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Turning shit into money - recycling horse manure

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MeloTheMelon

New Contributor
Jun 13, 2021
13
18
14
Probably a shot in the dark, but does someone have experience with recycling horse manure?

Some of my relatives own a large horse stable, up to now they gave their manure to the farmer next door, who used it as dung. Due to new laws in Europe, they have to change how the farmer keeps the manure until he uses it, and they also cut some of the support payments for it, so all in all, he says it's too much effort for him to keep using the horse manure.
The only current possibility to get rid of the piles of shit is by paying a company to pick it up and dispose of it, which is really expensive.

I thought there must be a better way, especially because horse manure is pretty good dung once it is composted. So I started to research and found some opportunities.

1) Compost it, if you put it on a field, mix the piles every day, and make sure that everything is alright (heat inside, worms, and whatever) it would be ok to just keep it outside without having to build a specific place to store it. The downside is that the time window is pretty tight and you would have to either package it every 6 weeks or have a buyer for the manure all the time because keeping it outside longer would result in fines.

2) Composting it in containers. I found a company which builds special containers that control all the factors like heat, mixing it through and all that stuff. Pretty expensive, and they won't fit a lot, but also almost no hassle. Pretty much shit in and compost out.

The upside of the compost methods is that, like mentioned, composted horse manure is really good dung and farmers and gardeners love it. So it could be packaged and sold.

3) Drying and burning. The manure is a mix of shit and either wood chips or straw. It can be dried and burned to generate heat, warm water, or even electricity. From my research that would be the cleanest way. The heat of the oven dries the incoming manure before it gets burned, all the excess heat can be used to heat up houses, or can be turned into electricity and sold to the city.
The downside is that I would need the whole system which isn't that cheap and then I would need to either transform it into electricity or find some people who want to buy the heat.
I really like that this could be completely automated though.

4) Turn it into biogas. Horse manure can be used in biogas plants, so if I'd build one I could sell the gas. All in all a good idea if it weren't for the steep price. Still, something I thought I should mention.

Those are the 4 options I found from my research that would turn the shit into something that could be sold. Once such a system is set up, getting the manure shouldn't be a problem. A horse produces about 30kg of manure per day (for comparison 1kg of composted manure sells for about 2.50€). I asked my relatives how other stables are doing it, and they either use it themselves, if they also have fields, or they pay to get it picked up by the local garbage disposal company, paying something in the 4-figure range per month depending on how many horses they have.
With one of the above systems running, I could probably only make them pay for the truck to pick up the truck and then sell the final product, either dung, energy, heat, or gas.
In a 5km radius of my relatives stable (around 50 horses) are 4 more stables with also between 20 and 40 horses each. That easily would be enough to fill all the need to power a system to recycle it.
The only thing that keeps me worrying is the steep startup cost, I would need to buy the whole machinery and a plot of land at the minimum, and I don't have a large sum of money lying around (just finished university last year and started saving up a bit).

I have about 30k€ to work with which I saved up in the last year and about 1.5k a month of disposable income I could put into this. But I am not sure if it is worth it, or if there are things I am overlooking.

I would love some feedback and different points of few!
 
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alexkuzmov

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 20, 2019
797
992
338
Bulgaria
Probably a shot in the dark, but does someone have experience with recycling horse manure?

Some of my relatives own a large horse stable, up to now they gave their manure to the farmer next door, who used it as dung. Due to new laws in Europe, they have to change how the farmer keeps the manure until he uses it, and they also cut some of the support payments for it, so all in all, he says it's too much effort for him to keep using the horse manure.
The only current possibility to get rid of the piles of shit is by paying a company to pick it up and dispose of it, which is really expensive.

I thought there must be a better way, especially because horse manure is pretty good dung once it is composted. So I started to research and found some opportunities.

1) Compost it, if you put it on a field, mix the piles every day, and make sure that everything is alright (heat inside, worms, and whatever) it would be ok to just keep it outside without having to build a specific place to store it. The downside is that the time window is pretty tight and you would have to either package it every 6 weeks or have a buyer for the manure all the time because keeping it outside longer would result in fines.

2) Composting it in containers. I found a company which builds special containers that control all the factors like heat, mixing it through and all that stuff. Pretty expensive, and they won't fit a lot, but also almost no hassle. Pretty much shit in and compost out.

The upside of the compost methods is that, like mentioned, composted horse manure is really good dung and farmers and gardeners love it. So it could be packaged and sold.

3) Drying and burning. The manure is a mix of shit and either wood chips or straw. It can be dried and burned to generate heat, warm water, or even electricity. From my research that would be the cleanest way. The heat of the oven dries the incoming manure before it gets burned, all the excess heat can be used to heat up houses, or can be turned into electricity and sold to the city.
The downside is that I would need the whole system which isn't that cheap and then I would need to either transform it into electricity or find some people who want to buy the heat.
I really like that this could be completely automated though.

4) Turn it into biogas. Horse manure can be used in biogas plants, so if I'd build one I could sell the gas. All in all a good idea if it weren't for the steep price. Still, something I thought I should mention.

Those are the 4 options I found from my research that would turn the shit into something that could be sold. Once such a system is set up, getting the manure shouldn't be a problem. A horse produces about 30kg of manure per day (for comparison 1kg of composted manure sells for about 2.50€). I asked my relatives how other stables are doing it, and they either use it themselves, if they also have fields, or they pay to get it picked up by the local garbage disposal company, paying something in the 4-figure range per month depending on how many horses they have.
With one of the above systems running, I could probably only make them pay for the truck to pick up the truck and then sell the final product, either dung, energy, heat, or gas.
In a 5km radius of my relatives stable (around 50 horses) are 4 more stables with also between 20 and 40 horses each. That easily would be enough to fill all the need to power a system to recycle it.
The only thing that keeps me worrying is the steep startup cost, I would need to buy the whole machinery and a plot of land at the minimum, and I don't have a large sum of money lying around (just finished university last year and started saving up a bit).

I have about 30k€ to work with which I saved up in the last year and about 1.5k a month of disposable income I could put into this. But I am not sure if it is worth it, or if there are things I am overlooking.

I would love some feedback and different points of few!
Could you produce something which uses the dung or the manure str8 away?
Why not cut the middle man and grow plants for the market?
 

MeloTheMelon

New Contributor
Jun 13, 2021
13
18
14
Could you produce something which uses the dung or the manure str8 away?
Why not cut the middle man and grow plants for the market?

The "raw" manure would burn the roots of the plants. Also, the composting gets rid of weed seeds and all kinds of parasite eggs. If you want to use it on plants, you don't really get around at least 6 weeks to compost it.

I didn't think about growing plants in the first place, I have to look into that.
 

alexkuzmov

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 20, 2019
797
992
338
Bulgaria
The "raw" manure would burn the roots of the plants. Also, the composting gets rid of weed seeds and all kinds of parasite eggs. If you want to use it on plants, you don't really get around at least 6 weeks to compost it.

I didn't think about growing plants in the first place, I have to look into that.
It could be a double win.
Get paid to get rid of the manure.
Then compost it and use it to grow and sell stuff.
 

alexkuzmov

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 20, 2019
797
992
338
Bulgaria
Growing mushrooms ;).
You can use horse manure as (part of) the substrate i believe.
That could be very lucrative.
Or you can prepare grow kits for the mushrooms and sell them wholesale, anither thing to explore as an idea.
 

TinyOldLady

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 27, 2017
142
315
176
Germany
Due to new laws in Europe, they have to change how the farmer keeps the manure until he uses it, and they also cut some of the support payments for it, so all in all, he says it's too much effort for him to keep using the horse manure.
Could you get more financial support, if you showed your plans to the city government or whoever is in charge of funding such local projects? After all we get all the “green promises“ from our governments, now they get a chance for real action
 

hectormendez

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 23, 2018
11
11
19
35
Probably a shot in the dark, but does someone have experience with recycling horse manure?

Some of my relatives own a large horse stable, up to now they gave their manure to the farmer next door, who used it as dung. Due to new laws in Europe, they have to change how the farmer keeps the manure until he uses it, and they also cut some of the support payments for it, so all in all, he says it's too much effort for him to keep using the horse manure.
The only current possibility to get rid of the piles of shit is by paying a company to pick it up and dispose of it, which is really expensive.

I thought there must be a better way, especially because horse manure is pretty good dung once it is composted. So I started to research and found some opportunities.

1) Compost it, if you put it on a field, mix the piles every day, and make sure that everything is alright (heat inside, worms, and whatever) it would be ok to just keep it outside without having to build a specific place to store it. The downside is that the time window is pretty tight and you would have to either package it every 6 weeks or have a buyer for the manure all the time because keeping it outside longer would result in fines.

2) Composting it in containers. I found a company which builds special containers that control all the factors like heat, mixing it through and all that stuff. Pretty expensive, and they won't fit a lot, but also almost no hassle. Pretty much shit in and compost out.

The upside of the compost methods is that, like mentioned, composted horse manure is really good dung and farmers and gardeners love it. So it could be packaged and sold.

3) Drying and burning. The manure is a mix of shit and either wood chips or straw. It can be dried and burned to generate heat, warm water, or even electricity. From my research that would be the cleanest way. The heat of the oven dries the incoming manure before it gets burned, all the excess heat can be used to heat up houses, or can be turned into electricity and sold to the city.
The downside is that I would need the whole system which isn't that cheap and then I would need to either transform it into electricity or find some people who want to buy the heat.
I really like that this could be completely automated though.

4) Turn it into biogas. Horse manure can be used in biogas plants, so if I'd build one I could sell the gas. All in all a good idea if it weren't for the steep price. Still, something I thought I should mention.

Those are the 4 options I found from my research that would turn the shit into something that could be sold. Once such a system is set up, getting the manure shouldn't be a problem. A horse produces about 30kg of manure per day (for comparison 1kg of composted manure sells for about 2.50€). I asked my relatives how other stables are doing it, and they either use it themselves, if they also have fields, or they pay to get it picked up by the local garbage disposal company, paying something in the 4-figure range per month depending on how many horses they have.
With one of the above systems running, I could probably only make them pay for the truck to pick up the truck and then sell the final product, either dung, energy, heat, or gas.
In a 5km radius of my relatives stable (around 50 horses) are 4 more stables with also between 20 and 40 horses each. That easily would be enough to fill all the need to power a system to recycle it.
The only thing that keeps me worrying is the steep startup cost, I would need to buy the whole machinery and a plot of land at the minimum, and I don't have a large sum of money lying around (just finished university last year and started saving up a bit).

I have about 30k€ to work with which I saved up in the last year and about 1.5k a month of disposable income I could put into this. But I am not sure if it is worth it, or if there are things I am overlooking.

I would love some feedback and different points of few!
In my family we produce compost with bull manure using californian red worms, it takes about 2 months, farmers appreciate a lot the compost produced by worms, you can do the same with the horse manure.
Start small, you don't need a lot of money and scale gradually.
 

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