Friday, 28 March 2014

The organic farm and restaurant 'O Fogar do Santiso' in Spain is composting on-site with Big Hanna composter

'O Fogar do Santiso' is an organic farm and restaurant located approximately 15 km south from Santiago de Compostela in the Galicia region in northern Spain. In the autumn of 2013 a Big Hanna composter model T240 was installed to compost the organic waste on-site. 

From their website: 'The Fogar Farm has a surface area of 7 hectares (over 17 acres) and has been certified by the Consello Regulador de Agricultura Ecolóxica de Galicia (C.R.A.E.G.A), the Regulatory Council of Organic Farming in Galicia. The certification of our cultivating system guarantees that natural resources are used wisely. No chemical fertilizers or insecticides are used. We have no genetically modified crops. We use crop rotation and association techniques and we only use fertilizers and treatments that are not harmful to the earth, and are therefore not harmful to people.In this way, we produce organic food that goes directly from the ground to the table; some of the crops are also sold to local groups practising responsible consumption.'
The restaurant is characterized by the pursuit of sustainable development and commitment to the environment. Their gastronomy is in Spanish called 'Cociña da terra' which in English means 'regional cuisine'. They serve organic food from their farm and adjust the menu to the seasonal products available.
O Fogar has a policy of the three R's and the approach to zero waste.
Reduce waste by:
  • Consume goods returnable containers or served in bulk.
  • 100% composting of organic waste.
Reuse waste, they go from being waste feedstock:
  • Employing the generated compost as organic fertilizer in ecological gardens.
  • Reuse the glass and cardboard like materials used in their bio constructions.
  • The frying oil is the main source of energy, as this is used in power generation and agricultural vehicles.
All these measures help to reduce their ecological footprint. Safeguard the planet's resources for future generations.

As an example of their bio constructions please see in the picture below a wall build of glass bottle bottoms. 
Big Hanna have in Sweden been used to compost food waste on-site for more than 20 years. The possibility to compost on-site for a restaurant of this size is still a quite new experience in Spain. The goal set in all European countries to divert the food waste from the landfill sites gave 'O Fogar do Santiso' the opportunity to receive some funding of the investment from one of the European Development funds projects. O Fogar do Santiso is definitely showing the best practices when closing the loop by not sending any organic waste to landfill. 
For more information about Big Hanna in Spain please contact our distributor Todoverde

If you are in the region we strongly recommend a visit to 'O Fogar do Santiso' and taste their organic food. For pictures from their fantastic restaurant and how they work please visit their website

Friday, 21 March 2014 visits Noble Correctional Institution - read the Presiden'ts Perspecitive - March 2014

Tommy's Pic - President' Perspective March 2014
February proved to be a very cold month to do some institution visits, but the great hospitality I received at two institutions in Ohio made it worthwhile.

Memphis Detention Center Visits ODRC
I was escorting Bailey Waits and Judge Lee of the Shelby County (TN) Detention Center to observe some of Ohio’s innovative sustainability projects. Our first stop was the Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe, Ohio. At Ross, we were treated to a trip to the roof of one of their housing units where the first installation of solar thermal hot water was almost complete. On this bright and clear but very cold day, the system was producing hot water at more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit with only two-thirds of the collectors operating. This $1.7 million project by Solar America Solutions is currently the largest solar thermal application of its kind in the country.

From Ross, we made our way over to the Noble Correctional Institution in Eastern Ohio. This 2,500-bed, high-security institution has a variety of sustainable projects, but we were primarily there to see the Big Hanna in-vessel composter. This is the first use of the Big Hanna in US corrections, but the technology enjoys widespread use in correctional facilities in Europe. Noble officials project a $50,800 savings from the elimination of cartage and landfill fees, removing 676 tons of food waste from their waste stream.

While at Noble, we also got to spend more time with the inmate facilitator of the Roots of Success program. This classroom-based environmental education program is proving to be very popular in correctional facilities across Ohio, linking the ODRC’s sustainability efforts with the theory behind those efforts. To learn more about this very cost-effective program, visit Roots of Success.

A special thank you to Warden Rod Johnson at Ross and Tim Buchannan at Noble and their staff for facilitating our visits. We also appreciate the effort by Jenny Hildebrand, ODRC’s Construction, Activation, Maintenance and Sustainability (CAMS) Bureau Chief, who made these visits possible.

New Sponsor for GreenPrisons
We are pleased to welcome CommTech Systems as the latest sponsor for GreenPrisons. Keep an eye on the GreenPrisons website to learn more about this company's unique lighting system. 

Hildebrand Promoted at ODRC
Speaking of Jenny Hildebrand, we are pleased to spread the news of her recent promotion to CAMS Bureau Chief. This move by Director Gary Mohr punctuates Ohio’s commitment to cost efficiency and the environment through sustainability.

CorrectPac Maintains Their Support for Corrections
CorrectPac continues to offer their highly successful online training program to assist agencies in getting up to speed with the new hazmat standards designed to replace the old MSDS program. If you are still struggling with what the changes mean, the CorrectPac website offers valuable resources that will clarify them.

Clean and Green Committee Has Another Successful ACA Conference
The Winter meeting of the American Correctional Association was a great opportunity for networking and learning. For the first time, we saw FIVE different workshops on sustainability as practiced by correctional agencies from around the country. Watch this newsletter and the GreenPrisons website for information about some exciting new developments coming soon with the Clean and Green committee and the Summer Conference in Salt Lake City.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Video Newsletter Touts Major Sustainability Accomplishments in ODRC 
Rehab and Correction Ohio

Ohio has made tremendous strides in reducing operating costs and developing training programs for inmates in the last four years. Under the leadership of Director Gary Mohr and the direction of Jenny Hildebrand, Conservation Coordinator of ODRC, they have embarked on the largest single solar thermal application in the US, are the only location in the US to have the Big Hanna In-Vessel composting system, and continually develop new initiatives through their partnership with the Sustainable Prisons Project innovative science projects.

Check out the video 

Maryland Department of Corrections Begins Deconstruction of the Maryland House of Correction 

A landmark deconstruction event began in earnest today, when the contractor working with inmates to take down the Maryland House of Correction began using heavy equipment to remove large chunks of the building. The 45-ton crane arrived on the work site in three trucks and was assembled on site. Media were invited out to record the crane’s first work, and what will likely be the public’s last glimpse of the historic prison in its intact state. View the full article.

By Tommy Norris, President,

More information on

Contact for information.

Thursday, 13 March 2014 presents an interview with Professor Georgios Pilidis at Ioannina University presenting their Big Hanna Composter on 'The Organic Stream #9"

"In this ninth episode, we examine a food recovery school program in Oakland, USA, with program director Kelly Ernstfriedman and an onsite composting program in Ioannina University, Greece, with Prof. Georgios Pilidis, in order to get a vision of how a 360 solution can work in schools and other institutions."
The Big Hanna model T240 at the University of Ioannina in Greece have been in operation since 2010 and Professor Georgios Pilidis talks about their set-up. They are very happy to have the composting unit at the University of Ioannina - listen to the interview at the Organic Stream by clicking here!

This picture is showing Mr Andreas Matzanis from T.A.M.E., our distributor in Greece, explaining the different functions of the machine to Professor Pilidis when the machine was installed. 

A beautiful picture from University of Ioannina.