GREEN WASTE COMPOSTING
We’re breaking new ground, transforming green wastes into a compost that can be used on agricultural land as a soil improver.
Soil health has declined significantly over the last thirty years, thanks to an overdependence on inorganic fertiliser. It’s important to us to try to reverse this damage.
We compost over 15,000 tonnes of green, horticultural and arboricultural waste a year, predominantly at our Sandhutton site. To be clear, this is a modest tonnage – but sometimes quality is more important than quantity.
We specialise in processing and refining compost into products that can be used as agricultural fertilisers. Our composts are sold as both a soil improver and an NPK fertiliser equivalent.
Soils of success
Whether our compost is being used for gardening or farming, our in-house FACTS assessor is qualified to advise on how best to apply it to achieve the optimum growing conditions for plants and crops.
All of our compost is PAS100 certified, meaning it has been produced to a quality standard in terms of consistency, appearance and being contaminant free.
By prioritising the agricultural ELM scheme as well as soil structure and management, we’ve been able to produce a compost that reverses the decline in soil health. True to our values, we’re fostering sustainability from the ground up.
The recognised standard for the compost at the end of stabilisation is PAS100.
IN VESSEL COMPOSTING
We transform higher risk organic waste into compost, treating it in large, sealed chambers inside a building to prevent any risk to the environment.
We’re leading the way through in-vessel composting. As experts in the field, we’re permitted to process up to 75,000 tonnes a year. We operate a system of sanitisation, stabilisation and maturation, where all feedstocks are first passed through an Animal By-Products (ABP) process.
Ideal for non-source segregated organic materials like MSW fines, Anaerobic Digester Grits and sewage sludges, our innovative process filters and recirculates the air to ensure the operation is odour free. Biomass-powered heat maintains consistent chamber temperatures year-round, using composting waste as fuel.
Refining our approach
While our compost-like output (CLO) meets PAS100 standards, non-source segregated feedstock prevents it from achieving end-of-waste standards. So our CLO is further refined and used in the restoration of non-agricultural land.
At the end of the process the organic waste
becomes a Compost Like Output (CLO).
Soils are a valuable natural resource – and there simply aren’t enough to use on restoration projects. So we’ve learnt how to blend organic and inert wastes to create a synthetic soil.
Not all compost can be used for agricultural purposes. The compost produced from in-vessel composting sites and MBT plants, for example, isn’t suitable to use on agricultural land – that’s why it’s referred to as compost-like output (CLO). However, this doesn’t mean it’s worthless.
The process to create soil substitutes made from a blend of CLO, non compliant sewage sludge, construction fines and grits is a highly regulated business. The final product has to comply to a very strict specification, which includes growing characteristics, chemical composition, absence of physical contaminants and appearance. Put simply, it must be as good as virgin topsoil.
In early 2022, we began a three-year research project, supported by the Environment Agency, Renewable Energy Association (REA), National Farmers Union (NFU) and Defra, aiming to refine our product for potential use as organic fertilizer on agricultural land. Look out, we will keep the blog updated with our progress towards this goal.
We're proud of our work to ensure organic waste doesn't actually go to waste.
We chip around 1000 tonnes per year of arboricultural wastes, meaning feedstock that would otherwise go to waste can be converted into biomass fuel.
Through the green-waste composting process, 80% of the feedstock is manufactured into soil conditioning products. This leaves 20% of the feedstock that can’t be turned into compost – we see this as an opportunity.
Using our expertise, we’ve developed an oversize composting process, where we wash oversize compost to remove contamination like plastic, soil, stone and metal. Once washed, this oversize material is chipped to produce a biomass fuel.
As a side project, the biomass chipping team also carries out small woodland clearance. Typically, this involves clearing the brash left after felling and processing limbs, branches and root balls, which then enable the felled areas to be replanted.