VPPSA McCloskey Trommel
When consumers head to the Virginia Peninsulas Public Service Authority (VPPSA) Compost Facility in Yorktown, VA for their composted mulch or specialty soil products for their landscaping projects, they are assured of a consistent, quality product. That is because the compost has been carefully screened with a McCloskey 733 trommel screener before it is sold to the public. In a recent visit to VPPSA, Waste Handling Equipment News had the opportunity to see the McCloskey 733 in action while VPPSA was preparing a stockpile of composted mulch for future sale.
According to Donald “Donnie” Bonivich, the Compost Facility supervisor for VPPSA, all of the composted mulch goes through the 733 trommel as the final step in the composting process. “When a windrow has cured for the appropriate length of time, we screen it with the trommel,” Donnie said. “The overs are returned to a compost windrow for further composting and the screened material is either moved to our sales area near the entrance to the facility, or it is stockpiled for future customer sales and direct shipment to large consumers. With this trommel, we can screen three tractor trailer loads of material in about an hour, if we need to.”
Donnie explained that VPPSA consumers come from communities in Hampton, Poquoson and York Counties in Virginia. “VPPSA is a ten city and county solid waste authority,” he said. “Facility members include the Cities of Hampton, Poquoson and Williamsburg and the Counties of Essex, James City, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, Middlesex and York. The Towns of Tappahannock, Urbanna and West Point are also members.”
As we toured the facility, Donnie said that the first step of the process is the material is ground using a tub grinder. Then, it is placed into windrows that are several hundred yards long, eighteen feet wide and about seven feet tall.
Over the next six months, the windrows are monitored as they cure. This is done to ensure consistency. During the curing process, temperatures in the stockpiled compost can reach 160 degrees. These products are cured for a minimum of three months. This curing process ensures that the material is weed seed, bug and pathogen free making it safe to place around a customer’s property.
From there it goes through the tub grinder again, which feeds the second grind directly into the McCloskey 733. This reduces an extra handling step of manually feeding the reground material into the trommel. During this screening process, the McCloskey 733 separates the material into the two available products, mulch fines and reground mulch. Once the material has rested, usually thirty days, the process is complete and the material is ready for sale, for the 2012 season, VPPSA offers four products for sale: reground mulch, mulch fines, compost and a soil blend. Since this visit to the VPPSA facility, Donnie tells us that they have begun coloring mulch with a newly acquired Diamond Z 1352BL tub grinder, and they will be offering colored mulch as part of their product line. This product was offered several years ago, but with the economy people were leaning toward the lower prices offered on regular mulch. With renewed interest, they will be offering it again.
VPPSA is a member of the U.S. Composting and the newly formed Virginia Composting Council. For more information about the VPPSA compost facility, contact them at 757-898-5012 or for information about all of the VPPSA programs visit them online at www.vppsa.org.