By Myrna Trauntvein
There are two problems facing the JRDA: the first is the need of expensive new equipment and the second is that garden waste is still a problem at the landfill.
Green waste is an on-going issue at the JRDA (Juab Rural Development Agency) because it is being put into garbage cans and ends up in the household waste section.
In addition to the problem of green waste, there is a need for new equipment at the landfill.
Seth Atkinson, Nephi City Administrator, said he had met with the agency at an agency meeting and it was determined that there were several pieces of equipment were needed.
“It was agreed that we should call for bids for some of the equipment,” he said.
“The equipment is pretty worn out,” Atkinson said. “The compactor is 30 years old. We also need a new dump truck and a track loader.”
Big boulders are present in the earth used to cover the household garbage section of the landfill and that wears out the equipment.
“The equipment has used its life expectancy,” said Justin Seely, council member.
“The dump truck was worn out when it was donated by the county to the landfill,” Atkinson said.
He had also found that there was still a problem with Nephi residents putting their green garden waste, such as grass clippings, in their garbage cans.
“We have a green waste site but it is underused,” said Atkinson.
At the city site, all green garden waste is accepted but tree limbs and branches are not.
“If limbs are mixed in, then it means a trip to the landfill,” said Nathan Memmott, council member. “We are, as a city, underutilizing the green waste site.”
Some people do not have access to pickup trucks to take grass clippings, leaves, flowers and garden debris to the green waste site which is located in northwest Nephi.
Perhaps it would be wise to have a chipper at the site and then branches could be accepted, chipped and used as mulch.
“Mona does have a chipper and they chip branches,” said Atkinson. “They said their residents are good to put the yard waste and branches in different piles and they are also using the compost.”
JRDA has indicated that they would get a chipper for Nephi but there are other equipment needs that have taken priority.
Along with the Arbor Day celebration to be held annually, said Donald Ball, there could be a way to take up a collection so that the city could buy a chipper.
Green waste, also called agricultural waste, is biodegradable waste that can be composed of compostable wastes, such as grass and flower cuttings, hedge trimmings, fallen leaves, dead plant matter, as well as domestic and commercial food wastes.
Green yard debris and kitchen waste together constitute 24 percent of U.S. municipal solid waste. That’s a lot of waste to send to landfills when it could become useful and environmentally beneficial compost instead.
Since these materials are relatively clean and biodegradable, disposal in landfills is unnecessary and wastes space. Keep grass clippings out of landfills and turn them into the world’s best soil conditioner, compost.
Composting is a relatively simple process. It requires four ingredients: carbon, nitrogen, air and moisture. When these ingredients are present in the proper amounts, microorganisms take over and do the rest. A compost heap is essentially a tiny ecosystem with various micro- and macroorganisms doing their specific job at different stages of the cycle.
“It may require elevating levels,” said Atkinson. “There are several levels of landfills and there are more stringent rules with the elevating of levels.”
Landfills are located, designed, operated and monitored to ensure compliance with federal regulations. They are also designed to protect the environment from contaminants, which may be present in the waste stream.
“We are seeing a lot of construction debris,” said Atkinson.
Construction and demolition materials consists of the debris generated during the construction, renovation and demolition of buildings, roads and bridges. These materials often contain bulky, heavy materials, such as concrete, wood, metals, glass and salvaged building components.
There are separate areas at the landfill where these items are to be placed.