July / August 2011
Vol. V No. 4
Serving Soil, Mulch, Compost, & Biofuel Professionals
Attention Readers ! Are you looking for Products, Equipment or Services for your business? If so, please check out these leading companies advertised in this issue: Bagging Systems Amadas Industries – pg 12 Hamer LLC – pg 5 PremierTech Chronos – pg 19 Rethceif Packaging – pg 20
Compost Cover ClearSpan – pg 15
Compost, Mulch & Wood Waste For Sale Litco International – pg 19
HCL Machine Works – pg 13
Shredders, Grinders, Chippers & Screening Systems Allu Group Inc – pg 17 Continental Biomass Industries – pg 4 CW Mill Equipment Co. – pg 14 Doppstadt – pg 21 EarthSaver Equipment – pg 12 Morbark Inc. – pg 2 Peterson – pg 8 REMU – pg 24 (back cover) Rotochopper Inc. – pg 7 Screen Machine Industries – pg 16 Screen USA – pg 13 West Salem Machinery – pg 15 Wildcat/Vermeer – pg 23
Transport Trailers Travis Trailers – pg 6
A Hot Issue for Compost, Mulch Producers BY P.J. HELLER or compost facilities, it’s not a matter of “if ” a fire will occur but “when.” “There are basically two types of compost plants: compost plants that have had a fire, and compost plants that will have a fire,” says Lew Naylor, an independent consultant who has worked in the environmental field for more than 35 years. “It’s not a question of if a facility burns,” agrees Todd Thalhamer, a firefighter and an international expert on fires at solid waste facilities. “It’s a question of when a facility burns.” Mulch producers face a somewhat similar situation, even if operators mistakenly believe that compacting materials with heavy machinery will create oxygen-starved piles to help prevent fires, experts say. While there are numerous possibilities for ignition sources at compost and mulch facilities — such as sparks from equipment, heat from machinery, lightning strikes or off-site fires — a primary concern, experts say, is spontaneous combustion caused by heat buildup in piles. “Since the generation of finished compost
creates heat by the very nature of the process, it is a very real threat,” notes The Worm Farm Guide. The same holds true for mulch piles. Large mulch piles, 10 to 20 feet high, have ignited from the heat generated from internal decomposition, reports Mark J. Finucane in Fire Engineering. One such fire believed caused by spontaneous combustion burned for three months before it died out. “In mulch yards, typically, spontaneous combustion comes into play when you have large stockpiles of ground wood fiber that sit undisturbed for a long period of time,” notes Bryan Young, southern regional sales manager for Amerimulch. “Most combustion occurs in piles that are over 20 feet high and typically have been sitting undisturbed for two, three or four months. The longer the piles sit undisturbed and the bigger they are, the hotter the core temperature.” A 2008 industry survey dealing with fires at mulch and compost facilities found that most Continued on page 3
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Mulch Producer NEWS
Spontaneous Combustion a Hot Issue for Compost, Mulch Producers Continued from page 1
PUBLICATION STAFF Publisher / Editor Rick Downing Contributing Editors / Writers P.J. Heller Production & Layout Barb Fontanelle Christine Pavelka Advertising Sales Rick Downing Subscription / Circulation Donna Downing Editorial, Circulation & Advertising Office 6075 Hopkins Road Mentor, OH 44060 Ph: 440-257-6453 Fax: 440-257-6459 Email: email@example.com
mulch fires occurred in piles more than 20 feet high which were well insulated and difficult to monitor. “Such large piles are apparently the norm for mulch production,” the survey says. “Furthermore, most of these piles are static (no turning, no movement). Typically, the piles that burned were in place four to six months before the fire was discovered, although in two cases fires occurred after only one month.” T h e s u r ve y, by Robert Rynk of State University of New York and Richard Buggeln of the University of Tennessee, found that 75 percent of fires they documented at mulch and compost facilities were caused or probably caused by spontaneous combustion. “If you pardon the pun, a ‘sure fire’ way to achieve spontaneous combustion is to build a large pile of moderately dry organic materials and then leave the pile undisturbed. A fire will eventually occur,” Rynk and Buggeln say. “It may take weeks or it may take months depending on internal and external conditions. “Conversely,” they say, “a fire can be avoided if there is enough moisture to evaporate away the
heat generated, or if someone breaks the reaction chain by disturbing the pile (thus releasing the accumulated heat). Bone-dry materials have a low chance to spontaneously heat because the lack of moisture prevents the initial biological heating. However, a good rain may jumpstart the biological process. The scary part of this scenario is that a fire may begin within a small moist section of an otherwise very dry pile.” Various authorities place the ignition temperature for organic materials anywhere from about 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71C) to 400 degrees F (205C). “The temperature of the compost can exceed 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71C). At this point, spontaneous combustion is a real possibility,” according to The Worm Farm Guide. The U.S. Composting Council says temperatures between 205 to 400 degrees F (96C to 205C) can ignite most organic materials. Naylor says that once a pile gets in the 80C range, there is going to be a significant amount of chemical oxidation — the basis for a regular fire — versus what he calls the “biological fire”
“If you pardon the pun, a ‘sure fire’ way to achieve spontaneous combustion is to build a large pile of moderately dry organic materials and then leave the pile undisturbed. A fire will eventually occur.”
Continued on page 4
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July / August 2011 Soil & Mulch Producer News
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Spontaneous Combustion a Hot Issue for Compost, Mulch Producers Continued from page 3
for composting. The Composting Council says chemical oxidation begins at about 122 degrees F/50°C. “Composting is kind of a biological fire,” says Naylor, who also serves as an adjunct professor of chemistry at Goshen College in Indiana. “The biology brings the temperature up to a certain level, up to 70C, and then chemical oxidation begins to become appreciable. And when chemical oxidation becomes appreciable, that’s when you get combustion and things get out of control in a hurry.” “In my experience, you pretty much have
two numbers to watch out for: 170 degrees (77C) and 200 degrees (93C),” Thalhamer says in an online presentation for the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), where he is employed as a waste management engineer. “At 170 degrees, this is the first temperature you need to look out for. This is where you can start to have some problems. At 200 degrees, you will have problems.” Young says that warning bells should sound once temperatures exceed 140 degrees in mulch piles. At 180 degrees, he says, there is a
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Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
good likelihood of smoldering inside the piles. If those piles are disturbed and more oxygen is introduced, those piles could erupt in flames. Naylor says it is crucial for operators to probe their piles of compost or mulch to monitor the actual temperature. “They are all biologically active and generate heat,” he notes. “It’s not very much [heat], but when it’s not released, all that heat has to go somewhere. It just stays in the pile so the pile captures the heat that’s not released and the temperature increases. When the pile heats up, there’s enough air to supply oxygen for biological activity but not enough air to cool the pile. And in general, cooling takes a lot more air than just supporting the biology of the pile.” Naylor recommends that a compost pile be extensively probed at least on a monthly basis. The probe should be done where the temperature is likely to be the hottest rather than trying to obtain an average temperature, he says. To locate the hottest areas, he advises operators to walk down the top of the pile and look for fissures or vents. “On cold mornings, you can actually see steam coming out of these vents,” he says. The steam is visible because any air movement will follow the path of least resistance, causing it to carry heat and moisture as it flows through a fissure or vent, he explains. Locating the vent provides a clue as to where to probe to find the maximum temperature. In some cases, however, the vent may not be so obvious. In those cases, another clue may be fungal growth at the top of the fissures, which can be caused by moisture condensing at the top of the vents. “Fungal growth around these fissures on the pile indicates it has gotten more moisture than some other areas,” Naylor explains. “That moisture has to come from the inside . . . ” Once those sites are located, operators should take a long thermocouple probe and put it down the middle of the vent, he says. He stresses that operators should look for the maximum temperature, not the average temperature. “Regulators want altogether different information,” Naylor notes. “They want to know what is the minimum temperature . . . have you met your time and temperature requirements. For fire, we want to know the maximum temperatures.” Meeting environmental regulations, as well as dealing with other business issues such as marketing and ensuring the quality of the product, often results in compost operators failing to probe their piles on a regular basis, he says. “Those are all really important things to do, but you’ve got to take a little time every Continued on page 6
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Spontaneous Combustion a Hot Issue for Compost, Mulch Producers Continued from page 4
couple of weeks or every month at least and probe those piles,” he says. “I think people are aware of the need to do it but that inspection tends to be a fairly low priority. It doesn’t take a lot, but you’ve got to do something. You’ve got to check the temperature of those piles on a regular basis.” If the temperature inside the pile is 80C, operators should probe the pile very carefully since the sudden introduction of oxygen can cause a flash fire, he warns. The situation is much like opening a door or window in a house fire. “ S o m e p e o p l e s u g g e s t t h at i f t h e
temperatures are in excess of 80C, you might want to have a fire truck or water wagon nearby just to douse it,” Naylor says. “You can get in there with a front-end loader but the operator has to be advised that there is the possibility of a fire and if he digs into the pile he may see flames coming out at him. So you need to probe those piles carefully when they get that hot.” To reduce the risk of fire, Naylor advises compost facilities to keep piles lower so there is a smaller volume for the given surface area. “When you’ve got a high volume and a relatively low surface area, a pile 10 feet to 12 feet
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Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
high cannot breathe as well,” he says. “The lower and longer piles, of four feet and five feet high, will have a better chance of self ventilating.” The U.S. Composting Council says dissipating the heat in piles can be achieved by keeping the pile height below eight or nine feet and keeping pile moisture above 40 percent and uniformly distributed. Both Young and Finucane, a veteran firefighter and assistant chief at the Johnson City (Tenn.) Fire Department, agree that mulch piles should also be limited in size. “Once combustion has begun in a mulch pile, the smoldering fire can become deep-seated and spread rapidly,” Finucane says. “The larger and taller the mulch pile, the greater the fire hazard and the more difficult a fire in such a pile will be to control. The dimensions of a mulch pile should be no more than 25 feet high, 150 feet wide, and 250 feet long. It is much better to have several smaller piles than one large pile.” Young says mulch piles should be no more than 20 feet high. “The most important thing you can do is to keep your piles small,” Young advises, adding that operators should also avoid compacting piles. “You don’t want to have loaders driving on top of that product and compacting it down,” he says. “Compacting a large mulch pile keeps the air from getting in there . . . What happens is you get isolated hot spots and then when you get air moving through it, it tends to cause what we call the ‘chimney effect,’ where heat is moving up through the center of the pile because it is so compacted and once you do open it up and it gets some oxygen, that’s when you start to see flames . . .” That advice to avoid compacting is supported in the survey by Rynk and Buggeln, which found that compacting mulch piles with a wheel loader or bulldozer — reducing the amount of oxygen — apparently does little to prevent fires. “Some facility operators take false comfort in the thought that large compacted piles are oxygen-starved and thus not prone to fire,” they say. “Seventy percent of the facilities experiencing spontaneous combustion report they intentionally compact the piles by driving on them with a wheel loader or bulldozer.” Even so, fire can still occur because “it is difficult to completely eliminate oxygen from a freestanding pile of bulky materials; there will be a natural ‘chimney effect.’ Some oxygen diffuses or flows in to feed heat-releasing processes,” they say. “Second, even if no oxygen is present, certain heat releasing chemical reactions still take place and raise the temperature of the surrounding material,” they explain. “Third, a large pile size, plus compaction, makes the pile Continued on page 11
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Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
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Composting Council Launches Public Outreach Campaign By P.J. Heller
campaign aimed at increasing the use of compost by both consumers and landscape professionals — by promoting not just the soil benefits but the advantages to the environment — has been launched by the U.S. Composting Council at the Garden Writers Association Conference in Indianapolis. The outreach campaign, dubbed the Consumer Compost Use Program, includes a plan for compost manufacturers who meet certain requirements to include icons on their packaging indicating the best applications for their products. The three compost use classifications will be lawns, vegetable and flower gardens and tree and shrub. “We’re offering them [manufacturers] a way to present more consumer user-friendly information on their packages,” notes Al Rattie, the Council’s market development and Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) program manager. Compost manufacturers who produce “certified” compost through the Council’s STA program can use the icons on their packaging. Coupled with the outreach program is a “Strive for 5%” campaign, designed to remind and encourage people that a minimum of 5 percent of soil organic matter has long been recommended by garden experts and soil scientists. “The Strive for 5% campaign will promote nationally recognized and scientifically accepted benefits of compost use to help educate the retail consumers and landscape professionals on the value and need for organic matter . . .” the Council’s announcement says. “This is a basic campaign to just raise awareness [of getting 5 percent organic matter into the soil],” Rattie explains. “Compost, specifically STA compost, is the most efficient, most environmentally friendly, most costeffective way to get that done.” Ron Alexander, a board member and part of the market development committee that helped develop the campaign, says it will stress not only the benefits of using compost on soil but the benefits to the environment. “What we’re trying to do is connect not only the plant and soil benefits, but also talk about the environmental benefits and benefits to protecting water,” Alexander says. “Water is going to be the problem this century: too much and too little . . . We’re going to try to take the discussion to the next level. Not only are we going to grow good plants, but we’re actually going to be able to improve the environment by doing it. We hope that message sells.” The outreach campaign will kick off Aug. 26-27 at the Garden Writers conference with a push to get attendees to write articles for their publications about the benefits of compost use. No formal presentations were made; the Council distributed consumer compost application instruction cards, showing that applying STA compost would result in 5 percent soil organic matter content immediately or over time. “We also emphasize that consumers have their soil tested using their local agricultural extension office so that they know what they are starting and ending with after compost application,” Rattie says. The Council also is promoting its program to landscape professionals, through the American Society of Landscape Architects, and through some 150 compost manufacturers who produce “certified” compost through the STA program.
It will also heavily promote its Strive for 5% c a m p a i g n at i t s a n nu a l conference scheduled in January in Austin, Texas. The theme of the conference, Alexander says, will be the soil-water connection. “There is a very important connection between soil quality and water,” he notes. “With climate change, we see greater extremes of conditions: worse droughts, worse floods, worse storm water management events.” Alexander points to studies, including one in which he was the contractor for the Washington Organic Recycling Council, that show compost use on very poor soil not only will retain water during drought conditions but will allow the soil to be more porous to accept water during a major storm water event. The study he conducted at Washington State University-Puyallup utilized three native soils that contained high levels of sand and three compost products from Washington manufacturers who are in the STA program. “. . . The addition of compost can aid in increasing the moisture holding capacity of soil, while also improving its ability to shed excess water (by creating improved soil porosity),” he reports in the soil blending trial that was partially funded by the Washington Department of Ecology. “Research completed elsewhere has shown that similar improvements can be obtained through the addition of compost to soils that are denser, possessing higher levels of silt and clay,” he says. Both Alexander and Rattie note that striving for 5 percent of organic matter in soil is nothing new. It has been talked about and promoted for more than 20 years, but has failed to take hold. “All these years later, because of the major environmental problems that we have, we’re back to promoting this concept again,” Alexander says. This time, he predicts, the message will stick. The U.S. Composting Council is investing funds in the effort and is recruiting compost manufacturers and landscape professionals to help promote the program nationwide. Articles are also being targeted to landscaping and turf publications. “The 5 percent message has been out there forever,” Rattie says. “I don’t know why a bigger push hasn’t been made to make that happen. It’s been preached by experts for a long time. I’m sure some of them have suggested that compost is a good source to use to obtain that goal. We want to sing that song louder and make it more obvious.” Rattie and Alexander agree that the campaign comes at the right time. “We have a worldwide crisis related to soil quality — which affects our ability to feed ourselves — and the effects of climate change are going to change the cost of managing water (too much and too little),” they say. “Fixing soil with compost can be a major part in solving many of these problems.” For more information regarding the “Strive for 5%” campaign, please contact Al Rattie at al.rattie@ compostingcouncil.org or Ron Alexander at alexassoc@ earthlink.net. You can also reach Ron Alexander at 919-349-0460. July / August 2011 Soil & Mulch Producer News
Mulch Producer NEWS
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Spontaneous Combustion a Hot Issue for Compost, Mulch Producers Continued from page 6
more energy dense and reduces heat loss to the ambient environment. “In summary,” they note, “a large pile can heat and burn even when compacted, and possibly especially when compacted.” Naylor advises compost operators to regularly turn their compost piles, not only to help prevent heat build up, but to improve the quality of the compost, reduce odors in piles that tend to be overly hot and keep them cool and drier. “There are good reasons to turn the compost on a regular basis,” he says. “Monitor the temperature and turn your piles on a regular basis.” Young also recommends mulch producers turn or “bust up” their piles to disturb hot spots inside and lower the temperature. Equally important, he says, is to utilize a proper rotation process, whereby the oldest material gets used first. “Older material sitting in your yard needs to be processed first, not the freshest material. The longer it sits, the bigger those piles and the hotter it’s going to get,” he says. From a firefighting perspective, Thalhamer recommends a compost facility be able to provide 500 gallons of water a minute, at a minimum. For a large fire, at least 1,000 gallons per minute will be required, he says. Rynk and Buggeln report their survey of 42 mulch-producing facilities nationwide found that most fight a spontaneous combustion fire with a wheel loader, excavator or bulldozer along with a fire hose. “It was clear that the burning or hot material in the pile needs to be removed before it can be extinguished with water. It is ineffective to merely spray water on a burning pile, unless a ‘surface fire’ was caused by cigarettes, equipment heat and sparks,” they report. “It’s not rocket science,” Young adds. “We know what causes spontaneous combustion. If we do these practices — small piles, not compacting them, proper rotation and turning piles — the probability of combustion is greatly reduced.” For compost facilities, Thalhamer recommends they be designed with fire lanes at least 15 feet wide to accommodate fire vehicles and that they be designed so that the vehicles can turn around. He also suggests that facilities create a fire plan. “This is one document that is beneficial to both the fire service and compost operators,” he says. “It can be as simple as two or three pages where you discuss tactics and strategies, what equipment is available on your facility. The bottom line: your fire plan will help the fire service quickly extinguish your fire. “Compost fires will happen, but by addressing these issues you will lessen the economic impact to your facility and environmental damage,” Thalhamer says. Noting the danger of spontaneous combustion, The Worm Farm Guide says preparation is key. “All preparations for combating fires need to be in place before the first load of waste material is accepted,” it says. Cover photo courtesy of Lew Naylor, Apple Environmental Services, firstname.lastname@example.org.
attention: readers! Would you like more information about products and equipment advertised in this issue? If so, please complete the Equipment Locator Service form located between pages 12 & 13 and fax to 440-257-6459.
Mulch Producer NEWS
Forest Trees Conditioned by “Nursery Effect”
ccording to a report in sciencedaily.com, trees may not be that different from humans with respect to how they respond to the environment. Recent studies showed that even genetically identical human twins can have a different chance of getting a disease. This is because each twin has distinct personal experiences through their lifetime. It turns out that the same is likely true for forest trees as well, according to new research from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). “The findings were really quite stunning,” says Malcolm Campbell, a biologist and lead author of the study. “People have been talking about a so-called “nursery effect” for a long time.” The study looked at the theory that trees and other plants, even when they were genetically identical, grew differently and responded to stress differently depending on the nursery that the plants were obtained from. Campbell says the research findings not only provide a strong affirmation of this effect, but also reveal insight on a molecular level. “Our results show that there is a form of molecular ‘memory’ in trees where a tree’s previous personal experience influences how it responds to the environment.” In the new study, Campbell’s graduate student Sherosha Raj used genetically identical poplar trees that had been grown in two different regions of Canada. These stem cuttings were then used to regrow the trees under identical climate-controlled conditions in Toronto. Raj subjected half of the trees to drought conditions while the remaining trees were well watered. Since the trees were regrown under identical conditions, Campbell and his research group predicted all the specimens would respond to drought in the same manner, regardless of where they had come from. Remarkably, genetically identical specimens of two poplar varieties responded differently to the drought treatment depending on their place of origin. Campbell’s research group also showed that this difference occurred at the most fundamental level – the one of gene activity. Even though the specimens were all genetically identical, trees that had been obtained from Alberta used a different set of genes to respond to drought than the ones that had been obtained from Saskatchewan. The findings of this study are relevant to foresters and gardeners in highlighting the importance of the nursery source for trees and other plants, which can determine how the plant will grow and resist stress in a forest or the garden. Additionally, the “memory” of previous experience discovered in this study could also help determine plant survival in response to changes in climate, or other environmental stresses like diseases or pests.
Seattle Sets New Records for Waste Reuse
eattle, WA—Seattle now has an all-time high record for recycling – recycling 53.7% of its waste, says a Seattle Public Utilities report. This represents 2.6% more than in 2009. Commercial recycling increased the most, from 54.9% in 2009 to 58.9% in 2010, mostly due to a strong market for recycled paper. The single-family rate went up to 70.3% due to increased food-waste collection. The city’s goal is a 60% diversion by 2012 to save $2 million in disposal costs. In 2009, Seattle let more items be recycled and made weekly pickups rather than bi-weekly, putting all recyclables into one collection container. Plus, all takeout plates and cups had to be compostable, there is required food-waste collection for apartments, and residents can refuse yellow-page phone books. Seattle sent 335,000 tons of waste into a landfill in Oregon in 2010, more than 140,000 tons fewer than in 2000.
July / August 2011 Soil & Mulch Producer News 11
Mulch Producer NEWS
Vancouver Hopes to Expand Composting Plan to Include All Food Waste
ancouver, B.C.—The City of Vancouver and other municipalities are joining to send food scraps to Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre, a local composting firm, reports cbc.ca. The city has started a program so residents can put out fruit and vegetables and coffee grounds, and they are now piloting a second phase with full food scraps, including meats and dairy, hoping to expand early in 2012 to include all food scraps. Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre diverts an estimated 200,000 metric tons of yard and food waste from the landfill each year. It is composted into soil and sold to municipalities, landscapers and retailers. The facility also uses materials from dredging the Fraser River, using about 100,000 cubic meters of sand annually. In early 2012, the company wants to open a new digester that will take the methane gas and use it to run the collection trucks or something similar.
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Akron’s Second Phase Sends All Biosolids to Biomass System, Eliminate Odors, Create Electricity
kron, OH—WKYC.com reports that Akron is working to extend its contract with KB Compost Services, Inc., to implement a second phase to reduce almost all of the odors from the city’s compost facility, at a cost of $32 million. A 30% energy credit is also available. Akron contracted in 2007 with KB Compost to build an anaerobic digestive system to manage one-third of the biosolids generated by the city to produce renewable energy. Phase Two will send all of Akron’s biosolids to the facility, create over 100 construction jobs, produce electricity for the facility and generate Renewable Energy Credits that can be sold on the open market. The combined two-phase system will eliminate almost all of the odors generated by the composting operation because, with no sludge composted, there will be no outside storage of material. After 10 years, the city will take on the debt service payments, with the plan that they will be funded 100% from the annual operating cost savings.
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http://www.amadas.com Info Request #142 12 Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
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Shelter Island Makes Money Off of Yard Waste, Other Waste
helter Island, NY—According to timesreview.com, Shelter Island is now making a profit off of its composted topsoil created from yard and forest waste, including tree stumps and logs, leaves, manure, brush and grass, with $28,000 raised in the first half of 2011 by charging $20 per yard for the double-ground mulch. The town’s highway department is the only local on-island sole source of the material after a commercial contractor stopped making it last year, as the locals do not have to pay for the ferry or delivery charges. Half of the customers are residential, half commercial, though the commercial ones buy greater quantities, and residents can drop off their own waste for $.25 per pound and $.03 per pound for stumps. The first grinding happens at a recycling center, followed by a year of rest until the second grind. A rented trommel plant machine is used to rotate and aerates the material annually. Space is running out at the recycling center’s area, so the town is considering buying its own equipment for quicker processing. The town also gains from a paper baler that creates one bale of compressed paper, or a ton of scrap, daily, with the town earning $120 per ton from Pratt Paper of Staten Island for production of 100 percent recycled paper products. The town had been sending mixed paper off-island to Winter Brothers Waste Systems, at a cost of about $100,000 a year. With the cost of the new equipment at $85,000, the return on investment is good, considering that the Department of Environmental Conservation offers a $42,500 grant as incentive for recycling. Citizens can also recycle cans, some plastic, glass, cardboard, metal, old electronics and hazardous materials, with many sold for money and others, such as ground glass and concrete, given to residents for free. The island is said to create 7,000 tons of waste yearly, so these programs both save on tipping fees and make money.
Cedar Grove Fined for Odor Emissions, Contests Its Role as Source
Mulch Producer NEWS
Washington State’s Biggest Biomass Project Faces Challenge
eattle, WA—The Pollution Control Hearings Board has upheld 17 violations of regulations against odor emissions that were issued by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to Cedar Grove Composting, a processor of yard waste and food scraps with problem at its Everett and Maple Valley composing facilities, reports seattletimes.com. Cedar Grove has been told to pay $119,000 in fines. The sum was originally $169,000, but the company said it had invested $6.5 million in equipment and processes to reduce the odor, so the board lowered the fine by $50,000. Cedar Grove says it is unsure the entire odor is its responsibility. It works with consultant Environmental Reporting, Monitoring and Solutions of Everett, who reported last year that less than 1% of the odors came from the Cedar Grove property. It will work with regulatory agencies to create a scientifically based odormonitoring program to determine the source of the odors. It also said that while grateful that the fine was lowered, it will contest other findings by the board.
ongview, WA—According to seattletimes. com, Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Inc. pulp mill plans a 54-megawatt biomass energy expansion to burn enough wood waste to power 2,400 homes, making it the largest in the state. The Washington Department of Ecology has approved the company’s application, but No Biomass Burn and others plan to appeal the decision to the state’s hearings board as they believe burning wood waste pollutes the air. The excess biomass power could generate millions of dollars in renewable power sales on the open market for Longview Fibre. The project is not expected to add full-time jobs, but instead generate work for 25 to 50 contractors daily until its completion next year, company officials said. Pulp and paper mills who want to build biomass plants face a 2014 deadline. That’s when a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency three-year moratorium on regulating biomass plants for greenhouse gas emissions expires. If mills fail to meet the deadline, it could cost energy producers millions or cancel the projects altogether.
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Info Request #105 July / August 2011 Soil & Mulch Producer News 13
Mulch Producer NEWS
Pennsylvania Composting Center Turned Down
aston, PA—According to lehighvalleylive.com, town planners in Easton, PA have recommended that the city council deny Chrin Bros. a waiver to build a composting center on five acres of its own remote landfill property in Williams Twp., within 900 feet of a park, because they are worried about possible odor problems. Chrin Bros. has agreed not to accept butcher waste and other materials for composting allowed under the state permit the company was pursuing. Noise was seen as an unlikely problem, but the landfill has a recent history of odor complaints. A commissioner noted a DEP record of odor violations, and said that he would support a compost center if it could comply with odor and other regulations. Chrin can keep using the property to make leaf and yard waste mulch.
Oregon Representatives Ponder How to Deal With Woody Biomass Classification
alem, OR—Oregon legislators disagree about how to classify woody biomass in order to boost a renewal energy industry in the state, reports oregonlive.com. Rep. Andy Olson introduced HB 3687 to clarify state rules for woody biomass burners to eliminate classifying biomass as a waste product. “Treating biomass boilers as solid waste incinerators could result in closures of existing biomass facilities and slow the development of new ones,” Olson said. Under HB 3687, biomass burners would need only a state air quality permit. But Rep. Sal Esquivel felt there was no problem, as current biomass operations have not been challenged, and Rep. Bob Jenson believes that this one-at-a-time definition approach might erode state environmental regulations treating wood as solid waste, citing possible odor, fire and runoff problems. Neither Jenson nor Esquivel are against the idea of using woody biomass as a fuel source. And Rep. Mike Schaufler says the legislature should address the issue now rather than putting it off to the agency level at the Department of Environmental Quality, as the industry is already making progress.
Florida Nursery in Trouble for Burning Compost and Lack of Permits
www.armorhog.com Info Request #136 14 Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
ast Naples, FL—Collier County commissioners recently filed a suit against Mark Kalmanek of Flamingo Bend Nursery for a lack of proper permitting for his 16-year old company and for illegal dumping at the nursery and on another property, reports naplenews. com. Kalmanek says he registered his business with the South Florida Water Management District and is licensed by the State Division of Corporations, so county government must recognize that. Kalmanek wanted to create an organic farm, but his 55-foot compost heaps of manure and vegetation caught fire, prompting complaints to Collier County Code Enforcement and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. DEP officials said the site is registered for processing rather than for composting and that Kalmanek was not meeting processing time goals. The county found Kalmanek did not get a permit for an organic farm and did not get a county permit for his business. The county issued a stop-work order but allowed him time to clear the property of compost and wood. The county also issued a notice of violation for accepting vegetative debris on another site meant to house the farm. It plans to hold a hearing on the issue. He has continued to accept fresh vegetation at the nursery as well.
Mulch Producer NEWS
Mountain Pine Beetle Moving East From Alberta
University of Alberta-led research team has determined that the mountain pine beetle has invaded jack pine forests in Alberta, opening up the possibility for an infestation that could stretch across the Prairies and keep moving east towards the Atlantic, reports sciencedaily.com. A group of U of A tree biologists and geneticists discovered that, as the mountain pine beetle spread eastward from central British Columbia, it successfully jumped species from its main host, the lodgepole pine, to the jack pine. Jack pine is the dominant pine species in Canada’s boreal forest, which stretches east from Alberta all the way to the Maritime provinces. The beetle first crossed a wide swath of forest where lodgepole pine and jack pine interbreed to create hybrids trees. Telling pure jack pine trees apart from hybrid trees is tricky, but the U of A researchers used molecular markers to conclusively show that the attacked trees are indeed jack pine. U of A researchers teamed up with Alberta Sustainable Resources Development to track the progress of the mountain pine beetle infestation across the province. The insects have been found in jack pines as far east in Alberta as Slave Lake, which is 200 kilometers north of Edmonton. Mountain pine beetles are about the size of a grain of rice. The hard-shelled insects spread by flying and with the aid of wind currents. Researchers currently have no estimate for the speed at which the insect might continue to spread eastward.
Houston Entrepreneurs Look to Create Organic Fuel Services
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ouston, TX—OPT Organic Power Technologies is working to turn organic waste into organic fuel services in Houston with an operation that would use wood waste and possibly other organic waste and convert it into a fuel gas to generate electricity, reports bclocalnews.com. Its emission-free pilot plant is operating in the Fraser Valley and it is looking for another pilot site in the area. One source of fuel would be Mountain Pine Beetle-killed wood. As the OPT plants are modular, they are easy to expand operationally.
Oahu Composting Facility Gets Community Support
onolulu, HI—Staradvertiser.com reports that Central Oahu is getting behind creation of a composting facility, as the boards of the Wahiawa Community & Business Association, WahiawaWhitmore Village and North Shore neighborhood have voted to support a proposal by Hawaiian Earth Recycling LLC to compost green waste, food waste and sewage sludge despite worries about traffic, noise and odors. The company sells Menehune Magic-brand compost at facilities at Campbell Industrial Park and a transfer station in Kailua. The proposed 112-acre site would replace the Campbell composting site, which would become another transfer station. The new site would be leased from Cedar Grove Hawaii LLC. Odors would be controlled up to 90% by having trucks unload in an enclosed facility and by using a biofilter on the indoor composting operation, along with other technologies. A company study says it would be discerned far less than 1% of the time in the neighborhood, and that traffic would increase about 3% due to the operation. The proposed facility will process up to 150,000 tons a year of green waste, food waste, dewatered sewage sludge and produce compost, soil amendments, potting mixes and erosion control materials.
Info Request #151 July / August 2011 Soil & Mulch Producer News 15
Mulch Producer NEWS
MACT Rules Could Put a Crimp in Non-Wood Biomass Fuel Use
ashington, DC—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules on boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology and other proposed EPA regulations could raise costs for biomass facilities that plan to use available biomass fuels other than wood waste. The EPA’s 2010 draft rules were based on misunderstandings about boiler technology and the benefits of various biomass fuels. The EPA has agreed to stay the “boiler and commercial industrial solid waste incinerator (CISWI) MACT,” but this does not affect the solid waste rule, which classifies valuable biomass as “waste.” It also subjects facilities to needless regulations, and successful legal challenges from environmental groups could force compliance, even if EPA agrees that the regulations should be changed. The result could be billions of dollars in needless changes to industrial facilities, shutdowns of existing biomass plants, no new facilities being bult and many biomass fuels being landfilled. The Biomass Power Association wants legislation that delays implementation of the rules for at least two years so EPA can consider all of the information, and wants any rule to be based on available technology and achievable standards at a cost that would facilitate the use of a variety of biomass fuels. Go to www.USABiomass.org for more.
Eunomia Sees Big Potential in Food Waste Reuse, But Infrastructure Needed
report from Eunomia, says that amount of food waste in the United Kingdom, 6.5M tonnes a year that is source-segregated at a regional level across the municipal, commercial and industrial sectors, represents a “major opportunity” if it can be collected and used. The report says that of the 8M tonnes a year of food waste available in the UK, 2.2M is from household sources, 5.2M from commercial outlets and 0.6M from industrial sites, but that there is an existing food waste treatment capacity gap for both AD and in-vessel composting quantified at 6.5M tonnes per annum. A collection infrastructure and raising funding for new facilities is needed for maximum benefit. Only around 12% of local authorities currently offer source-separated food waste collections, and commercial collections of food waste are just beginning, said the report. The quantity of food waste being captured is not enough to justify a rapid escalation in facilities, so new AD infrastructure, collection and treatment systems must be developed. And financing these would take work. For more, go to www.edie.net.
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Info Request #164 16 Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
Mulch Producer NEWS
Palo Alto Continues Compost Debate
alo Alto, CA—Paloaltoonline.com reports that Palo Alto is again debating the building of a local composting facility on public parkland using a newly published analysis from Alternative Resources, Inc., which evaluates the costs and environmental impacts of building a new anaerobic digestion facility to process food and yard trimmings plus sewage sludge. The 37-page report looks at financing, contingency fees and carbon adders but does not come to a firm conclusion about the costs of building the plant vs. shipping waste away, as costs seem similar. The draft report sees economic value in the idea based on a variety of unknown what-ifs, including ownership and rental agreements, loan and grant prospects, and whether a “carbon adder” is factored in. The city council voted for a final study this fall. The study is used by both sides, and the city will put the issue of building on the park on the ballot in November.
Novi Energy Building New Digester in Fremont, MI
remont, MI—According to mlive.com, a $22 million Fremont, MI, facility, the Fremont Community Digester, will convert food waste into energy and compost by summer 2012. The project means 40 construction jobs to the area, and around five permanent jobs in the plant, building on existing agriculture and manufacturing industries. The plant can process 100,000 tons of food waste each year, drawing from Gerber and other agribusinesses, while the product can be used by local farmers. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) helped secure a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was a strong supporter of the project. Novi Energy is the project developer.
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Mulch Producer NEWS
Come join us!
Friday, November 4, 2011
Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center Columbus, Ohio Agenda includes information about changes to: • Solid waste districts Don’t miss this • Organics recycling in indiana opportunity to network • Compostable plastics with peers and experts • The herbicide imprelis in the industry. • OEPA & ODNR update For registration information • Changes in the industry Contact Linda Robertson • And more! at 330-241-9382 or at email@example.com.
Check the ORAO website at www.ohiocompost.org.
18 Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
Mulch Producer NEWS
Vision Recycling to Operate in Salinas Valley
remont, CA—According to thecalifornian.com, Vision Recycling has contracted with the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority for $537,000 annually to operate an organics recycling facility and to sell processed materials. This facility will accept green waste, wood debris and food scraps at a transfer station in Salinas and at a landfill in Gonzales. It will also sell compost, wood chips, mulch and soil amendments. The waste authority is aiming at 75% of recyclable waste diverted from landfills by 2015, 10% more than the current amount. Vision plans to process about 26,000 tons of organics yearly and to create jobs in a HOPE program that hires the mentally challenged, autistic people and others.
Aspen Joins Growing List of Cities With Food Composting
spen, CO—Aspen and Pitkin County, Colorado have purchased a compost grinder and other equipment for the county landfill with a $96,000 grant from the state, reports aspentimes.com. This, enables them to offer centralized residential and commercial composting in their counties. Those who want to compost must separate food and paper waste into a free collection bin and a waste hauler will pick it up for a fee and deliver it to the landfill. Three current waste-haulers will provide the service, including Evergreen Events, Waste Management, and Mountain Rolloffs. It is estimated that around 30% of residential waste and 70% of restaurant waste can be recycled.
www.litco.com Info Request #155
Info Request #119 July / August 2011 Soil & Mulch Producer News 19
Mulch Producer NEWS
Komptech Announces New USA CEO
omptech USA has appointed Marcel Vallen as its new CEO. Marcel has over 25 years of experience in the waste handling industry; starting as a machine operator and rising to plant management and then executive positions. A native of the Netherlands, he has long worked closely with European and American machine manufacturers and has a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the market, on the technical, business as well as operational levels. Prior to joining Komptech USA, Vallen was CEO of CBI Europe, importing US-made grinders and shredders for the European market. According to the company, Komptech is very fortunate to have a person of Marcel’s breadth and depth of experience to oversee the company’s US operations. Johannes Pohl will remain President of Komptech USA.
Screen Machine Industries, Inc. Welcomes Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney for Factory Speech
creen Machine Industries, based in Pataskala, Ohio, recently hosted an event for front-running presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney on July 27, 2011, which was attended by approximately 350 employees, community members and news correspondents. Also in attendance were several Ohio manufacturing executives and local politicians. Steve Cohen, President of Screen Machine, gave Mr. Romney a tour of the plant after a roundtable discussion regarding the creation of more manufacturing jobs. The focus of the speech was on increasing US manufacturing through exports by negotiating fair and competitive international trade policies. Screen Machine Industries, Inc. has been discovering sales gains through international markets after focusing its first 38 years primarily domestically. “Our growth is going to be in exports,” said President Steve Cohen. “There are many countries out there in heavy mining-oriented businesses and there is a strong desire for American-made machinery.”
Morbark Continues to Expand Dealer Network
orbark continues to expand its dealer network, adding six new dealers since late 2010, as well as expanding the territories of several existing dealers. The Morbark dealer network, which has grown to over 65 dealers and over 150 locations throughout North America, serves to improve customer service, equipment service, and support. Morbark dealers signed in the past year, and the territories they serve, include: • • • • • •
Columbus Equipment Company, Ohio (tree care products) Bartlett Manufacturing, eastern Michigan (tree care products) White Star Machinery, Oklahoma (tree care products) Fabick Caterpillar, eastern Missouri and southern Illinois (tree care, forestry and recycling products) Schmidt Equipment, Massachusetts and Rhode Island (tree care, forestry and recycling products) Elliott and Frantz, Maryland and Delaware (tree care, forestry and recycling products)
Current full-line dealer, Doggett Machinery Services, recently expanded its territory to include the state of Texas (with the exception of Bowie and Cass counties). The expansion added Texas to an already established territory of the state of Louisiana. In addition, Newtown Power, long-time Morbark tree care products dealer in Connecticut, recently expanded their territory to cover the entire state of Connecticut.
“A Rethceif design is complete when it accomplishes the finest final package with the least amount of waste, movement and wear items possible.”
1 year payback on your machine. Rethceif equipment is so reliable you can achieve a 1 year payback on your investment. 15 minutes to change bag sizes. And no tools required. 6 - 8 cents saved on every bag by switching to single flat roll film. Every Rethceif bagger utilizes Form, Fill, and Seal technology. This means every bag is made at the machine from a single roll of film.
100 percent of commercially available components available from suppliers nationwide. Rethceif strives to make its equipment easy to own and maintain. Talk to various film suppliers. Contact us via our web page or phone. Experience the Rethceif Difference. 420 Industrial Parkway, Ossian, IN 46777 I Phone: 260-622-7200 I Toll Free: 866-298-1876 I Fax: 260-622-7220 I www.rethceif.com I firstname.lastname@example.org Info Request #154 20 Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
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Replace any SM 720 trommel drum with our star screen module, and maintain dry production rates through rain, winter or other high-moisture conditions. For even greater productivity, our Tri-Flex three-way standalone star screen can produce three end products. The unique elliptical star shape coupled with alternating shaft speeds keeps stars free of build-up, maximizing performance all day long. Ready to learn more? Visit www.DoppstadtStarScreens.com today.
Info Request #129 July / August 2011 â€ƒ Soil & Mulch Producer News 21
GrinderCrusherScreen.com Reaches New Heights with “Big Green Machine”
Premier Tech Introduces High Level Bag Palletizer
rinderCrusherScreen.com, well known for selling new and used recycling equipment, recently introduced the Big Green Machine Radial Stacking Conveyor for feeding and stock piling high volumes of mulch and soil. The Big Green Machine is a perfect fit for the larger manufacturers of mulch and soils who are accustomed to pushing the mulch up into huge piles. This machine will accomplish the same results without the need for an additional loader or operator. It is equipped with a large 10 yard hopper and an extra wide 54” variable speed feeder. This feeder discharges onto the heavy-duty 90’-0 conveyor that can reach heights up to 47’-0 high. This unique machine has power radial and hydraulic raise and lower that can be adjusted by the loader operator by simply using the supplied remote control. The Big Green Machine can also be used to stockpile ground wood as it comes off of a wood grinder. This unique Feeder / Conveyor can transport up to 500 yards per hour. Great savings are achieved by not having to stock pile.
utomated palletizing offers many benefits for soil and mulch producers such as increasing the competitiveness of your product in the marketplace, reducing health and safety hazards on the job, producing neat, solid pallet loads every time, and optimizing your warehouse space. The Premier Tech Chronos AP-400 Series High Level Automatic Bag Palletizer handles low rigidity bags with reduced manipulation thus retaining bag shape. It provides high quality pallet loads, at speeds of up to 35 BPM. Our design offers users a very smooth operation thanks to electronic and harmonic motion which also requires less maintenance, less power, and ensures increased reliability and uptime. The AP-400 Series Palletizer is a perfect fit with our FFS-200 Series Bagger and our stretch wrapper or hooder.
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West Salem Machinery Introduces New Biomass Super Shredders™
DoMor Equipment Introduces New Generation Skid-steer Series Grader Attachments
he WSM Biomass Super Shredders™ combine the efficiency of a high-speed mill with the durability of a heavy-duty grinder. Available with rotor widths from 60” – 88” (1524 mm x 2235 mm), these machines deliver higher tip speed for smaller, consistent fiber sizing; increased screen area for more thru-put; and flexible/interchangeable tooling. The largest WSM Biomass Super Shredder™ — the massive Model 4888S — features a 48” dia. by 88” (1219 mm x 2235 mm) long rotor, and operates with 400-800 hp to convert high volumes of pre-processed biomass materials. The Super Shredders™ has superior production rates of up to 100 tph eliminating the need for multiple machines. WSM Biomass Super Shredders™ include AR interior wear liners, modular sizing screens, dual pivoting hydraulic housing and reversible/replaceable hammer tips for reduced maintenance and operating costs. To learn more, see us at www.westsalem.com, call us at 800-722-3530, or e-mail email@example.com.
22 Soil & Mulch Producer News July / August 2011
oMor Equipment Company, based in Eureka, IL, recently introduced its new generation skid-steer (SS) line of heavy-duty, road-grading attachments that mount on a Bobcat, skid steer, newer tractors or even backhoes, and grade forward or backward thanks to a unique patentpending 4-blade design. The new SSF and SHA Series grader attachments feature a lower-profile design, a new color and offer greater operator visibility of the material-mixing area, while still maintaining the same sturdy 4-inch tubular steel frame and ¼-inch thick rolled side pans. Users save money by reclaiming their existing gravel roads without the expense of new aggregate. With more than 40 years experience designing and manufacturing grading and gravel-spreading attachments, DoMor Equipment is an industry leader in road management attachments for heavy, medium and light duty equipment. DoMor manufactures innovative, durable and dependable products under brand names Rivinius and Duragrader. For more information, visit our website at www.domorequipment.com or call 800-798-2303. See a video of the SS Series grading attachment in action at: http://youtu.be/72QystIwd3k.
WE’RE WILDLY CONSISTENT. Wildcat trommel screens and compost turners can help you produce a consistent end product. For nearly 40 years, Wildcat Manufacturing has been helping operators exceed their wildest expectations. Our products are powerful, productive, and backed by an industry-leading dealer network committed to your satisfaction. From trommel screens to compost turners, we design and build equipment you can count on day after day. It’s easy to operate, easy to service, and the easy choice when you need high performance and consistent end product.
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Info Request #141 July / August 2011 Soil & Mulch Producer News 23
6075 Hopkins Road • Mentor, OH 44060 Ph: 440-257-6453 • Fax: 440-257-6459 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org VOL. V NO. 4
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JUL / AUG 2011
Inside This Issue Spontaneous Combustion a Hot Issue for Compost, Mulch Producers PAGE 1 Composting Council Launches Public Outreach Campaign PAGE 9 Used Equipment For Sale PAGE 10 Mountain Pine Beetle Moving East From Alberta PAGE 15 MACT Rules Could Put a Crimp in Non-Wood Biomass Fuel Use PAGE 16
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