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Large-Scale Composting

This site is about composting organic materials on a large scale at municipal, farm, or commercial facilities. This page is presented by the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at NC State University.

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Rhonda Sherman
Extension Specialist
Biological & Agricultural Engineering
(919) 515-6770
E-mail: sherman@ncsu.edu

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Bio&Ag Extension Information

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Large-Scale Organic Materials Composting
(NC Cooperative Extension Service, AG-593, 1999, 14 pp.)

Composting at NC Residential and Summer Camps
(NC Cooperative Extension Service, AG-773, 2/13, 2 pp).

Bio & Ag Website:

Sherman Home
Vermicomposting Site

Turning Problems into Profits

Photo: A hauler is scooping up black compost and moving it to a new location the truck is yellow and the hot compost is causing steam plumes.

In the early 1990's, most public officials and business owners thought of organic waste materials such as yard trimmings, food scraps, and sludge as a problem they had to dispose of. But now, more often, public agencies and entrepreneurs are turning this former problem into a profit with environmental benefits.

Composting Basics

Photo:  Shows compost piles and machinery moving between the piles.

Composting is the aerobic decomposi-tion of organic materials by micro-organisms under controlled conditions into a soil-like substance called compost. During composting, microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi break down complex organic compounds into simpler substances and produce carbon dioxide, water, minerals, and stabilized organic matter (compost). The process produces heat, which can destroy pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms) and weed seeds.

Types of Facilities

Composting facilities are aerated or unaerated and covered or not covered. Composting methods include passive piles, windrows, static piles, and in-vessel composting (in bins, beds, silos, transportable containers, and rotating drums).

Publications

Large-Scale Organic Materials Composting
(NC Cooperative Extension Service, AG-593, 1999, 14 pp.)

Composting at NC Residential and Summer Camps
(NC Cooperative Extension Service, AG-773, 2/13, 2 pp).

Large Scale Composting: On-Farm Composting Methods - FOA Corporate Document Repository

Basic On-Farm Composting Manual

Photo: compost-pile and machinery

Internet Resources

Cornell Composting -On-farm Composting Handbook

Cornell Waste Management

ATTRA

  1. Farm-scale Composting Resource list
  2. Industrial Park Composting Options