Composting is an important component in waste management because it helps to reduce soil erosion by acting as a fertilizer. Commercial composting has quietly developed into a lucrative industry that handles a high volume of organic waste on a daily basis. Even private composting companies that gather waste from homes and small business facilities are showing a profit every quarter.

The origins of commercial composting

In some cities, commercial composting operations originally began as a volunteer effort that promoted a lifestyle of conservation. Over time, many of these free composting cooperatives turned themselves into industrial entities. The growing interest in commercial composting continues to be helpful in reducing the environmental impact caused by organic waste while encouraging everyone to be conscious of recycling. This has helped commercial composting become a rapidly expanding business opportunity in many sectors.

How is the waste gathered?

Typically, a commercial composting company will collect waste from various restaurants, local grocery stores, and other facilities that strictly handle or process food. Some companies will also gather lawn waste and garden trimmings from local nurseries and landscaping companies. Some commercial composting operations will secure an agreement to regularly collect waste from local homeowners, who put their yard and food waste in specific containers. Usually, they will collect on the same day as local garbage pickup. An agreement is often in place with local governments for waste collection as well. Waste collection is a fairly easy process. The commercial composting company will send trucks out to gather the material and bring it to a central facility. Some operations will allow individuals to drop off their own waste at the facility on certain days of the week. This works well for farms and other agricultural businesses that often transport large truckloads of organic waste that is already prepared for composting.

The commercial composting process

There are many methods for composting, so the process will depend on which each facility uses. Here is some basic information that pertains to commercial composting.
    • A well-managed commercial composting facility should never generate a foul odor, regardless of whether it is using anaerobic or aerobic methods.
    • Many companies will choose the anaerobic method because it breaks down waste quickly by using organisms that generate a tremendous amount of heat.
    • The sheer volume of gathered organic waste will require a large amount of space for the composting process.
    • Workers must continually turn or rotate the waste, which helps to introduce oxygen into the mix and speed up the decomposition process.
    • Other commercial composting methods include adding straw or chafe to the mix so the waste breaks down faster.
    • It is important to continuously check the condition of the compost mix to see if it is still fresh. This is accomplished by keeping temperature sensors inside the mix and periodically taking a sample to determine the bacterial level.
    • It is also important to use a compost turner to mix the materials that make up the pile, or windrow. Continuously turning the waste is a key component to producing a quality product.

Using compost turners to make high-quality compost

These machines, also known as windrow turners, make taking care of compost simple for many types of operations. The turners move over the piles of waste, rotating and aerating them as they go. How often you turn will depend on a variety of factors including temperature, windrow size, and material type. Here are some things you keep in mind. The size of equipment you need will depend on the size of your composting operation. If you operate a commercial composting plant, the largest model available is recommended. If you are a farmer, a smaller model might work better for you. It is best to purchase a compost turner that is customized to your business needs, although you can buy pre-made or refurbished units as well.

What happens to the compost after processing?

The compost produced at commercial operations is often considered a high-grade product because it is handled with so much care. Companies will sell compost to plant nurseries, golf courses, and municipalities for landscaping projects and distribution to citizens. Farms can also purchase commercial compost if they don’t make their own. The amount of product sold is all dependent upon how well the commercial composting plant is managed.

Where to find your compost turner

If you would like to learn more about commercial composting equipment, contact the experts at SCARAB International today. We provide customized compost turners to fit your unique needs! Our machines can be used for small, medium, or large operations. We offer New, Refurbished, and Used windrow turners for sale and can even Refurbish your current equipment. Give us a call today at (806) 883-7621 or Contact Us via email to learn more.