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The composting process at Birch Airfield Composting

Find out more about the composting process at Birch Airfield Composting Services. We deliver quality compost across Essex and Suffolk.

Solar panels in a grassy field
Paper Texture
gardening tools in soil surface

Our composting process

Composting is quite simply the aerobic decomposition of biodegradable material in a controlled environment. For composting to take place we manage the presence of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and water to optimise the rate at which naturally occurring micro-bacteria, ‘bugs’, yeast and fungi break down organic materials to produce a stable ‘compost’ (stable sanitised material).

Waste reception

The first part of our process is to ensure that the material we receive is suitable for composting. All material coming into our site is first inspected to ensure it meets our rigorous acceptance criteria.

items that cannot be composted

What can't we compost?

organic waste that can be composted

What can we compost?

We cannot accept waste types that are not listed on our Environment Agency Permit including all animal by-products and any type of kitchen waste. We are also unable to compost waste that is contaminated with non-biodegradable material such as plastic, glass, metal and coated paper/cardboard. All non-conforming material will be rejected from the site at the supplier’s expense so please call ahead if you are unsure about our waste acceptance criteria.

Birch Airfield Composting is licensed to receive and process biodegradable waste types arising from parks, gardens, vegetable and fruit production and other green waste composters. Largely this is garden waste supplied by Local Authorities from green/brown bin collection and from Household Waste Recycling Centres. For a full list of waste types we can receive, and up-to-date charges, please contact us.



Batch formation

To ensure the compost we manufacture is consistently of the highest quality, we shred and blend the input materials into long trapezoidal shaped heaps called ‘windrows’. It is at this stage we make sure we have the perfect mix of carbon (woody material), nitrogen (grass clippings, fruit, vegetables, and herbaceous plants), water and oxygen (a structure that allows the air to circulate freely within the windrow). Each windrow is allocated a batch number which allows us to trace input materials all the way through to the finished compost products.


We continue to monitor each batch throughout the process to make sure the composting process has been completed. When we see the level of activity from the ‘bugs’ has subsided we know the compost is stable and ready for ‘screening’ into finished products.


Throughout the composting process we carefully monitor the temperature and moisture within each batch to make sure the process is functioning optimally. The ‘bugs’ that break down the organic material naturally generate heat. We carefully manage this heat to ensure each windrow achieves sufficient temperature for sufficient time to kill any plant diseases or harmful bacteria that may have been present in the waste we are composting. Windrows are turned periodically to make sure all material is subjected to these temperatures. We call this part of the process sanitisation.


Once the composting process is complete we then use large mechanical sieves known as ‘screens’ to grade the compost into different products.

Please contact Birch Airfield Composting Services directly if you have any questions about our composting process.

Contact us today to find out more.

07747 866923
Composting cycle flow chart

Closing the recycling loop

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