Its encouraging to see how our communities work to improve the soils in their community by composting and recycling biosolids using creative locally designed solutions!
The Town of Ladysmith, located on Vancouver Island has been composting their biosolids and reusing the compost in their own community for 20 years. The composting process is an integral part of their wastewater management process. Recently they designed their own covered aerated windrow system, using mostly materials locally available!
The 1000 tonnes per year of Class B biosolids are blended with locally produced yard waste and woodchip material, and placed in aerated windrows covered with Compostex fabric. The composting material is turned at least 4 times in a 21 day process to ensure a consistent and quality Class A compost.
This covered aerated windrow system was designed by the Town of Ladysmith’s own staff, who using the principles of composting, created a simple and functional system that produces a Class A product in an environmentally sustainable process. Part of the ingenuity was the design and manufacture of their own hydraulically operated cover winder system to remove the Compostex covers from the windrows. They use readily available wireless temperature probes to continually record the temperatures in the composting material, and designed their own software to organize and report the data.
Odor from the process is managed by creating a recipe with the right moisture content, the Compostex covers to minimize excess moisture from rainfall, and timed aeration to ensure adequate oxygen in the composting material. This allows the composting process to be located in town, very close to other commercial activities.
Leachate is managed using the Compostex covers to shed the rainfall. As an additional level of protection, all of the water from the active composting area is directed to the wastewater treatment plant.
The resulting Class A compost is used for parks and gardens within the community, providing additional water holding capacity for the soil and nutrients for the plants.
We honor the Town of Ladysmith for their diligent work in creating a circular bioeconomy, by reducing potential greenhouse gas emissions, and by recycling organic matter to improve the health of their soil.