VCU In Vessel Composting (IVC) technology has been successfully used for the past 15 years throughout the world to treat a wide variety of organic wastes. From the installation of the first prototype unit in the mid 1990s, treating catering waste at the Longbay Correction Centre in Malabar Sydney, the technology was readily adopted as a viable recycling alternative to conventional disposal routes. A year later, the first full size VCU was installed at the University of New South Wales to treat up to 2 tonnes/day of catering waste.
Other installations followed at high profile locations, such as Lord Howe Island World Heritage site in Australia, for the composting of septic tank waste and food wastes and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Waitakere City Council in New Zealand installed a 10 chamber plant, benefiting from the VCU’s small footprint on their urban site. McKenzie District council were the first in New Zealand to introduce a source segregated food collection with the VCU at the heart of the treatment process.
The technology was demonstrated at the Parkwood Group’s Sheffield site. The benefits of the robust modular design were quickly recognized, and Bromley Council became the first UK local authority to adopt VCU technology at one of their civic amenity sites. Many other local authorities have since followed suit.
The ability of the VCU to help meet the UK’s organic waste recycling goals has resulted in over 30 installations at municipal and privately owned commercial sites.
Often as pioneers of new applications and industry standards, VCU Europa’s successes have included Cranberry Composting in Lincs, the first site to achieve ABPR accreditation. Fairfield Material Handling (New Smithfield Market) in Manchester was the first VCU operator to achieve PAS100 for their product, producing compost from fruit and vegetable waste. Marine Harvest in Co Donegal Ireland was one of the pioneers for the composting of fish waste.
The company expanded into mainland Europe where VCUs now operate in Spain, Finland and Ireland. Elsewhere the market continued to grow. Halton Recycling in Canada installed a 20 chamber plant in 2005, the largest VCU in the world, handling the organic faction from a methaniser MBT facility. More recent installations include Keenan Recycling, Billy Bowie Special Projects and Gray Composting Services.
The Vertical Composting Unit has been successfully patented worldwide and VCU® is a registered trademark of the company.
Today, VCU Europa continues to be at the forefront of the IVC market, with a well proven accredited system and a continuingly expanding list of references.