Summary Report – Observations and Findings

Protocol #AS09012010

 

November 15, 2010

 

 

 

An Efficient Cost Effective Alternative Organic Waste Treatment Pilot Study Supporting Sustainable Farming Practices and Soil Restoration

 

 

Bokashi Fermentation Protocol #AS09012010

September 1 – 5, 2010

 

 

 

Sponsor

Briteland Holdings Ltd

3208 28th Street

Vernon B.C. Canada V1T 4Z8

 

Study Coordinator

Karen Truesdale

North Okanagan Business Solutions

Tel: (250) 542-4614

Cell: (250) 308-2094

Email: katrues@telus.net

 

 

Technology Consultant

Lawrence Green MD PhD

Bokashicycle LLC

7506 69th Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98498 USA

Tel: (800) 714-2130

Fax: (800) 713-8640

Email: lrgreen@bokashicycle.com

 

 


 

Contents

Introduction: 5

Table 1: Record of Activities for the IPE Protocol AS#09012010 Including Weather Observations 7

Objectives: 8

1. Collect food waste daily in covered containers free of plastics, paper, and glass. 8

Figure 1: Volunteers at a Food Waste Collection Barrel at the September 2010 IPE.. 9

2. Train personnel to properly inoculate, shred and ferment food waste. 10

Figure 2: Tools used to Inoculate and Shred Waste Material 10

Figure 3: Shredding and Inoculating Waste in Preparation to Ferment 11

Figure 4: Study Coordinator (Karen Truesdale) with Metal IPE Food Waste Collection Barrels 11

Figure 5: Photo of Shredded and Inoculated Food Waste Beginning of Fermenting Cycle 12

Figure 6: Photo of Fermenting Barrels Used to Process Shredded and Inoculated Food Waste 12

Table 2: Summary of Record Log Data Sheets for Five 55 Gallon Fermenters. 13

3. Establish by fingerprint analysis of metabolites that fermenting has been successfully accomplished in closed 55 gallon fermenters in the 7 -10 day period of processing. 14

Figure 7: GC Analysis of Bokashi Tea Showing Characteristic Marker Metabolic Products of Fermentation 14

4. Test by quantitative 3M petri film coliform analysis for potential pathogens in the end product and verify in the limited study that none are present. 16

5. Train personnel in the proper soil end product application and processing of fermented product. 17

Figure 8: Soil Preparation, Sample Collections, and Waste Soil Integration Step. 18

Figure 9: Open Barrel End of Fermentation Cycle Ready for Soil Integration. 19

Figure 10: Photo Showing Details Including Fungal Mycelia at the End of the Fermenting Cycle 19

Figure 11: Open Barrel End of Fermentation Cycle Ready for Soil Integration. 20

Figure 12: Open Barrel End of Fermentation Cycle Ready for Soil Integration. 21

Figure 13: Open Barrel End of Fermentation Cycle Ready for Soil Integration. 22

Figure 14: Barrel Emptying and Fermented Product Soil Integration Step. 23

6. Verify in the 7 – 10 day post tilling period that end product is well assimilated in the soil. 24

7. Compare soil samples before and after processing with fermented end product for evidence of enrichment. 24

8. Document in digital and video format each stage in the processing cycle including soil appearance and findings 10 days after fermented product is mixed with the soil. 24

Laboratory Results and Discussion: 24

Leachable Metal Analysis: 25

Table 3: Strong Acid Leachable Metals by ICPMS Comparison Pre and Post Treated Soil 25

Soil Nutrient Content Values: 27

Table 4: Nutrient Content, pH, and Moisture Content Comparison Pre and Post Treated Soil 27

Analysis of Soil Fecal Coliforms: 28

Table 5: Fecal Coliform Comparison Pre and Post Treated Soil 29

Analysis of Bokashi Tea: 29

Table 6: Bokashi Tea Nutrient Analysis. 30

Fecal Coliform Analysis of Bokashi Tea: 30

Table 7: Bokashi Tea Microbiological Analysis for Fecal Coliforms. 30

Leachable Metal Analysis of Bokashi Tea: 30

Table 8: Strong Acid Leachable Metals by ICPMS Bokashi Tea. 31

Summary and Conclusions: 31

Recommendations: 32

Acknowledgements: 32

Appendix S: GLC Fingerprint Analysis of Bokashi Tea for Metabolyte Profiles. 33

Appendix T: CARO Analytical Services (Kelowna) Test Results for Protocol AS#09012010 35

Appendix U: Ministry of the Environment Protocol AS#09012010 Approval Letter Authorizing Study 43

Appendix V: Log Records Appendix F Soil Waste Integration Protocol AS#09012010. 45

Appendix W: Log Records Appendix E Soil Sample Collections Protocol AS#09012010. 46

Appendix X: Log Records Appendix D Shred and Inoculate Waste Collection Protocol AS#09012010 48

Appendix Y: Log Records Appendix C Waste IPE Collection Protocol AS#09012010. 52

Appendix Z: Protocol #AS09012010. 75

Introduction: 78

Food Waste Processing: 79

Converting Organic Waste into Compost: 79

Diverting Food Waste in a Sustainable format: 80

Converting Organic Waste into Methane Gas: 82

Figure 1: Gas Production as a function of field life for food waste generated methane gas. 82

Bokashi Fermentation. 83

Table 1: Attribute Comparison for Composting and Bokashi Fermentation. 84

Study Objectives: 84

Responsibilities and Liabilities: 85

Sustainable Cycling of Food Waste – General scheme: 85

Figure 1: Food Waste Disposal Schematic for Bokashi Fermenting. 87

Study Method: 87

Table 2: Step by Step Collection of Food Waste for Disposal: Team 1. 88

Table 3: Step by Step Inoculating, Shredding and Packing of 55 gallon drum fermenters: Team 2 89

Table 4: Step by Step Soil plot preparation and sampling: Team 3. 90

Table 5: Step by Step End product soil application and tilling: Team 4. 91

Equipment and Consumables Required in Processing: 92

Table 6: Equipment Requirements for Handling, Fermenting and Burial of Fermented Food Waste 92

Figure 5: A photo image of the Bokashi culture mix in 25 pound bag packets. 93

Figure 6: A photo image of the 55 gallon drum showing the proper and improper positions for the lid band clamp. 93

Records and Logs. 94

Team 1: 94

Team 2: 94

Team 3: 95

Figure 7: Soil plot and sample collections map for end product burial. 95

Team 4: 96

Analysis and Reports: 96

Appendix A: IPE Site Map. 97

Appendix B: Transport Route IPE to McLeod’s By-Products. 98

Appendix C: Team 1 IPE Volunteer Food Waste Collection Record. 99

Appendix D: Team 2 (Inoculating and Shredding of Food Waste) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study 100

Appendix E: Team 3 (Soil Preparation and Sample Collection) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study 101

Appendix F: Team 4 (End Product Soil Application and Tilling) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study 103

Appendix G: GC Trace Showing Metabolites for Bokashi Tea Collected at New Earth Farm 104

 


Introduction:

This report is a summary of the Armstrong IPE pilot study #AS09012010. The study was initiated on September 1, 2010 and an exact copy of the protocol can be found in Appendix Z. The study ended in November with the completion of the report back on laboratory tests.

 

In this summary report we include copies of the –

·       log records for IPE Collection as outlined in the protocol, [Appendix Y]

·       log records for Shredding and Inoculating Waste as outlined in the protocol, [Appendix X]

·       log records for Soil Sample Collections as outlined in the protocol, [Appendix W]

·       log records for Waste Soil Integration as outlined in the protocol, [AppendixV]

·       photographs of interest that illustrate the process at various stages in handling the organic waste recycled to farm land,

·       copies of the approval letter by the Ministry of the Environment [Appendix U],

·       copies of CARO Analytic test results, [Appendix T], and

·       copies of Bokashi tea analysis by GC showing metabolites [Appendix S].

 

Organic waste consisting primarily of food scraps was collected during the 5 days at the IPE event in 55 gallon barrels. Volunteers were present to assist and direct consumers to deposit only food waste items in the barrels destined for the study. Signs were posted to clearly designate that only food waste would be accepted for recycling in the marked barrels.

 

Paper and plastic products which do not ferment were excluded in the collection but Aspenware forks, knives and spoons made from wood was accepted as it would be expected to easily ferment.

 

Filled containers were taken from the IPE by a licensed carrier to McLeod’s By-Products in marked barrels. The product was then shredded and inoculated with a bokashi culture mix and sealed in 55 gallon barrels marked in accordance with the protocol.

 

After the barrel contents had fermented, the barrels were transferred to the nearby Weir Farm. The site was approved by the farmer and the Ministry of the Environment as an acceptable site for the study.

 

Soil samples in a 20 x 20 foot square had been collected for laboratory analysis to establish a base line prior to placing the fermented product into the soil. The barrel contents including the tea was then tilled into the soil and left alone undisturbed for 15 days.

 

At the end of the 15 day soil integration process, samples of the soil were again collected and sent to the lab for testing. Bokashi tea samples collected before the fermented product was placed in the soil were also sent to the laboratory for analysis.

 

A summary of the activities and schedules covering the entire study protocol is graphically illustrated in Table 1. The weather conditions and rain fall records during the “Soil Process” phase of the study are embedded in the table as a matter of interest as it could be relevant with regards to findings in the study.

Table 1: Record of Activities for the IPE Protocol AS#09012010 Including Weather Observations

Activity schedule for Protocol

 

Based on these activity records, it is apparent that the collection of waste material took place in the period September 1 to September 5. In the study five 55 gallon barrels were taken from the IPE for processing representing about one ton of waste.

 

Inoculating and shredding operations occurred generally the day after a collection but because of schedules and pick up issues 2 barrels did not get shredded or inoculated until 4 days after the collection. Shredding and inoculating took place from September 2 to September 8.

 

Fermenting of the barrel contents begin on September 3 and continued through to October 11 which was much longer than is required by the protocol. Normally, fermenting is complete within the period of 7 – 10 days but there is anticipated no harm in allowing the product to remain sealed until it can be transported and placed in the soil.

 

Pretreatment soil samples were collected on October 12. Samples of the tea were collected on the same day. The 20 x 20 foot marked square designated for integrating fermented product with the soil was tilled and product was then applied evenly over the surface on the same day. It was then tilled covering all fermented product with soil and was then left undisturbed.

 

Soil samples were collected October 27, after 15 days and sent to the laboratory for testing. Weather conditions reveal low, nearly freezing minimum temperatures at night and mild mid teen temperatures (oC) during the day. It was generally a dry period in the area with a slight amount of rain amounting to7.2 mm.

Objectives:

The objectives in the limited pilot study are as follows and we include comments and observations based on our findings with regard to each objective.

1.    Collect food waste daily in covered containers free of plastics, paper, and glass.

 

Despite great efforts to clearly inform the public at the IPE which containers were to be used for food waste only, we observed that many people simply tossed all the waste they had into the food only barrels. The volunteers worked diligently to direct plastic and paper to other barrels and had to pick paper and plastic out of the food only containers on a regular basis to maintain a proper collection of food only waste material.

 

A few photographs will clearly reveal how difficult it can be to get people to change habits.


Figure 1: Volunteers at a Food Waste Collection Barrel at the September 2010 IPE

Volunteers Directing Waste Collection

 

 

We believe that with good signage and an educational process people can be trained to place only food waste materials in a recycling container for bokashi fermenting. This is a worthy goal and planning is needed to address this problem of how to get people to change their habits in how they dispose of waste.

2.    Train personnel to properly inoculate, shred and ferment food waste.

 

Volunteers and participants in the study did an excellent job of following the protocol and the study coordinator and others completed accurately all log records. Training personnel to properly handle the material appeared more than adequate and this objective was clearly met. Shredding and inoculating the waste material was done well by those participating in the study.

 

One area of interest had to do with the actual shredding operation. Because of the scale of the pilot study and because there was insufficient time and money to acquire a larger scale shredder, the volunteers and laborers who participated in the shredding operation used a standard residential chipper (see Figure 2). These smaller machines tend to jamb up quickly making it far more time consuming and tedious to shred volumes of waste.

 

With a standard Harper-Goossen vertical chute shredder or industrial shredders it is only a matter of minutes to shred tons of waste and bottlenecks in the inoculating and shredding operation can be avoided with proper equipment built for the scale of the operation.

Figure 2: Tools used to Inoculate and Shred Waste Material

Shredding Tools


Figure 3: Shredding and Inoculating Waste in Preparation to Ferment

Shredding and Inoculating Waste

 

We have included a few photos showing personnel at work shredding, processing collected food waste from the IPE, and images of shredded inoculated material in the fermenter ready to be sealed. All barrels are marked with an ID at the IPE filling site and that information is traceable through the log records for product handling. The fermenting barrels each are ID marked by the study coordinator in accordance with the protocol and these are traceable to the soil integration level and laboratory testing.

Figure 4: Study Coordinator (Karen Truesdale) with Metal IPE Food Waste Collection Barrels

Waste Collection Barrels

 

Figure 5: Photo of Shredded and Inoculated Food Waste Beginning of Fermenting Cycle

Shredded Inoculated Waste Ready to Ferment

 

 

Figure 6: Photo of Fermenting Barrels Used to Process Shredded and Inoculated Food Waste

Bokashi Fermenting 55 gallon drums

 

 

 

In the study, Five 55 gallon Fermenters were filled and processed. The log records summarizing activities related to the processing are shown in Tables 2. Although the protocol allowed for up to 2 tons of material to be collected and processed in 10 fermenting barrels, only five were collected. There were no other changes in the protocol of note.

 

One ton of organic waste was processed in this study.


 

 

Table 2: Summary of Record Log Data Sheets for Five 55 Gallon Fermenters

Record log data sheet for waste collection

3.    Establish by fingerprint analysis of metabolites that fermenting has been successfully accomplished in closed 55 gallon fermenters in the 7 -10 day period of processing.

 

The pH and GC profile on all 5 bokashi tea samples reveal clear evidence of fermentation commonly observed in the process. The pattern is virtually identical from one sample to the next as would be expected for an end stage degrading of waste material. Details in the study are posted under Appendix S.

 

Figure 7: GC Analysis of Bokashi Tea Showing Characteristic Marker Metabolic Products of Fermentation

Bokashi tea GC Analysis for Metabolites

 

Bokashicycle LLC has collected a number of GC tracings on fermented products including fermented dog waste and food waste. Representative sample tracings for earlier samples processed in the US are provided here for the purpose of comparing the profiles one to the other. Samples at the end of the fermentation cycle show identical fingerprint patterns of metabolites.

 

In the figure below you can see the “print” for dog poop and the “print” for food waste taken from samples that were allowed to ferment (decompose with microbes).

GC Trace Food and Pet Waste Bokashi Fermented Product

 

 

Note that the dog poop print is less complicated than the food waste print (fewer end products appear in the trace). That makes sense since your dog already digested and in the gut absorbed many nutrients and products formed as food was being degraded. What was left over (in the poop) is the less complex non absorbed material that will be further degraded in fermenting.

 

In the discussion section we will go over the impact these metabolites have on pathogenic organisms.

4.    Test by quantitative 3M petri film coliform analysis for potential pathogens in the end product and verify in the limited study that none are present.

 

Fecal coliform counts were obtained at the CARO Analytical Services (Kelowna) and those results for the IPE protocol will be discussed in more detail under the laboratory results section in this report.

 

Butyric acid, propionic acid, and other small chain fatty acids are toxic to coliforms including E. Coli and Salmonella (known pathogens that do contaminate ground water) under the conditions of this fermentation. The pathogens die off in a fermenting system while other microbes are breaking down the poop and waste material.

 

If the system is sealed and given time to complete its digestion which takes about 7 days, the chances of getting ground water contamination are very much reduced. We provide in this report results of other studies that demonstrate volatile fatty acids can beneficially inhibit and destroy certain pathogens and fecal coliforms in particular.[1]

 

A properly functioning fermenting system is very efficient because it converts the poop or food waste to something of value and gets rid of the heavy load of pathogens that would have otherwise been sent to the landfill or left in the soil to contaminate ground water. Fermenting returns nutrients to the soil. It keeps water from getting contaminated.

 

3M makes a simple Petri film kit that can be used to rapidly test for coliforms including E. coli. In the last two pictures you can see what happens to the E. coli /coliforms in the fermenting system compared to a non-fermenting system. They don’t make it through the system. In this experiment 10 pounds of dog poop was mixed with 2.5 gallons of water. A sample of this slurry was set aside and tested on Day 1 and Day 7. A second sample identical to the first except the culture mix powder was added was also tested on Day 1 and Day 7. On Day 1 as would be expected the colonies of microbes where very high and easily detected in both samples.

3M petri film culture results Bokashi Fermented Product

On Day 7, the sample that had been fermented (right hand image) showed no evidence of surviving pathogens but the sample that was not fermented (left hand image) had abundant colonies of microbes showing.

 

We have tested fermented food waste systems on numerous occasions and find no evidence of pathogenic microbes in our cultures on Petri film surviving the fermenting cycle.

 

5.    Train personnel in the proper soil end product application and processing of fermented product.

 

Volunteers and participants in the study did an excellent job of following the protocol and the study coordinator and others completed accurately all log records. Training personnel to properly handle the material appeared more than adequate and this objective was clearly met.

 

Sampling of the tea and end product fermentation for laboratory analysis was done in accordance with the protocol. The soil was properly prepared and product was spread and tilled into the soil. All participants and personnel were well trained in the process and appeared to have no difficulty in completing the assignments.

 

 

 

Figure 8: Soil Preparation, Sample Collections, and Waste Soil Integration Step

Soil Collection and Mixing Bokashi Fermented Product with Soil

 

Photos courtesy of Bruce Mol, Instructional Design and Delivery - Videography, Vernon, BC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 9: Open Barrel End of Fermentation Cycle Ready for Soil Integration

Fermented Food Waste Photo

 

Figure 10: Photo Showing Details Including Fungal Mycelia at the End of the Fermenting Cycle

Bokashi Waste with Fungi

 

Figure 11: Open Barrel End of Fermentation Cycle Ready for Soil Integration

Bokashi Fermented Food Waste

Figure 12: Open Barrel End of Fermentation Cycle Ready for Soil Integration

FBokashi Fermented Food Waste

Figure 13: Open Barrel End of Fermentation Cycle Ready for Soil Integration

Bokashi Fermented Food Waste

Figure 14: Barrel Emptying and Fermented Product Soil Integration Step

Putting Bokashi Fermented Food Waste into the Field

 

 

6.    Verify in the 7 – 10 day post tilling period that end product is well assimilated in the soil.

 

The laboratory analysis results will be discussed under the laboratory results section. Observers at the end of the fermentation soil integration cycle reported that there was no foul odor or evidence of decaying food waste in the field where product had been integrated. Odor mitigation was clearly achieved. There were no reports of any animals digging in the field or disturbing the deposits at the test site.

 

7.    Compare soil samples before and after processing with fermented end product for evidence of enrichment.

 

The comparisons of soil sample before and after treatment will be done in the laboratory results section of this report (below).

8.    Document in digital and video format each stage in the processing cycle including soil appearance and findings 10 days after fermented product is mixed with the soil.

 

Numerous digital records of the study are archived and recorded. Several representative photo examples have been incorporated in this report. Briteland retained a professional photographer[2] who has also collected numerous video clips at various points in the operation documenting the entire process from beginning to end.

 

Laboratory Results and Discussion:

Laboratory test results were done on soil and tea sample collections. CARO Analytical Services based in Kelowna BC with a history of soil sample and microbial testing did the testing for the protocol and their reports are shown as copies of the original report under Appendix T.

 

GC analysis of bokashi tea was done in Lake Oswego where specialized columns and calibrators have been already put in place and these results were only used to characterize the pattern of metabolites confirming end point fermentation pattern was achieved.

 

The results of the CARO tests are interesting and revealing. We have re-organized the results of their report in Tables that make it easier to compare samples one to the other as shown in Tables 3 - 8.


Leachable Metal Analysis:

Table 3: Strong Acid Leachable Metals by ICPMS Comparison Pre and Post Treated Soil

Soil Test Results for Leachable Metals

In Table 3 we can observe side by side the strong acid leachable metal analysis for soil before and after treatment. All fermenting occurred in HDPE containers and there was no metal in contact with the material while it was fermenting.

 

The food scraps taken in this study came from the food court at the IPE. Those scraps were collected in metal 55 gallon drums and in the longest potential period it could have been in contact with the metal container up to 5 days.

 

After shredding and inoculating the waste it was taken from the cement floor at Mcleods By-Products and put into the HDPE fermenters. Any leachable metals could have been introduced at any one of the points of metal contact. It seems unlikely that food served would be heavily contaminated with leachable metals.

 

The analysis of soil samples before and after fermenting material was introduced to the soil revealed no surprises and certainly no harmful contaminants in the leachable metal category was observed. There was a slight increase in aluminum from 17,000 to 19,000 mG/kG dry weight.

 

Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Sodium all showed higher levels in the post treated soil samples. This would not be unexpected as food at exhibitions are high in salt content and these levels that are increased in the samples likely reflect the added salt found commonly in food served at these kinds of events. All are useful and valuable for plants and soils.

 

Sodium levels increased nearly 25% but it is likely rapidly lost with water and rain fall and should not have any impact on plant growth at these levels.

 

In summary, as regards leachable metal analysis, the increase in Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Phosphorus are deemed beneficial improvements in the soil.


 

Soil Nutrient Content Values:

Table 4: Nutrient Content, pH, and Moisture Content Comparison Pre and Post Treated Soil

Nutrient Value Comparison Untreated and Treated Bokashi Soil

 

Nutrient value analysis is interesting in almost every category. Here there is clear evidence of increases in moisture content, total nitrogen, and phosphorus. Soil after treatment was enriched.

 

In this study it was observed that moisture content increased from 16.0 to 38.0%. Moisture content is frequently associated with soil organic content. The organic content of the soil holds water avidly conserving water and reducing the need to irrigate and water crop lands.

 

This is a strong attribute and the need to increase soil organic content is great. There was a nearly doubling of the moisture content in a single application of fermented product. The small amount of rain fall during the time the fermented waste was in the soil would not likely account for this increase in values had the moist product and increase in organic matter not been a factor. This could be proven in future studies by taking samples from adjacent soil that had not been treated.

 

The pH of soil before and after treatment is little changed and perhaps slightly more alkaline after treatment.

 

Phosphorus content increased from 1460 to 1800 mG/kG dry weight. This is a measure of total phosphorus and we don’t know how leachable it would be based on the tests provided.

 

The total nitrogen increased significantly in a single application from 0.32 to 0.42 % dry weight. Here it is important to note that nitrates in the soil before treatment measuring at 42 were taken out of the soil in the processing of fermented food waste to less than detectable levels.

 

These findings regarding nitrogen are very relevant as it demonstrates clearly that leachable nitrates are not apparent in this process. Indeed, the process sequesters nitrogen in a non-nitrate form. The total nitrogen has increased but the nitrate levels have decreased. Nitrate levels are reduced in the face of increased total nitrogen. It suggests the possibility of treating soils over burdened with nitrate by adding fermented product to the soil which would presumably reduce the water table contamination with nitrate.

Analysis of Soil Fecal Coliforms:

 

One of the concerns many people have about placing waste materials in the soil is the possibility of building upon the fecal coliforms commonly associated with food waste. There is a potential for ground water contamination.

 

Soil samples taken from the plot of land before treatment revealed 27 MPN/g dry weight fecal coliforms. This is well above the detectable levels the laboratory can evaluate but not normally considered hazardous.

 

However, as is clearly evident based on the samples analyzed after the fermented product was put into the soil the fecal coliform levels decreased nearly 50%. It appears that placing the fermented product into the soil has actually resulted in a reduction in fecal coliforms.

 

These findings are entirely consistent with prior experience as reported in this report that the fermenting process is toxic to pathogens and it appears to effectively result in fecal coliforms perishing in the process. The acidic anaerobic fermenting process results in numerous metabolites that are toxic to coliforms.

 

 

These results are shown in Table 5.


 

Table 5: Fecal Coliform Comparison Pre and Post Treated Soil

Bokashi treated soil inhibits fecal coliforms

Analysis of Bokashi Tea:

 

We have already discussed the GC analysis for metabolites which confirms in Armstrong at the IPE the bokashi tea formed is virtually identical to the tea produced at numerous other sites in the US. The end point metabolites are nearly always present in a matter of days once the fermenting process is initiated.

 

CARO Analytical Services ran virtually identical tests on the tea as was run on the soil samples. As would be expected, the nutrient content of the tea (Table 6) is high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Here again it is noteworthy that the Nitrate content as a fraction of the total nitrogen is only about 0.1% of the total nitrogen.

 

These findings are not unexpected since the fermenting process is anaerobic and oxygen is not a part of this reaction. The pH is low due to the number of carboxylic acids at the end stage of fermenting and not unexpected. As noted above in soil sample testing, this did not result in any acidification of the soil.


 

Table 6: Bokashi Tea Nutrient Analysis

Bokashi Tea Nutrient Analysis

Fecal Coliform Analysis of Bokashi Tea:

 

Bokashi tea samples were completely devoid of fecal coliforms as noted in test results below (Table 7). We’ve already made note of the fact that fermented product put into the soil also results in a reduction in soil fecal coliforms.

Table 7: Bokashi Tea Microbiological Analysis for Fecal Coliforms

Bokashi Tea Analysis for Fecal Coliforms

 

Leachable Metal Analysis of Bokashi Tea:

Potassium, phosphorus, and sodium were the only notable high levels of metal detected in the tea produced in the fermenting process. Because these metals are high in processed food we expect to see them in the fermented product.

 

Both potassium and phosphorus will provide benefit to the soil. The sodium being highly water soluble will likely quickly leach out with watering or rain fall. The soil tests revealed no significant elevations or problems related to sodium.

Table 8: Strong Acid Leachable Metals by ICPMS Bokashi Tea

Bokashi Tea Analysis for Leachable Metals

Summary and Conclusions:

One ton of food waste was rapidly processed and returned to soil. In the processing odors of rotting garbage were not reported. No evidence of rodent or animal problems was reported at the farm where product was buried.

 

Waste material was cost effectively diverted from the landfill and it appears in processing to have added to the soil quality.

 

1.      Total Nitrogen levels increased and most importantly nitrate levels were reduced. This suggests that this process, unlike other methods of putting nitrogen to the soil that cause lakes and streams to be over fertilized (Eutrophication), confers a unique benefit.

2.      Organic content and soil moisture content is increased in bokashi fermenting likely reducing the demands on water for crops and produce.

3.      Other nutrient levels like potassium and phosphorus increase with the bokashi fermenting process benefiting soils in the process and probably reducing the need for additional nutrients to be added.

4.      Fecal coliform counts showed no increase (actually they showed a decrease) in counts relative to the base levels. This suggests a low risk of ground water contamination exists with bokashi fermenting methods.

 

All of the goals of objective set forth in the protocol were met with perhaps once exception. It is apparent that some effort and planning must be directed to educate the public about keeping paper and plastic out of food only containers intended for recycling work.

 

We believe bokashi fermenting offers much to improve the soil and can be used in sustainable farming practices where both the public and farmers stand to benefit. Waste can be safely returned to the land to the benefit of the farmer and the public.

Recommendations:

A larger study should be done handling larger volumes of waste. Soil tests can be monitored and the benefits in crop yields can be measured. The process is easily scalable and requires little specialized equipment in operation. Most importantly a proper high throughput shredding operation should be established to reduce the labor and bottleneck at this point in the process.

 

A pilot project involving at least 10 tons per month of organic waste could be put into operation with a local farmer interested in the process and other farms could be added to gather more data. Much of the organic waste normally destined for landfills could then be diverted to support the local farmers.

Acknowledgements:

We wish to acknowledge and thank the following participants and supporters of this study:

Instructional Design and Delivery – Videography, Vernon, BC

Interior Provincial Exhibition, Armstrong, BC

McLeod’s By-Products, Armstrong, BC

Ministry of Environment, Environmental Protection Division, Penticton, BC

Regional District of the North Okanagan, Waste Management Planning, Coldstream, BC

Sustainable Environment Network Society, Vernon, BC

Venture Training Centre, Vernon, BC

Weir Farm, Armstrong, BC








Appendix Y: Log Records Appendix C Waste IPE Collection Protocol AS#09012010

Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting
Waste collection for Bokashi Fermenting

Appendix Z: Protocol #AS09012010

 

An Efficient Cost Effective Alternative Organic Waste Treatment Pilot Study Supporting Sustainable Farming Practices and Soil Restoration

 

 

Bokashi Fermentation Protocol #AS09012010

September 1 – 5, 2010

 

 

 

Sponsor

Briteland Holdings Ltd

3208 28th Street

Vernon B.C. Canada V1T 4Z8

 

Study Coordinator

Karen Truesdale

North Okanagan Business Solutions

Tel: (250) 542-4614

Cell: (250) 308-2094

Email: katrues@telus.net

 

 

Technology Consultant

Lawrence Green MD PhD

Bokashicycle LLC

7506 69th Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98498 USA

Tel: (800) 714-2130

Fax: (800) 713-8640

Email: lrgreen@bokashicycle.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY INFORMATION

This Confidential document contains data and information proprietary and confidential to the Briteland Group.


 

 

Introduction:....................................................................................................................... 78

Food Waste Processing:................................................................................................... 79

Converting Organic Waste into Compost:................................................................ 79

Diverting Food Waste in a Sustainable format:........................................................ 80

Converting Organic Waste into Methane Gas:.......................................................... 82

Figure 1: Gas Production as a function of field life for food waste generated methane gas. 82

Bokashi Fermentation................................................................................................ 83

Table 1: Attribute Comparison for Composting and Bokashi Fermentation............. 84

Study Objectives:.......................................................................................................... 84

Responsibilities and Liabilities:..................................................................................... 85

Sustainable Cycling of Food Waste – General scheme:.................................................. 85

Figure 1: Food Waste Disposal Schematic for Bokashi Fermenting........................ 87

Study Method:................................................................................................................... 87

Table 2: Step by Step Collection of Food Waste for Disposal: Team 1.................... 88

Table 3: Step by Step Inoculating, Shredding and Packing of 55 gallon drum fermenters: Team 2 89

Table 4: Step by Step Soil plot preparation and sampling: Team 3........................ 90

Table 5: Step by Step End product soil application and tilling: Team 4.............. 91

Equipment and Consumables Required in Processing:................................................. 92

Table 6: Equipment Requirements for Handling, Fermenting and Burial of Fermented Food Waste 92

Figure 5: A photo image of the Bokashi culture mix in 25 pound bag packets........ 93

Figure 6: A photo image of the 55 gallon drum showing the proper and improper positions for the lid band clamp......................................................................................................................... 93

Records and Logs............................................................................................................. 94

Team 1:...................................................................................................................... 94

Team 2:...................................................................................................................... 94

Team 3:...................................................................................................................... 95

Figure 7: Soil plot and sample collections map for end product burial..................... 95

Team 4:...................................................................................................................... 96

Analysis and Reports:........................................................................................................ 96

Appendix A: IPE Site Map....................................................................................... 97

Appendix B: Transport Route IPE to McLeod’s By-Products................................. 98

Appendix C: Team 1 IPE Volunteer Food Waste Collection Record............................... 99

Appendix D: Team 2 (Inoculating and Shredding of Food Waste) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study 100

Appendix E: Team 3 (Soil Preparation and Sample Collection) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study 101

Appendix F: Team 4 (End Product Soil Application and Tilling) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study 103

Appendix G: GC Trace Showing Metabolites for Bokashi Tea Collected at New Earth Farm 104


Introduction:

Much has been written about recycling and going green. It seems that everyone wants to find a solution. We know a change is needed in how we handle our organic waste but we must also face the economic realities that any system adopted must do the job and not be prohibitively expensive.

 

The Briteland Group is a Canadian Company incorporated in 1984 as Briteland Agricultural Services & Supplies Ltd. David Weatherill, the President of Briteland, has both a personal and business interest in sustainable business practices, in particular composting.

 

As the population of urban and rural communities continues to increase, the disposal of garbage becomes an increasing concern. Landfill sites have limited tenure, with suitable replacement sites not readily available.  Therefore, as responsible citizens we should all practice the 5R’s; Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, & Residual Management.”

 

Dave has both sponsored and undertaken a number of innovative product and process development initiatives, including environmentally friendly cleaning products and a vermiculture composting system (the BioBin).

 

In looking for a composting process that could handle all post-consumer food waste, Dave became aware of the Bokashi fermentation technology. It is an acidic anaerobic process that is considerably faster than traditional aerobic composting methods. Moreover, no heat is generated in the process and it is water conserving.

 

Because of the pH in the processing cycle no methane gas is produced. Virtually all greenhouse gases are eliminated in this process and more than 95% of the carbon and, and twice the nutrients present in the feedstock are returned to the soil relative to standard composting methods.

 

The Bokashi fermenting method of breaking down organic waste easily accommodates dairy and meat in additional to traditional food waste allowed in composting. It is also interesting to note that the volatile fatty acids formed as metabolic byproducts in the course of rapid fermenting are highly toxic to pathogenic microbes like E. coli and Salmonella conferring a margin of safety minimizing the potential for ground water or soil contamination.

 

This process is in commercial operation (for more than one year) at an organic farm in Oregon, using Bokashicycle LLC products and expertise. Dave approached a number of local partners to engage in a pilot project with the objectives of demonstrating the Bokashicycle method, evaluating its efficacy, and determining the economic and business potential for commercial and residential operations. It became immediately obvious that there was an excellent opportunity to test the efficacy and efficiency in a pilot study at the

Interior Provincial Exposition (IPE).

The Interior Provincial Exposition (IPE) is one of the largest agricultural fairs and stampedes in the Western Canada. The Interior Provincial Exhibition Association is a non-dividend paying Association, not in business for profit, and operated for the sole purpose of aiding in the development of general agriculture, manufacturing and industries of the Province of British Columbia. The 111th IPE and Stampede will be held in Armstrong, BC from September 1 – 5, 2010. The IPE has an objective of ‘going green” by 2011.

 

In a pilot study, a fraction of the food waste collected at the IPE will be diverted from the landfill to a value-added composting process and to a bokashi fermentation process.

 

A local company, McLeod By-Products, has an existing traditional, aerobic composting operation in nearby Spallumcheen. McLeod is currently permitted to produce Class A compost from food and other organic waste products collected from area businesses and residences. McLeod uses the services of Bin-to-Curb Composting for pickup of food waste and marketing/delivery of finished compost.

 

In the pilot study, approximately 2 tons of food waste will be diverted to a Bokashi fermenting process which involves two steps. In the first step the waste is collected, inoculated and shredded. It is then placed in fermenting barrels and allowed to ferment. This normally is complete within 7 – 10 days. In the second step, the fermented product is tilled into the soil to finish off the cycle.

 

The intimate mixing of soil with fermented end product results in a rapid expansion of soil microbes in diversity and numbers and an enrichment of soil nutrients. This part of the process takes about 7 days. There is a considerable reduction in labor and time needed to cycle waste with a restoration of nutrients and microbes to the soil that is beneficial and supports sustainable agricultural practice. An area of approximately 400 square feet on a local farm will be the site of the final stage in the Bokashi process.

 

The pilot study will be closely monitored and documented per the protocol with supervision and training for all personnel involved. Proper fermenting results in a very characteristic gas chromatographic profile. Numerous tests will be done and the results of the study will then be reported in a summary report. Video imaging and digital photographic documents, pH measurements, soil testing and quantitative culturing of samples will be included in the summary report.

Food Waste Processing:

Converting Organic Waste into Compost:

Placing food scraps in the landfill is no longer an acceptable practice. Sending waste material to be composted has been tried and proven possible, at least in the short interval tested. For example, Larch Corrections Center in Washington composted 10 tons of food waste per month for an annual savings of $18,000 by avoiding hauling and tipping fees.

 

Olympic Corrections Center has composted approximately 1,350 tons of food waste in four years and avoided about $200,000 in hauling and landfill costs.

 

But there are additional hidden expenses and responsibilities involved in processing food waste in a compost facility. Nobody wants to live near these sites because they attract vermin, smell bad, and may subject people living down wind to significant health problems.

 

Composting is expensive if the land is unavailable on site where it is generated because the feedstock generator must pay hauling and tipping fees to have the material taken away and processed. Processing requires a lot of equipment and heavy machinery and it is technically difficult to get optimal oxidation. A lot of monitoring is needed for extended periods. Moreover, it is neither sustainable nor non-polluting.

 

In order to compost organic material rich in nitrogen (food waste), a reliable supply of carbon rich material is required to generate a proper mix that will be adequately composted. Composting requires that the carbon and nitrogen ratios are properly scaled at a ratio of approximately 30 tons of carbon to each ton of nitrogen. There is insufficient carbon rich material available to sustain this kind of process.

 

Despite these obvious objections and concerns about composting, a trend has already been set in the compost industry. New York State began operating the largest single food-scrap composting operation in the United States in 1996. They have determined in their system that the average inmate produces approximately 1 pound of waste per day. In 1996 they were paying approximately $129 per ton in disposal costs.[3]

 

McNeil Island (Washington State) has also started recycling its food scraps and compostable paper products. Data from the first month of the program show that the prison is keeping about 1 pound per inmate per day out of the landfill.[4]

 

How are we going to divert the organic waste out of landfills in a sustainable format?

Diverting Food Waste in a Sustainable format:

Food waste is the single largest category of municipal solid waste (MSW) in California at 5.9 million tons or 16% of total MSW as of 1999 (CIWMB, 1999). Washington, Oregon, and California are states setting the example by each year diverting more and more organic waste away from the landfills.

 

Diverting a portion of food waste from landfills can provide a significant contribution toward achieving EPA, state and local mandated solid waste diversion goals. Other states and municipalities are anxious and aggressively adopting policies to divert organic waste from the landfills.

 

Organic waste that is allowed to decompose in a landfill setting where the conditions invariably lead to processing with most of the oxygen excluded results in many noxious gases being emitted into the atmosphere. The gases methane, nitrous oxide, ammonia and varied aromatic hydrocarbons are well known pollutants that in the atmosphere contribute greatly in heating up the planet.

 

Even in the presence of oxygen tons of carbon dioxide and heat are released and every effort to minimize this kind of pollution should be enforced as the damage related to unregulated emissions is considerable.

Currently, only about 2.5% of food waste is recycled nationwide, and the principal adopted technology is composting (which we know produces greenhouse gases and heat too). Municipalities have been under pressure to get the organic waste out of the landfill and have unwittingly been convinced that diverting the organic waste to compost is a safe and effective alternative.

 

It is however a costly and inconvenient measure requiring citizens to help in the process. Citizens will have to separate organic waste from their regular trash and the municipalities will have to pay to have that material transported and dumped at other sites where it can be processed into compost.

 

It takes a long time to convert organic waste into compost and nobody wants to be near the site where processing occurs because of the noise, foul odors, pest problems and toxicity factors related to processing raw organic waste.

Restaurants, prisons, schools and other commercial establishments where a lot of food is handled generate even more waste that may end up in either the landfill or commercial composting site.

 

While composting provides an alternative to landfill disposal of food waste, it requires large areas of land; produces volatile organic compounds (smog precursors and carcinogens), which are released into the atmosphere; and it requires a lot of energy and work to effectively oxidize the mass of organic waste material.

 

Energy is required in tending to the pile of compost, in transporting and turning the pile, and with large operations contributes to our dependence on foreign oil because trucks and tractors are involved in moving the massive piles. The tractors and trucks running on fuel, venting directly into the atmosphere are stirring up the piles and they are adding even more carbon dioxide and particulate matter to our earth’s air and they are directly through radiant heat and indirectly by spewing gases heating up the earth.

 

Better recycling alternatives to composting food waste should be explored. Some people have proposed the use of organic waste to generate electricity through the recapture of methane gas produced when the waste is anaerobically fermented at neutral pH. Are we adopting the right policy in converting waste into energy?

Converting Organic Waste into Methane Gas:

Anaerobic digestion has been successfully used for many years to stabilize municipal organic solid wastes, and to provide beneficial end products, i.e., methane gas and fertilizer. Unfortunately, the anaerobic fermentation plants that carry the work of processing at neutral pH required to generate methane gas are expensive to manage. How efficient is the process?

In depth analysis has revealed the overall efficiency of capturing and cleaning up the methane gas so it can be used to generate useful energy is very low. A sufficiently large amount of land is required to generate enough gas to make it viable, and experience has shown that over the life time of the processing plant, less than 20% of the actual methane produced is ever used to generate useful energy.

The other 80% of the methane along with other noxious gases escapes into the atmosphere over the lifetime of the site. Most of the waste and pollution occurs with the end cycle where pressures are too low to feed adequate methane to the burners. We end up with massive and expensive heaps with insufficient pressure to sustain gas production.[5]

Methane Gas Production Life Cycle

Figure 1: Gas Production as a function of field life for food waste generated methane gas.

 

Bokashi fermentation is another and very attractive alternative that works to divert organic waste out of the landfill and it has numerous other features that make it an attractive alternative to composting, the current adopted strategy by most municipalities in the US. The bokashi fermentation method of treating organic waste is easy to implement, is well established and widely practiced in many parts of the world but not so well known in the US (see Appendix A).

Bokashi Fermentation

Bokashi fermentation is a process of anaerobically fermenting organic waste instead of oxidizing it. It is the only to date sustainable practice for diverting food waste that is efficient and cost effective without polluting our environment. Here the organic waste is essentially pickled using lactobacilli, fungi, and phototropic microbes. In the process organic waste is fermented anaerobically at low pH where very few microbes can survive. Methane producing microbes cannot function or survive under these conditions and virtually all pathogenic microbes are destroyed and incapable of surviving where oxygen tensions are so low and the acidity is high.

 

Even though the bokashi fermentation general method has been known and practiced for hundreds of years, it was made substantially more reliable in practice and in Japan it was popularized by Professor Teruo Higa[6] who recognized that the correct composition of microbes was needed to get it right. The way it works is more akin to pickling than to the rotting you get with normal composting methods. Food waste is worked on by micro-organisms and then when it is safe it is put into the ground where soil microbes complete the work.[7]

 

Bokashi fermentation is very efficient taking only about 7 days to convert raw organic waste into a completely fermented end product that can then be placed in the soil where it is rapidly in about 10 days converted into a nutrient rich organic soil useful in sustaining microbial diversity in soils. This product has been used in farming throughout the world and has proven to increase crop yields effectively without supplemental fertilizers.

 

It can also be shown that under the conditions of bokashi fermentation, unlike landfill and composting operations where volumes of noxious gases are produced and released into the atmosphere, no measureable gases are produced. This is exceedingly relevant as it reveals that it is possible to rapidly convert organic waste into a useful product helpful in sustaining farm lands with high crop yields without generating green house gases.[8]

 

Bokashi fermentation does not require a fixed ratio of carbon to nitrogen, does not require the addition of any additional feedstock, does not require turning and tending and curing, and is nearly 10 times faster than composting. It can be used in farming where it has been shown to boost crop yields and reduce the reliance on chemical fertilizers.

 

Farmers can use the fermented waste in their fields with a benefit making it an ideal sustainable method of getting rid of food waste. It is a sustainable practice that is non-polluting.

 

These attributes are summarized as shown in Table 1.

 

Table 1: Attribute Comparison for Composting and Bokashi Fermentation

Compost v Bokashi Fermenting Attribures

Study Objectives:

There are approximately 150,000 attendees at the IPE each year and numerous food service providers and the attendees generate food waste that is then transported from the IPE site to a processing site for disposition. This will be the first year vendors and consumers will be asked to place their food waste into containers specifically designated “Food Waste Only”. Signage and volunteers will be in place to assist in this effort. Food waste will be collected each day and transported from the IPE grounds to McLeod’s processing site (see Appendix B).

 

The objectives in the limited pilot study are as follows;

 

1.      Collect food waste daily in covered containers free of plastics, paper, and glass.

2.      Train personnel to properly inoculate, shred and ferment food waste.

3.      Establish by fingerprint analysis of metabolites that fermenting has been successfully accomplished in closed 55 gallon fermenters in the 7 -10 day period of processing.

4.      Test by quantitative 3M petri film coliform analysis for potential pathogens in the end product and verify in the limited study that none are present.

5.      Train personnel in the proper soil end product application and processing of fermented product.

6.      Verify in the 7 – 10 day post tilling period that end product is well assimilated in the soil.

7.      Compare soil samples before and after processing with fermented end product for evidence of enrichment.

8.      Document in digital and video format each stage in the processing cycle including soil appearance and findings 10 days after fermented product is mixed with the soil.

Responsibilities and Liabilities:

 

We are entering into a pilot study that is designed to limit purposely potential problems and it is designed to conservatively prove that organic food waste can efficiently and effectively be diverted from a landfill. Approximately 2 tons of waste will be fermented.

 

In the event the process is stopped for whatever reason, none of the participants in the study will be obligated to remove or dispose of any organic waste material already placed in the ground. Participants will not be billed or charged for any removal or repair to the land should such a fee be incurred. Nor will there be any charge back to any participants for labor or materials to resume the routines of waste handling previously established for disposal.

Sustainable Cycling of Food Waste – General scheme:

 

Bokashi fermenting more accurately described as acidic anaerobic fermentation is a simple and effective method of rapidly metabolizing organic waste. This can be done at almost any scale and results in virtually all of the nutrients including carbon going back to soil within a matter of days. No heat, gases or methane are produced in this process which takes place within sealed fermenters.

 

In the pilot study a previously established process that has been in continuous operation at a level of approximately 10 tons per month at the New Earth Farm will be replicated but limited to 2 tons of food waste at the IPE.

 

Bokashicycle and New Earth Farm (Hillsboro, OR) have established an efficient cycling of waste moving from the restaurants back to the farm in the form of food scraps that are fermented and put back to soil to support subsequent produce used in the restaurant by chefs who prepare meals for their customers.

 

Food waste material is collected and inoculated with bokashi culture mix. It is then shredded and placed in 55 gallon fermenters to ferment 7 - 10 days. The fermented product is then allowed to drain and subsequently spread on the farm land to be tilled. Fermented food waste tilled in the soil is virtually indistinguishable from other soils within 7 - 10 days after tilling except for the fact it is enriched.

 

After 14 days in the soil crops are planted again in the enriched soil completing the full cycle ---[farm produce to consumer]---[waste back to farm]---[new produce back to consumer].

 

This cycle is far less costly than traditional composting and is 10 times faster than composting. The process does not generate heat or gases. Methane producing microbes do not tolerate the conditions of acidic anaerobic fermenting. Greenhouse gases are eliminated in the process in stark contrast to composting operations. Water, a precious resource is conserved and never added to support the processing of waste. Traditional composting consumes water.

 

In summary, Bokashi fermenting on a commercial scale is far less costly than composting and it is more efficient. Foul odors are virtually eliminated. And the process results in soil enriched in nutrients and microbes. Very little land is needed to process the fermented end product.

 

The diagram below outlines the flow from consumer to crop production and video clips for the various operations may be observed at the link shown.

 

http://www.bokashicycle.com/videos.html

 

 

Food Waste Cycle Bokashi Fermenting

 

 

Figure 1: Food Waste Disposal Schematic for Bokashi Fermenting

Study Method:

We will collect and process the equivalent of 2 55 gallon barrels of food waste for 5 continuous days. The waste will be collected each day and transported from the IPE site to McLeod’s processing center. McLeod will transport all of the waste taken at the IPE but only 2 barrels will then be inoculated and shredded on site. The inoculated shredded material will then be placed in 55 gallon barrels that are ID coded and set aside to ferment.

 

After 7 – 10 days fermenting, the barrels will be transported to a farm recipient where end product will be applied to the soil. Samples of the tea produced in fermenting will be taken for subsequent analysis.

 

A plot of land measuring 20 x 20 feet already tilled will be used in the pilot study. Samples of the soil will be taken at 5 points before any end product is added to the soil. The total end product at the end of the fermenting process (approximately 2 tons) will then be spread evenly over the 20 x 20 foot plot and lightly tilled leaving no fermented end product visible at the surface.

 

The soil will be left undisturbed for 7 – 10 days after fermented product has been added. The study coordinator will then collect 5 soil samples from the plot for analysis.

 

The average density frequently used for waste generated is 30 pounds per cubic foot. There are 11.33 cubic feet per 55 gallon drum. Each drum will when filled weigh approximately 340 pounds. Because the process of fermentation can result in some compression of the organic waste, it is anticipated the total weight of the filled and fermenting single 55 gallon drum will weigh between 340 and 400 pounds. All sealed fermenters will be weighed before they are opened and applied to the soil.

 

Only food waste will be put into the drums. No plastic liners should be placed in the drum. Inoculated shredded food waste should fill the drum fermenter to about 6 inches from the top and then the drums are closed. When the drums are closed they are not band-clamped initially. Clamping takes place 24 hours after the lid is put in position.

 

The study coordinator will identify and assign teams to handle each stage in the waste disposal cycle and will see that the activities are accurately recorded along with any relevant observations.

 

These activities may be summarized as follows and comprise stages in the process for which records are to be obtained.

 

  1. Team 1: IPE Collection of Food Waste for Disposal
  2. Team 2: Inoculating, Shredding and Packing 55 gallon drum fermenters
  3. Team 3: Soil plot preparation and sampling
  4. Team 4: End product soil application and tilling

 

Table 2: Step by Step Collection of Food Waste for Disposal: Team 1

Area for Processing

Action

 

 

IPE – Designated locations for food waste collection

 

 

 

1. Confirm containers are in their proper location

 

 

 

2. Confirm signage “Food Waste Only” for food waste collection is on the proper container and easily observed

 

 

 

3. Apply to each food waste container a tape ID with the notation “Initials – Date – Alphabetic Suffix” to track the collection for any given day. Use the format XXX-dd.mm.yyyy-Y.

 

 

 

4. Each volunteer should mark the containers he or she will monitor. For 3 containers, the ID code would be

Lrg-01.09.2010-A, lrg-01.09.2010-B, and lrg-01.09.2010-C

 

 

 

5. Observe carefully all attendees and vendors as they put waste into the containers and be clear that only food waste goes into the container.

 

 

 

6. Any cups, paper, or plastic should be transferred to other appropriate containers and kept out of the food waste only containers.

 

 

 

7. Record on the Food Waste Collection record sheet your observations each day.

 

 

 

8. At the end of each day sign and date the record sheet and give it to the study coordinator

 

 

 

9. At the beginning of each day your containers should be empty.

 

 

 

10. Consult with the study coordinator if your food waste container is not empty at the beginning of the day and make a note in your record sheet for that day.

 

 

 

 

 


Table 3: Step by Step Inoculating, Shredding and Packing of 55 gallon drum fermenters: Team 2

McLeod on site shredding – Team # 2 Inoculates and shreds the collected food waste from the previous day’s IPE collection. Fermenters are then loaded and closed

 

 

 

1. There are 2 55 gallon fermenters that will be filled each day beginning on September 2, 2010

 

 

 

2. A total of 10 55 gallon drum fermenters will be filled at which time the pilot study inoculating and shredding steps are complete

 

 

 

3. Identify each day 2 55 gallon fermenters that are going to be filled.

 

 

 

4. Observe that the fermenters have proper fitting lids, band clamps, and that they are empty and clean before the filling process begins.

 

 

 

5. Report to the study coordinator any problems and await instructions from the coordinator before filling if there are problems with any of the fermenters.

 

 

 

6. Apply to each food waste container a tape ID with the notation “Initials – Date – Alphabetic Suffix” to track the fermenter for any given day. Use the format XXX-dd.mm.yyyy-Y. Y=A,B,C…etc.

 

 

 

7. There are only 2 codes per day with 2 fermenters. For example Lrg-01.09.2010-A, lrg-01.09.2010-B

 

 

 

8. Confirm that all of the equipment is present and operational before starting the process. You will need 2 fermenters, eye and ear safety protection, protective clothing while shredding, boots, shovels, a tractor to drive the chipper, a functioning harper-goossen chipper, and 5 pounds of culture mix per barrel fermenter.

 

 

 

9. Use a container that will hold about 10 gallons of waste and add ½ pound of culture mix to the waste.

 

 

 

10. Run the inoculated waste through the shredder in batches and then fill the fermenter barrel to within 6 inches of the top.

 

 

 

14. Properly connect the Harper Goossen chipper to the tractor drive following the manufacturer’s instructions. Adjust the chipper speed to adequately shred waste (~1200 RPM)

 

 

 

15. When the fermenters are full, wait 24 hours before applying the band clamp to the lid.

 

 

Table 4: Step by Step Soil plot preparation and sampling: Team 3

 

 

 

Farm soil plot – Team # 3 prepares a 400 square foot plot for processing and collects soil and tea samples.

 

 

 

1. Record the location where fermented end product will be buried with soil.

 

 

 

2. Prepare a plot of land that is flat and at least 100 feet from any lake or stream measuring 20 x 20 feet.

 

 

 

3. If the soil is not already tilled, till it to a depth of at least 6 inches.

 

 

 

4. Take a full 25 mL conical tube sample of soil from each corner 1 foot from each edge and a sample from the exact center before adding any fermented product to the soil.

 

 

 

5. Mark each tube with the date collected and the protocol number AS09012010

 

 

 

6. When the last batch of food waste in the 55 gallon fermenter has been in process 7 – 10 days, move all 10 barrels to the farm for processing.

 

 

 

7. Open all 10 barrels and collect in the 15 mL conical tubes a sample of tea from each of the barrels filling the tube at least half way and then sealing it so none of the tea will be lost.

 

 

 

8. Label the 15 mL conical tubes with the ID on the barrel fermenter from which it was obtained and the protocol number AS09012010

 

 

 

9. Deliver the 15 mL conical tubes to the study coordinator.

 

 

 

10. After the fermented end product has been in the ground for 10 days, collect another 5 samples of soil as in step 4 above.

 

 

 

11. Label the post fermentation soil samples with the date collected and the protocol number AS09012010

 

 

 

12. Deliver the post fermentation soil samples to the study coordinator.

 


 

Table 5: Step by Step End product soil application and tilling: Team 4

Field Burial – Spreading fermented end product and tilling

 

 

 

1. Confirm all 10 55 gallon filled fermenters are present before beginning the soil mix step.

 

 

 

2. Confirm that soil samples have been collected from the 20 x 20 foot tilled burial site before proceeding to the next step.

 

 

 

3. Confirm that team 3 collected conical tubes with tea from each fermenter before proceeding to the next step.

 

 

 

4. If the soil and tea samples have not been collected notify the study coordinator so that samples are collected so their values are available for the summary report.

 

 

 

5. Empty all 10 barrel contents on the 20 x 20 foot plot and spread the fermented product evenly over the surface with a rake.

 

 

 

6. Till the soil lightly mixing the fermented product with the soil so that it is covered at the surface with soil.

 

 

 

7. Note the date the material was put into the soil on the record sheet

 

 

 

8. Sign and date your record sheet and return it to the study coordinator.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Equipment and Consumables Required in Processing:

A list of all equipment required to process food waste is listed in Table 6. Record sheets are affixed to the protocol and may be generated at any time as needed in order to complete tasks and document work being done.

 

Table 6: Equipment Requirements for Handling, Fermenting and Burial of Fermented Food Waste

Provider

Equipment Required

 

 

Dave Weatherill

55 gallon Fermenters open top (10)

 

 

Dave Weatherill

55 gallon Fermenters Modified Lids (10)

 

 

Dave Weatherill

55 gallon Metal Band Clamps for sealing Lids (10)

 

 

Karen Truesdale

Record Note-books Team 1, 2, 3 and 4 (1 each)

 

 

Karen Truesdale

Personnel for Team 1, 2, 3 and 4.

 

 

Farm site

Shovels and implements to work in the field.

 

 

Farm site

Machinery to initially turn the soil and to till soil

 

 

Farm site

Wheel barrows or suitable device to move bokashi fermented food waste to the trench.

 

 

McLeod

Transport jitney or shuttle to move 10 loaded fermenters from McLeod’s site to the field site.

 

 

IPE

Food waste for processing.

 

 

Bokashicycle LLC

Bokashi Culture Mix 50 pounds

 

 

Dave Weatherill

Protective gear for shredding operations – eye wear and ear protection, Suitable clothing, gloves

 

 

Dave Weatherill

Harper-Goossen or equivalent shredder

 

 

Karen Truesdale

Label tape, waterproof ink marking pens

 

 

McLeod

Shovels and implements to fill fermenters at McLeod’s site.

 

 

Bokashicycle LLC

Sample tubes for tea collections (10)

 

 

Bokashicycle LLC

Sample tubes for soil collections (10)

 

 

Bokashicycle LLC

Soil stakes (5)

 

 

Bokashi Culture Mix 25 pound bags

Figure 5: A photo image of the Bokashi culture mix in 25 pound bag packets.

 

In Figure 6, the proper and improper positions for the lid seal are shown. It is important to place the lid ban locking lever near the bigger of the two openings on the barrel so that it can be easily removed in the Off-Loading prior to burial. Tea is collected by tipping the barrel fermenters with the smaller bunge opening in the down position. In the IPE pilot only samples of tea are collected for analysis.

 

55 gal fermenting drums

Figure 6: A photo image of the 55 gallon drum showing the proper and improper positions for the lid band clamp.

 

Off-loading of the 10 barrels in the field is straight forward but personnel should use great care in handling the barrels because they are heavy and could potential cause injuries if not properly handled. Suitable equipment to lift and transport the barrels should be used.

 

A wheel barrel or suitable container is used to transport the fermented waste to the prepared trenches burial site. After spreading the fermented end product on the soil it is immediately tilled into the soil.

Records and Logs

 

There are 4 teams each with a log record book for recording information during the pilot study.

 

  1. Team 1: IPE Collection of Food Waste for Disposal
  2. Team 2: Inoculating, Shredding and Packing 55 gallon drum fermenters
  3. Team 3: Soil plot preparation and sampling
  4. Team 4: End product soil application and tilling

Team 1:

Team 1 volunteers mark collection barrels on the IPE grounds with ID tape and take measures to minimize the incorrect filling of food waste containers. The volunteer function is very important in keeping feedstock for fermenting from being contaminated with foreign material that we don’t want to end up in the field.

 

Team 1 each day confirms by record that the containers are in place and functional. Signage “Food Waste Only” should be clearly visible. A tape label in the format “Initials - DD.MM.2010 – Y is put on the container at the start of each day.

 

This information is recorded in the Log book for Team 1 and any pertinent observations are also included (Appendix C). If there are any perceived problems the volunteer should contact the study coordinator so that the problem is resolved. There is a record sheet for each food waste container for each day food waste is collected at the IPE. Records are returned to the study coordinator at the end of each day.

Team 2:

Team 2 will meet with McLeod personnel at the McLeod site where inoculating of food waste and shredding occurs. Appropriate safety and protective gear should be worn and proper instruction and training to use the equipment is required before any shredding activity commences.

 

Inoculating and shredding of food waste takes place each day commencing on day 2 at the McLeod’s site with the filling of 2 55 gallon fermenters. The fermenters are sealed but not band clamped at the end of the day. Band clamping takes place after 24 hours for the barrels filled. Barrels are placed out of the way and left to complete fermenting for a period of 7 – 10 days.

 

When the last 2 barrels have been sealed, they are set aside and allowed to finish fermenting 7 – 10 days. Then all 10 barrels are taken to the burial site for loading into the field. Team 2 activities are recorded in a log record each day they are engaged in their work (Appendix D).

 

Team 3:

Soil plot preparation and sampling teams are involved at the farm site where the end product is mixed with soil.

 

A suitable plot of land is identified that is flat and at least 100 feet away from any pond, well or water supply. A square measuring 20 x 20 feet is staked out and the land is either confirmed tilled to 6 inches or more depth or is tilled in preparation for the pilot project.

 

A soil samples are collected by filling 5 conical tubes. These samples are first collected before fermented end product is put on the ground. Samples are taken as indicated in the diagram below. A second set of samples is collected at the end of the study 7 – 10 days after the end product was tilled into the soil. There are 10 labeled tubes at the end of the pilot that are submitted for analysis.

Soil Collection map

Figure 7: Soil plot and sample collections map for end product burial.

 

The team will also collect a sample of bokashi tea in conical vials from each of the fermentation barrels before they are placed on the soil for tilling. There are 10 conical vials of tea collect in the pilot study. Samples are labeled and activities for the team recorded in the log record (Appendix E). Samples and records are collected by the study coordinator for analysis and reports.

 

Team 4:

Team 4 will place the fermented end product into the soil. After the last 2 fermentation barrels have been sealed for 7 – 10 days, all 10 barrels are transported to the farm where burial will occur. The team will notify team 3 to collect tea samples before placing the material on the plot for burial.

 

The end product is spread evenly over the 400 square foot plot and then tilled evenly to lightly cover all material with soil. A record of the activity is recorded in the log records and then given to the study coordinator (Appendix F).

 

Analysis and Reports:

At the end of the pilot study, Bokashicycle personnel will collect the logs and samples from the study coordinator for analysis. There is sufficient sample material that subsequent analysis can be done in any laboratory should it be determined useful or possibly productive in assessing the pilot study.

 

A GC analysis will be done on bokashi tea collections to confirm adequate and characteristic metabolic markers for fermentation. A pH analysis of soil before and after the pilot study will also be obtained. A pH analysis of the tea will be obtained for each sample collected. Soil samples will also be analyzed for N, K and P. The current plan is to blend the 5 soil samples prior to analysis.

 

Based on these findings and the experiences of the 5 day pilot, a formal report will then be generated. We may then determine based on that information how feasible it would be to process food waste using the bokashi fermentation process.


Appendix A: IPE Site Map

CONTACT INFORMATION



Interior Provincial Exhibition & Stampede
Box 490
Armstrong, BC
V0E 1B0

Tel: (250) 546-9406
Fax: (250) 546-6181

 

http://www.armstrongipe.com/

IPE map

 

Appendix B: Transport Route IPE to McLeod’s By-Products

road IPE to Mcleods

 

 

Appendix C: Team 1 IPE Volunteer Food Waste Collection Record

Record all information each day and turn in your record sheet to the study coordinator at the end of each day. Use one record sheet for each food waste collection container.

 

Barrel ID (XXX-DD.MM.2010-Y)

Activity

 

 

 

Signage in place Barrel empty in AM

ID label on barrel

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

 

 

Observations and Notes:

Y = A, B, C…. to identify each barrel volunteer monitors for the day


 

Appendix D: Team 2 (Inoculating and Shredding of Food Waste) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study

 

Record all information each day as accurately as is possible.

Barrel ID (XXX-DD.MM.2010-Y)

Activity

 

 

 

Label on barrel Barrel empty in AM

Waste inoculated

Waste shredded

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

 

 

 

Observations and Notes:

 


 

Appendix E: Team 3 (Soil Preparation and Sample Collection) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study

Record all information each day as accurately as is possible.

 

Burial Site Preparation

Activity initial Soil Sample Collection

 

 

 

20x20 foot plot measured

Soil tilled

5 soil samples collected

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

 

 

Labe 5 conical tubes: Date________________ AS09012010. Record the labels below.

 

  1. ____________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________
  5. ____________________________________________

 

 

 

 

Tea Sample Collection

Activity

 

 

 

Label on barrel

Barrel sealed

Tea collected

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

 

 

Label 10 conical tubes: Date________________ AS09012010. Record the labels below.

 

  1. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  2. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  3. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  4. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  5. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  1. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  2. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  3. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  4. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)
  5. ____________________________________________(Barrel ID)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burial Site

Activity Soil Sample Collection End of Study

 

 

 

5 soil samples collected

[ ] Yes No [ ]

 

 

Labe 5 conical tubes: Date________________ AS09012010. Record the labels below.

 

  1. ____________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________
  5. ____________________________________________

 


 

Appendix F: Team 4 (End Product Soil Application and Tilling) Log for Bokashi Fermentation Pilot Study

 

Burial Site

End product Burial

 

 

 

Sample collection Team present

Tea samples collected

Barrels emptied on 20x20 foot site

End product spread evenly over plot

Tilled end product into soil

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

[ ] Yes No [ ]

 

 

Record the date the burial and tilling completed:

 

Date:_________________________________ AS09012010.

 

Signed: _______________________________


Appendix G: GC Trace Showing Metabolites for Bokashi Tea Collected at New Earth Farm

GC trace Bokashi Tea

 

 

 



[1] Private communication L. Green Bokashicycle LLC, November 2010, lrgreen@bokashicycle.com

[2] Bruce Mol, Instructional Design and Delivery - Videography, Vernon, BC.

[3] “Food-scrap composting can overcome objections, Cornell researchers …” Cornell University Science News; Oct 11, 1996 Roger Segelken http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Oct96/foodscrap.hrs.html

 

[4] McNeil Island prison saves waste – and money | The News Tribune ...

Oct 23, 2008 ... Ian Demsky, www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/story/516121.html

[5] http://www.energyjustice.net/lfg/factsheet-lfg.pdf

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teruo_Higa#Books.2Fpublications_by.2Fon_Teruo_Higa

[7] Teuro Higa, Effective Micro-organisms: An Earth Saving Revolution Vol. 2 Published in 1998 in English.

[8] Nature Farming and Microbial Applications, Editors Xu, Parr, Umemura, Year 2000; see also - Journal of Crop Production, Volume 3, Number 1 (#5) 2000.