This aerial photo shows one of the fields we use for composting. The long rows on the left are mixes of grass, leaves and manure. Tuthill Farms and Composting, Inc. is a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Certified Compost Facility. Our site receives an average of 20,000 cubic yards of material annually.
These materials are dropped off at our site by waste haulers, landscapers and homeowners and mixed at a 3:1 ratio of leaves to grass/manure. Rows are then turned periodically with a large front loader which further mixes, aerates and reduces particle size. Temperatures are monitored and reach up to 165 degrees F. or more, which kills pathogens and weed seeds. Brush, logs and stumps are also disposed of here and are ground periodically into woodchips or mulch.
Unlike municipalities, we take years to produce our finished farm compost. Our compost is cured and screened for our use in producing crops and is also available for purchase. We also find that this longer process greatly diminishes odors associated with compost facilities.
According to the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, more than 240 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated in the United States each year. Organic waste, including yard trimmings, food scraps, wood waste and paper/paperboard products, make up 2/3 of this solid waste.