Rikers Island Food and Green Waste Facility

Located in the middle of New York City, The Riker’s Island Correctional Facility (RICF) houses approximately 14,000 inmates. Commencing operations in 1996, the RICF Compost facility is the smallest operating composting facility utilizing BDP technology. It is also is the closest compost facility to major populations – within 300 feet of prison dormitories. The facility incorporates two 6.5 feet wide x 180 feet long bays and one 30 HP BDP agitator to co-compost @ 8 WTPD of food scraps from the prison cafeterias with @ 8 WTPD of ground yard trimmings from City collection. The facility is staffed by 2 full time employees and operates 6 days per week 8 hours per day. Average ambient temperatures at the facility range from -10F to 90F. A traditional wood chip type biofilter is used for odor control. The material undergoes 14 days of active composting in the bays and then undergoes about 2 months of curing in outdoor wind rows immediately adjacent to the compost facility. The finished compost is then screened to remove remaining contaminants. The compost is either used directly at the RICF for their organic farming training program or NYC uses it for the various parks located throughout the City including the world famous Central Park.

Project Highlights

  • Primary Compost Material 3,000 WTPY Food Scraps
  • Key Characteristics Pre and Post Consumer @ 30% dry solids
  • Secondary Compost Material 3,000 WTPY Yard Trimmings
  • Key Characteristics From Municipal collection. Ground to <2”
  • Facility Start Up January 1996
  • Total Facility Size @ 1 acre
  • Facility Engineer HDR Engineering – White Plains, NY Office
  • Plant Contact Brian Fleury – WeCare Organics (Facility Contract Operator)
  • BDP Contact Richard Nicoletti – Compost Systems Manager
birds eye view of Rikers Island, home to a BDP in-vessel composting system
mixed waste before separation and screening
end of composting bay where feed stock is unloaded