Today, I had the coolest opportunity to visit the Deschutes Recycling Compost Facility housed at the Knott Landfill! I loved every single minute of the visit and couldn’t stop the smile from shining the whole, entire time! There’s something so inspiring and motivating to see composting on such a massive level.
This week, I had a meeting with members of St. Charles Health Care Center to talk about their planned community garden and learn more about their pre and post consumer waste which is being collected by Deschutes Recycling. I was fascinated by the composting program and asked if I could tag along on their visit to the composting facility. I had to see it in action. Their set-up is truly amazing.
On the composting site, the food waste travels to 4 areas before it is ready to be usable compost for your gardens. (Carlos took amazing video footage and will be edited sometime soon!) This photo shows the compost moving from the 2nd phase to the 3rd phase. This is a mixture of brown and green organic waste. You can see the brown waste on the bottom and the green food waste in the middle and a bit of brown on the top. The drop box also has black tubes inserted to pump in air so aerobic decomposition occurs. This process takes about 30 days and temperatures reach about 130F which kills the pathogens in the compost.
Here’s a close up of the compost. They are doing a terrific job keeping it aerated. A sure sign of aerobic decomposition is the smell it gives off while breaking down. This batch has an earthy smell. Good Job Deschutes! This will then move to a windrow to continue decomposing and then move to the screening process to remove any pieces that didn’t compost, such as large pieces of bone.
There are only 2 facilities participating in this food composting program on a commercial level. Soon, Deschutes Recycling will continue to provide this service to many more commercial businesses in Deschutes County. Very cool, very cool indeed!