At Recology's Nature's Needs commercial composting facility in North Plains, machines pull oxygen through piles of yard waste as microbes it down into compost. Curbside food waste is mixed with yard waste at a Metro transfer station in Portland before being trucked here for composting.
Today I went on a tour of trash with the Dill Pickle Club. I took scrupulous notes on what happens to Portland’s food scraps once they’re picked up from the curbside. It’s a stinky and steamy road to the final compost heap. And totally fascinating. Here’s a sneak preview with more to follow.
Temperature monitoring is key to the food composting process at Nature's Needs. The food scraps need to reach a 145 degrees for 15 consecutive days to kill any harmful bacteria, but if they get too hot as microbes go to work, the piles could catch fire!