Composting case study: Kurtz Bros tackles yard waste contamination

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Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

Kurtz bros., INc. (Columbus, OH) supplies both consumers and landscape contractors with high-quality mulch, compost, soil amendments and topsoil. The company operates several organic recycling facilities throughout the state of Ohio spanning from Columbus (the state’s largest organic recycling facility) to Cleveland. Its local yard waste facilities accept everything from leaves and grass clippings to wood waste and food scraps.

The firm is also a licensed blender of soil media used in green roof systems. Special soil blends are provided for both intensive and extensive rooftop growing systems. Kurtz Bros. produces structural soils for urban planting and bio-retention soils used to filter storm water pollutants. Kurtz Bros. is also developing a food scrap diversion business that will divert organic waste to biogas for energy production.

The Challenge

As a result, Kurtz Bros. recently began testing a newly introduced compostable mesh leaf bag collection system designed and commercialized by another Columbus-based company called PD Worx. The new bag solves many of the problems associated with paper yard waste bags specified by most communities in North America. Jeff Moore of Kurtz Bros. says, “For us at the receiving end, we’re of course concerned about contamination. Foreign objects degrade the quality, and ultimately the price we can charge for our materials. Traditional paper lawn bags make it difficult to see contaminants.”

Because of this, Kurtz Bros. employs yard waste inspectors at every drop off point to inspect the lawn waste and check for any contamination. “With the new mesh bags, we can better see the contaminants before they cause problems in the mulch manufacturing process,” says Moore.

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