CASE STUDIES

South Kern Compost Manufacturing Facility


The Challenge

Seated approximately 30 miles southwest of Bakersfield, California, the South Kern Compost Manufacturing Facility (SKCMF) was commissioned in 2006 to alleviate concerns about long-term viability of land application of Class B biosolids in Southern California, and address air quality issues of previous traditional composting processes.

The Solution

As the country’s most innovative provider of waste capture and conversion, Synagro directed its efforts to analyzing the region of Taft, California, and assessing the area’s need for sustainable compost management.

It soon became clear that a facility producing cost-effective, marketable Class A biosolids would best address the concerns of wastewater agencies in the region. Correct site location would prove crucial to the success of waste management in the area.

Synagro’s South Kern Compost Manufacturing Facility was strategically fixed in close proximity to the region’s wastewater agencies while also resting near the compost end use market that already had required permits in place. Thanks in no small part to this stellar location, SKCMF was smoothly expedited through the permitting and construction process and ready to serve the community.

The Facility

A 44-acre aerated static pile composting structure, Synagro’s South Kern Compost Manufacturing Facility utilizes a negative aerated static pile (ASP) compost system to produce 500 tons of Class A compost product per day.

Its state-of-the-art ASP system places biosolids and mixed organic waste in large, loosely-stacked piles, each of which is aerated by way of a revolutionary underground pipe system that accelerates the composting process.

Air drawn through the organic material is treated through a large biofilter air quality treatment system that controls Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and ammonia by over 80%. That’s a higher percentage of VOC control than managed by anyone else in the industry.

The Success

Synagro’s South Kern Compost Manufacturing Facility is deeply engaged in its surrounding community while contributing to local and global environmental health. The many benefits of SKCMF include:

  • A long-term, sustainable biosolids management solution for several municipalities in Southern California
  • High-quality compost that sequesters carbon in its soil and promotes air quality
  • An extension of landfill lifespans due to reduction of organic material in the “waste stream”
  • A reduction of reliance on synthetic chemical inputs
  • An increase in productivity of farms and of gardens

In addition, staff at SKCMF meet regularly with Kern County officials and provide compost donations and financial support to an array of not-for-profit organizations that includes the Taft College Foundation, the Taft Chamber of Commerce, the Westside Parks and Recreation Commerce, and the Kern Tree Foundation.

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