Note this review is best viewed on line at http://www.compostinfo.info/ where updates and additional resources are available.
The aim of this review is to collate the large body of existing, and apparently forgotten, information about composting mechanically separated fractions of municipal solid waste (MSW) including sampling and sample preparation issues; and then to present this information in a form that is easily accessible to the UK waste management industry, environmental consultants and researchers.
The volume of material is enormous, and only a fraction of it can be referenced in a conventional review. Hence this review operates in conjunction with an on-line bibliography at (www.compostinfo.info), which currently provides access to a bibliography of around 1,600 references linked to mixed waste composting. The review is intended to provide a general grounding in the subject and to sign post readers to sources of further information. The review is not intended as a “design and build manual” nor does it provide definitive guidance on legal, regulatory, policy or health and safety issues.
The review covers the following topics.
• Composting: past and present: past and recent UK and European composting experience
• Feedstocks and composition: the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of mechanically segregated MSW used for composting
• Sampling and analysis: Methods for quantifying and assessing the performance of mechanical separation, composting and refining systems, in particular sample collection, assessment and preparation. I.e. sampling and sample handling, designing the sampling scheme, sample collection, sub-sampling, sample preparation, preservation and transport, interlaboratory comparisons, health and safety issues, physical methods, chemical methods and biological methods.
• Biology of composting: the terms used, a process description and review of process optimisation.
• Pre-processing methods: technologies used for compost feedstock preparation (separation technologies such as, hand picking, size separation, density based separation, use of electric or magnetic fields; size reduction approaches; process integration; other conditioning approaches; and materials handling issues).
• Composting techniques: turned windrow approaches, open aerated systems, and contained systems
• Refining and packaging: separation processes used in refining, fine milling and pelleting, mixing and bagging, other techniques
• Health and safety, emissions and emissions control: considering in particular: leachate, odour and volatile organic compounds, dust, bioaerosols and other health risks, vermin / birds / insects and fire risks
• Product quality and environmental impacts: The quality of the composts produced by from mechanically segregated fractions of MSW, including: major chemical properties, trace elements, organic pollutants, inerts, microbial and pathogen issues, maturity and stability
• End-uses: for composts produced by from mechanically segregated fractions MSW considering: landfill applications, land restoration, soil improvement, mulches, growing media, and composting as a pre-treatment for landfill
• Operational and Strategic Issues: the role MSW composting can play in sustainable development, regulations standards and guidelines for compost products and the composting process, and compost marketing.
This review has been compiled to provide generic guidance only. r3 environmental technology limited, AEA Technology PLC and the SITA Environmental Trust accept no responsibility whatsoever for any loss or prosecution resulting from acting on the information contained herein. Adherence to any recommendations or information does not necessarily imply endorsement by r3 environmental technology limited, AEA Technology PLC and the SITA Environmental Trust; neither does it necessarily ensure compliance with the respective regulatory requirements. It is strongly suggested that specialist advice be sought where appropriate.