Whether you are new to creating compost or have been running a commercial operation for years, you know the benefits of composting. Though there are similarities between backyard and commercial composting, there are differences that everyone should know. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your composting operation

Improve your methods

There are many methods you can use for composting on any scale. These can be used for backyard, commercial, and even industrial operations. However, the differences between them could help you decide if you could be using a better method.

Direct composting

This method can be used in a couple of ways. Surface composting is great for gardens because you can use the plants at the end of the season. Simply cut them down and leave them in the soil to naturally decompose. You can also use layers that alternate between carbon and nitrogen-rich material. Just make sure they are around two feet tall.

As you can imagine, direct composting isn’t the most efficient for large-scale operations. This is because the natural rate of decomposition is slow.

Container (or in-vessel) composting

This method is another that may be best for individual or smaller operations but can be used for efficient commercial composting. It doesn’t require a lot of space (for backyard composters) and there is a lot of information, tools, and equipment available for beginners. All you have to do is have a large enough vessel for your needs and the right ingredients. You may want to have two containers to separate active and mature compost.

Heaps and windrows (piles)

Using piles is a better method for large-scale composting operations, though it can be used by small farms or even in gardens. Like layered direct composting, you may need to layer “green” and “brown” materials to get the piles to decompose properly. Using heaps or windrows means you will need equipment like compost turners to mix everything together.

Use better ingredients

If you’re using low-quality ingredients, or the wrong ones entirely, you won’t be able to produce much with your commercial composting operation. That’s because the materials you use make a huge difference in how the decomposition process goes. For home composting, you don’t have to worry as much about what you use, but here are some tips for large-scale operations that could increase the quality of production.

  1. Never use pet or human waste.
  2. Try to avoid bioplastics, unless you can process them correctly.
  3. Do use basic materials like green and brown waste. This includes yard clippings, fruits, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
  4. Don’t use treated materials.
  5. You can use a lot of different kinds of food waste, which is readily available. Just be sure you know how to handle it properly.

Understand the process

Even if you are using the best composting method for your operation, if you don’t know the process, you won’t get a successful product. Here are some basics and some tips to help you get the most out of your current composting process.

  1. Use the best ingredients. You will need to know the best ingredients for your particular final product. Usually, the goal is to have the proper mixture of brown and green materials.
  2. You will need to sort and grind all of your ingredients. Even if you are using long windrows, you will still need to grind everything down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  3. Once everything has been prepped, you can create your windrows, which should be between 9 and 20 feet wide and 3 to 12 feet high.
  4. Make sure to monitor your piles. You will need to check for many things, not just temperature. These include oxygen, moisture, nitrogen, CO2, contaminant levels, acid-alkaline levels, and more.
  5. Turn your piles regularly. If you are using a vessel, it may be able to turn on its own. For many operations, a compost turner may be a more efficient option. These can be self-propelled or tractor-driven, and they come in a variety of sizes with many different features.

Commercial compost turners from SCARAB International

If you are looking for high-quality compost turners, SCARAB International has a variety of machines available. Our compost turners are made for small, medium, and large operations. We offer New, Used, and Refurbished machines, as well as custom turners, made to your exact specifications. To find out more about our Products and Services, including Leasing, give us a call at (806) 883-7621 or Contact Us by email.