Homer man says device could save landfill space

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2003

KENAI (AP) A machine capable of shredding trees, lumber and even concrete, could significantly reduce the use of space at landfills, according to a Homer entrepreneur.

Gary Catlett, owner of Mobile Equipment Services, demonstrated the device for Kenai Peninsula Borough waste management officials earlier this month at the Homer Baling Facility.

I'm going to recommend it,'' said Jim Norcross, supervisor at the Homer facility.

CMI Corp., an Oklahoma firm that builds recycling and compacting machinery and develops solutions to environmental cleanup problems, builds the Maxigrind line of compactors.

Rexworks, a Milwaukee company acquired by CMI several years ago, built Catlett's used model.

Norcross said debris removed from construction sites, material from demolished old buildings and the remains of structure fires end up as jumbled piles in landfills. The machine demonstrated it could reduce the volume of such piles by 30 to 50 percent, he said.

The space-saving ability is phenomenal. It could help extend the life of the landfill,'' Norcross said.

Catlett purchased the grinding machine, believing it could be useful in grinding up beetle-killed spruce being cleared around the borough.

Catlett noted that bulldozers used at the landfills don't compress old building materials anywhere near as well as the 47-foot-long grinding machine.

We're losing valuable space,'' he said. And there's too much air space. The material is not decomposing as fast as we want.''

Norcross said the baling facility wants to try using the shredded material on facility dirt roads, which become muddy bogs during breakup and rainy periods. If the shredded wood binds well with mud, it may make for stronger road surfaces that are cheaper to maintain than hauling in gravel, he said.

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