In-Vessel Composter Makes Rich Compost from Factory Waste
TMMK’s ongoing waste segregation program requires team members to segregate the trash they produce daily into several different waste streams including aluminum cans, plastic bottles, paper and compostable waste. The compostable waste is fed into the company’s In-vessel composting machine that produces high quality compost used to enhance soils in TMMK’s greenhouse, garden, and planting beds.
The in-vessel composter is a large insulated tank (about the size of a large tanker truck) positioned on a stand with a large gear on either end that allows the entire vessel to be rotated. Compostable waste from the plant’s recycling containers is placed into the vessel through a grinder at one end of the machine and emerges a few weeks later as a raw compost suitable for further processing into a quality compost. The vessel is rotated twice daily and temperature and humidity are monitored to optimize the process.
The in-vessel composter along with TMMK’s other recycling efforts are responsible for the plant being designated a zero landfill facility in 2005. That designation specifies that all waste produced on-site is either recycled or reused and nothing is shipped to landfills.
At a reception in Washington, D.C., Thursday, The Manufacturing Institute recognized 130 recipients of the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award, including two women from Toyota.