disappearing. At
$35/pound, the worms are tantalizing bait for thieves.

City Farmer worm corner

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5.2.5

26

System Evaluation

The system is not very rodent resistant and the various openings could easily be accessed by mice
or chewed through by rats. There is no leachate collection, so that could be an issue indoors unless
it is drained off weekly. If outside, the liquid will drain into the soil which is fine.
CATEGORIES
General Siting

STRENGTHS
Indoors or out
Minimal yard/deck space
required

WEAKNESSES
Need garden space for end use or
partner/repository

Capacity

< 20,000 kg/yr

Duration of Cycle

Slow (3 mos); see Table 6.1.2.a

Costs

Low capital & operating costs


Volunteer staff

Must buy worms to start

Ease of Use

Low tech - easy to use &


maintain
Volunteer staff

Worm population should be divided


regularly

Compostable
Materials

Uncooked food craps

Cannot compost much yard waste


(primarily leaves)
Some slow down in winter (heating
pad may help)

Harvesting
Curing

In system

Storage

In system

Pest Resistance

Not rodent resistant

Residual
Management

No leachate collection

Temperature

Generally low; heat pad for winter

Ventilation

Air holes in plastic and lids


Manual fluffing of bedding

Moisture

Can be a problem with low carbon

Safety

Heavy when full; hard to move

Security

Only if in locked enclosure

Scalability

Can add additional units

Reliability

Long life span


Local distributor

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27
Jora-Model
JK400: Technology Specifications

Technology Specifications
Manufacturer

Joraform AB, Sweden


Sweden, K125/270/400
made in China

Place of Origin

Jora Compost Canada Inc., MontSaint-Hilaire, QC

Distributor

Drum, manual rotating, dual


chamber, batch

System Type
Capacity

kg/year

# of Persons
Output

are

1,300 2,080*
20-30 persons

kg/year

Volume Reduction
System Processing Time
Curing Time
Unit Construction

Up to 847*
33-37%

INCLUSIONS:
Ratcheting system for rotation

6-8 weeks
4 weeks
Steel and Styrofoam, some recycled
material

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:
Bins underneath for leachate

Specifications:
Length (cm)

127.5

Width (cm)

77.5

Height (cm)

132.5

Weight Empty (kg)


Power Supply

68
Not required

Energy Consumption

Not applicable

Electrical Certification

Not applicable

Ventilation

Vents in unit, rotating system

Housing Requirement

Outdoors (some shelter from rain)


or indoors

Surface Requirement

Reasonably level and consider


catchment for leachate

Bulking Agent
C:N Ratio (inputs)
Estimated Life Span
Warranty
Price

Wood pellets
1 : 10

OTHER MODELS:
K125:
$310 CAD
o Capacity: 260-390 kg/yr
K270:
$419 CAD
o Capacity: 650-780 kg/yr
JK5100:
$41,000 CAD
o Automated - Grinding,
mixing and aeration
operations are variable and
programmable controlled
o Capacity: to 18,200 kg/yr
o CSA approved
o Two chambers continuous
feed system with four
processing steps:
maceration, composting
ripening, emptying.
o System Processing Time:
4 weeks

15 years**
1 year parts & Labour to first
purchaser

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


www.joracanada.ca/en

$629 CAD
FOB Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC

*Refer to Table A1 for details on calculation origins.


** Estimate from distributor Green Genie in South Africa, but
nothing official from Jora.
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Jora Model JK 400


at Cercle Carr, Montreal, QC
Location
Cercle Carr (Circle Square) is a new housing
cooperative for professional and emerging artist
and cultural workers. Situated in an urban
residential area of Old Montreal, the co-op has
seven floors with 50 live / work units (60-75
people) and an exhibition space. There is little
garden space, with plans to add a roof top
garden.
Technology
For two years, the 60 to 75 residents have been
composting their food scraps using two Jora (JK
400) rotating composters. The bins are housed in
a small locked room accessible from the outside.
The JK400 is designed for 20 to 30 people. It has
two insulated chambers for continuous
composting. With daily rotation, the bin heats up
quickly and maintains high temperatures. The
entire process is completed in eight weeks.
Accepted Organic Materials
While the manufacturer claims meat, fish and
bones will break down easily in the system, the
Site

Cercle Carr Co-operative


Montreal, Quebec

Technology

JORA JK400 (two units)

Installation Date

November 2009

Organic Material
40 kg / wk
Processing
Finished
Compost

11.5 kg / wk

Unit Cost

$ 629 CAD

Capital Cost

$1,248 CAD

Installation Cost

$500 CAD

Operating Cost

$55 CAD per year

Contact

Jora Kompost
www.joracanada.ca

Cercle Carr building

residents compost primarily fruit and vegetable


scraps, some grains, soiled paper and yard
trimmings. They purchase wood pellets to mix
with the green materials; ideally between five
and ten percent of the total inputs. They are
processing a maximum of 40 kg / week per Jora
composting unit.
Collection System
Residents only receive a key to the compost
room after they have had a training session. They
collect, sort and chop their own compostables.
Some drop off their materials every day, some
every few days.
Curing / Harvesting
Once one compartment is full (3-4 wks), it is
locked off and allowed to mature for an
additional three to four weeks. When fully cured
the material is shoveled out and stored in bins on
site. It is then picked up by co-quartier Saint
Jacques and used in their greening projects
around the city.
Management Team
A three person volunteer compost committee
ensures the system is well maintained and
rotated regularly. The project was initiated and
funded by co-quartier Saint Jacques.
Challenges
Although there is a ratchet system for turning the
bins, they may be a bit difficult to turn when full,
especially for seniors. If not enough wood pellets
are used, there are some odours and leachate
leakage. It is necessary to have tubs beneath the
system.

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5.3 Detailed Case Study


5.3.1

Project History

Cercle Carr (Circle Square) is a new housing cooperative for professional and emerging artists and
cultural workers. Situated in an urban residential area of Old Montreal, with only one primary
school and surrounded by businesses, the co-op has seven floors with 50 live/work studios and an
exhibition space. The occupancy fluctuates from 60 to 75 people, an ethnically diverse group
ranging from 25 to 45 years of age. The population was already recycling and was keen to compost
their food scraps as well. There is little garden space, but there are plans to add a roof top garden.
The composting project was initiated and funded by co-quartier Saint Jacques (ESJ). The nonprofit received funding through a grant from Shell Canada Limited to pay for the technology and
programming. co-quartiers, burrough-based non-profits, were originally created in 1995 in
Montreal to implement recycling, but evolved to include composting and greening projects. ESJ
operates 15 composting sites. Its base funding comes from the City.
As with most of the co-ops ESJ works with, this
was a very small site. There was some soil in
the back parking lot area where they thought
they might install a garden and compost area.
However, the soil was contaminated, and the
area is now a paved parking lot. Five of the
parking spaces are protected by an overhang
and accommodate six green bins for yard
waste and six black garbage bins.
ESJ had already implemented recycling at the
site and had done some waste calculations, so
Jora JK 400 at Cerle Carr
they knew roughly what their capacity need
would be for organics. They looked at a large wood bin initially. It was priced at around $700 and
had double the capacity. But with no access to yard space, they needed something with a smaller
footprint. There was a locked room, six feet by six feet, accessible from outside that was available.
After some research, they decided on the Jora JK400, Swedish technology, available locally and
suitable for 20 to 30 people. In November 2009, they purchased and installed one unit, then added
a second as everyone at the co-op wanted to compost. The units are located side by side in the
compost room on a concrete floor with level grade. Plastic tubs have been placed beneath the
units to capture leachate. The room is insulated, but not heated. While the room absorbs a bit of
heat from the building, it is still very cold during the winter. Some basic tools and bags of wood
pellets are stored in the room as well.
Residents formed a three person volunteer compost committee to ensure that the system was
properly installed, well operated and maintained.

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5.3.2

30

The Technology

The Jora JK400 is a manual rotating composter with two


insulated chambers allowing for continuous composting. The
insulation material is made from recycled Styrofoam, tests
show no chemical leaching into the compost. When rotated
daily, the bin heats up quickly reaching temperatures of 60oC.
Food scraps are fed into one chamber over a period of four
weeks and then that side is locked off to allow for four weeks
of maturing. The second chamber is used while the first
chamber is aging.

SPECIFICATIONS

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Material
Construction

Steel, Styrofoam,
some recycled
material

Inclusions

Ratchet lever

Length

127.5 cm

Width

77.5 cm

Height

132.5 cm

Weight

68.0 kg

Equipment/tools: shovels, kitchen catchers


Infrastructure: minimal, can be indoors or out; curing
and output storage area outside; storage space for
bags (or bins) for wood pellets, yard waste and tools
inside
Plastic tubs, 36 L
Rubbermaid bins
Large bins for storing finished compost

To maintain high temperatures, material must be added daily, along with wood pellets. If the mix
is too wet, the temperature will go down. Unlike traditional backyard composting systems, which
are rotated once every couple of weeks, this system must be rotated daily or the temperature will
drop.
The unit was easily assembled by the compost committee and described as "IKEA-ish." They make
sure it is rotated daily and that there are enough wood pellets on hand. They can spot any
problems right away, if it is too wet, if there are any smells, leakage, etc. The system does not
require a lot of skill to maintain. They also keep the unit and room clean.
Minimal storage space and tools were required to get the system fully operational. Plastic tubs
were also provided by Jora Canada for the dual purpose of leachate collection and harvesting.

5.3.3

The Composting Process

5.3.3.1 Organic Materials


While the manufacturer claims meat, fish and bones will break down easily in the system, the
residents here compost primarily fruit and vegetable scraps, some grains, soiled paper and a few
leaves. There have been some issues with food not being chopped enough and in some cases
whole melons put in. It is important all materials be well chopped.

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The main carbon material and bulking agent is wood


pellets. The commercial wood pellets cost around five
dollars for an 18 kg pound bag and they use roughly
one a month. Bags are heavy and are not readily
available in the neighbourhood, so Jora Canada
currently delivers it for them. The wood pellets should
make up between five and ten percent of the nitrogen
inputs. If the wood pellet ratio is off, there can be
some odours, flies and leachate drippings. They are
processing a maximum of 40 kg of food scraps per
week per bin.
Commerical wood pellets used as bulking agent

other

manures

yard
trimmings

dairy

grains

shells

cooked
food

fish bones

fish

meat bones

meat

egg shells

coffee
grounds
coffee
filters

fruit & veg


scraps(raw)

Nitrogen (Greens)

5.3.3.2 Collection System


Residents collect their own food waste in
their own containers. They do their own
sorting and chopping of materials and feed
the system individually as needed.
Participants must have taken a workshop
before they get a key to the locked
composting room. They simply open the
hatch, add food scraps and a scoop or two of
wood pellets. A small plastic cup is left in the
bag. No heavy lifting is required. Rotating
could be difficult for some, but most people
manage to turn it with the attached handles,
instead of using the removable ratcheting
bar.

other

cardboard

shredded
newspaper

shredded
paper

soiled
paper

sawdust

wood
pellets

straw

leaves

Carbon (Browns)

The Gibsons' BC Experience


A site visit was made to Gibsons to view a JK125
(residential model) and a JK400 (at a daycare) in
operation. Both operators were composting all
materials including grains, meat, fish, bones and
all the manufacturer's acceptable items. They are
very satisfied with the results over the eight
weeks, even bones were decomposed. They
found that leaves and other yard waste were
very slow to break down. They live in bear
country and were extremely happy that the
bears were leaving the system alone.

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5.3.3.3 Harvesting/Curing/Storage
Within three to four weeks, the first compartment is full and is locked off and allowed to mature
for an additional four weeks. When mature, the material is harvested by ESJ. To harvest, the unit is
turned until the hatch is in a downward position. When the door is opened, the finished compost
falls out into the tubs below, with a little assistance from a shovel. They harvest approximately
11.5 kg per composter at the end of each eight week cycle. ESJ finds the job relatively easy and not
really dirty or messy. The material is stored in the Rubbermaid tubs and recycling totes in the back
parking lot. ESJ removes the finished material twice a year, approximately 1200 kg in total. The
product is used on ESJs greening projects around the city, not on food crops. It is generally not
sifted as that is another step.

5.3.4

System Support

5.3.4.1 Customer Service/Support


Jora Canada has been very hands-on during the entire process. They helped to set up the system
and attended the workshop. They came by every two weeks for the first couple months and gave
a report to ESJ. They stock the unit and some parts in Montreal. While they have a western Canada
sales representative in Gibsons, they would ideally like a Vancouver sales and service person.
Residents put a committee together, attend a couple workshops, drop off their own food waste,
they take ownership, and become very attached to the compost system. They have a very
personal experience with it. That has to be measured against cost. You are sensitizing the
population to waste. They will compost for the rest of their lives. But you need a structure in
place to hold it together.
Michael Hawrysh, 3R Project Manager, co-quartier Saint Jacques

5.3.4.2 Education
ESJ ran one workshop initially and 30 residents attended. They ran a second one after three
months as a reminder and to initiate new people that had come on board when the second unit
was added. They provided plasticized fridge sheets with their contact info on it and put posters up
in the compost room. People contact ESJ by email with questions. Additional information is
provided on their website and Jora Canada's site.

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Fridge poster provided by ESJ

5.3.5

System Evaluation

The beveling system in the Jora JK400 is very simple, just a roller, so it does not help break down
the materials. City Farmer, the non-profit operator of the Vancouver Compost Demonstration
Garden, has tested many rotators and has found the beveling systems to be mostly ineffective. The
finished product tends to be wet, clumpy and contain long, stringy remnants of yard waste.
(Although the end product in the Jora was not at all lumpy or wet.) Residents must really chop up
their food waste and especially yard waste to effectively break it down.
While there are handles for turning the bins, it may be heavy and difficult for some, especially
seniors, to turn when full. Most people manage without the long lever and stepped ratchet
system.
If the wood pellet ratio is off, there can be some odours, flies and leachate drippings. One of the
compost committee members said that the bins under the units were too small and the leachate
splashes onto the floor. That means they have to wash the floor regularly as well. If outdoors,
there needs to be some kind of protection from the rain. In Gibsons, they have thrown a barbeque
cover over the JK125, but some kind of shelter is probably best to prevent excessive moisture from
entering the unit.
The main issue for ESJ was the logistics of having to pick up the finished product in the Rubbermaid
bins which are very heavy when full (22.7kg). They leave empty bins there for them each time as
well. They have the added cost of renting a vehicle for the service, twice per year.

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CATEGORIES
General Siting

STRENGTHS
Indoors or out
No yard space required

34

WEAKNESSES
Need garden space for end use or
partner/repository
Some cover if outdoors

Capacity

< 20,000 kg/yr

Duration of Cycle

Slow (3 mos)

Costs

Low capital & operating


Volunteer staff

Need to purchase wood pellets

Ease of Use

Low tech - easy to use &


maintain

Difficulty with turning

Compostable
Materials

Food scraps (cooked & raw)

Cannot compost yard waste

Harvesting

Semi-automatic

Curing

In system

Storage

Additional required

Pest Resistance

Less likely to have issues, but


rodents could penetrate through
vents

Residual
Management

Leachate leaks out (problem


indoors)

Temperature

Optimum, very high for manual


system

Ventilation

Manual rotation, openings on


sides of unit

Some slow down in winter

Moisture

Managed through carbon inputs


Some shelter to prevent excessive
moisture outdoors

Safety

May be heavy to turn for some

Security

Locked room

Scalability

Can add additional units

Reliability

Excellent customer service

Fairly new, so life span unknown


Sales rep on Sunshine Coast, BC

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White DragonModel
GG-30: Technology Specifications

Technology Specifications
Manufacturer

Oklin Incorporated

Place of Origin

Republic of South Korea

Distribons, although their names


Distributor
Wh
System Type
Capacity

kg / year

# of Persons
Output

kg / year

Volume Reduction
System Processing Time
Curing Time
Unit Construction

GreenGood Canada
Enterprises Inc.,
Vancouver BC

In-vessel, automated,batch
20,000 30,000
No information from
distributor

2,000- 3,000*
Up to 95%
24 hours minimum

3-4 weeks
Stainless Steel

Specifications:
Length (cm)

175

Width (cm)

73

Height (cm)

117

Weight Empty (kg.)

450

Power Supply

3 Phase, AC240V

Energy Consumption

720-1,095 kWh/month

Electrical Certification

ETL, CE

Ventilation

agitation blades, exhaust


system, external deodorizer

INCLUSIONS:
Unit on locking casters
Tools & Equipment wire brush for
cleaning interior filter, plastic tote for
harvest, cable lock, step up platform for
loading inputs
Deodorizer:
o Separate unit
o 56L x 84W x 127H (cm), 60
kg

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Adequate HVAC recommended if unit
indoors in particular

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT:
Not Required.

Housing Requirement

Indoors or outdoors
under cover

Surface Requirements

Hard non-porous surface

Bulking Agent

Microbes in sawdust, one


time inoculation
1:20 (roughly 5% of total
mix)

GG-50:

C:N Ratio

10-15 years

GG-100

Estimated Life Span


Warranty
Price

1-year factory parts & labour

$15,000 CAD
FOB Vancouver BC

*Based on 90% reduction rate at Mulberry Retirement


Residence. Refer to Table A1 for details on calculation
origins.

OTHER MODELS:
GG-10:
o

$7,000 CAD
Capacity: 8 - 10,000 kg/yr

$21,000 CAD
Capacity: 40 - 50,000 kg/yr

$28,000 CAD
Capacity: 80 - 100,000 kg/yr

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


www.greengoodcomposter.com
Note: The distributor has dubbed the
commercial units White Dragons and the
residential model, Red Dragon. Although these
names do not appear on their website, they
will be used in this report.

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White Dragon - Model GG-30


at Mulberry Retirement Residence,
Burnaby, BC
Location
The Mulberry Retirement Residence is a 15-storey
retirement centre with on-site chef, serving three
meals a day for 160 to 175 seniors. The building is in
a very urban area, right across from a shopping
centre and with almost no garden or landscaped
areas. It is one of several retirement residences
owned and managed by Pacific Arbour.
Technology
The White Dragon has been in use since the spring
of 2011. The automated composting technology
comes in a range of sizes and processes organics
within 24 hours, processing at temperatures up to
65oC. The system is located in the garbage and
recycling room, accessible only to staff.

Site

Mulberry Retirement
Residence
Burnaby, BC

Technology

White Dragon (GG-30)

Installation Date

April 2011

Organic Material
Processing

280 kg / wk

Finished Compost

30 kg / wk

Unit Cost

$ 15,000 CAD

Capital Cost

$ 16,600 CAD

Installation Cost

$ 8,400 CAD

Operating Cost

$ 1,051 CAD per year

Contact

GreenGood Enterprises Inc.


www.greengoodcomposter.com

Accepted Organic Materials


They are currently composting all of the food scraps
from the kitchenprimarily raw fruits and
vegetables, some soiled paper napkins and cooked
scraps from plates. They are processing about 280
kg a week and are not at capacity. A carbon
material (wood chips) is
added to prime the
system in the beginning and does not have to be
added again.
Collection System
Food scraps are collected in the kitchen and added
into the composter daily by staff. Staff also collect
food scraps from the dining room.
Curing / Harvesting
Before harvesting, the system has to be shut down
to allow for 24 hour processing. They are currently
harvesting once a week and hope to go to every
two weeks. Material is emptied into totes and must
be cured for an additional three to four weeks. A
small amount is used on the landscape, some taken
home by staff, and some is put into the garbage.
Management Team
The Building Services manager operates and
maintains the system. They also have a waste
management consultant who works with them.
Challenges
There have been odour and moisture problems. Of
particular concern are the air-quality issues. The
Mulberry had to revamp their HVAC system.

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

37

5.4 Detailed Case Study


5.4.1

Project History

The Mulberry is a retirement centre, housing from 160 to 175 seniors in a very busy urban area of Burnaby.
Chefs make and serve three meals a day on site. The residence has very little garden space, a few
containers and pockets of landscaping, but is primarily surrounded by paving and cement. The Mulberry is
owned by Pacific Arbour, a company that specializes in retirement homes.
Pacific Arbour wants to be a sustainability leader. As part of their
green initiative, staff at head office began to look at new
composting technologies; they liked the idea of being able to cut
both carbon emissions and waste at the same time. Their waste
consultant, Keystone Waste Services, conducted a waste audit,
including a capacity survey and density analysis of existing food
waste diversion. Keystone recommended GreenGood Enterprise's
White Dragon technology to Pacific Arbour. The waste audit
helped to determine the size of the unit required, the GG-10
capacity was too low, the GG-30 a bit high for their needs, but
there was no middle option.
Pacific Arbour purchased the GG-30 in the spring of 2011 and
installed it in an enclosed, lockable garbage room. It sits on a
concrete floor, alongside recycling and garbage bins. There is also
some space for tool storage. The room is not heated and had
minimal ventilation. It is located off a loading dock with easy
access from the kitchen.

White Dragon with deodorizer right


behind it in Mulberry waste room

Keystone conducted a pilot study (March 17 to April 30, 2011) to assess the technology using a set of key
performance indicators. At that time, the White Dragon was deemed suitable for the location and it
continues to compost the food waste from the kitchen. However, several issues have arisen which will be
discussed further below.
The Mulberry building services manager operates and maintains the system.

5.4.2

The Technology

The White Dragon GG-30 composter will process food waste in 24 hours. The holding tank is inoculated
one time only with microbes in sawdust bedding and then heated to a high temperature (65oC) with the
internal heater. Blades within the tank stir the contents several times an hour. A deodorizer helps to
minimize smells. No leachate is produced, all moisture evaporates through the venting system. Moisture
content is done with a visual check. The Mulberry adds material over the course of a week, then shuts the
system down for a 24-hour period to allow the contents to fully process. During that time, the kitchen staff
continue to collect the food in buckets.

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

38

The unit has a relatively small footprint and is on wheels so it can be easily moved into place. The
deodorizer is a separate unit. The machine requires additional installation of three-phase power and
electrical bills run $80 a month.
As part of regular maintenance, the operator wipes down the unit and sweeps the area, especially after
harvesting. The filter screen on the inside must be cleaned regularly with the wire brush.

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

SPECIFICATIONS
Material
Construction

Deodorizer
Step up platform
Filter brush

Length

175 cm

Width

73 cm

Height

117 cm

Weight

450 kg

5.4.3

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Stainless steel

Inclusions

39

Equipment/Tools:
Brooms
Shovels
4 x 50 litre Rubbermaid
bins (harvest)
80 gal wheel tote to store
output
5 gal buckets for food
collection
Soil sieve/screen

Infrastructure:
Requires some shelter /
locked enclosure
Curing and output storage
area outside
3 Phase, AC240V
HVAC system upgrade

The Composting Process

5.4.3.1 Organic Materials


The manufacturer has an extensive list of items that can be composted.
In addition to all foods (raw and cooked) and soiled paper, manure and
pet feces are also permitted, as is compostable packaging, but not yard
trimmings. The Mulberry has stopped putting in meat bones and
seafood shells as they do not break down well. They do not compost
dairy or grains. They have also found that onion peels and banana skins
are not completely composted in 24 hours. Soiled napkins and coffee
filters provide some carbon. They tried composting paper place mats,
but they didn't decompose well. The manufacturer does not specify the
carbon nitrogen ratio, but Mulberry's total paper inputs are now about
five percent of the mix. Some of the original saw dust and microbes is
always left at the bottom of the unit after harvesting.
White Dragon loaded and ready for
processing

other

cardboard

shredded
newspaper

shredded
paper

soiled
paper

sawdust

wood
pellets

straw

leaves

Carbon (Browns)

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

Garden Heart Productions


October 2012

other

manures

yard
trimmings

dairy

grains

shells

cooked
food

fish bones

fish

meat bones

meat

egg shells

coffee
filters

coffee
grounds

fruit & veg


scraps(raw)

Nitrogen (Greens)

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

40

5.4.3.2 Collection System


The cooks sort, separate, and chop food waste and place into five gallon buckets. There are two in the
kitchen prep area. The residents scrape their plates into another bucket in the dining area. There is some
contamination from the dining area including plastics and condiment containers, kitchen staff separate it
out and throw into the garbage.
Once a day, the cooks empty the buckets into
the top of the machine. A metal step is provided
with the system. Based on volume of inputs, it
takes about twenty minutes per week to load.
Other than during the weekly 24-hour shut
down, the system is always on.
They currently process about 40 kg of food
scraps a day (capacity: 75-85 kg/day). As they
are only using half the capacity, they are hoping
to go to a bi-weekly shut down.

The White Dragon at Trafalgar's Bistro


Trafalgar's Bistro in Vancouver has been using the
larger capacity GG-50 to compost all the food waste
from both the restaurant and their next door bakery.
They have a partnership with an urban farmer who
harvests the composted material weekly and takes it
away to be cured off site. The farmer is testing
several different methods of curing: using the
material as a mulch on food garden beds over the
winter; or mixing with additional carbon (leaves or
straw) and further processing in worm bins.

5.4.3.3 Harvesting/Curing/Storage
The harvesting process is relatively easy. A video on the GreenGood website explains it very well. The
operator pushes one of the buttons on the panel to the ON position, opens the trap door and the
processed material is expelled. While GreenGood says a shovel is not required, both the Mulberry and
Trafalgar's find it necessary. The building services manager empties the unit every three weeks. It takes
him about a half hour. The material is sifted before transferring into the storage bins, an 80-litre tote on
wheels. They are producing about 106 kg of finished material every week.
Additional curing is required (28 days) and that has been an issue for them. They are storing some in the
tote, some in Rubbermaid bins. Staff have taken some home in Ecobags. The rest is being thrown into the
garbage. They have now been connected with an urban farmer, who will harvest and remove the material
bi-weekly. He will charge the Mulberry $50.00 a month for the service.

5.4.4

System Support

5.4.4.1 Customer Service/Support


GreenGood does drop in to check on the system. Their service has been quite good. However, there is not
much information on operator safety procedures.
5.4.4.2 Education
GreenGood trained the building services manager. Keystone provided the system set up, other staff
training and signage. Both GreenGood and Keystone made frequent site visits initially. The building services
manager has regular communication with kitchen staff. He does daily monitoring of the system and can
react to any problems right away. For example, he noticed that the paper placemats were not breaking
down. Now the paper goes into recycling.

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

41

There is signage above the machine indicating what can and cannot go in. Additional information is
provided on the GreenGood website. City Farmer has also been testing a White Dragon (GG-30) and a Red
Dragon (residential size). They have done several posts on their website about their experience.

5.4.5

System Evaluation

The building services manager had several improvements he would like to see on the White Dragon. If the
unit had two chambers, then composting would be continuous, otherwise, two machines might be in
order. He had concerns about the many moving parts in the system as well and how long they would stand
up with the constant heat. He would also like to see a humidistat and an automated moisture supply, as
when the materials are too dry, the fibrous particles are released into the air.
The main concern was the air quality issue, especially in an enclosed area. They have had the air tested and
analyzed by ABM Environmental (Nov/11). The report indicated that the operator should be using a
respirator mask. They also had to enhance their ventilation system with a larger capacity fan and ducting.

CATEGORIES

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

Siting

Indoors or out (with shelter)


No yard space required

Need garden space for end use or


partner/repository

Capacity

Fast (24 hrs - 1 wk) >20,000


kg/yr

Duration of Cycle

1 month
High capital, install costs
Increased electricity expense
Paid staff

Costs

Ease of Use

High tech - relatively easy to


use & maintain

Compostable Materials

Raw & cooked

Cannot compost yard waste

Harvesting

Semi-automatic

Must assist with shovel

Curing

Additional 28 days, outside system

Storage

Need for finished product

Pest Resistance

Rodent resistant

Residual Management

Deodorization unit

Some odours (mostly when


harvesting)

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

CATEGORIES

STRENGTHS

42

WEAKNESSES

Temperature

High enough to kill pathogens,


weed seeds

Ventilation

Agitation blades mix and


aerate

Ventilation system must be


adequate (even outdoors);
additional provision may be required

Moisture

Manually adjust

Safety

Air quality issues; potential health


and safety risk for operators

Security

Good if in locked enclosure

Scalability

Different models available

Reliability

Local manufacturer, hands on

High tech, so a lot of moving parts


Long life span unproven

Composting Saves $ at Trafalgar's Bistro


Andrea Thorgilsson, General Manager at Trafalgar's
Bistro in Vancouver, says they used to spend $900
a month to have their garbage hauled away by a
private hauler. That number has been dramatically
reduced by adding the White Dragon composter.
Now they spend about $300 to have all their
recyclables picked up by Urban Impact, a company
that recycles well beyond the regular blue box
items. ABD Recycling Services picks up the
beverage containers with deposit. ABD does charge
a fee, but since its less than the refund amount,
Trafalgar's receives a cheque each month for the
difference. A residential size garbage container is
now adequate for them, so they have switched to
city service and the collection fees are included in
their property taxes.

Amount of front of house garbage after five business days


at Trafalgars Bistro

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review


Earth
Tub: Technology Specifications

43

Technology Specifications
Manufacturer

Green Mountain
Technologies

Place of Origin

Bainbridge Island WA, USA

Distributor

Manufacturer

System Type
Capacity

kg / year

# of Persons
Output

kg / year

Volume Reduction

In-vessel, automated, batch


up to 8,277*
data not available
2,483*
70% +

System Processing Time

3-4 weeks

Curing Time

20-40 days

Unit Construction

double walled rotomolded


polyethylene

Specifications:
Length (cm)

222

Width (cm)

222

Height (cm)

180

Weight Empty (kg)

360

Power Supply
Energy Consumption

3-Phase, 230/460V
90 kWh/month

Electrical Certification
Ventilation

Not required

Surface Requirement

Non-porous or level gravel


o
surface with 2 slope

Bulking Agent

Wood shavings/chips,
sawdust, leaves, shredded
paper, straw

Estimated Life Span


Warranty
Price

Biofilter (95 gallon waste tote) with


ventilation blower
Liquid drain
30 thermometer probe

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:
Needs modifications to CSA approval.
o Installation: Gravel or concrete
o
pad is optimal with 1-2 slope
towards side where unit drains

Mixing auger, biofilter

Housing Requirement

C:N Ratio (inputs)

INCLUSIONS:

1:3
10 years
Information not available

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT:
Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)
(power converter)
$895 USD

OTHER MODELS:
Green Mountain Technologies offers
large volume in-vessel systems: Earth
Flow and a containerized compost
system

$9,975 USD
FOB Bainbridge Island WA

*Both food scraps and green yard waste here. Refer to


Table A1 for calculation origins.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


www.compostingtechnology.com

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

Earth Tub
at Grandview / uuqinak'uuh Earth School,
Vancouver, BC

44

Accepted Organic Materials


They are currently composting all of the food waste
from the lunch program, classrooms and staff room
(including cooked food, bread and grains). Leaves,
coffee chaff, and wood shavings are used as carbon
sources; nearby vendors provide the latter two.

Location
Grandview / uuqinak'uuh Earth School is an inner
city elementary school with 170 students plus
teachers and support staff. It has a children's
garden, a community garden and large playground
space on site. Gardening and composting are
integrated into the curricula. The school is near a
commercial district, a community centre and other
schools. It is surrounded by a residential area, with
primarily multi-family housing.
Technology
The Earth Tub is a fully enclosed composting vessel
featuring power mixing, compost aeration, and biofiltration of all process air. The system is located
outdoors, enclosed with a chain link fence and
secured with several locks. The bins reach
temperatures of 65oC. The entire process is
completed in six months. Grandview is one of
three Vancouver schools piloting the Earth Tub.

Site

Grandview / uuqinak'uuh
Earth School
Vancouver, BC

Technology

Earth Tub

Installation Date September 2010


Organic Material
45 kg / wk (5 day week)
Processing
Finished
Compost

220 kg / mo (1980/9 mo)

Unit Cost

$ 9,975 USD

Capital Cost

$ 10,000 CAD

Installation Cost $20,000 CAD


Operating Cost

$ 86 CAD per year

Contact

Green Mountain Technologies


www.compostingtechnology.com

Collection System
Teachers and students collect and sort the
materials in their classrooms, cafeterias and staff
rooms. They deposit the materials once a day. The
operator turns the system once a day.
Curing / Harvesting
Every three months the system is emptied. It is
turned on, with the bottom hatch open, and much
of the compost falls out. The compost is finished off
in worm bins, in the enclosed area. They use the
finished compost for on-site gardens.
Management Team
The school garden project is funded by Vancouver
Coastal Health and includes a half-time paid
coordinator who oversees the operation of the
composter. The Earth Tub was purchased and
installed by the Vancouver School Board.
Challenges
Odour and moisture problems have resulted from
an imbalance of carbon / nitrogen, creating concern
over the quality of the end product.

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

45

5.5 Detailed Case Study


5.5.1

Project History

Grandview uuqinak'uuh Earth School is an inner city elementary school with 170 students,
largely aboriginal, plus teachers and support staff. The school is near a commercial district, as well
as a community centre and other schools and is surrounded by a residential area, with primarily
multi-family housing. It has a children's garden as well as a community garden and large
playground space around the building. Gardening and composting are integrated into the
curricula.
In 2008, a sustainability conference was held in this Vancouver school district and the idea of
piloting mid-scale composting systems was put forth. Three schools were chosen because of their
robust gardening and culinary programs in addition
to their on-site meal offerings: Windermere
Secondary, David Thompson Secondary, and
Grandview Elementary. Three Earth Tubs were
purchased from Green Mountain Technologies out of
Washington State and installed by the Vancouver
School Board.
The school has a half time garden coordinator
funded by Vancouver Coastal Health. He also now
manages the composting system with some
assistance from three community partners: Fresh
Roots Urban Farm; Think and Eat Green (UBC); and
Environmental Youth Alliance. The Vancouver School
Board sustainability coordinator is drawing up formal Grandview Earth School community garden located adjacent
to Earth Tub
partnership agreements with the groups.
The Earth Tub is located in front of the community garden, enclosed by a high, padlocked chain
link fence. It sits on gravel crush on a slight slope to allow for leachate drainage. There is enough
space in the enclosure for a small tool shed, storage of materials and a curing area.
The original vision for the site was to eventually become a neighbourhood compost depot and
perhaps provide a fee-for-service for nearby businesses. On-going issues with the system have
delayed any expansion plans.
They will be creating a larger food garden however and may host a farmers market.

5.5.2

The Technology

The Earth Tub, manufactured by Green Mountain Technologies in Port Townsend, WA, is a fully
enclosed in-vessel composter featuring power mixing, compost aeration, and biofiltration of all
process air. The Grandview system is currently managing about nine kg of organics a day with a
capacity of 20 kg to 75 kg per day. The bins regularly reach temperatures of 65oC, helping to break down
the organic materials. The entire process is completed in six months.

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Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

46

The operator finds the basic functioning of the machine fairly straight forward. He loads the bin,
flicks the switch to power up the mixing auger, and rotates the cover manually (two revolutions)
two to three times a week. Sometimes the children assist with this activity which takes about ten
minutes. As the system is aerated, the air is drawn through a bio-filter to minimize odours. The
leachate is gravity fed out of the system into a plastic container that is buried in a wooden box in
the ground. The liquid is diluted with water and poured onto trees on-site. The basic operational
time is no more than 20 minutes a day. Other maintenance tasks include cleaning the collection
totes once a week in the industrial kitchen sinks with the commercial sprayers.
SPECIFICATIONS
Material
Construction

Inclusions

Double walled
rotomolded polyethylene
Biofilter (95 gal waste
tote) with ventilation
blower
30" thermometer
probe
Leachate container

Length

222 cm

Width

222 cm

Height

180 cm

Weight

360 kg

5.5.3

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Equipment/Tools:
Shovels
Pitch fork
Thermometer
Seven pad locks
46L collection totes on
wheels (Norseman)
Various other buckets for
material storage
Tongs to pull out
contamination
Weigh scale

Infrastructure:
Tool shed
Worm curing bins
Enclosure
Major
modifications for
CSA approval and
for installation
Power line had to
be run, etc.

The Composting Process

5.5.3.1 Organic Materials


The manufacturer claims that the system is designed to
process all food scraps, including cooked food, although
meat, cheese and fatty foods are to be kept to ten percent of
the total mix. Yard waste and manures are also permitted.
Acceptable carbon or browns are soiled paper, shredded
cardboard, wood shavings, chips, sawdust and leaves. The
operator has been struggling to get the input mix right and
haven't used much yard waste as it doesn't break down well.
They are currently using coffee chaff, some wood shavings
from hamster bedding and a few leaves, all sourced on-site or
from the nearby commercial district. The system was
extremely odorous on the day of the site visit. He had been
away for a month and the system hadn't been mixed either.
The manufacturer does not specify a carbon nitrogen ratio.
The operator estimates it at one part carbon to three parts
nitrogen. They do get quite a lot of contamination: forks, tin
lids, milk containers, so they have to pick through it before
transferring to the worm bins for curing.

Grandview Earth School teachers adding school food


waste into Earth Tub at end of day

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

47

other

manures

yard
trimmings

dairy

grains

shells

cooked
food

fish bones

fish

meat bones

meat

egg shells

coffee
filters

coffee
grounds

fruit & veg


scraps(raw)

Nitrogen (Greens)

5.5.3.2 Collection System


Teachers and students collect and sort the materials in their
classrooms, cafeterias and staff rooms in green 40 litre plastic
totes on wheels. They deposit the materials once a day. The top
of the unit is quite high and can be challenging for some to lift
the totes. They currently use a plastic milk crate as a step, but
they are having stairs built. The lid can also be heavy to lift up.
5.5.3.3 Harvesting/Curing/Storage
The manufacturer website recommends that if composting less
than 23 kg of food a day, then one side of the holding tank only
can be used. When that side is full and processed, it can be
harvested. Then the other side can be filled. That allows for
continuous composting. Grandview is emptying their unit every
three to four months, depending on when there is a break
(winter break, spring break, summer) to allow the cycle to finish.
To harvest, the machine is turned on, with the discharge hatch
open much of the compost falls out. Some shoveling is required
and the entire harvest takes about half an hour. Their output
every nine months is estimated at 1980 kg.
They do a basic sift for larger debris before putting the compost
into the worm bins to finish off for another month. The worm
bins (10 stacking units, 0.283 cubic metres each) are right in the
enclosed area. They plan to build larger worm bins outside the
compound in the near future, similar to the ones at City Farmer.
Fresh Roots Urban Farm has taken some of the finished compost
away to use on their urban farm areas, but the plan is to use all
of it for on-site food gardens.

other:
coffee chaff

cardboard

shredded
newspaper

shredded
paper

soiled
paper

sawdust

wood
pellets

straw

leaves

Carbon (Browns)

Lessons Learned
The Solid Waste Divisions at King
County, Washington and Eugene,
Oregon tested Earth Tubs in a variety
of settings, including schools and
grocery stores. Some of the lessons
learned were: reinforcing basic
compost concepts through monthly
emails containing Compost Hints,
along with on-going technical
assistance during site visits. King
County also held three annual Earth
Tub Summits that drew from four
counties
and
provided
an
opportunity to ask questions, share
best practices and innovations. Both
regions also experienced challenges
with getting the right bulking agent,
finding a free source and getting the
mix right. They also battled with too
much moisture from the food scraps
and getting temperatures high
enough to burn off weed seeds and
pathogens. One school found adding
a couple loads of high nitrogen grass
clippings during summer break
ensured the materials would be fully
broken down and would have time
to cure before school began in
September.

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

5.5.4

48

System Support

5.5.4.1 Customer Service/Support


The customer service is minimal at best. The company has no sales representatives in Canada and
is hard to reach. A part replacement was needed for the unit at one of the other schools and they
have been unsuccessful in replacing this part. There was no CSA approval prior to purchasing and
little to no help with the installation from the distributor. It was costly and they had to learn as
they went.
5.5.4.2 Education
The Green Mountain Technologies representative came to Vancouver to give one training session
for all three of the schools. The garden coordinator did some initial educating with the school staff
and during his time with the classes. Now teachers and lunch monitors give reminders on what can
and cannot go in the system.

5.5.5

System Evaluation

The high installation costs for the added infrastructure was the chief
complaint. The main issue for on-going operation has been the
odour and moisture problems, due to an imbalance of
carbon/nitrogen. They have concerns over the quality of the end
product. The management of the composter was an add on to the
garden coordinator's position, he was not given additional time or
pay for the extra duties. The overall management is quite labour
intensive. He also noted that the area is often used as a dumping
ground now. There are no pest issues and the extreme security
measures mean there is little chance of vandalism. In addition to
potential for injury during loading, another safety hazard is the
potential to trip over the air filter line.
Air filter line from Tub to biofilter and
leachate drainage system

CATEGORIES

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESSES

General Siting

Outdoors

Need garden space for end use or


partner/repository

Capacity

Mid level capacity (between


lower tech and higher
computerized technologies)

< 20,000 kg/yr

Duration of Cycle

Medium (2 months); see Table


6.1.2.a

Costs

High related CSA and installation


costs
Extra time required; staff should
be paid additionally

Ease of Use

Easy to use automated


power mixer

This report was edited by Metro Vancouver, excerpted from a larger report by

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

CATEGORIES

STRENGTHS

Compostable
Materials

Food scraps, raw & cooked

Harvesting

Finished product is expelled

49

WEAKNESSES
Minimal yard waste, can get
caught on auger

Curing

Needs additional

Storage

Need outside storage area for


finished product

Pest Resistance

Rodent resistant
Smells (even with biofilter)
Had to improvise leachate
collection system

Residual Management

Temperature

High temps for pathogen,


weed seed control

Ventilation

Auger for mixing, aerating


Biofilter

Insulated for cold weather (unless


below 12o C for 7 days)

Moisture

Manage with inputs, an issue

Safety

Potential Worksafe issues

Security

Must be in a locked enclosure

Scalability
Reliability

Modular, expandable design


Estimated life span good

Customer service poor


Overall customer satisfaction low
to medium

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October 2012

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review


50
Rocket-Model
A900: Technology Specifications

Technology Specifications
Manufacturer

Tidy Planet

Place of Origin

England
MASS Environmental
Services Inc., Lakefield ON

Distributor
System Type
Capacity

kg / year

# of Persons
Output

kg / year

Volume Reduction
System Processing Time
Curing Time
Unit Construction

In-vessel, automated,
continuous feed
up to 45,500*
w/macerator-dewaterer up
to 136,500
Up to 250 households
45,500*
50%
2-3 weeks
30 days
Stainless Steel

Specifications:
Length (cm)

400

Width (cm)

100

Height (cm)

160

Weight Empty (kg)

500

Power Supply
Energy Consumption
Electrical Certification
Ventilation

Single Phase, AC240V


156 kWh/month
(excludes optional equipment)

ESA (Ontario only currently)


venting system, auger
aerates

INCLUSIONS:
Temperature data logger & software
o Standard with A1200/900/700
Ventilation system
o Standard with A1200/900

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT:
MASSerator/Dewaterer
o Triples waste input capacity
o Current System used at Lakefield
College
$15,000 CAD
o Ecofast brand available
in a few months
$30,000 CAD
Power sieve for refining output
$1,000 CAD

OTHER MODELS:
A500:
$18,100 CAD
o Capacity: to 7,800 kg/yr

Housing Requirement

Under cover

A700:
$29,500 CAD
o Capacity: to 18,200 kg/yr

Surface Requirements

Hard level non-porous


surface with slight slope

A1200:
$79,600 CAD
o Capacity: to 182,000 kg/yr

Bulking Agent
C:N Ratio
Estimated Life Span
Warranty

Wood chips
50:50
15 years

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


www.massenv.com

1 year parts & service

$45,500 CAD
FOB Lakefield ON
*Refer to Table A1 for details on calculation origins.
Price

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51

Rocket - Model A900


at Lakefield College School,
Lakefield, ON
Location
Lakefield College School is a private college in
Ontario, located on a 315-acre campus on the
shore of Lake Katchewanooka in rural Ontario. The
college integrates nature, sustainability, and the
latest technology into everyday living and
learning. It is both a co-educational boarding
school (Grade 9-12) and a day school (Grade 7-12).
Their 350 students are from all over the world; 70
percent board there and the rest are day students.
They have 60 faculty on staff and operate seven
days a week with many public functions and
athletic events taking place on site.
Technology
The Rocket A900 is one in a series of in-vessel,
automated composters capable of continuous
processing, with an end product in 14 days. The
system has a pH monitor and moisture analyzers.
Optional attachments increase capacity. Lakefield
has the MASSerator/dewaterer.
Site

Lakefield College School


Lakefield, ON

Technology

The Rocket A900

Installation Date

November 2009

Organic Material
Processing

10,500 kg / wk

Finished Compost

5,800 kg / wk

Unit Cost

$ 45,500 CAD

Capital Cost

$ 60,500 CAD

Installation Cost

$ 6,850 CAD

Operational Cost

$ 150 CAD per year

Contact

MASS Environmental
www.massenv.com

Accepted Organic Materials


They compost everything (except manures). They
chip wood sourced on site to use as their carbon
bulking agent.
Collection System
Students scrape their plates and soiled napkins into
pails in the dining room. The chefs collect the
materials, put them through the MASSerator/
dewaterer, then into the Rocket.
Curing / Harvesting
The finished compost is collected automatically. A
Lakefield staffer removes the canvas bag once a day
and replaces it with another. He takes the material
to the maturing area where it cures for another 30
days.
Management Team
Food services are contracted out to Aramark. Their
chefs feed the system. A supervisor does visual
checks, gets temperature read out and maintains
the system.
Challenges
They had some problems breaking down pineapple
tops and citrus fruit. They had worries about
occupational health and hygiene, which is why they
went with five gallon pails for lifting. The pails can
be put through the industrial dishwasher.

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52

5.6 Detailed Case Study


5.6.1

Project History

Lakefield College School is a private college located on a 315-acre campus on the shore of Lake
Katchewanooka in rural Ontario. The college integrates nature, sustainability, and the latest technology
into everyday living and learning. It is both a co-educational boarding school (Gr 9-12) and a day school (Gr
7-12). The 350 students are from all over the world, 70 percent board there and the rest are day students.
They have 60 faculty on staff and operate seven days a week with many public functions and athletic
events taking place on site.
Four years ago, the headmaster of the college contacted MASS
Environmental Services, a Lakefield based waste consulting
company. The headmaster wanted to reduce their carbon footprint
and eliminate garbage bags completely. They began with a waste
audit that told them they were at a 30 percent overall diversion
rate. By composting their food scraps they would be able to
increase their diversion. In 2009, they purchased and installed an
in-vessel composter called the Rocket; MASS Environmental is also
the Canadian distributor for the Rocket. The latest waste audit
showed an overall 80 percent diversion rate due to
implementation of recycling and composting.
The Rocket is conveniently located underneath the dining hall in an
enclosed room. Food services are contracted out to Aramark. Their
chefs feed the system and a supervisor does visual checks, gets
temperature read out and maintains the system.

Rocket A900 located below Lakefield College


School dining hall

The technology is manufactured in England. Prince Andrew attended Lakefield College for a time and is
now on the board. Prince Charles installed six Rockets at various Royal Properties!

5.6.2

The Technology

The Rocket A900 is one in a series of in-vessel automated composters capable of continuous processing
with an end product in 14 days. The temperature, moisture, aeration and microbial activity are all in a
controlled environment, accelerating the decomposition. The process begins by adding a bucket of wood
chips (the bulking agent recommended) into the feeding hatch, followed by a bucket of food scraps. The
green and brown materials should always be alternated 50/50 when loading. The material is moved
through the system with tines driven by an electrical motor. A canvas bag is attached to the exit pipe to
catch the finished product. The internal thermostat maintains a temperature of between 60 and 70 oC
sustaining the required microorganisms, but killing pathogens. The composter is set on an angle for
moisture control. The leachate drains into a five gallon bucket and is then fed back into the system. The
ideal moisture level is 65 percent. Water can be added if the contents appear too dry.

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SPECIFICATIONS

53

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Material
Construction

Stainless steel

Inclusions

Temperature data
logger & software;
ventilation system

Length

400 cm

Width

100 cm

Height

160 cm

Weight

500 kg

Equipment/Tools:
Shovels
Pitchfork
5 gal pails
pH monitors
Moisture analyzers
Optional:
MASSerator / dewaterer
Vibratory sieve

Infrastructure:
Must be undercover
and optimally indoors
Need a space for the
unit and any optional
equipment, tools,
materials storage, etc.

There are daily and weekly maintenance tasks. For


hygiene reasons and to avoid attracting flies and other
pests, the external housing is wiped down with a wet
cloth once a day and with disinfectant weekly (with care
not to allow any of it into the unit which would destroy
the microbes). The floor around the unit is also swept.
The Aramark supervisor performs daily checks of the
control unit and temperature, recording the information
on a data sheet. She does visual checks as well to see if
the contents are too wet. She would then add sawdust.
Weekly, the sludge box and product bag are checked for
blockages or clogs and the exit pipe is cleaned and
requires heavy-duty gloves.
Once a month, the leachate is drained and the screen is
cleaned. There are two grease fittings that need monthly
greasing. The exhaust fan, used for condensation, also
needs checking. Some of the fans (basically a bathroom
fan) provided with the units have been faulty. MASS
Environmental is looking to replace them.

Rocket A900 interior of vessel

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5.6.3

54

The Composting Process

5.6.3.1 Organic Materials


Lakefield composts everything but manures from the
manufacturer's recommended list. They found pineapple tops
were tough to break down and citrus fruit raised the acidity
levels. They chip wood sourced on site to use as their carbon
bulking agent. They continually use the chips, sifting them out of
the finished product with a vibrator sieve. They were at capacity
with 25, five gallon pails a day. They added the optional
MASSerator/dewaterer and reduced their volume by 70%. Now,
they are running at 85% capacity.
Outlet point for processed material that will
automatically drop into bag placed below
exit chute

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other

manures

yard
trimmings

dairy

grains

shells

cooked
food

fish bones

fish

meat bones

meat

egg shells

coffee
grounds
coffee
filters

fruit & veg


scraps(raw)

Nitrogen (Greens)

other:
prunings

other:
scrap wood

cardboard

shredded
newspaper

shredded
paper

soiled
paper

sawdust

wood
pellets

straw

leaves

Carbon (Browns)

5.6.3.2 Collection System


Students scrape their plates and soiled napkins into pails in the dining room. The chefs collect the
materials, put them through the MASSerator/dewaterer, then into the Rocket. Lakefield facility
staff also pick up pails from student residences.
5.6.3.3 Harvesting/Curing/Storage
A Lakefield staffer removes the bag of finished product
once a day (just under 0.38 cubic metres). The canvas bag
can be lifted off fairly easily and replaced with another. He
takes the material to the maturing area. Currently, they
have a number of curing sites throughout the grounds, but
they are building covered bays that will have tractor
access. The compost has to be cured for another 30 days
before use on on-site gardens and landscaping. They are
also planning to put in a farm and will then be using the
finished compost on food crops. They have already
ploughed a 100 acre site.
The majority of the finished product is used as a mulch on
landscaped areas. For flower beds, they sift before
applying.

EAST LONDON COMMUNITY RECYCLING


PARTNERSHIP PROJECT (ELCRP)
A recycling project in a low income area of
East London uses a combination of effective
micro-organisms in the form of Bokashi
(bokashiman.com) with worm farms, and a
variety of A700 and A900 Rockets, small invessel composting units. Residents in
neighbouring apartment towers collect
their food scraps in plastic buckets, adding
Bokashi to prevent odours. The ELCRP
collects the buckets in shopping carts twice
a week and then composts materials in
three Rockets, housed in a small shed onsite. The end product is finished off in worm
farms.
http://www.elcrp-recycling.com/

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5.6.4

56

System Support

5.6.4.1 Customer Service/Support


The Rocket is manufactured in England but shipped
out of Lakefield. There is an eight to 12 week delivery
time. MASS Environmental has been very hands on
with Lakefield as they live in the community. They
have a parts and service agreement with the Metro
Group, a national waste and recycling equipment
distributor (www.metrogroupcan.com).
5.6.4.2 Education
MASS Environmental did the initial orientation and
training with Lakefield College and Aramark staff.
They do check ups and troubleshooting for the first
few weeks as part of purchase price. They provide a
troubleshooting guide and signage for front of house
and at the composter.

5.6.5

MASS Evironmental recycling systems

System Evaluation

They had worries about occupational health and hygiene, which is why they went with five gallon
pails for lifting (Worksafe maximum is 28-32 lbs). The pails can be put through the industrial
dishwasher.
CATEGORIES

STRENGTHS

General Siting

Indoors or out (with shelter)

Capacity

> 20, 000 kg/yr

WEAKNESSES

Duration of Cycle

Medium (2 months)

Costs

A lot of optional equipment


Expensive capital cost
Paid staff required

Ease of Use

Little manual effort


Computerized

Compostable Materials

Most

Harvesting

Automatic

Curing

Required outside of unit

Storage

Required

Pest Resistance

Rodent resistant

Residual Management

Virtually odour free

Temperature

High: kills weed seeds, slug eggs


and pathogens

Ventilation

Provided in system

Moisture

Moisture analyzers
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CATEGORIES

STRENGTHS

Safety

57

WEAKNESSES
Electrical, so always risks

Security

Good if in enclosed area

Scalability

Several models

Reliability

Good customer service


Local parts & service company
Long life span

Requires optional equipment

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58
Big Hanna-Model
T240: Technology Specifications

Technology Specifications
Manufacturer

Susteco AB

Place of Origin

Sweden

Distributor

Vertal Inc., Montreal QC


In-vessel, automated,
continuous feed

System Type
Capacity

kg / year

# of Persons
Output

42,545 122,909*
130-300 households**

kg / year

Volume Reduction

8,509 30,727*
Up to 90%,
but normal is 75-80%

System Processing Time

8-10 weeks

Curing Time

2-3 weeks

Unit Construction

Stainless Steel

Specifications:
530

Width (cm)

140

Height (cm)

180

Weight Empty (kg.)

1200

Energy Consumption
Electrical Certification
Ventilation

Optional 1 or 3 Phase,
120/208/240V

46.5 kWh/month
(excludes optional equipment)

CSA
Venting system, rotating
cyclinder for aeration

Housing Requirement

Under cover

Surface Requirement

Hard nonporous

Bulking Agent
C:N Ratio (inputs)
Estimated Life Span
Warranty
Price

Hopper inlet conveyor and shredder


(T240 only)
Temperature Logger

Length (cm)

Power Supply

INCLUSIONS:

Wood pellets
1 : 10
20+ years
1-year parts & service
$78,000 CAD
FOB Montreal QC

*Refer to Table A1 for details on calculation origins.


**As per Vertal: 2.5 persons / household (apartment) and
4.0 persons / household (single family house).

All models have 4 internal temperature


sensors except T40

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT:
Biofilter

$3,400 CAD

Bin Lift

$11,000 CAD

Macerator/Dewater

$20,000 CAD

Hopper inlet conveyor and shredder


(optional for T40/60/75/120)
$14,000 CAD

OTHER MODELS:
T40:
o

$27,000 CAD
Capacity: 3,545-4,727 kg/yr

T60:
o

$38,000 CAD
Capacity: 7,091-11,818 kg/yr

T75:
o

$42,000 CAD
Capacity: 10,727-15,000 kg/yr

T120:
$48,000 CAD
o Capacity: 13,945-23,591 kg/yr

FOR MORE INFORMATION:


www.vertal.ca
www.bighanna.com

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59

Big Hanna - Model T240


at McGill University, Montreal, QC
Location
McGill's downtown university campus has 300
buildings, with an ethnically diverse student body;
there are 36,000 students plus faculty. The
campus has community gardens on-site, lawn and
other landscaped areas.
Technology
Developed and manufactured in Sweden, the first
Big Hanna composters were built around 1990 and
are still in use today. The line of food waste
composters
are
fully
automated
and
programmable, including temperature and
moisture control with built in heating system. The
on-site composting units can be installed indoors
or out, and have a small footprint. The unit at
McGill is located outdoors, near two main
cafeterias, under a building overhang. They have
added the optional biofilter, macerator and dewaterer.
Custom locks and software panel
protection mean the system does not have to be
fenced.
Site

McGill University
Montreal, QC

Technology

Big Hanna T240

Installation Date

May 2010

Organic Material
Processing

1200 kg / wk

Finished Compost

38.5 kg / wk

Unit Cost

$ 78,000 CAD

Capital Cost

$ 141,900 CAD

Installation Cost

$ 1,600 CAD

Operational Cost

$ 2,095 CAD per year

Contact

Vertal Inc.
www.vertal.ca and
www.bighanna.com

McGill's Big Hanna T240

Accepted Organic Materials


The Big Hanna composter accepts all fruit and
vegetable scraps including meat, non-liquid dairy,
grains, soiled paper and yard trimmings. Wood
pellets act as the bulking agent. McGill processes
approximately 170 kg a day.
Collection System
Kitchen staff collect food in perforated buckets (one
bucket with holes in bottom sits inside another
without) to drain excess liquid. Cafeteria diners
empty their trays themselves in recycling area. The
operator feeds the Big Hanna once a day.
Curing / Harvesting
The organic materials are processed within the
system over an eight week period. The finished
product cures another two to three weeks before
applying to garden areas. They are building a
storage bay at McGill.
Management Team
The project was student initiated. The system is
operated and maintained by a paid student,
currently under the umbrella of the Office of
Sustainability. Kitchen staff feed the unit.
Challenges
No issues have been reported although the capital
cost could be a barrier.

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5.7 Detailed Case Study


5.7.1

Project History

McGill's downtown university campus has 300


buildings, with an ethnically diverse student body
of 36,000 students plus faculty. There are
community gardens on-site, lawn and other
landscaped
areas.
Gorilla
Composting
(http://gorilla.mcgill.ca/home.php), an on-site
student group promoting individual and
institutional composting, initiated the project.
They required a small footprint, something that
could be outdoors. They wanted to compost both
pre- and post-consumer waste (including meat
and dairy), so they needed a system that would
meet the stringent requirements of Quebec's
Ministry of Environment.1 A waste audit was first
done to determine their capacity needs.
Back side of McGill's Big Hanna T240

Gorilla Composting purchased a Big Hanna T240 in-vessel composter from Vertal, the Canadian distributor.
Gorilla's funders for the project included McGill Sustainability Projects Fund; Generations Pact;
Environment Canada EcoAction; the Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU); and TD Friends of the
Environment Foundation. The Big Hanna was installed on May 29, 2010. It would process at least 60 tonnes
of pre- and post-consumer organic waste generated at four main cafeterias across McGill University every
year.
In the past, Gorilla operated a compost drop-off at
McGill University. Students and staff who were unable
to compost at home could drop off their food scraps.
The organic waste was transported to a farm on lePerrot. The pilot project was meant to increase
awareness and educate the public about composting.
After five years, Gorilla decided to close the drop-off.
The frequent trips to the farm increased their
greenhouse gas emissions, the depot required a lot of
volunteer time and was often an unpleasant and smelly
job. Their educational focus is now on getting people
involved with the Big Hanna.

Carbon Offsetting at McGill


On their website, Gorilla Composting notes
that according to the Waste Reduction Model:
http://epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/waste/cal
culators/Warm_home.html
developed by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, 88.2 tonnes of carbon
dioxide equivalents (CO2e) will be offset by
processing the organic waste as opposed to
sending it to landfill. An additional 0.6 tonnes
of CO2e will be offset by reducing the number
of trips to the Lacheanie landfill.

The unit at McGill is located outdoors, near two main cafeterias, under a building overhang, protected from
the elements, in particular the heavy snow fall in winter. Custom locks and software panel protection mean
the system does not have to be fenced and there is direct access year round.

The Quebec Ministry of Environment is very stringent on the processing of meats and dairy that could contain pathogens, so a
permit is required to operate. McGill pays $500/annum operating permit.

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The system is operated and maintained by a paid student, currently under the umbrella of the Office of
Sustainability. McGill kitchen staff feed the unit.

5.7.2

The Technology

Developed and manufactured in Sweden, the first Big


Hanna composters were built around 1990 and are still in
use today. The line of food waste composters are fully
automated and programmable, including temperature and
moisture control with built in heating system. The on-site
composting units can be installed indoors or out, and have
a small footprint.
The food scraps and a wood pellet bulking agent are
deposited into the feeding hatch. The contents are
automatically mixed and aerated in the rotating cyclinder.
The process takes eight to ten weeks, moving through
progressive heat zones (54oC to 21oC) to ensure that the
finished product is safe to use, odourless and free of
pathogens. The end product is automatically expelled from
the outlet pipe into a bag.

Starting Up
According to the Big Hanna website, the
composting process will take a bit of time
to establish. Initially, the carbon/nitrogen
ratio has to be higher until the composting
process stabilizes. Food waste residues can
be gradually increased during the
acceleration of the compost production
cycle in the Big Hanna rotary composter.
The manufacturer recommends keeping
the existing waste disposal service during
the composting start-up period until the
optimal speed and continuity of the
composter is achieved.

To minimize smell in the room where the


Big Hanna Composter is installed, the air
from the fan outlet can be led into the
sewer, into a biofilter or above the roof.
McGill has been using a biofilter from the
start. No leachate is produced, excess
liquid evaporates through the ventilation
system.
The technology is fully automated with
data logging as a standard feature and
programmable capabilities, including
temperature settings. It has sensitive
thermometers inside the drum, pre-set
to activate the heat blanket whenever
the temperature drops below 10oC. The
operator checks the data daily and can
spot any issues with the system
immediately, increasing operational
efficiencies and potentially reducing
costs.

Image courtesy of http://www.vertal.ca/

A number of optional attachments can be added to the technology: a biofilter, macerator and dewaterer,
and a lift for 20 gallon bins.
Also, at time of order, the power requirements best suited to the site can be specified, potentially avoiding
an additional cost to modify an existing system.
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There are daily and weekly maintenance tasks required. The operator checks the data log five days per
week. He cleans the unit and the area around it. Once a week, he does a brief inspection for odours,
blockages, clears the filters, checks the fan, and opens the drum to look at the quality of the material inside
and makes adjustments accordingly. For example, if it is too moist, then he may increase the ventilation or
add wood pellets to correct. Maintenance generally takes about 30 minutes plus the time for sifting and
screening of compost. The operator keeps a log, and weighs all materials in order to determine the
percentage of bulking agent required.
SPECIFICATIONS

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Construction
Materials

Stainless steel

Inclusions

Data logger; 20-gal


hopper inlet conveyor

Length

530 cm

Width

140 cm

Height

180 cm

Weight

1200 kg

5.7.3

Equipment/Tools:
Shovels
Heavy duty bags
Bins for output
Screen for sifting

Infrastructure:
Indoor or outdoor space
with shelter
Output storage area
outside
Storage space for bags (or
bins) for wood pellets

The Composting Process

5.7.3.1 Organic Materials


All fruit and vegetable scraps including meat, non-liquid dairy, grains, and yard trimmings. They use wood
pellets as their bulking agent, one part pellets to ten parts waste. The wood pellets are added twice a
week. They are currently using the unit at minimum capacity, processing approximately 1200 kg a week.
They recently introduced macerators and dewaterers at three of the four food stations. They intend to
process 3000 kg/wk in 2012 or 150 tonnes of organic waste per annum. Elastic bands and condiment
containers are sometimes found and must be screened out by hand.

other

scrap wood

cardboard

shredded
newspaper

shredded
paper

soiled
paper

sawdust

wood
pellets

straw

leaves

Carbon (Browns)

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other

manures

yard
trimmings

dairy (no
liquid)

grains

shells

cooked
food

fish bones

fish

meat bones

meat

egg shells

coffee
filters

coffee
grounds

fruit & veg


scraps(raw)

Nitrogen (Greens)

Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

63

5.7.3.2 Collection System


Kitchen staff collect food in perforated buckets (one bucket with holes in bottom sits inside another
without) to drain excess liquid. Cafeteria diners empty their trays themselves in recycling area. The
operator feeds the Big Hanna once a day using the hopper/conveyor feeder.
5.7.3.3 Harvesting/Curing/Storage
The organic materials are processed within the
system over an eight to ten week period. The
finished product is continuously expelled into a
bag or bin. It is emptied a couple times a week.
The bags are transferred to garbage bins and
then taken away for storing. McGill is currently
building storage bays. The manufacturer
estimates that from ten buckets of food waste,
approximately one bucket of compost will be
produced.
Despite the longer processing time (compared
to the other high tech systems), an additional
two to three weeks of curing is still
recommended before applying to food garden
areas. The compost should also be sifted.

5.7.4

McGill's Big Hanna T240 automatically expels output into


wheeled tote

System Support

5.7.4.1 Customer Service/Support


Vertal provides training for each unit with follow-up visits within the first few weeks of operation, the time
when new operators need the most supervision. They plan to have a western representative as well. Full
training and support services are also available at additional cost.
5.7.4.2 Education
The unit comes with a comprehensive operator's manual and trouble shooting guide. Both the Vertal and
the Big Hanna websites provide very complete and helpful information. Residential customers are given a
small poster with information on composting and what can and cannot go into the unit.

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Eco Houses in Sweden


The Sagogngen tenants association in Gothenburg, Sweden is a large complex with 15 buildings, ranging
from two to three levels, and a total of 506 apartments. The association decided to disconnect garbage
chutes and invest in eight separate ecological houses for recycling and composting.
The ecological houses are now a beautiful part of the housing area. Previously, they paid extra to the
waste hauler for the additional walking distance to collect the waste. The price for waste collection was
reduced so much that the local city council wanted to increase it.
Every household was given a new bin with divided units for sorting their recycling and compostables. No
one has complained about having to walk a little further to take their materials to the ecological houses.
The houses were sited near well used pathways.
The association invited seven different composting manufacturers to demonstrate their technologies,
before deciding on the Big Hanna.
The cost for the collection of waste has been reduced from 764,000 Swedish Kronas* (SEK) in 1993 to
306,000 SEK in 1996 according to their budget. As a result, they were able to get a return on their
investment within five years. They are harvesting eight tonnes of finished compost per year that they use
on the site gardens and landscaping.
* 1 Swedish krona = 0.148 Canadian dollars

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5.7.5

65

System Evaluation

CATEGORIES

STRENGTHS

General Siting

Indoors or out (with shelter)

Capacity

Highest >20,000 kg/yr

WEAKNESSES
Need garden space for end use or
partner/repository

Duration of Cycle

Slow (3 mos)

Costs

High capital costs


Paid staff
A lot of optional equipment for optimal
efficiency
Need to purchase wood pellets

Lease to own option2

Ease of Use

User friendly computerized


monitoring system

Compostable
Materials

Food scraps (cooked & raw)


and yard waste

Harvesting

Automatic

Curing

Additional for food crops

Storage

Need outside storage area for finished


product

Pest Resistance

Rodent resistant

Residual
Management

Low noise levels

Temperature

High, will kill pathogens and


weed seeds

Ventilation

In system, mixing, aerating

Moisture

In system

Safety

Electrical pre-cautions

Security

Locked panel

Scalability

Several models

Add optional equipment

Reliability

Customer Service excellent


Long life span
Proven technology from
Sweden since 1991

Distributor in Quebec
A lot of moving parts that could break
down

To further offset costs, the Quebec government finances up to $20,000 per unit. They are the first and only province to offer this
funding program for on-site composting equipment through their Ministry of Environment. Funds are administered by the
recycling council in Quebec, RECYC-QUBEC.

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Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

66

6 Conclusions
After a careful investigation of seven on-site composting locations, a number of key conclusions can be
made.
Successful composting operations have a champion or group of champions who have initiated and
supervise the program. Generally volunteers run the lower tech systems (Three Bin, Worm Wigwam, Jora)
and paid staff operate the automated sytems (Earth Tub, White Dragon, Rocket, Big Hanna). If the site has
no garden or landscaped areas to apply the compost, then a partner is required to remove and use the
finished product. Several other key criteria were identified to determine which technology is best for a
specific multi-family complex including whether the potential compost area is indoors or out; whether the
residents desire to compost cooked as well as raw food and yard waste; and whether or not sufficient
funding is available for the higher tech systems.
Of the seven systems studied, five are relevant for the multi-family setting. The Earth Tub was not CSA
approved and had many unforseen installation costs that doubled the initial capital investment. And the
White Dragon had a number of ventilation problems, primarily indoors, that raised air quality and health
concerns. All of the systems are scalable in one form or another, different models are available, additional
units can be added or optional equipment can be attached to increase capacity. In terms of the processing
parameters set out by Metro Vancouver for this study, four of the locations were processing well under 20
tonnes of organic waste per year and three were in the 30 to 50 range, so well below 100 tonnes. It should
be noted that some of the systems process minimal or no yard waste at all.
It is important not to make any assumptions regarding high tech versus low tech systems. The low to mid
tech systems (Jora) performed very well and are still viable options for multi-family settings. The three bin
still provides excellent rodent resistance. While the manufacturers make promises on their websites, in
reality, the high tech systems may not quite live up to the promotional promises. For example, one would
assume that by being enclosed, the high tech units would offer a high level of odour and leachate control.
But even with the exhaust air being treated with a biofilter, smells were an issue with both the White
Dragon and the Earth Tub. In addition, the leachate system on the latter was improvised and not
functioning very well. So much depends on the balance of carbon and nitrogen inputs and how well the
system is being managed.
There are, however, certain commonalities across the high tech systems. Certainly they are more vandal
and pest resistant due to their construction. And with the high temperatures they can achieve, pathogens
and weed seeds are likely killed.
Further testing is required to glean more accurate quantitative and qualitative information particularly with
regard to inputs and end product quality. If the results of this study are now applied to multi-family
housing developments under consideration as demonstration sites, even more relevant data could be
gathered.
There is no doubt that on-site composting can play an important role in encouraging waste reduction and
organics diversion while providing quality compost to local gardeners and urban farmers. Future
demonstration sites will increase the opportunities for public engagement and awareness about these
issues.

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Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review

Appendix A:

67

Glossary of Terms & Abbreviations

AC alternating current
Approx approximately
Browns organic materials high in carbon
Bulking Agent dry, porous carbon material (eg; wood chips) that assists with aeration in the compost
system by keeping contents from compressing. The materials are generally too low in moisture and
nutrients to decay quickly on their own and need to be combined with nitrogen and faster decaying carbon
materials (small leaves)
CAD Canadian dollars
Capacity for the purposes of this study, the amount of food scraps that are being processed in the
system, except where specified that other yard waste may be included
C Carbon
o

C degrees Celsius

CE Conformit Europenne (European Conformity). CE (originally EC) is a mandatory conformity mark for
products placed on the market in the European Economic Area (EEA). A valid CE Marking affixed to a
product indicates that it complies with the relevant European 'New Approach' product safety directives.
http://www.techintl.com/cemarking.cfm?gclid=CKzljKfEsq0CFYUZQgodNnO0nQ
CM centimetres
C/N Ratio parts carbon (C) material to parts nitrogen (N) material (volume of inputs) or final chemical
balance of carbon and nitrogen in finished compost product
CSA (Canadian Standards Association) is a not-for-profit membership-based association serving business,
industry, government and consumers in Canada and the global marketplace. They develop standards that
address public safety and health. For relevance to this report, the CSA is
the publisher of the Canadian Electrical Code. http://www.csa.ca/cm/ca/en/standards/products/electrical
Duration of Cycle total time in system plus curing time
ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the
Ontario Electrical Safety Code, licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians, electricity
distribution system safety, and electrical product safety
http://www.esasafe.com/
ETL Edison Testing Laboratories (now Intertek Listed). The ETL Listed Mark is proof of product compliance
with North American safety standards (including electrical, gas). Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) in
50 states and Canada; retailers accept the ETL Listed Mark as proof of product safety
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http://www.intertek.com/marks/etl/
Feedstock all organic materials (carbon and nitrogen) going in to system; inputs
FOB Freight on Board
GA gauge
GAL gallon
GFCI Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
Greens organic materials high in nitrogen. For the purpose of this study, generally it means food scraps,
unless specified that green yard trimmings are included
HRS hours
HVAC heating, ventilation and air conditioning
H,W,L - height, width, length
Input(s) all organic materials (carbon and nitrogen) going in to system; feedstock
KG kilograms
KM kilometres
kWh kilowatt hours
L litres
LB pounds
MM millimetres
MOS months
N Nitrogen
Output(s) finished compost product coming out of system
Organic Materials both carbon and nitrogen
Organic Waste yard trimmings, food scraps and soiled paper (excluding bulking agent), for the purposes
of this study
System Processing Time total time in system

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69

Tonnes metric tonnes (1,000 kg = 1 metric tonne)


UBC University of British Columbia
USD US dollars
V volts
Wingdigger aerating tool available at gardening stores
YR year

Appendix B:

Comparative Overview Analysis Tables


Table A1:
Table A2:
Table A3:
Table A4:
Table A5:

Productivity Comparison
Footprint Comparison
Capital Cost Comparison
Operational Cost Comparison
Cost Avoidance Comparison

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October 2012

APPENDIX D
DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY
WASTE AUDIT PROCEDURES

Report prepared for the City of Nelson by FJG Consulting

Waste Audit Procedures


DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY - OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY

JUNE 2011
1

Dalhousie Office of Sustainability

Audit procedures were developed and refined five times over two years by Office staff: Contributors include:
Gary Davidson, Waste Mgmt Projects Officer; Kathrin Munro, Projects Officer, John Morrisey, Projects Officer,
Rochelle Owen, Director.

reth

DALHOUSIE
UNIVERSITY

Inspiring Minds

lora sustamame
campu
Support for this project provided by the NS Resource Recovery Fund Board

o'o'
NOVA

SCOTIA

WASTE AUDIT INSTRUCTIONS


Purpose
The purpose of a waste audit is to gain a detailed understanding of the types and weights of material being
generated. Audit results are used to improve the economic and environmental performance of waste
management efforts.
There are three major components to the waste audit:
A. Preparation
B. Sorting, recording, and cleanup
C. Analysis and reporting.
When undertaking an audit, one person should be designated as the audit coordinator. This person is
responsible for preparing and leading the audit. When first beginning to conduct waste audits, it is advisable to
seek assistance from regional waste education officers if they are available. The audit coordinator must ensure
that all preparations are carried out before participants begin auditing and measuring waste
Preparation:
1. Identify which material streams will be audited. Use the materials stream categorization guide to help.
2. Ensure that the waste is sorted into separate piles based on waste stream, day collected, or source location
if auditing specific areas or buildings.
3. Choose an adequate sample size for the audit. The % of waste audited will depend on total waste generation
of the organization larger numbers yield more accurate results.
4. Locate a suitable facility for storing the waste and conducting the audit.
5. Verify the number of participants who will be helping with the audit and obtain the required safety
materials (See Appendix A for a list of personal safety equipment).
6. Choose an auditing procedure that best suits the needs of the firm (Table 1).
7. Obtain the materials required for that method (See Appendix A).
8. Conduct a training session with the audit participants. Training requirements will differ according to chosen
audit type.
9. Give the people who are data recording the auditing packages and have them review the sheets and ask any
questions before sorting begins.
10. Assign groups according to the chosen audit type.

Procedures:
There are significant differences between auditing methods. There is also some flexibility in how the audits are
performed, and so the outlined procedures (Table 1) should be used mainly as guidelines. The audit coordinator
can adjust the procedures as required to best suit the needs of the firm.

Table 1: Differences between auditing methods


Type 1:
Bulk auditing (large audits)

Type 2:
Individual bag contamination rate auditing

Type 3:
Individual bag & sub-categorization auditing

1 audit coordinator
Recommended team composition of:
1 data recorder and
2 groups of 2 sorters
Disposal Team -OR- sorters dispose of their
own waste (recommend 1 disposal team of 4-6
people per 4 teams of sorters)
4 sorting bins per team (2 per group)
1 scale per team
Disposal bins
1 auditing package per group

Personnel

1 audit coordinator (can also weigh the bins since


frequent weighing not required)
Sorters (as many as possible)

Equipment

Disposal bins for each category of materials being


measured
1 scale that can weigh the disposal bins
1 auditing package per group

Procedures

Weigh and Open up a bags (of the audited waste stream


for example garbage stream) and empty the contents
into the proper disposal bins (or bags) by material
When all of the bags are gone or the disposal bin is full,
weigh each bin. This will give weights of all materials
found in this particular stream and % of contamination
can be calculated.
Additional bins may be used for further subcategorization of the waste streams (ie: separation of
paper into fines and newsprint, or recyclables into
refundable beverage containers and others)
Notes should be made of material found in what
approximate quantity if further sub categories are done.
Detailed breakdown data for all audited waste
Less data recording required
No additional disposal step required as material is
source separated.

Open up the bag of the waste stream being


audited and separate contents into two bins 1)
properly sorted materials and 2) contaminants
Once the bag contents have been fully
separated, weigh the bins
Once the bin weights have been recorded, sort
the waste into disposal bins according to local
area requirements (if a disposal team is on
hand, give them the bins full of waste and take
2 empty bins and continue sorting through
more bags until there are no remaining bags)

Will yield data on individual bags and allow for


identification of outliers
Can measure percentage of bags that meet
adequate contamination rates

1 audit coordinator
Recommended team composition of:
1 data recorder and
2 groups of 2 sorters
Disposal Team -OR- sorters dispose of their own
waste (recommend 1 disposal team of 4-6
people per 4 teams of sorters)
6 sorting bins per team (2 per group plus an
additional 2 for the sub-categorization bags)
1 scale per team
Disposal Bins
1 auditing package per group
Decide how many bags will be sub-categorized
(20% = 1 in 5 bags)
The data recorder will tell the groups when
they must sub-categorize waste. For these
bags, additional bins will be needed (one for
each category of waste being measured)
Open up the bags of waste and separate
contents into the bins according to properly
sorted materials and contaminants (or into all
waste streams if sorting through a detailed bag)
Once the bag contents have been fully
separated, weigh the bins
Disposal the same as type 2
Same benefits as type 2 auditing
Yields information regarding the material
composition of the waste streams and
contamination

Individual bag data cannot be measured

Weighing individual bags is time consuming


More susceptible to data entry errors
Requires a scale and sorting bins for each team
of sorters
Waste must be disposed after each bag is
audited. Will require a disposal team

Same drawbacks as type 2 contamination


auditing
Will require more sorting bins for each team
Will take more time than type 2 due to extra
sorting and weighing
Detailed data is more susceptible to outliers

Benefits

Drawbacks

Roles Explained:

Audit Coordinator:
This person is responsible for preparing and leading the audit. They must ensure that all preparations are carried
out before participants begin auditing and measuring waste. If possible, the audit coordinator should play a role
in forming or overseeing the waste management plan for the organization. It would be beneficial of this person
read the waste management manual to understand the purpose of the audit and the role of waste
characterization studies in waste management.

Data Recorders:
This position involves weighing the sorted contents of the audit. They will be responsible for weighing the bins
and the sorted waste, recording data, and taking notes during the audit. They may also be tasked with taking
pictures. Data recorders should ideally have experience in recording experimental data. It is important that the
data recorder fully understands their role and the importance of good record keeping because if the audit is
completed and the data is full of errors the results will be affected and may ultimately be useless. The data
recorder also lets the sorting groups know when/if bags must be sub-categorized. The data recorder should
review the auditing cards before the audit.

Sorters:
These people are responsible for opening the bags and sorting the waste according to the categorization chosen
by the audit coordinator (see different auditing methods). In audits with no diversion team, the sorters will
dispose of their own waste according to the proper materials stream in a designated diversion area.
Diversion team
These people are responsible for diverting material into proper large bins/bags after they have been sorted.
This ensures the highest level of diversion is achieved at the end of the audit. Once they empty the contents of
the bins, they return them to the sorting teams. If there are enough sorting bins and sorting teams, it can make
the audit go much quicker with a dedicated disposal team. If there are not enough audit participants or sorting
bins for this, the sorters on the sorting teams can dispose of the waste themselves.

TEAM STRUCTURE
With bulk auditing, several data recorders are not required since it is only the disposal bins being weighed rather
than individual bags. For bulk auditing, audit participants can all be designated as waste sorters and data
recorders and disposal teams should not be required (Figure 1). If there are enough personnel on hand, it is
possible to split into independent groups which are responsible for auditing a portion of the waste or different
streams. This will require extra disposal bins though.

Audit

Figure 1: Recommended structure for type 1: bulk auditing.

There is some flexibility with team composition according to audit type and the resources and personnel that
are available. When conducting type 2 or 3 audits, multiple diversion teams with data recorders should be
formed so that data entry does not hold up the auditing process (Figure 2). If personnel are limited, the sorters
can dispose of their own waste; however, a dedicated disposal team that can empty sorting bins can help the
audit run more smoothly. The audit will generally go faster with more diversion teams. If the sorters are
experienced, or if the bags of waste are not highly contaminated, sorters may be able to sort bags individually
rather than in groups of 2. The goal is to have the sorting proceeding at a pace where the data recorder remains
active. This may mean adjusting the number of teams per data recorder based on the speed of the sorters.

Figure 2: Recommended team structure for type 2 and 3 audits. The audit should strive to have as many
diversion teams (data recorder + sorting groups) as possible.

Cleanup
1. All waste should be disposed of properly according to local area sorting requirements. For audits with subcategorization, this will need to be done on an ongoing basis throughout the audit since the sorting bins will
need to be emptied and reused. For bulk auditing no additional sorting step is required for disposal.
2. Any waste residues or spills should be cleaned up immediately.
3. Team leaders should give data to the audit coordinator and explain any unclear data on the sheets.
4. The audit coordinator should briefly look over the data to ask any questions they may have about recorded
data while data recorders are on hand.
5. Materials and equipment should be returned to the audit coordinator

Analysis and Reporting.


1. Enter the data values into the excel spreadsheet auditing tool.
2. The tool will only allow manipulation of cells which require data entry and these cells are highlighted in
yellow. If you wish to alter the tool, you must first unprotect the sheet
3. Once all the data is entered, enter the % of waste audited and the % of waste that has been sub-categorized
4. The detailed sub-categorization data will automatically be added to the larger data set for contamination. It
will also be represented graphically
5. Summary tables will be automatically produced showing the projected annual waste production values and
contamination rates based on the contamination data set and the sub-categorization data.

APPENDICES

Appendix A: List of materials required for all audits (materials may vary depending on the volume and type of
waste being audited)
Appendix B: Sample auditing sheets for the paper stream
Appendix C: Sample auditing sheets for the organics stream
Appendix D: Sample auditing sheets for the recyclables stream
Appendix E: Sample auditing sheets for the garbage stream
Appendix F: Sample blank auditing sheets for any stream

APPENDIX A
Table 1 contains a list of materials that is required for each specific type of audit. In addition to these, there are
also materials that are required for all audits and they are listed below.

List of materials required for all audits:

Waste:
collected from chosen locations
sorted by stream (and building if looking for more specific data).
Personal protective equipment:
gloves
coveralls or protective clothing
safety glasses
Common auditing equipment:
Camera
Bins or bags for proper disposal of audited waste. The number required will vary according to the
amount of waste being audited.
Cleaning equipment
o Broom
o Mop
o Rags
A bucket or sink for emptying liquids from beverage containers
Scissors or another cutting tool
Disposal bins and bags

Audit package consisting of:


Auditing Instructions
A sorting chart
Data sheets for recording weights
Clip boards with pens
Extra paper for notes

PAPER (DETAILED SORTING SHEET)


Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: ____________________________________

Paper (g)

10

Office Paper
Miscellaneous Paper
*Corrugated Cardboard
Other:
Notes:
Contamination (g)

Record data in grams and indicate any discrepancies in the notes

Recyclables
Organics
Garbage
Other:
Other:
Notes:
*Corrugated cardboard is part of the paper stream, but it must be kept separate
Additional Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags

10

PAPER (CONTAMINATION SHEET)


Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: ____________________________________

Sample:

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

Paper (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Sample:
Paper (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Sample:
Paper (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Additional Notes: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags 11

ORGANICS (DETAILED SORTING SHEET)


Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: _________________________________

Organics (g)
Food

10

Boxboard & Soiled Paper

Other:
Notes:
Contamination (g)
Paper & Cardboard

Record data in grams and indicate any discrepancies in the notes

Recyclables

Garbage
Other:
Other:
Notes:

Additional Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags

12

ORGANICS (CONTAMINATION SHEET)


Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: ____________________________________

Sample:

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

Organics (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Sample:
Organics (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Sample:
Organics (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Additional Notes: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags13

RECYCLABLES (DETAILED SORTING SHEET)


Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: _________________________________

Recyclables (g)
Glass Bottles/Jars
Plastic Bottles & Containers (#1,2)
Plastic Films and bags (#4)
Metal Containers
Other Beverage Containers
Other:

10

Notes:
Contamination (g)
Paper & Cardboard
Organics
Plastics (#3,5,6,7)
Garbage
Other:
Other:

Record data in grams and indicate any discrepancies in the notes

Notes:

Additional Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags

14

RECYCLABLES (CONTAMINATION SHEET)


Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: ____________________________________

Sample:

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

Recyclables (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Sample:
Recyclables (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Sample:
Recyclables (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Additional Notes: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags15

GARBAGE (DETAILED SORTING SHEET)


Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: _________________________________

Garbage (g)

10

Waste plastic
Waste metal
Waste glass
Other/composite
Other:
Notes:
Contamination (g)

Record data in grams and indicate any discrepancies in the notes

Recyclables
Organics
Paper
Cardboard
Other:
Other:
Notes:

Additional Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags

16

GARBAGE (CONTAMINATION SHEET)


Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: ____________________________________

Sample:

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

Garbage (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Sample:
Garbage (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Sample:
Garbage (g)
Contamination (g)
Notes

Additional Notes: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags
17

APPENDIX G

Data Recorder Name: _________________________________

Date: ___________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Phone #: _________________________________

10

Notes:
Contamination (g)

Record data in grams and indicate any discrepancies in the notes

Notes:

Additional Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

% of waste being sub-categorized: _________

Subcategorization % in bag numbers: 5% = 1 in 20 bags


10% = 1 in 10 bags
20% = 1 in 5 bags

50% = 1 in 2 bags
75% =3 of 4 bags
100% = All bags
18