As part of an integrated approach to the management of green waste within the greater Sligo area, in 2009 Sligo County Council partnered with Ballisodare Community Council to set up Ballisodare Composting Facility Ltd which recycles green waste in the North West of Ireland to produce high quality compost. This initiative was in direct repose to the Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) which obliged all Member States to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that they sent to landfill to 35% of 1995 levels by 2016.
Ballisodare Composting Facility Ltd concentrates on green material to produce an environmentally friendly compost which acts as a valuable soil amendment that improves many soil properties, such as porosity, structural and thermal stability, water retention, resistance to wind and water erosion, and tillage. The composting operation involves initial screening to remove contaminants and non-biodegradable materials, pre-treatment to shred and mix the green waste, stored in open windrows and turned regularly enabling the process of aerobic composting. The finished product is suitable for a variety of applications in the horticultural and agricultural sector.
Ballisodare Composting Facility Ltd is committed to ensuring that the compost produced will be of the highest possible standard, fit to be used for private, public and commercial applications. Only uncontaminated green waste is accepted onto site, adherence to the required processing procedures and regular testing ensures that we continue to produce a high quality product manufactured locally. We are also committed to ensuring that there is continual improvement with regard to how the site is operated and how the benefits of such a facility are communicated to the public.
The facility accepts all types of green waste from both the domestic and commercial producer, and processes this waste stream using the ‘Windrow’ composting technique.
In brief, this is an aerobic biological process where conditions (oxygen concentration, water content, temperature) are maintained at optimal levels to produce a high quality, peat-free compost material.
Different types of green waste including grass clippings, hedge trimmings, shredded timber, straw, are mixed together ensuring that the proper mix is achieved and formed into windrows. They are allowed to breakdown naturally under aerobic conditions, with the oxygen content and temperature being monitored on a regular basis.
The windrows are turned periodically to ensure there is enough oxygen in the compost, and to release water from the pile. This stage of the process takes approximately 12 – 14 weeks.
Once the material is ready the pile is run through a trommel screen and the finer material is separated out and this constitutes the compost product. The larger materials or ‘Overs’ can be returned through the process again.
The fine compost material is allowed to mature for a further 6 - 8 weeks, to ensure biological activity has minimised, and is then ready for use as a soil conditioner, potting mix, ingredient in manufactured topsoil etc.