Posted on Leave a comment

Super-Sized Composting – A Visit to Reliance

Steaming compost piles at Reliance farm

Need some good news? Read on. Because last week, Cass (GREEN HOME’s Environmental Research Ambassador) went to check out Reliance Compost. And she came away smiling.

Like GREEN HOME, Reliance is dedicated to creating a South Africa in which zero organic waste goes to landfill. And they’re making serious progress to making that happen!

Since 2001 Reliance have prevented a massive 20 million cubic meters of garden waste from ending up in landfill. And instead, they’ve turned it all into soil regenerating compost – brilliant!

At their farm in the Boland, Cass got to check out how they do it.

“That’s a LOT of compost”

The first thing that struck her was the size of their operation. They have over 100 large rows of compost on the farm at any given time – compost for days! Considering that scale, it’s no surprise they’ve perfected the art of creating optimal composting conditions. Piles are turned frequently to keep them oxygenated. CO2 levels are measured. And moisture levels and temperature are monitored closely.

As the composting process kicks in in newly formed piles, things start heating up. Lots of warm steam was rising off them as Cass watched them being turned. She learned that during the early composting stages they reach heats between 55°C and 70°C, and temperatures as high as 80°C have been measured!

Healthy Soil = Healthy People

Finished compost goes out to SA’s farms, landscapes, nurseries and gardens, where it replenishes soils and supports plants. Composting is much more environmentally friendly than landfill, and it can further reduce carbon footprints by absorbing carbon from plants. This all goes to show the enormous positive impact that large-scale composting can have.

Here at GREEN HOME, we know green waste is a valuable resource. We’re looking forward to seeing the composting sector continue to grow, creating green jobs and a more sustainable South Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *