April 2014 

Newsletter Paragon

Spring is Here - It's Construction Season

It's been a long, hard winter for many of us, especially those who live in the mid-west and along the eastern seaboard - but spring and the 2014 construction season is right around the corner. As we speak, building contractors are actively bidding new projects. Therefore, if you are considering an O2Compost system this year, right now is the time to take action. We can help you decide the size and configuration of your compost system and have contractor-ready drawings and bid documents in your hands within a week to 10 days.

If you are saying to yourself, "I'm too busy right now", you will likely have trouble finding a good contractor and you will definitely end up paying more. Contractors are hungry for work right now, but the good ones will be fully scheduled for the year come May and June.

Don't put if off any longer! Pick up your phone and give us a call:  360-568-8085.

3 31 Compost 003

Trends in the Composting Industry

Food Waste2 newsletter

The latest trend is on-site composting of food waste (a.k.a. food scraps and Source Separated Organics, or SSO). O2Compost is working with a wide variety of institutions to help them meet their sustainability goals, including: colleges and universities, prisons, hospital complexes, military bases and, most recently, corporate campuses.

We help orchestrate projects to demonstrate the efficacy of on-site composting and to train operations staff in the science and art of composting. With this baseline knowledge, we then help our clients design, construct and start up full-scale compost facilities.

Peter's Rules of Composting - The 1st in a 12-Part Series

Rule 1: Start with the End in Mind

With composting, it helps to have a vision of what the entire process will look like. Most O2Compost clients use their finished compost in their landscape and vegetable gardens or on their pastures. Others sell their compost to cover some of their operating expenses. Still, others have a dream of starting a composting business and making this their primary vocation. Whichever you choose, it is important to "start with the end in mind" so that you do things right the first time.

Ask yourself what type of finished product you want to produce. Is it your objective to better manage the organic waste being generated on your site, or do you want to also receive outside materials such as manure from other farms, or landscaping or food waste to produce a blended compost product?

If you plan to use your compost on your own pastures or with field crops or landscaping, what type of equipment will you use to spread it and when? Do you have a manure spreader or will you use the bucket on your tractor? Will you stockpile your compost to spread in the spring and fall, or will you take it straight out to the pastures year round?

If you plan to sell your compost, how do you plan on doing this - as a bulk product or in bags, or both? Who are you going to sell it to, how much will you charge, and what will be your method of delivery - will they drop by the farm during certain operating hours or will you take it to them in a dump trailer, or will you sell it at a local farmer's market?

I strongly recommend that you start with a written plan despite the fact that it will undoubtedly change as you gain experience with your compost system.

One of our favorite clients in Tennessee tells a great story about how her plans changed unexpectedly. Lynn operates a therapeutic riding stable with about 20 horses. She and some of the volunteers (husbands mostly) constructed a fabulous O2Compost system. When they first started producing compost they used most of it on their own pastures.

Along the way, some of their members started using the compost and the word got out to the local gardening community. Now the stable receives donations for everything that they produce - and they have a waiting list. They have gotten so many inquiries that they finally painted a sign with a green thumbs UP on one side and red thumbs DOWN on the other to indicate whether they have compost or not. All of the money that they receive goes back into the therapeutic riding program in support of people of all ages who have physical and mental handicaps.

Reference:  "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey, 1989.

New Compost System Comes On-Line

Ong Newsletter

OWNER:   H. Ong  

LOCATION:  Yorba Linda, California

4 horses on large shavings bedding

The finished compost will be used on-site.

Compost FAQ

If I compost kitchen scraps, can I compost meat and dairy products? 
I heard that it's a bad idea but I don't know why.

Yes, you can compost meat and dairy products with an O2Compost system. The reason most people feel these products should not be composted is because they might attract vectors (flies, rodents, birds and larger wildlife). This can be a problem with small, backyard composters like the ones you would purchase online or at your local hardware store.

With an O2Compost system, we cover the top of the raw materials with a layer of finished compost that is at least six inches thick. This layer serves as a vector barrier, an insulating cover, and a biofilter. It takes very little time (12 hours or so) for pile temperatures to get quite high in an aerated compost pile. High pile temperatures will quickly and effectively dissuade any critters from digging into the pile.

As an insulating cover, the objective is to retain heat in the raw feedstocks as a means of destroying pathogens, parasites, weed seeds and insect larvae. Our goal in this case is to achieve temperatures of at least 131 degrees for three days or longer.

As a biofilter, the cover layer absorbs odorous gases and treats them biologically, in situ. As a result, a pile that contains small to moderate quantities of meat and dairy products will not exude odors that attract vectors to the compost system.

Meat (particularly fish) and dairy products are also excellent sources of Nitrogen and readily available Carbon and help to stimulate the composting process. They ultimately contribute to a higher quality compost product. 

Coming Events

April 16-19, 2014
ASP Hands-On Workshop - CLASS IS FULL
-Snohomish, Washington
This 3-day event bridges the gap between the classroom and the field.
Our motto:  "Seeing is Believing but Doing is Understanding".

June 26, 2014
USCC Webinar - "Aerated Static Pile Composting 101"
For more info, watch this page for updates: http://compostingcouncil.org/webinars/.

October 26-29, 2014
AASHE Annual Conference
- Portland, Oregon
For more info, visit:  http://conference.aashe.org/2014/.

Protecting Our Land, Air and Water Resources

Price-Moon Enterprises, Inc.
PO Box 1026
Snohomish, WA 98291

Phone:  360-568-8085
Email:   info@o2compost.com


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