General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
N/A %
Subject Area
ENVR - Environmental Science
ESCI - Environmental Science
06 - NFQ Level 6
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2013 - Full Academic Year 2013-14
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Noel Connaughton, Billy Fitzgerald
Programme Membership
SG_SCOMP_S06 201200 Certificate in Science in COMPOSTING FACILITY OPERATION SG_SENVI_C06 201300 Higher Certificate in Science in Environmental Management

This module is designed for compost operators, regulators of facilities and anyone interested in starting a composting facility with the theoretical and practical knowledge on how to compost properly, how to produce a high quality compost product and how to be compliant with legal obligations.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Know how to compost properly.


Understand the Composting Process.


Describe the different Composting Technologies.


Monitor and control the Composting Process.


Mitigate Environmental Impacts and to comply with the requirements of their Environment Management System.


Understand and comply with the Regulatory Framework (waste licenses, waste permits, and animal by-product regulation).


Understand and comply with health and safety regulations.


Maintain a compost facility.


Understand market requirements for compost and identify additional market opportunities.


Develop good Community Relations.

Module Assessment Strategies

Reports (flow diagrams) of site visits to four composting sites including at least one green waste and one brown waste (ABP approved) facility as well as a report on a hazard and risk assessment of one composting site. Each report is worth a maximun of 10 marks amounting to a total of 50 marks for the continuous assessment component of the course.

A final written examination accounts for a maximum of 50 marks.

Indicative Syllabus

Definitions and Biology of Composting:   What is composting and compost.  Understanding the basic biology of the composting process

Composting Process:  Tipping and receivingWaste Acceptance procedureSuitable feedstocks. Feedstock preparationInitial composting phaseStabilisation and curingScreeningProduct testing & interpretation of results.  Blending, storage and packaging

Composting Technologies.  VermicompostingWindrowingAerated static pile compostingIn-vessel composting technologies

Process Control:  Techniques and technologyMoisture, oxygen and temperatureQuality assurance and quality controlHACCP for composting facilitiesCompost testing parameters: field tests and laboratory testingTroubleshooting issues and problemsMonitoring and reporting

Potential Environmental Impacts & Environment Management Systems:  OdourDust and bioaerosolsLeachateSurface waterPests and vectorsNoiseWeather monitoring and record keepingCompliance record keeping, monitoring and reporting

Compliance with Regulatory Framework.  Permitting and LicensingAnimal By-Product Regulations

Health and Safety:  Regulatory issuesPlansImplementation and staff trainingH & S inspectionsMonitoring and reporting

Facility Maintenance:  Site: landscaping, utilities, hard standingCompost systemAncillary equipmentEnvironmental management systems

Compost Uses and Marketing:  Types of products and potential uses (varying grades of compost and mulches)Value added products and uses (potting soils, topsoils, fertilizers)Competitive alternatives (peat, bark, manures etc.)Who are the users/buyers?Understanding the needs of potential users within the local areaAdd on services (delivery and application)Pricing Marketing and sales techniques for composting facilitiesUse of compost on agricultural land

Community Relations:  Being a good neighbourWorking with the neighboursReceiving and handling complaintsCommunicationsTours, open houses, compost give-awaysWorking with the media to get positive coverageDocumentation.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Reports and flow diagrams of composting sites. Workplace assignment. Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 50 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Written Report Tutor/participant interactions by way of question and answers. Final Exam UNKNOWN UNKNOWN % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Not Specified Lecture 48 Weekly 48.00
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 48.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Self-learning manuals corresponding to each item in the indicative syllabus.

National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste (Apr. 2006) Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

Hitting the Targets for Biodegradable Municipal Waste, Ten Options for Change (Jan. 2008).  Environmental Protection Agency.

European Union (Household Food Waste and Bio-waste) Regulations, 2013 (S.I. 710f 2013)

Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations, 2009

A Resource Opportunity - Waste Management Policy in Ireland, July 2012, Department of Environment

Other Resources


Additional Information