City gauges interest in organic waste removal
The Fairfield Environmental and Franchise Utilities Committee met Thursday, Feb. 14 to discuss finding a company to grind wood and other organic waste.
The committee agreed to put committee member Michael Halley in charge of communicating with local companies interested in using a pallet grinding service.
Halley said, so far, the city knows of one company that is interested in grinding wood pallets. He would like to find out how many other businesses would be interested in the service, too.
“The trick in grinding pallets is that you have to remove the nails,” he said. “For that, you need a magnet. Whoever we end up using for the city’s compost, we want that company to grind pallets as well.”
Halley can be reached at 641-233-0445.
Fairfield had a yardwaste dumping site at the wastewater plant but was shutdown a few years ago because of ongoing construction in the area. At the end of 2012, the city entered into an agreement with Fairfield Economic Development Association (FEDA) to lease land at the end of South 20th Street for a community compost site.
Only yard waste such as branches, leaves and grass clippings will be permitted at first. The city will experiment with allowing a small amount of food waste. Some local companies that throw out large numbers of pallets are interested in having them ground up for composting.
Committee member and Fairfield City Works Superintendent Darrel Bisgard estimated it would cost $1,500 to install a gate and fence at the compost site. Bisgard and Fairfield City Administrator Kevin Flanagan agreed to work together to find the funds necessary to have the gate installed prior to the spring brush pickup.
The city plans to coordinate with Waste Management to have its yard waste bags dropped off at our location. Bisgard said that he will likely leave the community mulch pile behind Hy-Vee open but move all the material from behind O’Reilly’s to the new site.
In other matters, Flanagan suggested an alternative use for the public restroom building adjacent to the courtyard at the corner of Burlington Avenue and Highway 1. He recommended it could be renovated and used as a city Environmental Planning and Sustainability Center, which would house the city’s sustainability coordinator and support staff. Flanagan said funding would likely need to be split 50-50 with ISU Extension.