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Monday, May 9, 2011

Compost Center Field Trip

Our 4H Engineering Group went on a field trip this past week. We visited the United States largest composting facility. I have to tell you that I have never really had an interest in trash or sewage, but I have to admit this was a very interesting learning experience. One of the greatest things about this is that it saves a lot of landfill area that would have otherwise had to of been used. Instead most of this is actually converted to compost. So the process basically recycles the trash into something useful.

We began our tour here. This is where everyday household garbage gets dumped. It then gets mixed together with sludge (sewage that has basically been filtered, most of the water is removed. ) They mix it and put it in these holes in this barn. It then goes into this big concrete round thing that rotates it.

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This is the big round thing. They have several of these. The mixture stays in here for 3 days. During this process the microorganism from the waste and trash (like food waste and sewage, begin to eat away and things that are biodegradable.)

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After 3 days it comes here, and gets filtered again. You can see the things hanging from the rotator. These are items that the process could not break down. (Plastic bags, garden hoses, wire, etc.) Under this is a conveyor that takes the dirt into another part of the process.

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Here you can see that the smell of all this was unpleasant. The girls are holding their noses.

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The conveyor then runs it through a filter to sift out more debris.

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Then it comes here to wait 40 more days. During this process it is turned every day so the microorganisms can break it down more, and it can become more aerated.

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The finished product. (It is then sold and is mostly used by farmers, and landscapers.

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This is the cardboard recycling area. They bundle it up.    

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They can get about $180.00 per bundle.

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This is a commercial use landfill that was onsite. This will get buried.

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