Komatsu helps boost capacity for compost

A composting initiative by Cardiff University for Carmarthenshire County Council is achieving impressive results as it steps up a gear to divert more garden and household waste from landfill

The Carmarthenshire Environmental Research Trust (Cert) project is part of the Welsh Assembly’s Wise about Waste commitment to compost, separate out and process waste from municipal, commercial and industrial waste generated throughout Wales. Set up as a not-for-profit operation at a site in Nant Y Caws, the Cert project is now entering its second phase, aided by funding from Carmarthenshire County Council.

Currently 5,000 tonnes of garden waste is being processed to create soil enhancer compost. As this increases to 14,000 tonnes, it brings a requirement for mechanised handling of waste. Central to this are two vehicles supplied by Marubeni-Komatsu, UK distributor of Komatsu plant equipment.

A WA100M-5 wheel loader and a WH609-1 telescopic handler from the Komatsu range have been operating at the site since February. The telehandler is used to load waste material from the floor to the screening machine while the wheel loader was bought because of its manoeuvrability – useful in indoor operations. The telescopic handler offers a 3,500kg lifting capacity, including a grab attachment on the bucket.

The WA100M-5 is a compact wheel loader that makes it ideal for tight areas – an important consideration given that Cert has a further £286,000 of funding to build a new area to expand the operation into kitchen waste. This will offer an area less than 12m wide within which the wheel loader will need to manoeuvre.

Guy Hewings, director of Cert, says: “We are selling the end-product from the composting process to local companies, the public at civic amenity sites and the National Botanical Gardens, where it is being used as a mulch and soil enhancer. The local focus ensures we keep transport costs low and encourages a responsible approach to recycling and waste management within the community.”

Carl Jennings, area sales manager for Marubeni-Komatsu, adds: “We are seeing an increasing market for our vehicles in recycling and waste treatment applications. This is set to grow as the focus on environmental alternatives to landfill increases. This is highlighted by the target in Wales of up to 600,000 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste diverted from landfill by 2010.”


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