Organic food waste is a significant stream of municipal solid waste generated in the Industrial-Commercial-Institutional (ICI) sectors in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Composting has been regarded as an effective way of handling this waste stream. To achieve successful food waste composting in ICI sectors, the associated technical challenges are identified. Currently, in NL, there is (i) a lack of optimized waste collection and management approaches to help determine appropriate collection service and route and its frequency, capacity, and location of both collection sites and waste composting facilities; (ii) a lack of cost-effective and efficient ICI-based composting system design; and (iii) lack of sufficient ways to improve composting system management and compost quality.
To address the challenges, the applicants have partnered with Ever Green Environmental Corporation and proposed to develop a comprehensive management system for handling organic food waste in the ICI sectors of NL to increase the efficiency of waste collection and composting, reduce treatment costs, and improve compost quality. Through working with Ever Green Environmental Corporation, the project entails the following research tasks:
(1) To develop a smart waste operation and management (SWOM) system to optimize the organic food waste collection and composting locations;
(2) To design a cost-efficient ICI composting system and characterize organic food waste generated in the ICI sectors; and
(3) To enhance composting system management by systematic investigation of factors affecting composting operation performance and improve the quality of compost products through organic municipal solid waste and fishery waste co-composting.
The proposed research and expected outputs will help (a) refine and adapt the approaches in order to provide scientific bases for ICI composting practices and beyond; (b) discover intrinsic interactions associated with system analysis, experimentation, and microbial actions; (c) generate environmental friendly and economical/technical feasible solutions for helping solve the challenging problem of organic solid waste treatment in NL communities; (d) develop multidisciplinary expertise in composting engineering, system optimization, environmental chemistry, and experimental design for HQP training; and (e) facilitate the convenient transfer of the developed approaches to governments and communities.