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Home > Feature Articles > Landscaping

A Peek Inside the World's Largest Biosolids Composting Facility

McCarthy Farms and Libery Compost provide comprehensive biowaste and composting services along with their agricultural operations.

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California water conservation in watersheds McCarthy Family Farms was established in 1991 to provide beneficial reuse Biosolids and Green Waste Management services to cities, municipalities, and special districts throughout California.

McCarthy's turn key organics management services include composting linked with beneficial use of compost products on Liberty Ranch and for other beneficial purposes.

Liberty Composting, located in Kern County, operates the worlds largest biosolids composting facility, permitted for more than 2,000 tons per day.

Liberty Ranch is a 25,000 acre farm located in Kings County where Liberty Ranch produces row crops using finished compost. Compost is also available to third parties. Organic materials accepted at Liberty Composting include biosolids, green waste and certain food processing waste. Suitable green waste is also used directly on Liberty Ranch. McCarthy Farms provides dedicated transportation services through Liberty Transport and select sub-contractors.

Liberty Ranch is comprised of 25,000 contiguous irrigated acres and is strategically located in the Central Valley. Our objective is to enhance the long term economic viability of the Ranch, while reducing our dependence on chemical fertilizers, through utilization of compost from Liberty Compost.

Liberty Compost meets the Class A pathogen and Vector Attraction Reduction Requirements of the EPA's 40 CFR 503's. The finished compost is then readily marketed in bulk form to Agricultural Users, Landscapers, Nurseries, Bulk Yards, and to the General Public throughout California.

McCarthy has formed a strategic alliance with the Mitsubishi Cement Corporation to co-fire biosolids with other fuels at the Cushenbury Cement Plant located in the Lucerne Valley. This alliance provides a useful and innovative addition to McCarthy's range of biosolids beneficial reuse services.

Biosolids are combusted at a temperature of 1,700 degrees in the preheater/precalciner. The combustion process releases ammonia which reacts with NOx in the gas stream, producing nitrogen and water. All ash and other residues are incorporated into the cement product. During periods when the cement plant is unable to co-fire biosolids, material is diverted to Liberty Composting. Co-firing biosolids with other fuels significantly reduces N0x emissions. Liberty Energy has co-fired more than 200,000 tons of biosolids for beneficial purposes since 1994.

McCarthy Family Farms, Inc.
1601 Skyway Drive, Suite 205
PO Box 80727
Bakersfield, CA 93380-0727
Telephone: (661) 391-5840
FAX: (661) 391-5844

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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