The makers of a product similar in consistency to a wet wipe that contains cotton, linen, and polymer were looking for a way to dispose of the product once it had outlived its lifespan. Because of the polymer the makers could not incinerate the waste, and decided instead to break the product down by composting it. The product was designed to be resistant to biological degradation, and after 90 days of composting it looked the same as the day it was put in the pile. After looking for resources on degradation of tough organic matter, the makers came to our lab for a solution. We developed a process using BugJuice and SmartBOD that stimulated fungal activity in the compost pile that allowed it to decompose by composting. This system finally allowed the conversion of the pieces of product into a more simple compost.
At Aquafix, our eagerness for fixing every problem in the wide world of wastewater means we encounter some of the strangest situations water can offer. In this new series, Unique Applications, we look at some of our most stand out issues and most inventive solutions.