Entries by Lynn Lucas

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Topic: industrial composting — before choosing a composting system

3 questions to ask before choosing a composting system When evaluating choices for organics diversion, system cost tends to be a major influence in whittling down the available options.  But is capital investment a good indicator of true costs over the decades of composting facility operation? There are many questions decision-makers need to ask before […]

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Topic: industrial composting – 7 keys to successful composting

7 keys to successful composting Composting “done right” can be easy or difficult.  Easy if facility operators understand and manage according to a handful of scientific principles.  Difficult if they do not. The specific method in use or design of the physical plant may determine the level of difficulty and costs required to get it right, but […]

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Topic: industrial composting — how does bioremediation work?

Organic waste offers up a feast to hungry microbes Even some toxins can be degraded while composting’s “bugs” chow down during bioremediation Unseen by the human eye, microbes are the soil’s equivalent of worker bees.  They are responsible for a slew of soil functions.  Without them, soils don’t work as they should. “Soil organisms decompose […]

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Topic: carbon farming — perennial food crops

Can compost and perennial food crops save the planet? A match made in food science heaven has the potential to forever change agriculture’s environmental impact. Long ago, humans abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle in favor of agriculture. They tweaked deep-rooted perennial grasses, turning them into shallow-rooted annual grain crops with higher yields. But farming came at […]

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Topic: carbon farming — deep-soil carbon storage

Can compost use impact deep-soil carbon storage? Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have reached a 3-million-year high.  The overload has been building up since the Industrial Revolution hit its stride about 200 years ago.  One culprit is conventional farming, which releases stored soil carbon, (C) relies on synthetic input, and degrades soils.  The use of […]

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Topic: industrial composting – exploiting the power of microbes

Industrial, high-rate composting:  exploiting the power of microbes Thirty years ago, beyond the entry sign announcing the location of a composting operation, it wasn’t unusual to see a former cow pasture crowded with long rows of rotting yard waste. Start-up for these primitive facilities was (and still is) relatively cheap.  A windrow operation is viewed as […]

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Topic: Calculating C:N ratios

Calculating C:N ratios – hitting the sweet spot when blending multiple feedstocks Cooking may allow the chef to add a pinch of this and a daub of that to create an incredibly edible meal, but more exact measurements and methodologies are required for successful baking.  That’s because cooking is mostly about building and enhancing flavors.  […]

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Topic: preemption vs. prevention for composting facilities

Preemption vs prevention:  Choosing higher standards for composting facilities Preemption vs. prevention — do you know the difference?  From odors to leachate to low-value products, at almost every stage of facility development and operation is a preemptive choice that will greatly mitigate or eliminate the most problematic issues plaguing composting operations. First, understand that preemption […]