Industrial vs At Home Composting3 outdoor, at home composters are varying levels of full

Industrial vs At Home Composting

Both home and industrial composting aim to break down organic materials into a stable, humus-like product, but they differ in many aspects due to their scale, intended purpose, and the methods employed. Below, we take a look at some of the differences between home and industrial composting:

Scale and Volume

Home Composting: Typically handles a small amount of waste generated by individual households. This could be kitchen scraps, yard waste, and a few other compostable items.
Industrial Composting: Deals with large volumes of organic waste, often sourced from multiple locations, including entire communities, commercial establishments, and agricultural operations.

Types of Waste Handled

Home Composting: Generally limited to fruit and vegetable scraps, yard waste, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
Industrial Composting: Can handle a wider range of organic materials, including meat, dairy, and bones, which are often discouraged in home composting due to the potential attraction of pests. Industrial systems can also process materials like compostable plastics and larger volumes of yard waste.
Our bagasse molded fiber containers and tableware can be composted in industrial settings in some regions. This makes them a great alternative to polystyrene (Styrofoam) or plastic products.

Temperature and Processing Time

Home Composting: Typically operates at lower temperatures, and the decomposition process may take several months to a year.
The lower temperature of home composting is part of the reason why our bagasse molded fiber products aren’t suitable for home composting; these materials need the higher temperatures of industrial composting to completely break down.
Industrial Composting: Reaches higher temperatures due to the larger volume and active aeration methods. This not only accelerates decomposition (often completed in weeks) but also ensures the destruction of pathogens and weed seeds.

Monitoring and Control

Home Composting: Generally passive, relying mostly on natural aeration and occasional turning.
Industrial Composting: More controlled and monitored. Parameters like temperature, moisture content, and oxygen levels are frequently checked and adjusted to optimize the composting process.

Final Product

Home Composting: Produces compost primarily for personal use in gardens or potted plants.
Industrial Composting: Produces large quantities of compost that can be sold commercially or used in large-scale agricultural or landscaping applications.

Environmental Controls

Home Composting: Little to no environmental controls. There might be occasional issues with odors or pests if not properly managed. Keeping pests and odors away is much easier if there is no meat, fish or other seafood, or dairy added to the compost. Pests are attracted to the smell of these foods that smell bad as they break down. Another way to avoid odor is to regularly turn or tumble the compost.
Industrial Composting: Usually has strict environmental controls in place. This includes systems to manage leachate (liquid runoff), emissions controls for odor, and sometimes methane capture from anaerobic processes.

Regulations and Oversight

Home Composting: Generally, has little regulatory oversight unless it's causing a nuisance or health hazard.
Industrial Composting: Subject to various regulations concerning public health, environmental impact, and quality of the final product. Facilities often require permits and regular inspections.

Equipment Used

Home Composting: Minimal equipment, usually just compost bins, tumblers, or simple piles.
Industrial Composting: Uses heavy machinery such as windrow turners, shredders, screeners, and aeration systems.
The scale of operation vastly differs between home and industrial levels of composting, as do the methods of management. Both methods are beneficial for the environment because they divert organic waste from landfills and returning nutrients to the soil.