Puglia is a region situated at the far southeast part of Italy. During the years 2007-2013 a national and regional funding program was launched to facilitate for the different municipalities to comply with the targets for recycling of organic waste. Part of the funding concerns the upgrading and modernization of waste facilities; and so far over 15 municipalities have applied for funding to build facilities for local composting.
Installation and supervision by Achab Group
Up until January 2017, seven of the municipalities have had their facilities completed. The construction and installation work is done by the Achab Group, the Italian distributor for Big Hanna. They are responsible for building the installation site as well as the foundation and weather protection, they also install the electronics and build storage modules for the compost. It is also the Achab Group who deliver and install the composting machine and the Biofilter from Big Hanna as well as handle all information and implementation concerning the waste collection and composting process.
An optimal solution
Local collection of the organic waste and composting in a joint composting machine has proven to be the optimal solution for these small municipalities with a population of 800 up to 12 000 inhabitants. Many of them are remotely located with long transports to the nearest landfill as a result. The new system with composting machines now make it possible for these communities to take care of all their organic waste in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
Safe and odour free process
The composting machine is installed with a larger hopper with a screw conveyor to facilitate the loading. The larger hopper is also equipped with a weighing equipment so that the municipalities can control the amount of food waste that is loaded. An Internet connection and a display shows constant information about the continuous process. The only emissions are water vapour and carbon dioxide. Thanks to the effective Biofilter the whole process is completely odourless.
The composting machine rotates every hour to aerate the material and by adding sawdust the material gets drier which leads to effective decomposing. After approximately 90 days, the waste is reduced by 80-85% and broken down into compost, and let out at the end of the machine. The compost is then put into wooden boxes to stabilize, mature and become a fully usable fertilizer. A certain amount of compost may be obtained free of charge by residents while the rest are spread in municipal parks and plantations.
There are so far successful projects in seven municipalities: Anzano di Puglia, Sant’Agata di Puglia, Panni, Ugento, Miggiano, Montesano Salentino and Lizzanello; all of them funded by the Puglia region. The aim is to significantly reduce the cost of organic waste management that up until the changeover represented 50% of the total waste cost.
Each composting facility can accommodate 130 tons of organic waste per year; waste that previously had to be transported and handled at centrally located landfills. The conversion to local composting is one important action by the region to reduce its overall environmental impact, creating a waste cycle and start applying the principles of a circular economy.