4FRI Update.. Compost

Thanks to Craig Rawlings of the Forest Business Network..here’s the link.

The Oman-based Good Earth this week announced a partnership with Flagstaff-based Roots Composting to combine household waste from Williams with mountains of sawdust and wood chips from thinning projects to produce rich, organic soil suitable for gardens and farmland throughout the region.

The partnership to produce rich, organic, bagged topsoil could provide a way to get the thinning effort jump-started, given the huge quantities of brush and small trees that dominate the approved thinning projects in the Flagstaff area ready to cut.

The more comprehensive effort that includes larger trees and other products will mostly await construction of new mills in Williams and elsewhere capable of producing biofuel, furniture, oriented strandboard and other products from the small trees that pose a huge fire danger to the whole region.

Roots Composting Chief Executive Officer Kevin Ordean said, “We want to change the way that people think about waste and we want to produce as much high-quality soil as we possibly can for a region that needs it desperately.”

Good Earth Power Spoils Division Director Martin Gillard said, “This partnership will redefine the role that biomass plays in assuring forest health and in improving environmental quality throughout the region.”

The soils project would end up reducing the emission of planet-warming, greenhouse gases, added Gillard.

Currently, many organic household wastes go to landfills, where they decompose and produce large amounts of methane. This gas traps heat in the atmosphere 21 times more efficiently than carbon dioxide.

However, the soil-making operation will combine biomass from thinning projects with the household waste, add oxygen and therefore greatly reduce the production of methane as the material decomposes. The mix will essentially ferment for three to four months before workers bag it at the Williams facility.

“We are hoping to have products ready for the spring markets,” said Gillard.

Good Earth Chief Executive Officer Jason Rosamond said, “Using the outputs of forest restoration to benefit soil and air quality provide alternative energy sources and create sustainable economic growth.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a previous Good Earth press release announcing plans to build a mill in Williams that can handle the small trees that not only fuel intense, ground-sterilizing wildfires, but provide a fuel ladder for fires to climb up into the tops of the remaining old-growth trees.

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