Allowance of compostable liner bags, and in some cases compostable products, is a must for some clients of a Tennessee composter. Key has been tweaking processes and equipment to manage them successfully.
In 2011, Edward Wansing launched The Compost Company in Ashland City, Tennessee, the first organics recycler in the mid-state region around Nashville. Wansing, who grew up on a farm and pursued a career in sustainable architecture, saw a need for recycling of organic waste in the growing Nashville area. “Before I started the company, I spent a number of months talking to area waste haulers and recyclers to gauge local interest,” he told BioCycle in a 2015 article. The facility, located on a 37-acre site, started out composting yard trimmings, wood chips and landclearing debris, and then began taking in preconsumer produce waste.
After a couple years, Wansing began a hauling service, enabling The Compost Company to expand into new areas in the region, as well as new food waste streams. “We are becoming more independent of the larger waste haulers, to better control our supply of incoming feedstock,” he added in the 2015 article. Clients being serviced once collection was launched included the Music City Center convention facility, Nashville office buildings, food processors, and hotels and conference centers that host events producing large amounts of postconsumer food and paper packaging and serving waste, as well as compostable bioplastic serviceware.
Ten years in, The Compost Company has a 25-cubic yard collection truck (it originally started with a Dodge Ram pickup with a dump trailer), as well as accepts food scraps from other haulers that also use compostable liners and accept compostable products. The facility processes about 2,800 tons/year of food scraps along with 4,200 tons/year of yard trimmings and other carbon feedstocks. Clay Ezell, co-owner and Collection and Business Development director, joined the company in 2015. In 2017, a shift was made from windrows to extended aerated static pile composting to improve process controls and optimize utilization of space on the composting pad.
Read the full article on the BioCycle website.