BURLEY — A Burley tree trimming company is finding solutions to problems that keep waste out of the landfill—and benefit farmers and dairies.
Tree Trouble’s Green Waste Management Facility, 24 S. 175 W., Burley, opened this spring and partnered with local dairyman Brent Stoker, who grinds the company’s waste tree trunks and branches into shreds to use as calf bedding and fertilizer, Julie Jaime, facility manager said.
Tree Trouble is owned by Scott Yates.
“It’s a big cycle,” Jaime said. “This has turned into a really good green waste facility. It’s solving lots of problems. Instead of going to a landfill the waste is being turned into something useful.”
The dairy and waste center operate on a trade basis, which is mutually beneficial.
“We get rid of our trees without hauling them to the landfill and they have a good use for the chips,” Jaime said.
Many dairies use straw for calf bedding, which does not absorb the calf urine and when the animals breathe a concentration of the ammonia from the urine, it can cause pneumonia, Stoker said.
“It’s not cheaper but it’s better for the young calves,” he said.
Tree Trouble has also partnered with the city of Burley to take its bio-solids from the industrial wastewater plant. The solids are 80 percent dry when they come to the facility and when they are fully dried, it is used in a compost mix.
“It comes here rather than going to the landfill,” Jaime said.
City Administrator Mark Mitton said the industrial plant bio-solids are class 1, which means they are not regulated.
“The city was hauling them to the landfill when we could not give them away,” Mitton wrote in an email.
The partnership with the green waste facility saves the city money, he wrote.
“Most of the time they were taken by individuals to mix with other compostable material.”
Stoker is using the bio-solids to mix with the used wood chips and manure, which is then applied as fertilizer to fields. The recycled carbon from the trees mimics the forest floor and is superior in replenishing nutrients to the soil.
When trees are macerated and more edges exposed, it cuts 50 to 100 years off the carbon recycling process, he said.
Stoker has also sold some of the chips to other farmers to put underneath pivots that are stuck in the mud.
“It performs better than anything else that we’ve tried,” Stoker said. “Some farmers use aggregate rock, which is terrible for the farm machinery.”
Tree Trouble also sells some of the product as landscaping material.
“It really helps control weeds,” Jaime said.
The green waste facility is also open to the general public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The cost is $1.50 a square yard, which is about $3 for a pickup truck full of tree limbs, Jaime said.
Bags of yard clippings can be dropped off for $1, but the bags must be moved from the property and there can be no garbage, building debris, tires or any type of wood with metal comingled with it like nails or screws.
Many of the trees are cut into firewood, which is sold.
“We donate a lot of it to shelters,” Jaime said.