Case Study: Greenview Environmental
Needham Market, Suffolk
In terms of tonnage, Greenview is the UK’s largest independent processor of organic material. Established in 1985, the firm now operates from 6 sites around the country and processes over 300,000 tonnes of organic waste each year. The high-quality compost produced goes on to be used for horticultural and agricultural purposes as a soil improver.
CompostManager has now been working with Greenview since June 2010, and the system has been a great success. We asked Ben Dyson, Head of Compost Sales & Marketing for Greenview, to tell us more about it.
CompostManager: Tell us why you decided to purchase CMS2010.
Ben Dyson: At Greenview we want to work in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way. So we look at all aspects of the business to ensure we are doing this.
We have realised for some time that we don’t really know enough about the composting process – every batch has different qualities of course, so we need to treat each one in a slightly different way. Could we be processing the compost more efficiently, and so reduce our costs? Could we do more to keep the regulators happy?
Combining the research supplied by Eric Crouch with our own experience, it was clear that measuring temperature and moisture levels, along with oxygen and CO2, would provide us with useful feedback on how we are managing our composting process. As a result, we are now composting green waste more efficiently, resulting in higher quality and more consistent compost outputs.
CM: How have your team adapted to using CompostManager’s CMS2010?
BD: Obviously it takes time to get used to a new system. Especially one that makes us work in a radically different way. But we’ve been surprised how quickly the team on our Creeting St Mary site has picked it up, and they can really see now the benefits of using the system.
CM: So how does it work on the ground?
BD: Our yard team takes a daily measurement at different locations for each batch. Because the readings are recorded electronically, the guys are really pleased that they don’t have to write down the results in the pouring rain any more!
Once the measurements for temperature, moisture, oxygen and CO2 have been processed by our computer, the system gives us one of four instructions: to turn the batch, to irrigate the batch, to leave it as it is, and to complete the process. It’s as simple as that. Our guys then act only when they need to by looking at the live data coming from the site. And the beauty is that the management system allows us to have clear and concise archive records for every batch.
We also requested additional management information which has added to the traceability that is now so important. On our system, we now have a detailed record to show how long each batch has achieved a temperature in accordance with our Operating Procedures.
CM: Regulators are sure to make a big difference in the future to the Compost Production industry.
BD: Absolutely and it’s something we take really seriously. And Greenview should be a good few steps ahead of them now we have the CompostManager. Certainly having all the management information is going to be a big help when we are asked to justify our procedures.
CM: So how would you sum up your experience so far?
BD: There are really three key benefits to Greenview: firstly, CMS2010 gives us an efficient and robust means of monitoring compost, which is essential for compliance with BSI PAS 100 and the compost Quality Protocol – in other words, the compost is a product and not just waste!
Secondly, having robust monitoring data adds credibility to our manufacturing process and quality management procedures. This gives us an edge in the highly competitive horticultural and domestic market place.
And lastly, CMS2010 encourages our site operatives to understand better the scientific principles of composting and so manage the process more effectively. Greater engagement with operatives definitely leads to better compost.