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On Composting

Restaurant staff use a Slim Jim with compostable
bag to collect food scraps in the kitchen.
 
Residential compost pick-up is an integral part of reducing
the amount of waste that enters our landfills and increasing the
amount of renewable resources in the form of quality topsoil.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The composting process involves both wet and dry materials,
conditions that allow for controlled elevated temperatures and
continual airation.
Windrow composting requires regular turning of the piles
to ensure proper airation.

 
In-vessel composting uses a forced air system to
accelerate the composting process.
 
Did you know that at least 40 percent of residential waste can be composted? And in industries like restaurants that number
jumps to as much as 50 percent. 

Commercial Compost Collection 

 

It all begins in the kitchen. Receptacles, in a variety of sizes and shapes, are placed in strategic locations to conveniently capture and separate organic materials from recyclables and trash. From the receptacles, compostable materials are emptied into 64-gallon Toter carts that are kept in an out-of-the-way loading area. Danny's Dumpster collects the material as often as needed, washing and replacing carts after each use. The compostable waste is then transported to our local commercial compost facility for processing into quality topsoil.

 

 

Residential Compost Collection

 

We're working to make our compost services available to residential customers. If this is something you're interested in, please email us at dannysdumpster@gmail.com and we'll add you to our waiting list.

 

 

The Composting Process

 

Compost facilities use a recipe of both dry (wood chips) and wet (food and grease trap) materials. Dry materials absorb the moisture and wet materials make the composting process work. The materials are mixed together regularly. When properly "cooked", the mixture is sent through a screener to separate out large materials that need further composting. The finished product is sold back to the community for use in farms and gardens. Interested in a more detailed explanation? Compost is a natural biological process - organic matter is consumed and metabolized by invertebrates and micro-organisms. The resulting nutrients are returned to the soil. Temperature is directly proportional to the biological activity within the piles and as the metabolic rate of the microbes accelerates he temperature within the pile increases. These microorganisms require temperatures be monitored and often reduced by introducing more oxygen. If temperatures get too high it will kill the micro-organisms that facilitate break-down.

 

 

Windrow Verses In-Vessel Composting

 

Windrow composting is the production of compost by piling organic matter or biodegradable waste in long rows. This method is suited to producing large volumes of compost. These rows are generally turned to improve porosity and oxygen content, mix in or remove moisture and redistribute cooler and hotter portions of the pile. Windrow composting is a commonly used farm scale composting method. In-vessel composting is an industrial form of composting biodegradable waste that occurs in enclosed reactors. These generally consist of metal tanks of concrete bunkers that allow air flow and temperature can be controlled, using the principles of a bioreactor. Generally the air circulation is metered in via buried tubes that allow fresh air to be injected under pressure, with the exhaust being extracted through a bio-filter, with temperature and moisture conditions monitored using probes in the mass to allow maintenance of optimum aerobic decomposition conditions. This technique is generally used for municipal scale organic waste processing.

 

 

What is Compostable?

 

A good rule of thumb is anything that was once living is compostable - for example napkins and wooden stir sticks are derived from trees and are therefore compostable. All food scraps, including meat and bones, are also compostable though some items are advised for a commercial compost facility due to the high temperatures achieved and regulated in the piles enabling rapid breakdown. What you'll want to keep your eye out for are compostable plastics (#7), which are made from corn-based materials and usually clearly marked. These products also require a commercial compost facility to breakdown properly.  

Here are some common examples of compostable materials:
Food Scraps
  • Dairy (including egg shells)
  • Meat (including bones)
  • Seafood (icluding shellfish)
  • Fruit (including pits) & nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Coffee grounds
Soiled Paper
  • Paper cups & plates
  • Paper take-out boxes
  • Paper bags, napkins, tissues & towels
  • Coffee filters, tea bags
  • Waxy paper drink cartons (without foil liner)
Compostable Plastic (must be labeled #7)
  • Plastic utensils, dishes, cups, straws, to-go boxes & bags
h
Materials that are not compostable include:
i
Non-compostables
  •  All other plastic (utensils, dishes, cups, straws, stir sticks, to-go boxes, lids,  bags, plastic wrap & packaging)
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Styrofoam
  • Foil (wrap & lined cartons)
  • Rubber (rubber bands)