IWMSA EC Compost Facility Tour

BY Vicky Porter

14 May 2019 – The IWMSA Eastern Cape hosted a tour of the Enviroserv compost facility in Aalwynhoek, Port Elizabeth.  Attendees met at the venue, where they were given a brief history of the facility as well as an educational talk about composting.

“The composting facility has been operational for the last 7 years,” said Sue Alcock, Operations Manager for Enviroserv in Port Elizabeth.  She added that most of the waste for composting is generated by abbatoirs and a few other organic waste streams, “we have submitted a variation application to grant us the certification needed to accept green waste as the demand for quality compost has grown.”

In 2018 Enviroserv partnered with one of South Africa’s leading certified compost providers, Reliance.  Their industry expertise assisted in the operations and growth of the local facility, resulting in the provision of top quality compost, lawn dressing and top soils. 

Once waste enters the facility, it is offloaded in bunkers where it is then collected to be packed in rows which will rest for 6 weeks.  During this period, the rows are turned approximately 28 to 33 times in order to ensure that sufficient oxygen is available for microorganisms to break down the waste.  “These are not just rows of dirt, they are alive,” said Andre Bonnet, Operational Manager for Reliance, “the temperature inside these rows can rise up to 75 degrees Celsius,” he added by demonstrating the steam released when digging a hole in one of the rows. Over the years soil being used in farming practices has been depleted of nutrients by using chemical fertilizers. By adding compost to the soil you are bringing back microbial life, improving soil structure and water retention. It also helps to keep natural diseases in plants at bay.

The IWMSA EC would like to thank Enviroserv and all attendees for the valuable information and networking session as well as the sponsored compost bags.  “These events really foster the growth of business relationships, which is crucial in the ever evolving waste industry,” said Theo von Ruben, Chairperson of the IWMSA Eastern Cape.

 May 17, 2019
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Vicky Porter

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