Installation and Setup of Whole School Food Waste Composting Program

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Aiwen Zhang, The Independent Schools Foundation Academy, Hong Kong, Hong Kong and Simon Edward Forder, Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States
Hong Kong, one of the busiest trading harbors in the world, is also a city of 8 million of people. The biggest problem that the government faces is the lack of solid waste landfill space. Hong Kong produces around 13,500 tons of waste per day. There are three landfills in Hong Kong in operation. These three landfills will soon be exhausted in around 2020, and the solid waste in Hong Kong is still increasing. Out of the 13,500 tons of solid waste, 9,000 tons are organic solid waste or food waste. Food waste, especially domestic waste, is recyclable.

The Independent Schools Foundation Academy has a project to collect domestic food waste (from the school cafeteria) for decomposition. Our school produces around 15 tons of food waste per year. The project includes a sub-project in the Primary school, which uses the organic soil produced by an aerobic food waste machine, the Rocket A900, to plant vegetables in school. This not only helps our school to process the waste, but also helps the Primary students to study agriculture and have greater opportunities for experimental learning.

For this project, two types of machines will be used for food waste processing. Firstly, the Dehydra made by Tiny Planet reduces the volume and the mass of the food waste, by dehydrating the food waste and separating the ground food waste and the excessive water inside machine for further decomposition. Secondly, the A900 Rocket, also made by Tidy Planet; this is used to process the dehydrated ground food waste for around 14 days thereby producing usable organic soil. It grinds the food waste into tiny pieces so that it is easier to decompose. It also separates the wood chips inside the ground food waste. This machine runs an aerobic process, which includes O2 and will produce CO2 during the process and is less harmful to the environment. On the other hand, if it is an anaerobic process occurs during the operation, it will produce a greenhouse gas- CH4 -and smells bad.