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Compost Systems

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Turned Windrow

Static Windrow

Extended Pile

In-Vessel Systems

Animal Mortality Composting

Other System Components


Turned Windrow

A typical turned windrow compost system.


On-farm composting by a vegetable grower near Yakima, WA, using dairy manure, straw, and waste from the packing house. Compost piles are constructed on the edge of the field where application will occur.


 This Hood River, OR, orchard produces its own compost using the Controlled Microbial Composting (CMC) approach developed in Austria.


 Hood River #2. Various feedstocks are imported and mixed with cull fruit, juice pulp, and some paper waste from the processing plant.


 Hood River #3. Given the rainy winter conditions and hot, dry summers, geotextile "compost blankets" are used to maintain optimum moisture and avoid leaching, thus allowing for more all-season composting.


 Use of the CMC process in dry climates such as this site near Reno, NV, requires constant addition of water to the compost windrows during the summer.


 A composting site in a fallow field in Nevada.


 A large dairy farm near Jerome, ID, began a compost operation as a waste management tool and developed it into an additional business.


 Profile of windrows at a dairy in eastern Washington.


 Windrows at the WSU composting site in Pullman, Washington.


 Windrows of yard debris, manure, and food waste at a composting site in Vermont.


 Windrows of chicken manure and wood shavings on a concrete pad at an egg farm in Idaho.


Corner land outside of center pivot irrigation areas is used as a site for compost windrows at a dairy in Idaho.


 Static Windrow

Static compost piles with forced aeration near Lewiston, ID.


 Forced aeration equipment for static piles near Lewiston, ID.


Another view of the forced air system. 



This blower forces air into a static compost pile.

Slide courtesy of Tom Richard

 Forced aeration in a bin type system.


Slide courtesy of Brickends Farm, MA

 Passive aeration of piles in bins in Vermont.


 An example of a passively aerated windrow system (PAWS) at a site in Vermont.


 Static piles with passive aeration tubes.


 Air inlet pipe for a PAWS composting site in British Columbia.


 Permanent air outlets in the pad for an aerated static pile at a site in Washington.


 An example of a passively aerated static pile composting system on a farm near Wichendon, MA.


 At this California vineyard, grape pomace is composted between sections of vines.


Extended Pile  

An example of an extended pile with floor aeration compost system in Wright County, MN.


 A Buhler windrower turning compost in an extended pile with floor aeration system.


 Same as above.


 At a composting facility in Couer d'Alene, Idaho, these aerated static piles are manged under cover.


 In-Vessel Systems

This is an example of an enclosed bag composting system used at Olds College, Alberta.


Enclosed bag composting system.


 This agitated bed composting system is used to compost chicken manure in a greenhouse in California.

Slide courtesy of Karin Grobe

 At this facility in British Columbia, fish waste is composted in a greenhouse with an agitated bed system using a drum turner.

Slide courtesy of Charles Henry

 An early agitated bed composting system is used at a USDA research facility in Beltsville, Maryland.

Slide courtesy of Robert Light

 Channel and turner, Beltsville agitated bed composting system.

Slide courtesy of Robert Light

A home-made channel-type system with a turner on tracks, all enclosed in a greenhouse.


 In-vessel channel and turner system.


 Channeled windrows of chicken manure are turned under a high-rise poultry house in Idaho.


 An experimental sized compost reactor for research purposes.


 Modular, aerated composting containers.

Slide courtesy of Jim McNelly

 An example of an aerated compost container used at a site in Vermont.


 This farm-scale rotating drum is used for composting at a Texas site.


 A large-scale, rotating drum composting vessel in Texas.


 Animal Mortality Composting

Composting dead fish at an aquaculture facility.


 A passively aerated static pile for composting fish waste is being formed.


 Bins for composting fish mortalities in a 2-stage system at Buhl, Idaho.


 A common design for composting animal mortalitites in covered bins, these are used for poultry composting in Maryland.


 A similar shed used for composting poultry mortalities at a site in Washington.


At this turkey farm in Colorado, mortalities and manure are composted in windrows. Feathers are slow to compost.


Bones composting in windrows at a Texas site are very slow to decompose.


 A diagram of a simple poultry mortality composting system.


 At a Utah State University composting facility, cattle mortalities are composted in enclosed static piles.


 Other  System Components

Using a front end loader to blend initial feedstocks.


 A feedstock pile at a facility near Lewiston, ID.


 Compost feedstock staging area at the WSU facility.


 Paper pulp feed stock piles.


 Using alfalfa seed wastes for composting near Nampa, ID.


 Separated dairy manure solids used for composting at the WSU facility.


A series of aerated composting bins at a site in Washington.


 Aeration channels in floor for composting bins.


 Compost for sale needs to be of higher quality than that for many on-farm uses, requiring additional equipment such as screens.


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October 2000