Technology for nature

“Live and work with nature” is the motto of Gilles Schitter and Vita-Compost. His composting facility in Bischwiller in France’s Alsace region produces top quality compost and substrates with the help of several green Komptech machines.

June 18, 2015

“I was really a fuel dealer” says Gilles, “but I had a weakness for driving a front loader.” That took him from clearing to landscaping to green cuttings. But it was still a stony path with ups and downs before he got theory and practice to come together the way he wanted. Today, the Vita-Compost company processes over 20,000 tonnes of green cuttings and 15,000 tonnes of excavated soil into substrates for home and professional gardening and landscaping.

Quality is the main thing

It’s a busy time for the facility. A storage building is cleverly integrated into the landscape. Inside a lively discussion of Vita-Compost’s many products is underway. Vita-Terra, Vita-Horti and Vita-Preta are substrates made of quality compost and selected additives. Don’t ask Gilles for just “some dirt.” He puts a lot of energy and attention into composting and curing his substrates, and he wants customers to get the most out of them. “When customers tell me what they want to do, I can tell them what they need and how to use it,” is his approach.


Open to new things

But he doesn’t just have an eye for nature. He also has a feel for machinery. In 2004 Gilles bought a 6 m long stationary Multistar 2 SE. It was soon too short, so he replaced it with a 9 m model. Today its place has been taken by a Multistar 3 SE that works for the composting operation as well as biomass processing. Gilles also uses mobile star screening technology from Komptech. He started out with a Multistar XL, then an L3 with longer coarse screen, and now has a new L3. “I liked the design right away,” he says. After a thorough inspection of the inside, the decision was made.


Combining nature and technology

Gilles also has his own approach to screening. “You can’t work against nature and screen anytime you like. The material has to be right, and so does the weather. Then the performance will be right.” He adds, “and if you have the right equipment, you get even better performance.” Th
e Nemus drum screen he just bought is the right equipment, in his view. The screen drum has a special wire arrangement mounted in it. “That makes the interior surface more aggressive and moves the material around more. Also, the slight slope makes it easier for the pieces to fall through. It all adds up to fifty percent higher throughput.” For some years, he has processed woody materials from gardening, landscaping and clearing work into biomass fuel. Here again, a green machine won his technician’s heart. “I don’t think it took more than three minutes of watching a demo. It was clear to me that the Crambo was simply the perfect machine for my material, which has stones, soil and metal pieces in it.” But he wouldn’t be who he is if his Crambo didn’t have a special feature. A screen basket with offset holes made especially for him gives better shredding, in his opinion.
“Technicians and machine developers should get out more often and see the machines in their working environment,” says Gilles. “You can only come up with the right solution when you understand the overall situation.”