What is ‘compost’?
The use of the term ‘compost’ to describe the process and output of Closed Loop organic units is used in accordance with the Oxford Dictionary definition of compost as “decayed organic material used as a fertiliser for growing plants”. The NSW EPA applies a more specific definition of compost – “a process of managed biological transformation: (a) to achieve pasteurisation; and (b) for a period of not less than a total of 6 weeks of composting and curing at an adequate moisture level (>40% by weight), and/or until an equivalent level of biological stability can be demonstrated.” The Closed Loop organics units process food waste in 24 hours so do not meet the definition of compost in NSW.
What can I put into the machine?
The general rule: anything a human can consume (raw or cooked) can be composted in the machine.
What cannot be put into the machine?
Do not put anything into the machine that is not organic, including:
- food containers and packaging
- large bones
- hard seafood shells (oyster, scollop and abalone).
- cooking oil
Putting these items into the machine can potentially lead to machine damage and malfunction.
Can I put bones into the machine?
Small sized bones can be put into the machine.
(e.g. chicken bones, fish bones)
DO NOT put large animal bones such as pork, lamb or beef bones.
Can I put seafood shells into the machine?
Only soft seafood shells can be put into the machine such as shrimp, prawn, lobster and crab.
DO NOT put oysters, scollops or abalone shells.
Can I put yard trimmings into the machine?
No, the units are for food waste only.
How often can I put food waste into the machine?
Whenever is convenient for you! (so long as you do not exceed your machine’s total capacity per day).
The composting process will be complete 24 hours after the last food waste input.
Do I ever have to replenish the bacteria culture?
Closed Loop Organic’s Commercial Composters come with a proprietary starter material pack with microbes that will regenerate themselves continuously during the composting process.
Following a repair or major shut down, it may be necessary to re-inoculate. This may be achieved with a new starter or compost from another Closed Loop unit.
Can I put compostable products into the machine?
Yes, under some circumstances – please contact us for further information. The compostable product needs to be certified compostable product – Australian Standard AS4736 – 2006. Please note that these products will take longer than 48 hours to compost. Compostable product input should also be no more than 10% of daily capacity and should be shredded prior to being added to the unit.
Please note that Closed Loop do not guarantee a satisfactory compost result from these inputs.
How often does the machine need to be emptied?
On average, compost will need to be unloaded from the machine once a week.
We strongly recommend a weekly “harvest” of compost routine so that input capacity is not compromised.
Is the compost harmful to humans or animals?
Harmful bacterias are removed during pasteurisation. This has been tested to Australian Standard AS4454 – 2012.
How do I handle the compost?
Just like composts, mulches and fertilisers that can be purchased from your local nursery or garden supplier, the composted material from your machine should be treated with the same care as these also contain micro-organisms.
- When handling you should avoid breathing its mists or dust
- Wear a particulate mask if it is dusty
- Wear gloves and keep the product moist when handling
- Wash your hands immediately after use
What if plastic materials are put into the machine by mistake?
Since there is no crushing or grinding taking place during the operation, no harm will be caused to the compost or the machine. However, the heat from the machine will cause plastic to deform and potentially release undesired substances into the compost, hence we recommend strict segregation of compostable and non-compostable items to avoid such instances.
Serious contamination levels may lead to machine damage.
Does the machine produce any harmful discharge or gas?
Closed Loop Organic’s Commercial Composters mimic the natural composting process that is accelerated via agitation, airflow and microbes. The process is aerobic and does not produce dangerous gases like methane.
How are Closed Loop Organic’s Commercial Composters different from food waste digesters?
Food waste digesters require significant water supply and a connection to a drain and grease trap. This requires a license by the water authority (which incurs a charge). The output of digesters is grey water effluent that needs further processing at a waste water treatment plant. It often has a high biological oxygen demand (BOD), and fats, oils and grease (FOG) content. Food waste digesters literally flush your organic resources down the drain (rather than produce a resource on-site).