Sunday, November 6, 2011

Compost Facility Supportive Legislation and Policies

The compost facility at the Bagan Ajam market, believed to be the first in Penang, was an initiative by the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) and S.I. Green Management Sdn Bhd seven month ago. By setting up the compost facility without any supportive legislation and policy, it show the total incompetent and ignorance of Lim Guan Eng administration in compost related waste management. This incompetency of the state government resulted in the inability of the municipal to provide the compost operator with enough bio-degradable waste for composting.
Two more compost facilities will be set up soon. The state government need to buck up and provide the necessary help to ensure the survival of this new born industry.

First thing the state government should do is to conduct a study on introducing a mandatory solid waste's source separation ordinance. The state government should use San Francisco as a case study. San Francisco has some of the most progressive recycling regulations in the world. These regulations were further strengthened in June 2009 when the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance requiring all city residents to separate food scraps, recyclable material, and trash into three separate curbside containers. Starting in 2011 the City is able to impose fines on those who do not effectively separate these materials. After a process of education and warnings, the fine will be $100 for small businesses and single occupancy homes and up to $1,000 for large businesses and multi-unit buildings.[1]

Why pass a recycling and composting law?
Past experience show that after decades of voluntary, convenient programs and financial incentives, only limited amount of wastes were separated resulting municipal authorities unable to fulfill their recycling objective.

In San Francisco, under the ordinance, the city introduce a mandatory refuse collection account for recycling and composting service. This service is free for residences. Different waste collection carts are provided free.

The ordinance mandates collectors to inform and educate customers who put the wrong material in a container. Warnings will be issued prior to fines. The ordinance first requires a tag on the container and then, if misuse continues, a letter. After multiple warnings, the collector may refuse to empty a cart and leave another tag and send a written notice to the customer identifying the incorrect materials and describing what action must be taken for the carts to be collected. The city may request collectors to provide a list of addresses that have been warned for repeated misuse. City enforcement may then follow starting with a call or visit to the address. If someone refuses to install service, support, or use it properly, the city may consider liens, fines, and other fees. Fines can go up to $1,000, but may not exceed $100 for small generators (anyone producing up to one cubic yard of refuse per week-about six standard 32-gallon carts). The city will not create liens without a hearing or issue fines without warnings. Fines can be appealed, and properties with insufficient space may apply for a waiver by submitting the form below. There will be no fines for improper separation at multifamily or multi-tenant commercial properties unless regulations are adopted after June 30, 2011. However, fines may be assessed for not instituting and maintaining adequate recycling and composting programs. Recyclables or compostables in the trash at such buildings may indicate inadequate service, or the need for operational adjustments, or additional education. Residents and businesses want to do the right thing, and will do so once they know how. Warnings are opportunities for education, and fines to be levied only in egregious ongoing situations. [2]

After introducing the mandatory source separation of solid waste, the authorities should educate businesses and residences on waste separation by classifying the type of thrash to inform the public what are compost-able, what are recyclable and what are non-recyclable items.

The next thing the authorities need to do is to establish a compost facilities licensing policy. License need to be issued to ensure that compost facilities are located at suitable site that it did not caused complaint from nearby residents. The licensing should ensure that the operation is safe and did not caused any environment pollution or damages. The licensing should classify the facilities according to the type of waste that it can handle. A good example for the authorities to study is the publication of Recycled Organics Unit on waste composting. Information regarding licensing, scientific principles, process control strategies, technologies, training and contacts relevant to the processing of recyclable organics by composting and other related technologies can be found at

Example of Compost Facilities Classification

Authorized Feedstock Types

Depending on a facility’s classification, there are several types of materials that compost facilities can take:

  • Type A - Yard waste

  • Type B - Agricultural plant material

  • Type C - Animal waste

  • Type D - Vegetables, fruits, grains

  • Type E - Dairy and meat

  • Type F - Rendering

  • Type G - Domestic animal carcasses

  • Type H - Wild animal carcasses

  • Type I - Other source separated organics

  • Type J - Non-source separated materials

    Compost Classifications

    Class I - Composting facility that accepts feedstock types A, B, C, D, E, I, J, bulking agents and additives. May also accept types F, G and H after obtaining the director's approval. Requires a permit-to-install application through the Ohio EPA.

    Class II - Composting facility that accepts feedstock types A, B, C, D, E; may utilize bulking agents such as wood chips, straw, shredded newspaper, shredded cardboard, sawdust and/or shredded brush as well as other materials after approval of the director of the OEPA; and other additives. May also accept types F, G, H and I after obtaining director's approval. Has additional requirements under solid waste disposal licenses.

    Class III - Composting facility that accepts feedstock types A, B, C, bulking agents and additives. The facility site is limited to less that 15,000 square yards of total area.

    Class IV - Composting facility that accepts only source-separated yard waste and may utilize bulking agents as in Class II. (Feedstock types A only, bulking agents and additives limited to urea and bacterial or fungal inoculum.)


The authorities need to properly classify all the compost facilities in order to provide information to waste collectors about the type of composting services available, so that delivery is effective and efficient to avoid incurring high hauling cost and inconvenience to the compost operators with the wrong type of waste.

Another important issue that need to address is how to treat meat, bones, dairy products, curry, fatty foods, grease or oils that wreck havoc on the array of microorganisms, bugs, worms, etc. in the compost pile. They also attract rodents and scavengers.

The food servicing industry is one of the major waste contributors, without solving this problem, it will defeat the objective of zero waste.

Fatty foods, grease, curry or oils contaminated waste should be washed before the waste is put in the compost pile.The waste water should be channel to an oil and solid separator, i.e., an automated and self-cleaning, Big Dippers® which deposit all of the collected cooking grease into convenient containers for clean, easy removal. Grease is collected before it turns rancid, allowing it to be easily rendered and even sold for recycling applications. Big Dippers® replace any need for an old-fashioned, unhygienic grease trap and never require manual cleaning or pump-outs.

All restaurants and food servicing outlets should be make mandatory to install a grease/ oil and solid separator or grease interceptor to treat fatty foods, grease, curry or oils contaminated waste as well as waste water.

Grease interceptor trap waste is waste from a grease interceptor used for the capture of food grease and solids before discharge a waste to sewer, or any residual solids derived from the treatment of this waste. Grease interceptor waste is primarily sourced from retail food businesses such as restaurants, fast food outlets and hawker centers. Disposal of grease interceptor waste primarily occurs through liquid waste management, which separates the solids for immobilisation and landfill.

The state government should work out with compost facilities operators to come out with solution on what systems to be implemented to better manage grease trap pump-outs and prevent illegal disposal.

The disposal of grease trap waste and cooking oil may lead to illegal activities if no monitoring of the disposed material is actively undertaken. We should prevent the illegal conversion into cooking oil as what had happened in southwest China. Raw trap grease should be converted into biodiesel fuel if possible under strict monitoring of the municipals.

For household waste, the authorities should work out with compost operators to install facilities to treat fatty foods, grease, curry or oils contaminated waste.

Meat, bones, fish and animal carcasses should be compost in special compost facility.


1 comment:

  1. Ashwaste Environmental Ltd. can register your premises with the Environment Agency by obtaining a Premises Code (a legal requirement) enabling the waste to be removed and disposed of at an authorised site.

    Interceptor Waste