County Expands Compost Efforts To Meet California Recycling Law

By P.J. Heller A new $8 million composting facility — designed to speed up the composting process by as much as 50 percent or more from its two existing sites — is being planned by Orange County Waste & Recycling to help meet California’s mandate to divert organic waste from landfills in order to reduce greenhouse gases.  When completed, expected …

Sheep, Goats Helping to Mitigate Wildfires

By P.J. Heller When the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District and Fire Safe Marin wanted to reduce the impact of wildfires in Marin County communities north of San Francisco, they brought in a unique crew from Star Creek Land Stewards to remove fire fuel. Some 1,200 goats and sheep from Star Creek grazed hundreds of acres, removing fire fuel including …

Mulch and Soil Producers Strive to Meet Labor, Transportation Challenges

By Ken McEntee Like most businesses across the country, mulch and soil producers count the inability to hire workers among their greatest current challenges, said Robert LaGasse, executive director of the Mulch and Soil Council, of Shallowater, Texas. In the wake of the council’s annual conference, held in September in Memphis, Tennessee, LaGasse said the national trucking shortage and supply …

Sale of Mulch, Soil Decline Unexpectedly

By P.J. Heller Mulch and soil sales, that skyrocketed during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, may have dropped to pre-pandemic levels or below at the end of the major selling season in May and June 2021. Coming out of 2020 with sales increases of 20 percent to 40 percent, there had been predictions of a significant …

From the Golden Leaf to Brown Gold

By Kathleen Marquardt Pine grows naturally on the sandhills of the Carolinas, and the longleaf pine, which is straight, strong, and pliable, has become a valuable commodity for many tree growers and harvesters.  In earlier days, pine trees were harvested primarily for their wood, and much of it being sent to Europe where there was a shortage of lumber. Pine …

Rust Belt Riders, Turning Food Waste Into Quality Soil Blends

By P.J. Heller The farm-to-table social movement – which promotes serving locally grown food at restaurants and other eateries – is being reverse engineered into a table-to-farm effort that offers benefits to businesses, government and especially the environment. Among the companies across America flipping the farm-to-table concept is Rust Belt Riders, headquartered in Cleveland., Ohio. It collects food scraps from …

More Time at Home Boosts Mulch and Soil Sales

By P.J. Heller Coronavirus pandemic advice: Wash your hands often. Wear a face mask. Socially distance. Get vaccinated. Garden. Garden? In a year of on-and-off-again stay-at-home orders, businesses forced to shutter and employees having to work from home, a tanking national and world economy and concerns about the food supply — not to mention the more than 27 million Americans …

Radial Stacking Conveyors Pile Up Business Accolades

By P.J. Heller Zach Eaton remembers how long it used to take when loaders had to stack soil and mulch at the P.R. Russell facility in New Hampshire. “If we got 20 trucks [with raw material] in a day, it would take all day and maybe some of the next day to stack it [the processed material] and get it …

Cannabis Waste Disposal Has Companies Going To Pot

By P.J. Heller Their business may be going to pot, but that is fine with Jonathan Lee and Garrett Rodewald. The co-founders of Gaiaca Waste Revitalization in California are among a growing group of entrepreneurs who are capitalizing on the need for companies to manage burgeoning amounts of cannabis waste. “Somewhere right now, there’s a state talking about legalization; updating rules …