Falling leaves certainly beautify the fall scenery of Cumberland Lake, but when they’re all picked up, they’ve got to go somewhere.
“Green waste” – such as yard waste and storm debris – can make up 25-50% of the total amount going to landfill each fall, but it’s not the right place for it. Landfills are airtight, so organic material does not have the oxygen it needs to decompose properly as it would in nature. When organics break down in landfills without oxygen (or “anaerobically”), methane – a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide – is emitted into the atmosphere.
Instead of throwing away yard waste, choosing to compost creates healthy soils and helps fight climate change. While backyard composting is one thing, Pulaski counties now have another option.
The Pulaski County and Somerset City compost landfill site opened in January on Ky. 914, just east of the Ky. 1247 intersection, and is now fully operational just in time for the fall cleaning season.
The site is currently open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays so that authorized companies can drop off their green waste. A residential depot takes place on the third Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon, although Pulaski County recycling and solid waste coordinator Danny Masten has noted that it could be open weekly – especially during the season. busy fall or other events.
“There has been so much interest,” Masten said. “It was great for the ice storm and the flooding, where the county and the city were able to bring things in here to clean up the streets. If we have natural disasters like this, we would definitely want to open it up and leave it. people come in. “
Returning to major weather events or other emergencies, Masten noted that the site provides the local government with a spacious staging area.
Rather than buying their own equipment for now, Masten noting that a shredder can cost between $ 750,000 and $ 1 million, the county instead contracted with Bushels & Blooms – a company based in Franklin, in the Ky. – to come 4 to 5 times. per year to crush what has been collected. The company first arrived in June to cover what had happened since the facility opened in January and was back last week for another tour.
“They do it for a lot of counties,” Masten said of the company. “The state gave us money to rent equipment.…[This company has] the chipper and supplies the operator so it’s really a good situation for everyone involved. We don’t have to maintain the equipment or hire an operator here. “
The county has entrusted Steve Cook with operating the site’s $ 150,000 loader, which Masten says was also purchased using the Kentucky Pride Fund’s composting grant. In addition to keeping green waste out of landfills, Masten said, having the composting station prevents it from being dumped in sinkholes in private fields or along county roads.
“We are only providing services to our community that we are able to do with the support of the [Pulaski] Tax court, magistrates, state, city and Hinkle [Contracting]”Masten said.” It’s been years in the planning. “
The mulch produced has so far been used by government agencies, but Masten is also looking for potential buyers. Another option could be to offer it to citizens.
“There is a lot of potential for growth,” he said, again emphasizing the environmental benefits. “We want to be proactive rather than reactive.”