Treated 30 000 tonnes of garden waste for sustainable soil production

In 2021, Geminor subsidiary Bøn Biobrensel AS treated more than 30,000 tonnes of garden waste for Norway's largest soil producer, Grønn Vekst AS. – To recycle garden waste instead of digging up peat to produce soil is an important sustainability measure, says production and operations manager at Grønn Vekst, Christian A. Hansen.

Nutrient-rich compost is an additive product in soil and is currently used in construction projects, agriculture, parks, gardens, road construction, sports facilities, and more. Norway’s largest producer of soil, Grønn Vekst AS, delivers around 300,000 tonnes of soil annually and is an expert in the production of biological resources from garden waste and sludge.

Grønn Vekst’s soil products are produced by composting garden waste in three major composting facilities in Eastern Norway. But before plants, shrubs, and grass can be composted, they must be treated: The garden waste is ground before it is gathered in piles for composting.

Christian Hansen is operations manager at Grønn Vekst AS.

Last year, Geminor subsidiary Bøn Biobrensel ground a total of 30,326 tonnes of biomaterial for composting at Grønn Vekst’s facilities alone.

– The garden waste is collected from municipal recycling locations around Norway and brought to several different facilities for treatment. Bøn Biobrensel then grinds the waste into small fractions, before it is composted in piles of around 1500 m3, says production and operations manager at Grønn Vekst, Christian Hansen.

– In contrast to what many may believe, compost is not made entirely without effort. The ground garden waste is closely monitored with wireless monitoring so that we can make sure that it maintains the correct temperature of between 55-70 degrees. The compost must also be turned several times during this process, which normally takes about a year, says Hansen.

Sustainable product

Much of the soil currently sold in the Nordics is made from peat. However, replacing the peat with compost-based soil is far better for the environment, says Christian Hansen.

– In nature, peat traps large amounts of carbon, and it is a well-known fact that the extraction and use of peat is an environmental challenge. Soil products based on compost are somewhat more expensive to produce but by far the most sustainable alternative today. Thankfully, more people are realizing this fact and are choosing to use compost-based soil over peat, says Hansen.

Increases efforts in composting

In 2021, Geminor treated and handled more than 104,000 tonnes of waste wood for material recycling. Green waste for composting is slowly but surely becoming another important part of the company’s recycling operations, says general manager of Bøn Biobrensel AS, Johan Olø.

Managing director at Bøn Biobrensel, Johan Olø.

– Grinding is a prerequisite for efficient composting of garden waste, and helps to create nutrient-rich soil with a high proportion of microorganisms. This soil creates healthier growing conditions for plants, says Olø.

– Taking part in the production of compost-based soil is an important sustainable operation. We are constantly working to improve the quality of this fraction, and to meet the increasingly stricter market requirements, concludes Johan Olø in Bøn Biobrensel AS.

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