Amboy, New York: Grinding Cheese Chunks And Gummy Bears
BioCycle July 2016, Vol. 57, No. 6, p. 9
Amboy, NY - The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCCRA) composting facility in Amboy is designed to process about 10,000 tons of food waste and 20,000 tons of yard trimmings annually (see “Smooth Transition To Food Waste Composting,” November 2014). “We’re currently receiving more than 3,000 tons of food waste,” notes Greg Gelewski, OCCRA’s recycling operations manager. The facility receives food waste from many large entities, including a university, grocery store chain, shopping mall and food and candy manufacturers. Some arrives in trailer loads, including bread, eggs, frozen vegetables and frozen chicken that otherwise would be landfilled because it is packaged. Workers remove the containers and then process the larger chunks of food, such as blocks of cheese, and soiled cardboard with a Vermeer HG6000 horizontal grinder, used primarily for incoming yard trimmings. “By presorting and depackaging with labor we’re able to keep the product much cleaner,” notes Gelewski.
Feedstocks from the candy manufacturer include gummy bears that are not up to quality standards and material that comes out of the lines of the candy-making equipment during cleaning. OCRRA receives 275-gallon metal containers filled with a gel-like material. They break down the outer packaging and then process candy with the horizontal grinder to make the pieces smaller in size than a softball. Afterward, wood waste is run through the grinder to help clean out the machine because the gel adheres to some components as it moves through the mill. “For this type of project we’ll use the horizontal grinder with the 6-inch screen on it,” he adds. All food waste is composted in aerated bays with yard trimmings ground to about 4-inch minus.