Irma blew Homestead composting plant reopening to 2018
After Hurricane Irma battered it, the City of Homestead’s composting facility – which was expected to come back online by the end of August after a year-long pause in operations – has pushed back its reopening to early next year while repairs are made.
The composting facility, which turns the city’s bio-solid waste into super-strength fertilizer, was initially shut down in April 2016 after the discovery of odor issues and improper procedures.
After that, the facility ordered and installed nine specialized fans on March 31 to help dry the bio-solids and also installed specialized scrubbers to ensure that air leaving the facility would be odorless.
As a result of these improvements, the plant began to test its first batches of bio-solids during August to check for the quality of the fertilizer and planned to provide the South Dade Soil & Water Conservation District, which operates the facility, with samples of the bio-solids during September.
However, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida last month, all tests and operational activities within the facility came to a halt.
The processing facility suffered enclosure damage after Irma’s winds ripped panels off the south side, said Zackery Good, a spokesperson for the City of Homestead.
As a result, he said, “the facility was evaluated and will undergo repairs, which are estimated to be completed by early 2018.”