Introduction to In-Vessel Composting (IVC):
Over the past few years there has been a drive to reduce the amount of bio degradable waste being put to landfill to minimise the amount of methane (greenhouse gas) being released in to the atmosphere along with reducing the quantities of leachate, bio-aerosols and odours.
The encouragement to recycle and change the way many local authorities deal with municipal waste includes a number of initiatives such as increases in landfill tax and new legislation. A number of directives and regulations that have recently come into force include:
- The European Directive 1999/31/EC or the Landfill of Waste (known as the Landfill Directive) has the aim “to prevent or reduce as far as possible the negative effects on the environment, in particular the pollution of surface water, groundwater, soil and air, and on the global environment, including the greenhouse effect as well as any resulting risk to human health, from the landfilling of waste, during the whole life-cycle of the landfill”
- The Animal By-Products Regulations 2005 (APBR) Regulation (EC) (No 1774/2002) aims to “control the transport, processing, use and disposal of animal by-products. To protect animal and public health, the Regulation requires that animal by-products are processed or disposed of in approved premises, and specifies the standards to which those premises must operate if they are to be approved”
In view of the new legislation and shift in the way we deal with waste, a number of alternative solutions have been put forward. It is essential that any solution complies with the regulations, such as the animal by-products regulations which came into force to protect us from outbreaks of diseases such as foot and mouth.
In-Vessel Composting (IVC) is an attractive waste management solution, which if designed and installed properly ensures compliance to both the landfill and APBR regulations.
What is In-Vessel Composting (IVC):
In-Vessel Composting (IVC) is a means of composting bio-degradable waste and takes place within a closed vessel.
Usually the vessels are concrete bunkers or metal tanks in which the temperature and airflow is controlled and monitored. New air is piped in (under pressure) and old air (exhaust air) is extracted through a bio-filter – ridding the air of pollutants and smells etc. Throughout the process the temperature is monitored to ensure optimum conditions for aerobic digestion and therefore the production of compost.
In-Vessel Composting (IVC) uses the natural composting method of aerobic digestion. The construction of the In-Vessel Composting (IVC) facility creates an ideal environment for the waste to break down, with the added benefit of ensuring that pollutants are limited due to the processes containment. Additionally, any fears relating to the release of methane gas or the spread of disease, such as foot and mouth, by way of animal by-products are equally removed.
To meet the requirements of the Animal By-Products Regulations 2003, the In-Vessel Composting Facilities need to incorporate a number of design features, these include:
- The reception area needs to be in a fully enclosed building. This is to prevent the access of birds, rodents, insects and other vermin
- Facilities need to be fully enclosed and locked; this is to prevent any unauthorised access when it is not attended
- Wheel washes must be installed to disinfect delivery vehicles leaving the dirty areas of the facility
- Additional areas for disinfecting mobile plant moving within the facility must also be installed
- Drainage must be installed to prevent contaminated water from the “dirty” area seeping into the clean area
The Environmental Impact of an In-Vessel Composting (IVC) facility must also be considered. These can be categorised under the following headings:
- Emissions to water
- Emissions to air
- Emissions of solids
- Traffic Implications
- Contaminated land
- Visual impact
It is essential that you consider all of the above before you embark on a costly project and it is good practice to take advice from experts who will ensure that your facility is fully compliant with legislation, thus limiting its environmental impact.
How PM PROjEN can help:
PM PROjEN are experts in the field of Waste Management, in particular In-vessel composting (IVC). Through their work with leading waste management organisations they have developed a generic modular design package which is fully compliant with the requirements of the Animal By-Products Regulations. The fact that the waste is being recycled means the design satisfies the land fill directive too.
Depending on your needs, PM PROjEN can either provide a modular designed installation through the use of off the- shelf equipment to minimise build time and cost. Or if required their expert engineers will design you a bespoke facility inline with your business requirements.
Benefits of In-Vessel Composting (IVC):
- Confidence that design and installation will be legislative compliant
- Design will ensure minimum water consumption (re-use of leachate)
- Confidence of robust design – appropriate to large scale machinery operations
- Identify the most appropriate options – cost/ time effective
- Ensure minimal disruption to ongoing operations
- Ensure smooth integration of the new plant
- Ensure facility is designed and built in accordance with the CDM regulations.