Frequently Asked Questions
The “Publicly Available Specification” has been developed by the Association for Organic Recycling in conjunction with WRAP. The objective is to provide a benchmark for the production of good quality compost from recycled materials by providing sound working practices that producers are audited against to gain approval. It’s a bit like the CE mark used as a quality mark for other manufactured items.
This is a “bolt on” to the PAS100 scheme to provide improved quality and traceability through to the end user. Vital Earth were the first company to achieve this.
The Animal By-Products Regulations are enforced by defra to ensure that compost material is processed in way that ensures it is free from pathogens such as salmonella. This is achieved by robust hygiene arrangements to prohibit cross contamination and making certain that the material achieves the required temperature profile to kill off all the pathogens within the material.
In order to except any sought of waste collection onto a site, approval is needed from the Environment Agency. This can be in the form of an exemption or a full licence. The system has recently changed in that all new licences are Environmental Permits that supersede the old Waste Disposal Management License.
The licence conditions can be very stringent and are enforced rigorously. The involvement of the EA whilst aimed primarily at the site itself extends to the end user to ensure the compost gives benefit to the land on to which it is spread.
Our system is aerobic which means we keep the material oxygenated throughout the process. This ensures that no malodorous material is formed and enables the bacteria, which breaks down the material into fine particles
suitable for a good quality compost, to proliferate.
Conversely an anaerobic system (AD) starves the material of oxygen resulting in the material rotting and producing methane. The gas is further processed and then used to produce energy with a CHP unit. This technology is in it’s infancy and there are only four AD sites currently operational in the UK and these are supplied by agricultural waste.