Tim O’Neill

Tim O’Neill

Tim O’Neill

Speaker | Engineered Compost Systems

Seattle, WA | tim@compostsystems.com

Tim is President and founder of Engineered Compost Systems (ECS) (1999 to present). During his 28 years in the compost industry he has worked as a researcher, product developer, facility designer, and a process improvement consultant. He serves as a trustee on the US Compost Council’s Education and Research Foundation. He research activities include compost process science and compost air emissions.

Session Code: 3D

Track: Operations

Session Name: Fundamentals, Hybrids and Safety

Session Time: Tuesday, January 25, 4:15 PM to 5:45 PM

Presentation Title: Successful Operation of a Large-Scale Composting Facility with Restrictive Air Permits

Presentation Description: The Napa aerated static pile facility began operations in early 2020 with a hard-won air permit to accept 315 tons/day of food and yard waste, and other residuals.  The primary goal of the 10,700-word air permit was to keep the VOC emission factor below 1.8 lbs/ton of feedstock out of concerns for public health.  Starting in Q2 of 2020, the facility was required to conduct four quarters of official source testing which demonstrated an average VOC emission factor of 0.15 lbs/ton.  This low emission factor is the product of optimized biological process conditions in the pile, and not the result of an enclosure and scrubbing system to capture and treat the exhaust air.  Maintaining these conditions is accomplished through competent operations and an aeration and control system designed to optimize the process.  In this talk we will present the key requirements of the air permit, the science behind the aeration system design, the daily operating practices, and a summary of the extensive process QC data collected by staff to comply with the permit.  This talk is intended to highlight the effectiveness of focusing on a few easily measured process conditions when designing, operating, and regulating a composting facility.