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RE: Composting facility odor


I'm sorry to say that tumbling is not the odor creator.  It is the operation
that releases the odor which leads to community complaints.

As the waste sits around for a few weeks, it undergoes anaerobic
degradation.  This generates methane gas and a variety of odorous compounds.
Most of this activity goes on in the center of the pile.  As these gases
diffuse to the surface, they encounter aerobic conditions and are further
broken down into carbon dioxide and water.  Hence, very little odor.  When
the pile is suddenly pick up and dropped into the sorter, all of the odorous
vapors in the center of the pile are released.

One solution would be to sort the waste as soon as it is collected.  Another
would be to slowly aerate the pile while in storage to prevent anaerobic
conditions.  This would also dry out the waste and reduce its weight.  If
you have the area, don't store the waste in compact piles.  You can also try
alcohol or hydrogen peroxide sprays to prevent bacterial growth.

Just a few thoughts.

> ----------
> From: 	Tammy Allen[SMTP:tallen@co.pinellas.fl.us]
> Reply To: 	Tammy Allen
> Sent: 	Monday, September 21, 1998 12:31 PM
> To: 	p2tech@great-lakes.net
> Subject: 	Composting facility odor
> One of our local municipalities has asked for assistance with odor
> complaints on their yard waste facility.  The process goes as follows:
> 1. yard waste grinding
> 2. passed through screening, then may sit several days to weeks before
> next process step
> 3. Ground material is then placed into a tub tumbler that is 30 ft. high
> in the air and tumbling occurs to drop out all light materials (Tumbling
> is the ODOR creator!)
> Any suggestions on how the compost odor could be prevented?
> By now, I have posed two odor problems to you from Pinellas County in the
> last week.  You probably think we are pretty odiferous here?  Love those
> hot, humid summers !!!