The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that there were 1.3 million farms with livestock. Of those, 238,000 farms were considered confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) which produce an estimated 500 million tons/year of animal waste. Animal waste is one of the leading contributors to water pollution and disease. As a result, both the E.P.A. and U.S.D.A. have significantly tightened the regulations and requirement that these organizations must abide by. Hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and restitution, as well as jail time, have been levied over the years against those who violate regulatory mandates.
Since the waste from these operations is extremely toxic, waste management is an extremely complex issue. Progressive operators are looking for new ways to dispose of their waste. Conversion technologies such as Anaerobic Digestion and Composting are generating a lot of attention.
For the larger entities, Anaerobic Digestion may be a sound part of the solution. This process creates methane from animal manure and other sludge. Because it leaves behind an unstable biodegradable residue, it is only one piece of a sustainable solution. The by-product of this process should be stabilized through composting. Smaller operations may find that the cost-effectives of such technology is prohibitive and since composting can convert 100% of the waste into a valuable product, composting is going to be, either in part or in whole, part of any sustainable solution.
Due to the high-concentration of animals in one place, zoos face manure management issues as well – especially ones that care for exotic animals. It is common for these animals to carry diseases like Hepatitis C and since they are in such close proximity to humans, the sensitivity around control is high. Traditional composting methods cause odors and expose the water stream to risk of contamination. Because of this, even though zoos preach sustainability, composting has given way to landfilling and incineration.
With the latest in composting technology, BioSystem Solutions has designed solutions that can convert 100% of the manure into a safe, disease free, consistent, nutrient-rich compost. The compost can be land applied, sold to support other agricultural ventures or given away. Zoo concessions could sell the compost as a fundraiser in order to aid in sustaining the world’s wildlife and provide unforgettable lessons in civic and environmental responsibility. Call BioSystem Solutions to find out how.