Pierce Louis

Pierce Louis

Pierce Louis

Speaker | Dirt Hugger

Hood River, OR | pierce@dirthugger.com

USCC Member

Pierce Louis is a co-founder at Dirt Hugger, a 65,000 ton per year composting company located in WA. At Dirt Hugger, Pierce serves as the ‘Swiss Army Knife; focusing on marketing and finance, but leaving time to run loaders and screen compost. He also serves as a board member for the US Composting Council.

Session Name: Addressing Physical Contamination: Case Studies and A Novel Approach

Session Time: Thursday, Jan. 30, 8:30 – 10:00 AM

Presentation Title: Pre-Processing for Contamination Removal and Fuel Savings

Presentation Description: Contamination plagues all facilities receiving curbside organics especially when it contains food waste. Dirt Hugger has experimented with various pre-processing techniques over the years to varying degrees of sucess. Including the following:

Hand picking and rolling with loaders
Piece-rate contracted labor to incentivize picking
Sorting lines
‘No-grind’ system

Starting this year we have begun pre-screeing feedstocks to 2″” minus, removing contamination on a sort line and then size reducing the oversized fractions. This process creates a contamination removal ‘system’ that presents material well to pickers, reduces the burden depth on the sort line, drops out over 50% of the feedstock and reduces fuel consumption of size reduction machines. By getting more contamination out on the front end there are downstream positive impacts on the facility as well. That said, there are still numerous challenges even with the pre-process system.  This talk will discuss our latest pre-processing strategy including:

Detailed cost analysis
Fuel consumption rates
Contamination removal efficacy comparisons
Downstream impacts on production and compost yields
Challenges and opportunites to improve the system

This talk is for composters who are looking for strategies on how to remove contamination on the front end of their facility.