Commercial compost facility at landfill gets upgrade – The Journal

2022-12-13 06:54:03 By : Mr. Francis Yang

The compost program at the Montezuma County landfill is growing, and has upgraded its operation with new equipment.

In October, the landfill purchased a compost turner for $409,000 to improve operation efficiency and the product, said manager Mel Jarmon. Manure Making Machine

Commercial compost facility at landfill gets upgrade – The Journal

A 2022 Backhus A58 Windrow Turner was funded by a $379,000 grant from the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity Program of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The landfill contributed $30,000 toward the machine as part of the grant agreement.

While traveling on two tracks, the unit straddles a row of curing compost while a rotor mixes the combination of organic matter and biosolids.

“Before we had to do all the mixing with a front-end loader, which takes a lot more time,” Jarmon said. “Using this mixes it more evenly and takes a fraction of the time.”

The unit has a capacity to turn up to 5,200 cubic yards of compost material per hour.

It operates in addition to a high-capacity compost screener the landfill purchased in 2020 and was funded by a $127,000 grant from the CDPHE.

To make compost, the landfill combines wood chips, green yard wastes and biosolid waste provided by the Cortez Sanitation District.

The piles go through a curing process that involves regular mixing, water application and temperature checks over a period of months.

Composting works to speed the natural decay of organic material. The end product of the concentrated decomposition process is a nutrient-rich soil used for crops, lawns and trees.

CDPHE does not recommend biosolids compost for use on vegetable gardens.

Locally the compost is popular product for marijuana farms, flower gardens, lawns and trees, Jarmon said. It is sold at an affordable price of $30 per cubic yard, and sales have steadily increased.

The landfill has sold 385.5 cubic yards in 2022, up from 270 cubic yards in 2021, an increase of 43%.

In 2020, the landfill sold 220 cubic yards, up from 166 cubic yards in 2019.

Wood chips from the massive piles at the Ironwood Mill outside Dolores are being used for the landfill’s composting operation and are being stockpiled on site.

“We can’t use all that they have. The chips work well for this,” Jarmon said, and will help increase how much compost can be produced.

Landfill officials plan to move the composting operation onto a nearby 11-acre site being prepped on the west side of the landfill.

The goal is to produce two types of compost, one that uses food wastes and another that uses the biosolids.

Composts that use food waste can be safely used on vegetable gardens, Jarmon said. He plans to work with Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 to recycle food wastes from the cafeterias for use at the new composting facility.

“Recycling food waste into compost is practical. It creates a product in demand and saves room in the landfill,” Jarmon said.

Permitting for the new compost facility is pending permit approval by the CPPHE and is expected to open in 2023.

Sign up for email headline alerts:

Choose from several print and digital subscription packages

Commercial compost facility at landfill gets upgrade – The Journal

Chemical Fertilizer Production Line © 2022 The Journal | Ballantine Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy