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Kompostwerk Landkreis Konstanz GmbH is the longest-running PPP within the REMONDIS Group. One of the first ever recycling facilities to be run on an industrial scale in Germany was planned and built here back in 1980.
If soil is to be used over a long period of time then it is essential that good fertility levels are maintained. Humus is vital here as it activates soil life. This is where compost comes into play. This natural rotted product is ideal as it contains high amounts of organic substances making it very similar to humus. Compost, therefore, supplies the soil with nutrients and can be used instead of classic fertiliser products containing mineral fertiliser – thus helping to conserve our valuable natural resources. Moreover, compost retains water in the soil and acts as a buffer and filter.
Right from the start, REMONDIS has known just how important compost is for agricultural businesses and so has always placed special emphasis on the aspect of sustainability when producing compost on an industrial scale. The composting plant in Singen near Constance is a good example of this. Located near Lake Constance, the plant was originally commissioned at the beginning of the 80s to compost residual waste and sewage sludge. Since 1993, however, it has focused exclusively on recycling biowaste. For over 30 years now, the facility has been doing its duty and has recycled way over 2 million tonnes of waste during this period. With repair and maintenance costs rising and energy consumption not being as efficient as is possible nowadays, the decision was made to replace a section of the plant. Over the last few months, therefore, the technology at the facility has been revised and overhauled. As part of this project, one of the plant’s processing lines was removed freeing up an area of over 10,000m² for new investments.
Thanks to the modern tunnel composting facility, it is now possible to process the biowaste in a more gentle way. The facility creates much better composting conditions, has lower emission levels and consumes less energy. This modernised composting process, therefore, makes a greater contribution towards preventing climate change. Once the organic waste has been pre-treated, i.e. it has been cut up and any unwanted substances such as metals and plastic have been removed, it is placed in the tunnels. A large number of air jets have been installed in the floors of the tunnels so that the air needed for this process can be added as and when it is required and distributed evenly through the material. This technique allows the best possible levels of oxygen to be reached. The control system regulates the aeration and watering of the material to achieve ideal composting conditions. After approx. ten days, the material is transferred by wheel loader to another section of the plant where it is refined. Here it undergoes a number of fine screening processes to produce high quality compost.
The owners of the plant, the District of Constance and REMONDIS, believe that they have succeeded in creating a basis for producing sustainable and resource-friendly compost with this initial extension of its tunnel composting activities. REMONDIS has once again set an example with this new composting tunnel, showing how to achieve greater sustainability whilst recycling waste and producing high quality raw materials.
Tunnel composting facilities save both time and space
The accelerated and optimised composting process is very similar to that found in nature and so is in keeping with the fundamental principle of a fully closed natural cycle showing how future recycling processes could be for other organic and non-organic materials. Thanks to this more gentle method of producing compost, REMONDIS is pushing forward its efforts to improve the quality of our soil and so protect the environment and prevent climate change.