Howard County // Columbia, MD

Howard County // Columbia, MD



    Client Needs:

    Howard County wanted to start a composting facility using a two-phase approach. Phase I would be a small pilot that their staff could use to practice composting with their own municipally collected feedstocks at their existing landfill facility.  Phase II would be a facility sized at 60,000 tpy and based on the Phase I findings. Howard County was looking for a process engineering and equipment provider that:


    • Understood that odor management is of critical concern
    • Would provide science based technical assistance for solving process problems as they arise
    • Had a track record of working efficiently with civil engineers and general contractors
    • Supplied high quality equipment that would last without replacement for decades


    ECS Solution:

    After an RFP process that included a rigorous due-diligence ECS was selected to provide a six-zone, negatively aerated and fabric covered pilot system for primary composting yard and food wastes. During the Phase I testing Howard County decided to abandon the fabric covering the ASP piles and used an organic cover layer in its place. The process results improved and the Phase II facility was designed around a negative only aeration system with a biofilter.


    ECS was selected and awarded the Phase II contract via a second RFP process and worked with Howard County’s civil engineer to create detailed facility designs that would go out for bid to general contractors. The Phase II design included 10 primary and secondary composting zones in a Bunker Wall configuration, with negative aeration and a Low Friction Trench aeration floor to a biofilter that uses a High Pressure Sparger aeration floor.


    Capacity (tpy)

    Phase I Pilot - 8,000

    Phase II – 50,000 tpy


     Food Waste, Yard Waste

    ECS Technologies Employed

    Phase I Pilot - Fabric Covered Aerated Static Pile (CASP) System, CompTroller Automated Control & Monitoring System, Negative Aeration System

    Pipe-on-Grade Aeration Floor, Biofilter


    Phase II – Negative Aeration CASP, Bunker Wall Configuration, Low Friction Trench Aeration Floor, Biofilter with High Pressure Sparger Floor

    Start-Up Year

    2012,  Phase I Pilot Systems

    2018,  Phase II


    Columbia, MD


    Visit the Howard County Composting Facility online and get more info about the Pilot Compost Facility at Alpha Ridge.


    "The ECS team is extremely knowledgeable about the composting process and have done extensive research on how to utilize their systems to maximize product stability and quality.  Their team is responsive and curious for feedback about our system.  Their design team was flexible with our capacities for technology / communications as well as working with the site engineer to adjust for field conditions and contact water regulations.  Upper management is very satisfied with the combination of their technology and our operations."


    - Jeffrey Dannis

    Chief, Operations Division 

    Howard County Landfill


4220 24th Avenue West

Seattle, Washington 98199

T: (206) 634-2625     F: (206) 634-1309

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Engineered Compost Systems