Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Composting & More

The large shredding - chopping - mulching machine is here again for a few days while they chop up the big piles of green waste we've accumulated during the last couple months.  Our composting operation is a lot bigger than most folks realize.  I remember a few years ago when my hubbie drove the garbage truck from the park to the landfill during palm tree trimming time.  It required 2-4 trips to the landfill every day because of the volume of palm fronds, bush trimmings, etc that we hauled out of here.  Now all that greenery is taken to the back 40 and stored there until this shredder operation comes in.  

A big clam-shell bulldozer grabs a big mouthful of the debris and drops it into the tub grinder where it instantly gets shredded and spewed back out all chopped up nice and fine.  Jim Dawson was kind enough to take me out there to watch for a while yesterday.  It's awesome to watch as tree trunks, bushes, and tons of palm fronds and bush trimmings get chewed up and turned to fine mulch.  

The big round tub grinder is controlled by a worker on the ground as he controls the direction and speed of the grinder as the debris goes through.  That keeps the machine from clogging up or getting stuck as a big tree trunk may be tossed in.

All our compostable material gets ground up in here including old pallets, sawdust and scraps from the wood shop, and all the bush and tree trimmings.  A huge magnet in the machine pulls out any nails that may be in the pallets.  

After this initial grinding, the pile sits for a year while it breaks down into a finer grade.  Then another machine comes in to grind it even further.  We not only save huge dumping fees, but we save wear and mileage on our garbage truck also.  Once the green waste is chopped up, we water it and turn it and then mulch it through another big machine that turns it into a fine compost that we use for many different occasions.  

After a two year period, this compost is a rich clean soil that is ideal for planting.

So the next time you're trimming your bushes or dumping out old flower pots, be sure to use the green waste containers that are available.  You can ask for one to be brought to your site or you can drop the stuff off near the trash dumpsters in these barrels.  Do NOT dump any concrete or rock or steel that could damage the big shredder or the park gets charged for the damage!!

We save thousands of dollars again when it comes to reseeding the golf course.  We used to purchase tons of steer manure that was used on the golf course to cover and fertilize the new seeding but now we use our own composted mulch for a huge financial savings.  (This clean mulch also smells a LOT better than the old manure!) 
Our landscape crews can use this new mulch for all our landscaping needs when we redo the flower beds or residents need new plantings, etc.  

Our gardens love it!
When it comes to our nation's landfill problems, it is nice to know that Palm Creek is doing its share to minimize our footprints.


  1. Anonymous7:02 AM

    Another great update. Thanks again Sue.

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