Our business model is to create small-scale, rural composting facilities close to end markets. “Small-scale” creates both the opportunity and hurdle to our model. Most compost facilities are located near large urban populations generating large amounts of feedstock, which allow them to invest in high-tech infrastructure and expensive heavy machinery. In contrast, our feedstock volumes are much smaller and we need to be very creative with our investments as well as extremely efficient in our process. From that, we are constantly tinkering with our process flow to make it as efficient as possible, while still yielding a high quality compost.
From the pictures you can see our original process flow and our new process flow. The original design had raw yard debris material coming in on the right with new windrows formed on the opposite side of the pad. During the grinding process we needed to move material to the opposite side of the pad in order to form new windrows. The new process flow has unground material deposited on the far side of the pad, from there windrows are formed and move from left to right across the pad. At the far right side of the pad finished compost is screened and moved over the wall for final curing. The new flow allows all material to go in one direction with no additional handling. In retrospect the new flow is quite obvious, but when starting from scratch we had no idea how the pad would perform nor the best layout. We are excited for the new-found efficiencies and hope to continue to improve the process as we go.