California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Compostable Materials

Operational Challenges Assessment Procedure (OCAP)

The operational challenges/concerns assessment procedure (OCAP) was developed to aid operators and regulators in defining operational areas where changes are required to minimize undesirable impacts on the surrounding area. Although other regulatory concerns may exist, the OCAP addresses only those operational concerns related to the impact(s) to be minimized. Compost sites face multiple challenges. CalRecycle staff experience, for example, suggests that unaddressed operational challenges such as off-site odor migration or inadequate control of feedstock contamination lead to eventual site failure and disruptions in a region’s compostable material handling.

Analyzing Operational Problems

The forms below offer an overall procedure or approach for analyzing operational problems at sites on a holistic/systemic basis. These forms are designed to address problems in relationship to the broader operational context for long term resolutions. OCAP provides a tool to analyze and identify systemic operational problems and is a foundation for integrated best management practices.

  • OCAP Pre-Evaluation Form (DRRR 208) (Word | PDF): A form to be completed by LEAs or CalRecycle staff prior to visiting a composting facility or operation.
  • OCAP Site Visit Form (DRRR 209) (Word | PDF): A form to be completed by LEAs or CalRecycle staff during a visit to a composting facility or operation.
  • OCAP Guidance Document: This document will assist in interpreting where operational changes may be needed to address a problem.

Amount of Material On-Site

Many of the operational challenges concern the amount of material stored on site, the time it is stored prior to processing or use, and the condition of the piles. The guidance provided in On-Farm Composting Handbook by Robert Rynk has been useful for estimating the amount of material on-site. Pile configuration may be specified as part of the odor impact minimization plan, permit condition or plan of operation. Additionally, indicators of pile size may be required, such as poles around the site where pile height may not exceed. Below are some useful formulas for estimating the amount of material on-site.

Estimating the Amount of Material On Site

Last updated: October 30, 2008
Compostable Materials, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/SWFacilities/Compostables/
Martin Perez: Martin.Perez@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 323-0834