In 2012 the City of Appleton partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the UW-Extension on demonstration and application research projects to address consumer concerns and ensure that the compost generated meets the regulatory and the highest quality standards possible. The Appleton Compost Facility is a member of the United States Composting Council (USCC) and their Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) program. The STA program requires vigorous sampling and analysis to assure customers on quality and product utilization to maximize compost benefits. The Appleton Compost facility is one additional example of the City’s commitment of “Meeting Community Needs…Enhancing the Quality of Life” by advancing sustainability in the City of Appleton, Outagamie County, and Fox Valley community.
Appleton Area Landfill
Numerous tests have been conducted at the local landfill in Appleton. Compost is mixed, turned, and stored here. Biosolid compost has been utilized at the area landfill to help reduce erosion and grow heavy vegetation on nutrient lacking soil. Erosion can occur when wind and rain dislodge topsoil from fields and hillsides. This top layer of soil that can wash away contains many valuable nutrients beneficial to soil. Biosolid compost provides a strong base and retains water well, which will lead to vigorous vegetation and reduce erosion on steep embankments.
The photos above were taken at the Outagamie County landfill. The areas with lush, dense vegetation were planted with City of Appleton biosolids compost. The bare areas were seeded with standard practices and required three applications to establish vegetation. Areas with biosolids compost only required one application.
Community Garden Test Site
Appleton compost is currently being used at a Community Garden located in Appleton. Tests were performed and monitored at this garden site. Different types of vegetables were tested in normal soil and compost mixed in with the soil. This is going to show the ability of compost to produce healthy vegetation with every day vegetables, and comparing the results to a soil control alone.
Community Garden August 2012
The City of Appleton Department of Utilities and Wastewater Treatment Division are committed to a program of beneficial use through land application for Biosolids. Biosolids contain plant nutrients and provide valuable soil PH buffering capability. Replenishing farm topsoil with Biosolids can promote long term crop productivity, improve soil aeration, restores organic soil matter, and decreases the need for chemical fertilizers. Hundreds of local farmers have used our biosolids on their fields for agricultural use and have seen the benefits of biosolids improving crop growth.
The AWWTP provides biosolids application, incorporation, and site monitoring at no extra charge to the landowner or tenant as part of this beneficial use partnership.
Biosolids application by the City of Appleton on farm fields has been a long standing practice that is consistent with the "green" philosophy that is being emphasized now more than ever. The AWWTP continues to evaluate technologies that include biosolids composting and heat transformation that are capable of diversifying beneficial use options beyond traditional land application.
An eight-week greenhouse study was completed using City of Appleton Trial 2 Biosolid Compost and Waymour Topsoil. This study was completed under a combination or artificial light, and natural light for about 15 hours a day.
Goals of the study:
· Determine how heavy applications of compost would impact vegetative growth