From entering the site as waste to leaving as nutrient-rich compost, the path of everything which comes in and goes out is fully traceable, with a clear and demonstrable provenance.
Green, food and specific organic waste collected from homes and businesses is delivered or collected on behalf of the local authority. This waste is then shredded and blended to produce a homogeneous mix for composting. Blended material is loaded into the in-vessel bunker system, which features an aeration system, temperature control and wireless data logging probes to decompose it in a controlled manner which meets EU composting standards.
The system processes the waste in a fully-enclosed computer-controlled environment. Once the tunnels of the in-vessel bunker system are filled and the doors are closed, fans blow air through the perforated floors of the tunnels. The air passes through the composting material and is re-circulated within the tunnels. When the oxygen level within the tunnel drops below a minimum set level, fresh air is drawn in, allowing very tight control of oxygen levels and temperature within the material.
Following the in-vessel stage is the stabilisation phase where the compost is arranged in rows and turned on a regular basis with a dedicated turner.
After 6 to 8 weeks the material is ready for screening into a peat free high quality PAS 100 compost to be used as a soil improver.
The flagship Cambridge site utilises a computer-controlled double-ended batch tunnel in-vessel system, capable of safely composting all manner of materials including:
- Food and green waste
- Compostable packaging
- Municipal solid waste
- Anaerobic Digestion (AD) residue
Developed over a 25 year period by recognised industry-leaders GiCom, the IVC technology system also enables the biological drying of municipal solid wastes and other waste streams containing organics, and the production of mushroom composts from poultry litter and straw. The system is fully enclosed with a biofilter to minimise emissions, and is fully compliant with strict UK Government Animal By-Products Regulations (ABPR).