Gillis Agricultural Systems Inc. has announced the launch of a new composter “Ecodrum Composter” available throughout the Midwest.
The Ecodrum is a year-round controlled system, processing 100 percent of barn mortalities as well as manure and bedding on site within a short period of time. The cost of owning and operating the Ecodrum is comparable to, and even less than that of other animal mortality management options. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services has recently recognized the value of the Ecodrum Composter making it eligible for grant money as part of their EQIP program in some states.
Any animal production operation (e.g.: swine, sheep, poultry, cattle, equine) produces daily mortalities due to weather, natural causes, accidents and/or illnesses. In most countries, the use of incineration or animal-derived protein from on-farm mortalities is no longer acceptable ways to dispose of dead animals and other alternatives are rather costly.
In principle, the Ecodrum can be used to manage any type of animal mortality. However, given the characteristics of the Ecodrum, due consideration should be given by the farm manager to decide whether or not the Ecodrum suits his or her operation. Please note that:
Although the vessel has been developed having the swine industry in mind, the Ecodrum can be used by any type of animal production as long as the maximum daily capacity is respected
In the case of cattle and equine operations, the Ecodrum can be used to dispose of maternity mortalities, but keep in mind that many countries require special permits for cattle composting disposal.
Meat transformation plants and butchers may want to consider the use of the Ecodrum as an environmentally sound way to dispose leftover by-products resulting from their plant operations.
Models and Capacity
There are six models of the Ecodrum currently available:
- The 160 Ecodrum Model is a batch composter with approximately 183 cubic feet of volume and a weekly capacity of up to 1,000 pounds.
- The 260 Ecodrum Model has a capacity 366 cubic feet. This translates into a daily capacity of 370 pounds to process mortalities, a weekly capacity of 2,590 pounds, and a yearly capacity of up to 135,000 pounds.
- The 360 Ecodrum Model has a capacity of 549 cubic feet. This means a daily capacity to process mortalities of 570 pounds, a weekly capacity of 4,000 pounds, and yearly capacity of up to 210,000 pounds.
- The 460 Ecodrum Model has a capacity of 732 cubic feet. This means a daily capacity to process mortalities of 740 pounds, a weekly capacity of 5,180 pounds, and yearly capacity of up to 270,000 pounds.
- The 560 Ecodrum Model has a capacity 915 cubic feet. This translates into a daily capacity of 925 pounds to process mortalities, a weekly capacity of 6,145 pounds, and a yearly capacity of up to 320,000 pounds.
- The 660 Ecodrum Model has a capacity of 1,098 cubic feet. This means a daily capacity to process mortalities of 1,110 pounds, a weekly capacity of 7,770 pounds, and yearly capacity of up to 404,000 pounds.
The sizes and capacity of all Ecodrum models have been designed based on maximum amount of mortality that can be consistently processed into compost in optimal time. Weekly average mortality at a farm under normal operation has also been taken into consideration for the design. For example the 360 and 460 Models are well suited for most hog operations and the 660 Model is well suited for most sizable poultry operations.
Source: Gillis Agricultural Systems news release