Project Number:

3158

Composting Facility Development

SERVICE:

Permitting, Design, and Market Assessment

DESCRIPTION:

A proposed solid waste processing facility received air and solid waste permits a number of years ago. The facility started initial site preparation work for composting but halted construction when the town and neighbor's sued to block the project. After a number of years, the lawsuit was dismissed. Subsequently, Tech Environmental assisted the facility developer with permit updates, marketing material development, and the development of solid waste processing conceptual design alternatives that included high solid anaerobic digestion (HSAD), low solid anaerobic digestion LSAD), and low temperature stabilization (composting).

To restart the project, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) required that the existing air quality and solid waste permits be updated. First, Tech met with MassDEP officials to assure them that both the odor control system and composting approach were still state-of-the-art and appropriate, if composting was to be installed as previously permitted. Tech filed for and obtained revised permits for the biofilter and IPS composting systems. Tech's in-depth knowledge of air permitting and solid waste concerns was used to determine the maximum potential use of the facility. Tech was able to explain the current state-of-the-art for odor control and solid waste composting in simple terms that allowed the facility to update its permit applications quickly.

Given the delay between initial project development and the final free and clear permits, the owner decided that selling the property with permits in hand may be the most desirable next step. Tech Environmental completed a composting market analysis for the area and developed project cash flow situations that included facilities as designed and permitting, with expanded permits, and with other technologies. Tech examined a combination of composting alternative, varying feedstocks, and other stabilization alternatives such as vermicomposting stabilization, wet and dry anaerobic digestion, both with electrical generation and/or with gas production and supplying it to the local natural gas lines.

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Key Points

  • A proposed composting facility needed to update its air quality and solid waste permits to proceed with construction or move towards a sale.
  • Tech's in-depth knowledge of air permitting and solid waste concerns was used to obtain regulatory approval and determine the maximum potential use of the facility.