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The future of on farm composting

The future of on farm composting

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The future of on farm composting

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  1. The future of on farm composting NERF 20th September 2012 Andrew Thompson Partner A & E Thompson Tees Valley Compost

  2. 2000 A & E Thompson start composting On farm composting relatively easy to start we were learning with the EA 2005 There were upto 5 on composting sites in the nerf area This had doubled to 10 composting sites Pas 100 was becoming the new standard for compost to agriculture regulators and planners need more information consultation on the future of paragraph 7 spreading and 12 composting Paragraph 12 composting to be changed reducing from 1000m3 to 300t new regulations such as bio-aerosol monitoring and sensitive receptors 2 large composting operations had closed in 2011

  3. The future The small sites offering best value will close due to increasing costs and legislation The large sites that meet pas 100 and the end of waste criteria will survive but they will have to meet increasing Legislative costs and criteria and threats from new technologies

  4. What we must continue to get right • Land spreading of wastes must continue to be regulated • There are still companies that think their material is suitable to be spread to land (CLO’s) • Farmers and consumers need to have confidence in the products that are used to grow food • Plant operators need to understand the regulations • Plant operators need to open discussion with farmers long before the plant is producing processed material as a fertiliser

  5. New technologies • The most exciting of these is AD or anaerobic digestion • Encouraging factors include the Feed in Tarrifs or FITS. Basically a subsidy on producing electricity by AD. How long will this last? Remember the solar panel debacle last year!! • If the right technology is used this is very promising • but the feedstock must be regular to keep the bugs active and efficient

  6. AD Problems • Do not be encouraged to mix food and garden waste • If the ad facility has to revitalise the bacteria then they could be closed for a month. This could mean that an area for storage before processing has to be able to store safely as there may not be another facility able to accept comingled material. If kept separate then other facilities could accept the material. • The size of material will have to pass through a 10mm screen. Grass cuttings no problem but shrubs hedge cuttings and logs need shredding

  7. More ad problems • The digestate needs to be moved out to storage after digestion. Either on farm or on site • Crops do not need nutrients when there is no growth or when crops are too tall for application • Digestate has readily available nutrients and therefore should only be applied when there is a crop requirement and must avoid leaching

  8. The new end of waste regulationsthe 3rd working document so far • The proposal at the moment is to add to the list of inputs that are allowed in the process that produces pas100 compost or pas110 • This will allow residual waste that has been subjected to MBT(mechanical biological treatment) this would include sewage sludge digestate • The JRC (joint research centre’s) have removed the requirement for stability testing. There are no consistant methods for testing. Pas 110 being the hardest to prove stability • A minimum level of organic matter ≥15%m/m dm

  9. The new end of waste regulationsthe 3rd working document so far • To allow upto 2 weed seeds per litre. Currently the limit is 0 Wrap Defra and AFOR/REA are against • To allow .5%contaminants. Current limits .25% • Heavy metals as pas 100 except Cu 100mg/kgdm current 200 Pb 120mg/kgdm 200 • To set limits for organic pollutants (e.gnapthalene, flourene) these products available to gardeners at garden centres and also present in noxious weeds such as ragwort and yew. ≤6.0mg/Kgdm

  10. Thank you