Environmental crushing, screening and recycling: Bobo grinding chews on steady diet of ice storm wreckage

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Courtesy of Morbark, LLC

The ice storms in Georgia earlier this year created a tremendous amount of fallen trees and limbs in the metro Atlanta area, which needed to be recycled. The city of Marietta, GA and Cobb County, GA, contracted with Bobo Grinding Inc. based in Woodstock, GA, to reduce the wood waste to create mulch for use at various other sites.

Bobo Grinding set up a temporary site for grinding near the downtown Marietta square, for the cit of Marietta, GA. The city will utilize the mulched material for use at the Marietta golf course. A temporary site that was set up for Cobb County, GA, will be utilizing the mulch and will be adding compost to create potting soil.

Bobo Grinding has three permanent sites that have been continuously receiving wood waste created form the ice storms. Two of the company's permanent sites are located in Cherokee County: the third is located in Cobb County.

At the permanent sites, trees and limbs are ground and mulch is created and sold to manufacturing plants for burning to produce power. Plants with super-burners utilize material, which passes over a heater, which creates smoke and heat from burning to create power. The wood mulch creates an 8400 BTU count, which is a higher count than that of coal. The burning mulch burns cleaner, leaves less ash, and produces very little smoke out of the smokestacks. The mulch created by Bobo Grinding also is being sold to landscapers and consumers in the form of dyed mulch, which is produced on site. A Morbark dye machine utilizes an auger system to continuously turn material while dye is sprayed on the mulch. The end product is an evenly dyed, single colored mulch.

Bobo Grinding also purchases and sells saw dust to chicken houses for use as bedding material on flooring. Additionally, saw dust is utilized for mixing with liquid waste creating a slurry, which once dried, can be transported to a landfill. Other byproducts from sawdust and other wood products are currently in the experimental process.

Bobo Grinding utilizes every bit of the wood waste that it is recycling from Georgia storms and from other contract work. However, according to company president, David Bobo, 'overall a lot of the wood waste is not being recycled' and he ' 'guesstimates' that probably 80 percent of it goes to landfills, rather than to recycling locations such as ours.'

For the grinding process, Bobo Grinding relies on several Morbark tub grinders. A Powerscreen and a Re-tech trommel screen are utilized for screening out fine mulch and dirt. For material moving, four specially equipped Volvo L90Cs are utilized for keeping material stockpiled for the grinder, or for stockpiling the final product. The Volvos purchased from Trax Inc. are specially equipped with skidder tires and skid plates, various covers for windshields and lights and other modifications. According to Bobo, 'Trax does a great job on the conversion of these machines. We average approximately 5,000 hours on the Volvos and the trade. With the protective modifications made on the machines, they're still in good shape when we trade them.'

Future plans for Bobo Grinding include creating a retail yard for contractors and end users where the company will primarily sell dyed and regular mulch, rock products, and potting soil.

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