Where can I get information about on-farm composting of fish wastes?
J.O.AlaskaAnswer: Fish wastes require special handling at the compost facility to avoid odors, pathogens, and pests such as flies, birds, and bears.Most state environmental agencies regulate compost facilities (see below). See “Permit Requirements for Composting – Operations in Alaska” from Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for details (also below). In addition, it may be helpful to review regulations and best management practices from other states in the planning stages of your composting operation.For example, here a few key practices and management strategies that can be especially important in composting of fish wastes and related offals. * A hard-surface compost pad that prevents percolation and runoff of compost leachates. Especially see the leaflet (below) on low-cost, lime-stabilized soil for use as a compost pad, from the USDA Animal Manure & By-Products Laboratory. * Readily-available carbonaceous feedstocks (e.g., sawdust, leaves, shredded wood wastes) to immediately incorporate and cover incoming fish wastes. * Commercial-scale equipment and composting processes to promote thermophilic composting and PFRPs, “processes to further reduce pathogens.” * Microbial inoculants and topical deodorizers to control odors and flies and to facilitate bioremediation (e.g., Effective Microorganisms from EMRO-USA; GONE from R.B. Morris Co., Inc.; BAT products from RKB Enterprises, Inc.). * Compost fleece blankets, also known as compost covers, to shed rainfall and prevent leaching, and to promote a protected environment conducive to microbial processes (e.g., TopTex, Compostex, and related brands available through Autrusa/Imants USA, Champlain Valley Compost Co., and Midwest Bio-Systems). * Laboratory tests to verify no detectable pathogen levels in compost, as well as compost quality. See the ATTRA resource list titled Alternative Soil Testing Laboratories for details.ResourcesState Composting RegulationsMcEntee Media Corporation: Recycling and Composting Online www.recycle.cc/compostregs.htmPermit Requirements for Composting – Operations in AlaskaAlaska Department of Environmental Conservationwww.uaf.edu/coop-ext/compost/dec.htmlMaking Lime-Stabilized Soil for Use as a Compost PadLawrence J. Sikora and Harry Francis, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD and Consultant, Arlington, VAwww.anri.barc.usda.gov/ambl/Sikora_pages/Lime_Stab.htmEMRO-USATucson, AZ520-792-3143928-563-1037 FAXinfo@emrousa.comwww.emrousa.comR.B. Morris Co., Inc.firstname.lastname@example.orgEnvirtradewww.envirtrade.com/home.htmRKB Enterprises, Inc.[Contact: Bob Broom]625 Maury Ave.Norfolk , VA 23517757-622-0692757-640-0239 FAX757-647-6052 Mobilerkbe@cox.net7 Autrusa/Imants USA941 Perkiomenville Rd.Perkiomenville , PA 18074610-754-1110610-754-1112 FAXContact: George Leidiggeorge@autrusa.comwww.imantsusa.comChamplain Valley Compost Co.245 Ten Stones CircleCharlotte , VT 05445802-425-555802-425-5557 FAXContact: Steven Wisbaumsteven@cvcompost.comwww.cvcompost.comMidwest Bio-Systems28933 35 E. StreetTampico, IL 61283800-689-0714815-438-7200815-438-7028 FAXContact: Edwin BlosserMBS@emypeople.netwww.midwestbiosystems.comAlternative Soil Testing LaboratoriesATTRA ? National Sustainable Agriculture Information Servicehttp://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/soil-lab.htmlComposting Seafood Waste BibliographyBased on Ken Hilderbrand’s bibliography, Seafood Waste Management (2001) Revised by Janet Webster and Judy Mullen, Oregon State University LibrariesLatest revision: September 2003 http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/guin/seafood/compostingtext.htmlInformation Note on the Composting of Organic Waste from Seafood Processing Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Irish Sea Fisheries BoardInfonote Series No. 2http://www.bim.ie/uploads/reports/InfoNote.pdfOn-Farm Composting of Fishery By-ProductsPrince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Forestry http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/af_fact_fish.pdf (PDF)Diver, Steve. 2004. Supplemental Resources on Effective Microorganisms (EM) and Indigenous Microorganisms (IM). ATTRA ? National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, Fayetteville, AR.Implementing Fishery-Based Compost Applications: The Next StepFlorida Sea Grant Extension Programhttp://www.p2pays.org/ref/19/18664.pdf (PDF)See also:1988 Composting Fish By-Products: A Feasibility Study. Co-author M.D. Seekins Maine Dept. Agric., Time & Tide RC&D, Waldoboro, ME1991 Composting Seafood Processing By-products. Proceedings: Fishery By-Products Conference, Alaska Sea-Grant College, Anchorage, AK1994 Evaluation of Farm plot Conditions and Effects of Composted Fish Scraps on Yield and Mineral Composition of Maize. Compost Sci. Land Util., Co-author, Milton D. SeekinsBC Agricultural Composting HandbookBritish Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Food http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/publist/300series/382500-0.pdf (PDF)