Published: Dec. 10, 2020 By

Also referred to as commercial composting, industrial composting is large-scale composting which is designed to handle a high volume of organic waste. This compost that is produced can be sold to farms and plant nurseries or to individuals depending on how the facility is organized.

A typical industrial composting operation collects waste from grocery stores, restaurants, campus communities, green waste bins collected from households of individual families, and other commercial facilities with compost bins. Many facilities work along with garbage and recycling agencies to make composting easily accessible for individuals.

How does it work?

Step 1: Compost collected from curbside bins from homes, restaurants, parks, etc.

Step 2: Compost is brought to the compost processor where a very basic sort is performed to pull out large contaminates.

Step 3: Some food wastes and nitrogen-rich materials are put into a machine where it is mixed into a nitrogen-rich “sludge”.

Step 4: Carbon-rich items such as leave, branches, and paper, are mixed in with the “sludge” to make the proper carbon to nitrogen ration

Step 5: Carbon and nitrogen organics (paper products and food waste) are placed into long rows which are watered and mixed daily*

Step 6: Dark soil product, which is very nutrient rich, is created after three to six months and can be sold to farms or individuals for gardening and landscaping.

The Three Kinds


Waste is piled into long rows and aerated periodically by watering and turning the piles. These rows are usually 4-8 feet tall and 14-16 feet wide.



Waste is placed in a drum, silo, or concrete-lined trench where environmental conditions are controlled by the waste management facilities.


Aerated static pile:

Waste is mixed in a large pile, loosely layered with bulking agents (woodchips, branches, shredded newspaper, etc) to allow air to filter through the pile. A network of pipes blows air into and sucks the air out of the pile, speeding up the natural process of composting.


Compost Issues

Compost Issues

Contamination is a huge problem for industrial composting sites. Similar to recycling plants, nonbiodegradable garbage is a common contaminant. Separating these items can be messy and inefficient but not doing so heavily decreases the quality of the soil that is being produced. Facilities are still working on better, more efficient ways to sort through the compost they receive.

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